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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Shhh…unused domains are worth real money

Last year sometime I said that any domain, if it is wanted by someone, is worth about $1200. That’s the price that justifies a quick buy. Want it? Twelve hundred bucks and it’s yours…. or you can spend a few HOURS looking for another one, a few HUNDRED on consulting fees when your SEO or marketing person “helps”, or about $1200 (nowadays about $1600) to challenge a domain squatter via the dispute process.

Apparently 2009 is the year the aftermarket woke up, as AfternicDLS is now doing $550,000 a week in aftermarket domain sales. The bulk of those are sold between $1000 and $3000 each, and are perfectly useful if not “generic” domains. Someone can use them, so they have value. And getting them now, has value. A few examples:

standardstorage.com $ 988.00
southbeachtans.com $ 1,000.00
commongrace.com $ 1,000.00
healinghaven.com $ 2,588.00
performancescience.com $ 2,788.00
nativehealing.com $ 3,190.00
inventoryliquidators.com $ 4,000.00
skimarketing.com $ 2,100.00
accountingmagic.com $ 1,180.00
designerdoggy.com $ 1,000.00
maryfitzgerald.com $ 1,000.00
premiumdeveloper.com $ 888.00

Now that we have an understandingof the value of an unused (previously registered) domain name, for someone who wants to use it, we need to establish the value of a previously-used domain name (for someone who wants to re-use it).

What is basic SEO performance worth? Another $500 or $1000?

If the name is Google indexed and ranks #1 for itself n Google, what additional value is that worth?

If it ranks for long-tail keywords in the market it obviously serves (for those domains whose names obviously serve specific markets), what additional value does it have?

Note that it is only because of exact-match bonus and pre-existing content/links that a “previously owned” domain will be ranking, but in those cases, it surely has value, right?

Let’s not debate whether or not Google drops domains that change ownership… let’s leave that for risk management, and consider the value of the ranking (if kept). Another… several hundred? Thousand? It would cost at least that to “put back”, not counting the time delays involved.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Shhh…unused domains are worth real money”

  1. bobthebuilder Says:

    encourage competition between your possible buyers. Generate potential prospects from those doing Adwords in your domains target area. Email them and set them up as competitive bidders in Ebay :) with a reserve you’re happy with.

  2. andrea gaudio Says:

    But waht about changin subject on these domains??? I think you should say that yoo can only follow previous subject by previous owner…or you are out from SE…