Internet Money—Lesson 2, Part 1b: What To Call Your Website

by Paul Wilson

 

Today is my birthday, and unfortunately for me I woke up with a head cold. However, fortunately for you since I decided to spend my birthday with my wife I cleared my day. Yet, I’m miserable and my wife can only only dote on me so much. So, I decided that I could be miserable and blog just as easy as I could as being just miserable. Therefore, I figure I would catch up on my posts, since it has been a few weeks from my last post.

We left off on how to find and name your domain. I promise to not be so long winded (but I can’t guarantee it). As far as the domain name goes, I recommend trying to find an old domain that is generic. A four or five letter domain that just has consonants helps. That way you can create an acronym for your website, and if you decide to change directions on your website down the road you can just create another acronym.

Case in point, lets say you own the domain scwp.org, and you decide you want to do a cell phone website. You can call it, “Supportive Cellular Web Professional.” However, for whatever reason, you decide to change your website to provide school loans, you then can call it, “SChool Web Program.” Either way, nobody is going to really care, including Google, what your acronym is.

However, a lot of spammers will find old domains with names that have meaning and rank them in a different niche. I recently saw a website called beehivethemusical.com trying to rank in car insurance. As you can tell this domain doesn’t really work for this keyword, and the spammer only lasted a few days before Google kicked him out of the index. I also saw in the same niche a domain called, TheGeneral.com. If you take a look at the website they have done a good job in branding an army general with car insurance, but they could easily do this with any niche they chose.

The difficult part of getting a generic domain is that you also want one that has age with it. Unfortunately, I have learned a difficult lesson that most domains that “supposedly” have age, really do not. What I mean by this, is that Google doesn’t see the age even if the who is states that it is old. So you might have bought an old domain but for whatever reason it is not ranking.

I have a friend who has built a tool that lets you see exactly what google sees when it comes to the age of the domain. The friend refuses to sell this tool because he doesn’t want google to modify their algorithms. He does let me use it, but I cannot use for anything but myself.

Using this tool has taught me that most of the cheap but old domains you find on domain forums are garbage. The one place that seems to be moderately okay in finding a genuine generic old domain is NameJet.com. I have also had a 50/50 chance with Digital Point Forums, but NameJet seems to have higher odds. Even with NameJet, though, it’s still a crap shoot.

However, there is hope. One of the best things you can do to get around this problem is to buy an actual website that has been up on the web for sometime. It also helps if it has some links pointing to it. This can cost a bit more than just buying a domain, but not always.

Recently, I was able to buy a website that was targeting a niche I was focusing on. The website had some age, backlinks, content, and was indexed. I emailed the site owner and we haggled over the price for a day. Finally, we both agreed on $350 for the entire deal. I did notice that his backlinks were from some of his other sites, and he agreed to keep the links on my website for one year. A year is more than enough time for me to get my own backlinks and get them aged.

One free tool that really helps you see if a website is worth buying is archive.org. This site takes snap shots of the website all the way back to 1996. Before I purchase a website I check archive.org. I want to see if the website is still focusing on the same theme as it was when it first started. If it is relatively the same than I check the whois to make sure the age is also there.

One paid tool I recommend is Domain Tools. It can be a bit pricey but it is worth its weight in gold. It has a tool called Domain History, which is a Whois history database. It can compare the past two registry changes to show you if the owner has changed. This has proven to be an invaluable tool and saved me several times on buying a lemon of a name.

However, if you are approaching the site owner you are most likely not going to get a lemon. One way to find these website owners is to type in the keyword you want to rank on and then go to 999th position in google on that keyword. You can then start working forward by checking the whois for the website owners email address and sending them an email to see if they want to sell. Try not make the email spammish, no one likes spam.

I know this post was more focused on finding than naming the right domain, but these two aspects of domaining do go hand in hand. If you can find a really good old domain you can utilize it in just about any niche. Therefore, when deciding on a domain its age plays a significant role, and the actual name of the domain is secondary. ~Paul W.

SUMMARY
1. When deciding on a domain name go generic
2. Most cheap old domains are worthless
3. Buy websites that have consistently been on the web for a long period of time.

QUICK REFERENCE
NameJet.com
Archive.org
Domain Tools

HOMEWORK
1. Email 5 website owners to purchase their website
2. Sign up for NameJet
3. Buy a domain (if you follow the advice up till now you don’t necessarily need to wait for the next lesson to purchase your domain)

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