Domain Name Selling: Why it Shouldn`t Work - The beginning
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In branding the most important decision you can make is what to call your product, in this case your web site. This concept seems to have encouraged the buying of "key word rich" domain names. A good translation of the phrase "key word rich" is "generic." Your SEO expert and you webmaster will probably advise you to name a site which fits that description.
Sadly, most of these domain names are pretty awful; they lack imagination, and a lot of them just copy a description (common adjective) or a class (common noun) and turn it into a name (proper adjective or noun). Yet they are sold for ridiculously high prices; think www.desktop.com, www.mortgage.com, www.womenonline.com, www.seopro.com, www.etoys.com, and I am sure you think, what great names! Well, all failed in the first dot com bust; their names did not help them survive the changing tides.
In Alexa's current top ranking web sites, it will be interesting to note that there are no common adjective nor common noun website names (the kind of names that are most commonly sold). All websites that are listed as top sites are proper nouns. In any listing of top brands there are no generic brand names (common adjectives or common nouns), yet unsuspecting buyer after buyer is sucked into the mental trap that all it takes for a web site to achieve success is a generic name.
The lure of the generic
The lure of getting generic domain names is encouraged by some SEO practitioners and is also a product of the herd mentality; SEO "experts" in all their wisdom tout key word rich domain names as essential for high ranking in the SERPs. The key word effect is negated by the fact that hundreds of sites jump on the key word rich name band wagon. The herd mentality is due to the fact that "everybody is doing it, so it must make sense," without checking the real reason other webmasters buy up generic domain names.
The herd mentality stretches back to the first dot com boom and bust, when hundreds of websites went for generic names like www.shoes.com, www.cars.com and other common adjectives. This trend has carried on to the second Internet boom (and inevitable bust) despite all the indicators that it can be counterproductive at worst, and indifferent at best. Personally the only reason I would use a generic name on a website is so as to take advantage of the current "herd mentality" and jack up the resale value.
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