What Makes a Domain Name “Premium”

You may have heard the term “premium domain” before but what really is a premium domain name?

Domain names are all one-of-a-kind and unique but really, only about 0.1% of all registered domain names are actually premium domain names. An even smaller percentage are elite, with the majority being considered good or valued at registration cost at best. Since there are many factors to “rate” a domain name, each one can be subjective from person to person or based on other things associated with a specific domain. Let’s take a look at some things that I think should qualify a domain name as premium.

There are over 342 million registered domain names as of Q3 2018 according to domain registry Verisign Inc. Source .com domain names account for 137 million of those domain names, followed by country code (ccTLD) domain names .cn with 22 million, .tk 21 million, .de 16 million and the .net TLD rounding out the top five with 14 million.

The TLD of the domain name plays a factor, with .com domain names mainly being the most coveted TLD (top level domain) on a global scale. In general, .com domain names will hold the highest value and help to qualify a domain as premium.

Keyword popularity is a very important factor in the valuation of a domain name. The more consistent the popularity of the term, the higher the value and likely hood of gaining premium domain status. The popularity is measured by search engine metrics, domain names registered that contain the term and keyword density on all websites. They keyword popularity can be split up by category defining, exact match and long tail. Many category defining, popular keyword domain names actually hold the elite status, over premium. Insurance.com would be an elite domain name for an example, while Insure.com would be more likely defined as premium.

Category/Industry. The category or industry the domain name relates to actually play’s a factor in its valuation. For an example, the insurance, investment, travel and health care industries are often ones that out rank others due to the amount of advertising and brand positioning taking place within it. This doesn’t always directly relate to “premium” status of a specific domain but can result in a premium price. Owning a premium domain name in these categories can raise a “premium” domain name to “elite” status.

Length of the domain name. In general, length is always going to be a key factor but using statics based on the highest domain name sales, shorter is better. How short? Using Uniregistry Brokerage sales data from 2016-2018, 5.8 characters was the average length of domains that sold for $100,000 or higher. The average character length of domains that sold for $10,000-$99,999 was 8 and for $1,000-$9,999 the average character length was about 9.

Use/purpose of the domain. Domain names positioned as a company’s main brand name are always going to be the highest of any reported domain name sales. These are often premium domains. They are the most important to a company and often require the highest investment. Brand consistency, trust and making an impression are all key to online survival and this often relates to the use of a premium domain name.

Type/quantity. Domain names are often categorized. These are broken down by “type” of domain and will include: Acronyms, one word, two word, three word and other. 1-3 character/numeric domain names are popular. 2 and 3 letter domain names are vastly popular due to the high demand and use of acronyms by companies around the world. Rare is another factor. There are only 676, 2 letter domain names in each TLD, 17,676 three letter combinations. All 2 letter .com domain names hold the premium status due to rarity, are easy to remember, visually appealing and the quantity of corporations that use 2 letter acronyms for an example. 2 letter .com domain names raise to elite status by being an English word, category defining and repeating. Short, generic, English dictionary word .com domain names often gain the premium domain name badge and are highly sought after.

Demand. High demand and limited inventory, creates a premium product. Since domain names are one of a kind, demand is a big factor for premium status of a domain name. The more companies that are branded as a specific term, the higher the demand will be to own “the best” domain name. Premium exact match domain names will consistently have high demand.

History. If a domain name is established and may already have good search engine indexing, quality inbound links and more, this can certainly add value to a domain name but doesn’t always increase the domain names specific status as premium. If you remove the extras, does the domain itself hold the demand, popularity, length and type that matter?

In general, domain names are very unique and many things play a factor if a domain name is good, premium or even elite by itself. Many “good” domains are likely called “premium” by some and not by others. “Want” can be a huge driving force of a purchase price that may reflect premium pricing but still keep the domain from the premium status by most. Without demand, the reality of achieving premium pricing on a good domain is low. Premium domain names naturally will have demand and are liquid assets.

Paying a premium price for a domain name should be justified if the domain name meets at least several of the above mentioned factors. TLD (likely .com), demand, keyword popularity and length are the most important factors of a truly worthy domain name to hold the premium badge name.

The term “premium domain” is very loosely used but the reality is, very few truly hold the premium domain badge. We hope this guide helps you in your decision process and cuts down some noise on the “premium” domain name status often given to domain names that rarely fit the category.

Need some examples? Seeing is believing and premium domain names should stand out instantly from the rest. AA.com is an elite domain name, AmericanAirlinesInc.com is not premium nor even “good”. Tesla.com is a premium domain name, TeslaMotors.com is not. Amazon.com is a premium domain name, AmazonWebStore.net is not. Rate.com is a premium domain name, GuaranteedRate.com is not. Super.com is a premium domain name, SuperInvestments.com is not. BJS.com is a premium domain name, BJSWholesaleClub.org is not. Marcus.com is a premium domain name, MarcusTheatres.com is not. Loan.com is an elite domain, LoanStore.info is not.

Successful Candidates Announced for ICANN66 Fellowship

LOS ANGELES – 2 July 2019 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the 35 individuals from 32 countries that have been selected to participate in the ICANN Fellowship Program at ICANN66 Annual General Meeting in Montréal, Canada, from 2-7 November 2019.

To view the selected candidates, click here.

The chosen participants represent all sectors of society including, civil, government, academia, business, technical, security, country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operations, and end user groups.

The Fellowship Program seeks out individuals who are interested in, or already engaged in, the various aspects of ICANN's work in policy building, the operation of the Domain Name System (DNS), and the security and stability of the global Internet. The goal of the ICANN Fellowship Program is to strengthen the diversity of the multistakeholder model by creating opportunities for individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities to become active participants in the ICANN community.

The ICANN organization received 454 applications for the ICANN66 Fellowship Program.

To learn more about the ICANN Fellowship Program, click here.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Proposed Definition of Name Collisions and Scope of Inquiry for the Name Collisions Analysis Project

Open Date: 2 July 2019 Close Date: 12 August 2019
Originating Organization: The Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
Categories/Tags: Security and Stability
Brief Overview:

As part of the project plan for the name collision analysis project (NCAP), the SSAC would like to seek public input on the definition of name collision and scope of inquiry for the name collision analysis project.

Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/proposed-definition-name-collisions-2019-07-02-en

Utilizing a Premium Domain for a Rebranding Statement: Halp.com

Startup founder Fletcher Richman walks through how BubbleIQ decided to expand their product offering and make a statement via a premium domain rebrand to Halp.com.

If you're involved with a startup that is expanding its product offering or customer base, acquiring a premium domain, or working through decisions on investment capital, you will benefit from today's show!

Orion Advisor Solutions Looks to Have Acquired Orion.com

There have been some stellar six, seven, and eight-figure one-word .COM domain sales recently and while some, such as the $30 million Voice.com sale, have been disclosed publicly, there are plenty of deals happening behind the scenes.

One such recent deal looks to be Orion Advisor Solutions' (Orion) acquisition of the premium one-word domain Orion.com. Orion is a subsidiary of NorthStar Financial Services, a financial services firm with over $650 billion worth of assets under management....

Orion Advisor Solutions Looks to Have Acquired Orion.com

To Price or Not Price Your Domain Name

When I got in the business over nine years ago, SEDO MLS was not launched yet, and Afternic DLS was in its infancy. When they launched, there was a significant push from both organizations to price your names. The "make offer" world of domains changed to more of a blended approach. Since then there has always been a stigma that BIN (buy it now) names are low-value names.

Those who price their names can get more exposure for their inventory using those services, but it also serves a very valuable purpose with our clients at Uniregistry.

Before you stop reading this article and say, "I am not going to sit there and price ALL of my names, that will take me forever," I am not asking you to. What I am suggesting is you provide prices as quickly as you can to any qualified lead that comes knocking unless there is a specific reason not to.

Why do I say this? I can back it up with data.

I have been working here at Uniregistry for 6.5 years. One of the many responsibilities I have is pricing names or reviewing prices on names as interested parties come in. We provide pricing services for many of our clients, but the one I will be pulling data from will be the NAMedia, a.k.a. Frank Schilling’s portfolio and compare it to other sellers of similar quality portfolios that use the very same technology and services.

First things first.

I do not price the same names over and over. We set a one-year expiration on all of our prices. We price higher than market value in most cases. This extra padding acts as an insurance policy in case the value changes for whatever reason. Also, popular names would have to be priced daily and would be a total waste of our time.

How do you set a price expiration in your Uniregistry account? Simple:

  1. Log in to your account at Uniregistry.com by clicking the "Log in" button in the upper-right corner of the homepage.
  2. In the top navigation bar, click the arrow next to "Market" and select "Market Options" from the drop-menu to enter your Market Profile.
  3. On the left navigation bar, click "Sales Preferences", the 4th item from the top.
  4. Next to "Quoted prices valid for", you can now set price expiration for your names for sale. We set a one-year expiration on our prices.

Back to the data.

Additionally, we have a base price that we have tested in different buckets over the years. That means the lowest we price a name is X even if it is worth less than that amount. Then we will discount from there.

If YellowDogDetroit.com is a name we own (which we don’t!) and our base price is $15,000 (which it is not) we both know that name is not worth 15, but we would price there anyway and move on.

The number of inquiries is one of our favorite metrics. Same with qualified offers. Some names are like volcanoes that are rumbling, smoking, and spitting lava. Just a matter of time before it blows! The interest keeps coming in, and so do the offers. It is a matter of when not if. Other names when you get your buyer you best pounce and get it sold as soon as possible.

Frank is one of if not the most successful domain investor of all time. I am not trying to get a promotion or a raise for writing this, it’s a fact. I guess that can be a discussion for another post. Since starting my time here we have sold over $105,000,000 worth of domains out of Frank’s portfolio alone. Let me tell you a little secret. 126,000 of his names have never received a single purchase inquiry. Not one. I will say it again. Not one.

Every single day I price names that have never been priced. We sell names that have never had an inquiry except for that one buyer every single day.

These names are not your battleships, they are your standard basic names that no one brags about when they sell them. They don’t go on Ron Jackson’s list or if they do they are usually buried at the bottom. They make up the majority of our sales. I bet if you are an avid domainer they make up a lot of your own sales. The problem is that the buyer can vanish as quickly as he came when they are gone they do not come back.

Names like:

ZoomPeople.com (for sale)
Tangeras.com (please buy it!)
FreeReggae.com we just sold for $5,000
Udry.com we just sold for $5,000

If you have gotten this far reading this article then you are certainly an avid domainer. That means you can price a domain relatively quickly. I can in seconds. Most of the time.

Instead of asking for an offer, why not provide a price? Even if it is a very high one? It will take you about the same amount of time.

Or the worst side just not responding in a reasonable amount of time.

I took a look at multiple portfolios where sellers employ strategies opposite to this one:

  • Requiring a minimum offer first even though the buyer is clearly qualified.
  • Requiring a minimum offer first then when receiving it asking for a higher minimum offer.
  • Not responding in a timely manner. We respond in hours on average. Some of the clients average days, weeks or months.

I did a lot of different calculations comparing them to NAMedia, and this is what I found:

  • The average sale price comparing all sales below $10,000 USD is almost 30% higher.
  • The conversion rates (very hard to accurately deduce this number) is exponentially higher. The sales cycles are shorter.

The most basic viewpoint is if the Brokers are chasing for a price, then they aren’t on the phone selling your names.

Everyone wins. The buyer gets the name. You get more money, and in the end, doing less work for it. See for yourself here are some of the sales I am referring to that we made over the last 12 months that had little to no inquiries. We priced fast and sold them fast, and far above industry average/values:

The columns are the domain, the sold price, the sale cycle, and the number of inquiries the domain has received.

  • Sale Cycle is the amount of time from the day the buyer inquired to when we received the funds.
  • Number of Inquiries: The number of leads we have received. This includes misdirected buyers (people who are confused and potentially are looking for a product or service, not actually interested in purchasing the domain) as well.
Domain Sold price Sale cycle Inquiries
heartvalves.com 9500 13 8
centurybaby.com 9500 5 3
heartvalvereplacement.com 9500 20 3
militaryreunions.com 9367 1 7
breakerbox.com 9000 19 9
debtsale.com 9000 2 7
hobbyexchange.com 8800 7 2
videoadz.com 8750 6 4
consumeropinions.com 8500 18 7
bedays.com 8500 1 1
lifespurpose.com 8400 11 8
christianartgift.com 8000 2 10
designarchitects.com 8000 8 8
pogis.com 8000 10 7
casinotalk.com 8000 4 6
mlna.com 8000 16 3
bileductcancer.com 8000 5 2
weekendsport.com 7992 21 2
logmanager.com 7980 5 7
tampamoving.com 7500 14 8
gronda.com 7500 15 5
smashups.com 7500 2 4
onlinetarot.com 7000 2 8
lasvegasballpark.com 7000 1 6
hoophub.com 7000 8 6
metaplanet.com 7000 4 2
termometropolitico.com 7000 6 2
videographer.org 7000 8 2
jetdrives.com 7000 13 2
termometropolitico1.com 7000 12 1
santorinigreece.com 6500 5 10
exoticblvd.com 6500 1 3
lowmiles.com 6000 1 10
policyexchange.com 6000 3 10
stepwell.com 6000 4 8
keobong.com 6000 16 8
appliancehub.com 6000 1 7
catamaranforsale.com 6000 1 6
unionrock.com 6000 13 4
hestens.com 6000 2 3
roofinsulation.com 6000 1 1
carloanrefinancing.com 6000 7 1
oldfarmer.com 5500 10 9
emergencyusa.com 5500 7 7
winecellars.net 5500 1 1
americanchallenge.com 5000 1 10
floridawindows.com 5000 2 10
famoc.com 5000 9 10
binaryfinary.com 5000 12 10
22red.com 5000 1 9
malibudesign.com 5000 7 9
travelmaine.com 5000 7 9
soothingsounds.com 5000 1 8
allergy.ca 5000 1 8
freedomtrucks.com 5000 3 8
nightstrike.com 5000 4 8
coloradostorage.com 5000 1 7
socas.com 5000 2 7
shinzen.com 5000 5 7
triviapop.com 5000 11 7
mednet.org 5000 1 6
babyid.com 5000 1 6
wisesecurity.com 5000 1 6
m-flow.com 5000 8 6
contingentworkforce.com 5000 8 6
irater.com 5000 10 6
envirobox.com 5000 4 5
shedplan.com 5000 1 4
althea.co.uk 5000 7 4
torontovip.com 5000 12 4
medulloblastoma.com 5000 1 3
equipmentcheck.com 5000 3 3
centralhost.com 5000 4 3
dnageek.com 5000 4 2
govweb.com 5000 16 2
holidaychina.com 5000 3 1
homeequityloans.ca 5000 5 1
nauticalcharters.com 5000 7 1
divingshop.com 5000 7 1
labtechnologies.com 5000 9 1
mosaicfitness.com 5000 15 1
doggame.com 4985 8 10
lettremotivation.com 4975 15 5
everpost.com 4903 2 8
catapulting.com 4800 2 1
windowusa.com 4500 1 8
sudteerak.com 4500 9 4
metropolitanwest.com 4500 4 3
nursingmalpractice.com 4500 14 2
videovortex.com 4000 12 9
gelmax.com 4000 20 8
ethicalcode.com 4000 2 6
laxlimos.com 4000 5 6
chastitydevice.com 4000 6 6
animalquiz.com 4000 18 6
masterpeche.com 4000 1 5
penguingraphics.com 4000 1 5
secrettours.com 4000 1 5
ilua.com 4000 4 5
canadabetting.com 4000 9 5
gelcaps.com 4000 1 4
fixzilla.com 4000 15 4
phototrivia.com 4000 1 2
fantrivia.com 4000 1 1
freeclassifieds.co.uk 3870 12 9
geografiageral.com 3800 16 3
dealerfeedback.com 3500 13 10
sportsvillage.com 3500 2 8
heartofla.com 3500 9 8
lacrosseball.com 3500 13 8
stadiom.com 3500 8 7
hardwaretool.com 3500 15 7
customlongboards.com 3500 7 6
drivewaymarkers.com 3500 8 6
beadswholesale.com 3500 16 6
dallasoffice.com 3500 18 4
urbanexploring.com 3500 19 4
helloeden.com 3500 1 3
oldtownshops.com 3500 6 3
ontariohealth.com 3500 8 3
albuquerquehottubs.com 3500 17 3
garageplans.net 3500 3 2
tokyogoods.com 3500 12 2
marblesink.com 3500 18 2
dallasoffices.com 3500 18 1
vegastitle.com 3400 14 1
camptent.com 3390 9 6
exhumation.com 3320 6 2
luxurylaser.com 3300 1 2
chainlock.com 3180 3 10
chromecare.com 3000 1 8
trailerworks.com 3000 8 8
jufo.com 3000 1 7
diabetictestingsupplies.com 3000 1 6
jedburgh.com 3000 5 6
footrail.com 3000 6 6
texasaircraft.com 3000 19 6
suitofarmor.com 3000 1 5
modernteam.com 3000 5 5
webcartridge.com 3000 21 5
smartappraisal.com 3000 19 4
brooklynrents.com 3000 1 3
bedbugbite.com 3000 1 3
homesaround.com 3000 4 3
xcops.com 3000 6 3
nigk.com 3000 15 3
termgroup.com 3000 1 2
goodcalories.com 3000 1 2
testingsupplies.com 3000 1 2
zeroapr.com 3000 3 2
gardetemps.com 3000 6 2
tulleys.com 3000 15 1
paints.ca 3000 15 1
nanosize.com 2972 1 7
football5.com 2780 8 7
usaharvest.org 2700 14 1
lifeflower.com 2500 14 10
sempower.com 2500 1 9
benfarmer.com 2500 5 9
phoenixremodeling.com 2500 15 9
schoolbooster.com 2500 1 8
highrollerz.com 2500 17 8
wafels.com 2500 2 7
cryptomentor.com 2500 12 7
autoblowjob.com 2500 1 6
thatsliving.com 2500 17 6
plumbingfixtures.com 2500 1 5
hawaiivolcano.com 2500 4 5
vegaspros.com 2500 1 4
spley.com 2500 1 4
nysummit.com 2500 1 4
riversea.com 2500 1 4
treesandshrubs.com 2500 10 4
applicationdesk.com 2500 14 4
villapositano.com 2500 15 4
restroompartition.com 2500 1 2
startamerica.com 2500 1 2
bosquedelapache.com 2500 4 2
gamingchairs.net 2500 9 2
grandcaymancondos.net 2500 1 1
southport.net 2500 4 1
holichow.com 2500 5 1

As you can clearly see while some strategies have the buyer having to make a minimum offer of x,xxx we have already quoted, negotiated, and collected.

Want to give it a try?

Email jordan@uniregistry.com or call him at 1-949-416-2555 x8342. He will help you get set up.

Until next time folks,

Happy Hunting

Jeffrey M. Gabriel
Vice President of Sales


Thank you to Marrakech, Bonjour to Montréal

Two words have always defined ICANN: evolutionary change. That principle is well established, regardless of whether we are talking about the community, the organization, or the Board. Evolutionary change will frame ICANN’s next Public Meeting, ICANN66, in Montréal, Canada.

As ICANN65 draws to a successful close and we express our gratitude to our gracious hosts in Marrakech, we are hoping that you are also looking ahead to ICANN66 scheduled for 2-7 November 2019.

The Montréal meeting will be an important one. It is an Annual General Meeting. That means there will be a lot happening.

We will be saying farewell to a handful of Board members, including Board Chair Cherine Chalaby, as we welcome his yet-to-be-named successor.

Also, the At-Large community is holding its leadership development summit meeting, ATLAS III, in Montréal, which will draw At-Large participants from around the globe.

And don’t forget one of the biggest changes that you can expect at ICANN66 – the weather. You will be going from temperatures around 33°C (91°F) here in Marrakech in June to roughly around 7°C (45°F) in Montreal in November. Don’t think of it as “cold,” instead think of it as  “brisk.” The temperatures will be nice enough to explore one of the most beautiful cities in North America, while also attending a meeting that will help determine ICANN’s future.  

Safe travels home from Marrakech and we hope to see you in Montréal in November. 







Where Automated Domain Name Appraisals Get It Wrong

Domain names are unique, every single one of them. There are no two exactly the same, so how do you appraise the value of a specific domain name?

You can’t really! Plain and simple, a domain name is a 100% unique asset.

Many try to use physical real estate to compare domain name pricing. City, street, neighboring home cost, past sales, building costs, price per square foot and so on but none of that compares to pricing a domain name.

The magical algorithm of pricing a domain name occurs when somebody had seen the need to create a pricing tool to place a value on a specific domain. These algorithms can consist of 5, 10, 20, or more data points that relate to domain names in some fashion, all mainly relying on third-party data. Can all this data gathered be helpful in some fashion? Yes, but always keep in mind that no two domain names are exactly alike.

Apple to Apples

In domain name form, there will always be “the better one”. Is Apple.com better than Apples.com? Data is going to add some confusion. Data sees “apple” in apples. Data doesn’t know that often times the plural of a term kills a brand name. Humans do. Apple may seem popular but would apple be so popular without the billions of advertising dollars behind the brand Apple? Popularity/Demand plays a major role in the pricing of a domain name.

Using an automated domain name appraisal tool, you will often see relations: .com, short, highly searched…. = $xx,xxx . Then some data to back it up, which likely will display: Monthly search volume, type-in scores, exact and broad searches, similar sales, advertising costs per click and maybe even some more.

  • Apples.com Estibot Appraisal: $159,000 USD / GoDaddy's GoValue "Above $25,000"
  • Apple.com Estibot Appraisal: $6.325 Million USD / GoDaddy's GoValue "Above $25,000"

Can you compare Apples.com to Presto.com? No, but automated appraisals do because the two domain names have something in common. Well, actually, many things in common. The TLD, .com. They are both 6 characters in length. Both show popularity/demand in search engine data (data doesn’t know that Presto is a pretty popular small appliances brand and several other brands under the same name, because it's mixed in with the data of an English dictionary word). Both have been registered for over 20 years…

The reality is, somebody paid real money for Presto.com. How much? $10,000? $50,000? $100,000? On February 4, 2018 E La Carte paid $150,000 USD for the domain name Presto.com. That is a lot of money, at least for some. Maybe they would have paid $300,000 and still be happy. Would another company, National Presto Industries, Inc. be willing to pay $300,000 right now for the Presto.com domain? Very likely as they are “stuck” with the second rate, non-brand matching domain name GoPresto.com. Not very professional looking or sounding, when they brand simply as Presto. Not only doesn’t “Go Presto” exactly match the companies branding, instantly creating confusion, they also have to “fight” to not be overshadowed by the Presto.com brand that offers restaurant technology.

Oh, there is also Presto Products, Amazon Presto, Presto Lifts, Nike Presto, Presto Engineering, Presto Tape and thousands more Presto branded things in this world. Only one can own the best .com domain.

Automated domain name appraisals are confused, so don’t let them confuse you. Experience is your best friend when it comes to pricing a domain name for purchase or sale. A trusted valuation will best come from a professional in the domain name industry, often times from a trusted domain broker.

Although it can be fun to use an automated domain name appraisal tool, they are as reliable as a cardboard boat in water.