If you’ve been in the web and website business for as long as I have, or if you’ve ever come up with a great product idea, or company name, only to find out your .com domain name is taken, you are not alone. It is down right depressing in many instances because more often than not it is not a real website, not a legit company, not a great product, but a cyber squatter.
Many companies have been built on cyber squatting, and many businesses operate right now buying and selling URLs. They grab then when they expire, or they registered a bunch a long time ago because they thought someone in the future might want them and might pay a premium for them.
I have been party to a purchase of a domain name that was 4 figures (over $3000 – it was and is a great domain) and I have owned a few domains where people were looking to purchase from me (I did not sell).
A great find…
What is the true value of a great URL?
Well the top URLs that sold (which is a great indicator of value) starts with Sex.com for $13M and Hotels.com for $11M. Porn.com was number 4 at $9.5M from a listing of the ‘all time biggest URL sales’.
A notable one (non-smut related) is fb.com which was actually number 5 at $8.5M. I bet someone right now probably feels like they could have got a bit more out of facebook for the url? But hey, not bad for a $15.00 investment.
Sometimes the value is in the name, like google or yahoo, which meant nothing before the company started but now a re mega-valued properties toed to the company’s value. Others are generic terms like the above hotels.com – great name for sure. But what about the rest of us?
What happened to us, is typical. When we re-branded our training company and found that training.com (owned by NIIT Ltd.) was already taken. We had to go back to the whois drawing board.
We actually tried to do one a little better, because the company name is Think Training, well guess what – ThinkTraining.com is also taken. Doh!
We ended up changing our name to Think Business Training. The URL was available www.thinkbusinesstraining.com and our Canadian version www.thinktraining.ca of a website is doing us proud, but was not our first choice, not our second choice, alas. But what about a really great URL? Why cant we all have a great one?
Maybe we can…you just have to look a little farther afield. Please drop us a line and tell us your opinion on this topic. I would love to hear your story.