Domain Buffs: Domainers & Domaining

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Premium Domain Names

Domain Buffs covers the speculation of, and the investment in, premium domain names. Premium domain names can be type-in domains, generic keyword names, high traffic domain names or highly sought brand name domains.

Type-in Names

Type-in domains are frequently used common search terms, generic dictionary words and well-publicized brands.  Often used terms and short phrases could also be considered type-ins.  The term 'type-ins' gets its name from when someone simply types in a domain name such as to go find some sunglasses.  Other examples of type-ins are,,,, and even include brands such as,,

Someone is familiar with these sites, names, keywords, terms, services or brands, so he expects a certain kind of content at certain domain names.

Generic Keyword Names

Generic keyword domain names are really the equivalent of a search term.  Although most (unbranded) type-in domain names can be considered a keyword domain name, these search phrase domain names often include more than one word, mirroring the terms we use when we look for certain things on the internet using search terms.

Search engines like the powerful Google & Bing engines match how many times a search term is used throughout a resource, including not only the document itself, but the title, meta tags, file path, and that includes the URL with its domain name and filename.  These large search engines are huge marketing platforms for their respective companies (Google for Alphabet and Bing for Microsoft). These corporations use the listing service to show adverting and make revenue from publishing ads. By measuring how a search term is used, how often, and where (including how many authentic resources point to a particular resource and the search terms used), the search assigns an importance value to each page and ranks it according to its perceived importance for each search. There is nothing more important than the search keyword showing in a domain, which generic domains easily accommodate.

Generic Search Terms 

An example of generic keyword names is '', because if you used generic search terms to find a web host that specialized in offering an Apache web server based web hosting platform, you might use the keywords 'apache website hosting', 'apache web hosting', or 'apache site host' in order to find a qualified site in the search engines.  Having these keywords in the domain name shows the search engines that the registrant has used an extra effort by securing these keywords, as long as that is what the site is about.

The major search engines have their own 'spiders', which are program bots which crawl the web looking at pages and where they lead to, thereby often discovering new pages.  As they see new links, they follow them (unless directed not to do so by "no-follow" directives), finding new pages and discovering how many resources are interconnected.

Minor search engines such as Active Search Results use the same sort of sophisticated generic search term relevance on the page or site in question, but instead of spidering the entire web, only spiders member sites and relies primarily on member activity to rank importance.  However, a listing in such places is still important because the Google and Bing bots see the resource as a marketed property with a global web presence.  Such member search engines and directories do sway how Google & Bing make online documents when they figure in their interconnectivity and who among the sites recommending a resource is an authority website.

Brand Names

Certain names are familiar to us as brands which we commonly use and search for.  However, most brands are not so well known, except in their communities that they service.  Growing that service area is what makes a brand more well known, but does come at the cost of becoming a generality, and thus harder to protect.  One example is Kleenex, which is an extremely well-known brand that has been directly linked to the word tissue as an alternate term.

Certainly, this sort of a well-known identity has great merit but does make the unique brand a little harder to protect when the brand manager does a search for the brand name and finds generic references to it, making his job of protecting the brand more of a team effort. But, what a nice problem to have. ;)

High Traffic Names

High traffic domain names have had a great deal of promotion and therefore see a great deal of traffic.  These could be repurposed domain names that have expired, is well promoted and/or marketed, or simply a very active website because it is a popular type-in name or holds respect within an online community.

Many domainers will grab high traffic or well-ranked domain names that recently harbored active websites and repurpose them to suit their own needs.  In some cases, a whole new website may develop, while other domainers just utilize the traffic to the name to establish traffic on another related name with a simple redirect.  But redirected, or forwarded domain names don't usually retain their traffic numbers and can be considered throw-away names that the registrant does not expect to renew.

However, a high traffic domain name does not have to be a type-in, generic keywords name or even a brand name.  With marketing expertise and the right combination of time and money,  

Expired or Deleted Domain Names

As mentioned before, an expired or deleted domain name can be repurposed as the basis of a new website, or be used to funnel existing traffic to that domain to another by simply forwarding the traffic with a simple redirect.  Many empires have been built using this method, but one word of caution, not all websites are favored well.  That is, many domain names are used for notorious, even nefarious, purposes.  Domains are used to spread malware and viruses, used for hacking or Copyright violations all the time.  This practice is growing, so be careful and be sure to research any expired or deleted domain names you might be shopping by researching the domain name in the Wayback Machine at    

In any case, Google is one of the major search engines that keeps a close eye on the length of registration and expiration of domain names.  Once a domain name has expired and changes hands through one of the expired/deleted domain name pool services, Google will restart its PageRank and results ranking algorithms as it concerns that domain.  Yet, popular domains can actually generate enough traffic on their own to circumvent these few months of ranking penalties.


TLD stands for Top Level Domain.  There are two kinds of TLDs, the gTLD and the ccTLD. These represent different registries of name extensions, indicated by their suffix.  In an oversimplification, a domain name registry is an official, protected safe house database of registered names per extension.  


gTLD stands for Generic Top Level Domain.  Examples are .com, .net, .org, .int, .edu, .mil, & .gov.  These listed are also some of the eldest domain name extensions from when the internet was created by scientists and teachers. Each domain name suffix is a reserved extension that represents a different registry of domain names. Generic Top Level Domain name extensions are also often to as Global Top Level Domains. 


ccTLD stands for Country Code Top Level Domain.  Examples are .us, .uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .se, .ch, .hk, and many more.  These are defined by the official 2 letter internationalized country code for each domain name registry.


ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  ICANN acts as the internet's governing body and authorizes registries, registrars and pays attention to the internet's infrastructure and how the internet is used. It is also the commanding authority over domain names.  There is quite a bit of politics involved as well, too much for the scope of these domainer definitions.

New 'ICANN Era' Domains

ICANN has authorized a wide variety of new gTLD registries, recently.  In just about the past year (as of 4/17/2015), ICANN has authorized, rolled-out and released over a couple hundred new domain name extensions, with many more yet to be released.

This was ICANN's answer to help alleviate the limited number of names available when there are so many different markets that can share the same name.  Examples of the New ICANN Era domains include .domains, .host, .hosting, .press, .club, .rocks, .website, .company, .firm, .credit, .creditcard, .creditcards, .directory, .gallery, .photography, .photo, .photos, .graphics... and that list goes on.  

The idea is further complicated by unrealistically high annual registration free costs for most of these names, especially when a domain extension market commands a higher price to professionals (.doctor, .lawyer).  The high registration costs are supposed to thwart speculators from registering good names, but ICANN itself has replaced the small business domainer model itself by offering 'premium domain names' in its own registration marketing scam that neither promotes small business nor allows the competition for names or fair trade thereof.

While I feel that having more registries is a good thing, the people responsible for some of these registries definitely tip scales in their favor.  For example, Google owns .search and Amazon owns the .buy registries.  So now the domain name game has shifted into big business, as it requires quite an investment to start a registry as opposed to a domain name collection.  And the new registries are not too collectible when everyone prefers the cheaper prices of .com and .net registrations, as opposed to the higher costs of the New ICANN Era gTLDs. 

What's more is that these new registries also offer "Premium Domain Name Registrations".  These premium names are reserved available domain names that no one has registered and yet require an increased registration and renewal fee.  This is highly unusual, as when you purchase a good premium .com or .net domain name from a private party, you pay top fee for the desired name depending on how good it is, and how important it is to you. This price is usually negotiated between the buyer and seller.  Once sold, the domain name is then registered at the regular priced annual rate fee.

Unfortunately, now that ICANN has stepped in as the governing corporate body, it is no longer a neutral party as it has an investment in rolling out domain registries with distinctly overpriced higher fee names.  It does, in fact, become a gold digger itself by reserving certain names as premium names and charging domainer prices for them. Yet, not to be out-done, ICANN takes this horrendous policy a step further and requires that these premium names from its identified reserved type-in and generic names list to a whole new level by requiring that same registration fee payment at each annual renewal.   

As far as I am concerned, ICANN is stifling small business by putting a price tag on domains.  And to register a brand costs a pretty penny as well, and even then they do not protect that brand or thwart registration of that name as a domain, they simply present the info to the new registrant and make them aware of the mark before they are allowed to continue the registration.

ICANN has really dropped the ball where it comes to small business, and in my view is managing to steer us all clear of anything but a .com, .net, or .org extension.

The current list of available new 'ICANN Era' domain extensions follows (a-z):

All of the available domain extensions are available at Domain Hostmaster.


Domain Buffs: Domainers & Domaining

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