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Domains are basically the addresses of the internet, short names that customers can utilize to find your business on the internet. While many websites rely on organic search traffic for the majority of their hits, it is still important to have a domain name that is easy to remember and type, as you will still have traffic either searching for your company’s name or directly entering it into their URL bar. Domain names should also include keywords (if possible) in order to increase your ranking in search engines, or the domain name should be a word (or set of words) that you can incorporate into your brand name. Domains are a limited research however, so the secondary market is full of people trading on their domain names. Domains are a valuable investment for a company, and they are a useful source of revenue for internet marketers.

Domain Attributes

Not all domains are created equally. To begin with, virtually every domain extension other than .com is useless for the American internet marketer. There are tons of TLDs that have been created for various nations, TLDs that refer to particular industries, and other TLDs that have no particular use at all. While you might be able to get a great deal on a .info domain, customers don’t ever use any domains other than .com, and search engines reflect that by overwhelmingly favoring the .com TLD.

Next, consider your domain strategy. There are two ways that you can go about domain selection. Either choose a domain that encapsulates your keywords, allowing for easy search engine indexing (www.widgetsforsale.com) or choose a domain that is short, easy to spell, and would be useful in your branding packages (www.widgetx.com)

Finding Domains

The .com TLD has been around for more than 20 years, so it is getting more and more difficult to find short domains. Every single one word domain is already taken, and most two word domains are getting snapped up – especially in competitive industries. You can search for your domain ideas on name registrars like GoDaddy or Namecheap, but don’t get discouraged if all your top choices are already taken. There is another way to find domains at a “steal”

Buying expired domains is a great way to pick up a fantastic domain name at a super-low price. When people forget to renew their domain, or their business goes under, the domain goes back into a holding pattern for a while and then goes back up on the open market. An expired domain might be a great deal, and it usually comes with a bit of PageRank juice left over from the backlinks to the old website.

Buying/Selling Domains at Auction

Domains are a tricky thing to purchase from someone because they are so hard to value. A domain that might be worth thousands to one company is worth nothing to a company that isn’t in the industry or doesn’t have the same brand goals. Almost all domain auction sites will allow you to set a relatively low starting bid with a reserve price, letting you figure out the level of interest in your domain before you commit to a sale. Like all other internet auctions/sales, we recommend that you use an Escrow service for transactions over $500 in value.

Domain Squatting and Trademark Disputes

There are plenty of ways to make money with domain speculation, but plenty of ways to land in legal hot water as well. For example, if I registered a domain www.softdrinks.com, this domain would be attractive to Pepsi Cola, and it would be a good domain to sell. On the other hand, if I somehow registered www.Pepsicola.com with the intent on selling it to Pepsi Cola, they would have a good case to seize the domain in a trademark dispute case. You cannot legally register and hold onto a domain that infringes on the trademark of a company when said registration took place with the sole intent to hold that domain “hostage” or to enter the same industry.  

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