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Don’t Spend Thousands for a ‘Great’ Domain Name

A Director approached me last month at the Heartbeat International Annual Conference. She said someone else owned the web site name she wanted, but they offered to sell it to her for almost $20,000. We’re in a fight for lives, and many are willing to do whatever it takes to win, so I can understand a Board supporting a purchase like this.

I admire her tenacity.

In this case though, the investment wouldn’t be helpful. And that’s why I’m sharing this information about web site addresses (domain names).

Around 2010, some domain names were selling for over $100,000, and with good reason. Back then, Search Engines rewarded long domain names like ‘Retirement’, ‘MortgageLoan’, ‘YardSigns’, etc. If your domain name matched a search phrase, you would move to the top of the search results. This made so-called, “Exact Match Domains” (EMDs), very valuable!

In late 2012, Google (and others) made changes to take this advantage away.

An algorithm, nicknamed EMD, was launched in September, 2012 that was designed to reduce the effectiveness of EMDs. It worked! And the domain-name market was de-valued overnight. More to the point, EMDs are NOT a powerful SEO tool anymore, so they are not a valuable commodity. However, this doesn’t stop people from trying! After all, a domain name is worth as much as you’re willing to pay for it.

What of the EMD Market now?

There are still lots of Domain Name investors out there, clinging to their EMDs, and just waiting for the market to come back, but I think they’re out of luck. EMD ‘investments’ have gone the way of the Beanie Baby. Neither market is likely to return.

However, there is one valuable domain-name taxonomy – Short URLs. Short URLs are often easy to memorize and easy to type. This path of least resistance has been proven to be effective online, so Short URLs have become a commodity, though nothing rivals the market that pre-dated 2012’s EMD algorithm change.

We mentioned this in a previous blog, but it bears repeating. If you want your organization’s name as your web site address, and (.org, .com, or .net) is already taken, consider one of the new exchanges like .life or .care

The same is true for short URLs. If you come up with a memorable acronym that’s easy to type, you will be adding as much value as a domain name has to offer these days.

Feel free to post any questions or comments in the comment section or contact us directly anytime.

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