John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Domaining and SEO Revisited, Again

In SEO world there is this repeating argument that a monetization project could be executed on almost any domain, even though some domains are clearly better than others. The issue is cost: for Internet marketing projects, a “premium domain”, the argument goes, is not worth a premium price because the project could be executed on a “sub-par” domain at a bargain price.

Almost every time I mention a domain aftermarket opportunity as an opportunity for SEO execution, I get comments suggesting the money needed to buy the domain would be better spent marketing a sub-par domain.

This week funshit.com sold at auction for $2000. Is there an SEO anywhere in the world that doesn’t know how to put funshit.com to work immediately, in a way likely to generate $2k/month within a year? Is there an SEO out there courageous enough to argue that funshit.org or funshit.net is “just as good” at a lower buy-in?

Go ahead and propose building out on some cheaper name, but I don’t think the argument holds water. That domain is perfect for fast marketing a time-wasting traffic site, which can be put to use for all sorts of low-overhead miscellany likely to generate a revenue stream with long term value. FAIL and you’ll generate $300-500/month with minimal overhead… a 4-5 month return on investment in the domain (a domain likely to retain resale value separate from your development efforts, by the way).

At some point the monetization value of an aftermarket domain truly exists (separate from type-in or asset value), even for seo cynics. You don’t have to believe me; it’s my opinion. What’s yours?

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7 Responses to “Domaining and SEO Revisited, Again”

  1. Simon Says:

    you need stamina john, stamina.

  2. Lucas Ng Says:

    That’s because most SEOs only think about SEO and forget about other aspects of marketing.

    Detractors laugh and scoff when considering what our company paid for a 30,000 domain portfolio of premium com.au names.

    They argue a network of our size has enough know-how to execute a successful project on any (i.e. cheaper) domain. What these cynics forget is brandability. Yes, you could subdomain or buy a cheap domain for every city in Australia but with a premium {city}.com.au you get substantially lower marketing costs.

    Marketing a memorable premium domain in traditional channels like outdoor advertising, radio, TV, print is almost always cheaper than marketing a crapola domain. It’s much easier to build brand awareness and recognition.

    So yes, you could be successful with a crapola domain but a premium domain amplifies your success… or so we’ve found.

  3. Nebraska Says:

    I just picked up a domain last week from Afternic/Buydomains for $2500 that should be well worth it to any SEO. I couldn’t pass up the price versus value – once developed. The search volume is there, but the type in traffic is not so it didn’t move.

    I think top shelf SEO’s are already looking into domain development. Heck, this blog has been speaking about it for some time already.

    My only problem with Funshit.com is I wouldn’t know how to develop it. I can SEO/SEM in competitive markets for someone else’s products or services, but how to build out a site like funshit.com and make good money… not a clue. THAT, in my opinion, is what prevents search professionals from doing more of these projects. If you were not brought up in the affiliate/alternative environment it’s hard to know what to do. I came though ecommerce and can push products well, but I have never really touched affiliate marketing.

  4. no spamming Says:

    Speaking from experience of having a domain with type-in traffic, it is a HUGE advantage starting out. Everyday you have people coming regardless of what Google does to your site – and everyday you can reach out to that audience and make them loyal to your site. I’m glad most SEO’s think that way – leaves the better domains for the rest of us.

  5. Terry Van Horne Says:

    John, I agree with the point but… the example was poor. The biggest advantage to domaining is the typein traffic and then branding remebering domain name. IMO, not a lot of people would put a curse word (unless it’s sex) in a typein, Any other advantage is just as availble on a seconday regular priced domain. I do limited international work but… when I found InternationalWebsiteBuilders was available I decided it was time to take that name from a local business registration to the internet. I still don’t do SEO outside NA… but know who to refer the potential clients to.

  6. john andrews Says:

    @no spamming (Penguins fan) type in (direct) is just one piece of traffic pie. Not to be ignored, especially for some with large direct traffic, but once you have market traction on a domain it dwarfs type in in most cases.

  7. Wenen Says:

    I think domains like that are worth much more than a couple of thousand dollars isn’t it?