Domain Development Drops For The Week Of January 2nd, 2012

Domain Development DropsHello and welcome to my first Domain Development Droplist of 2012! I introduced this weekly feature at the end of last year and saw a ton of interest and positive response so it’s here to stay! I’ve put-together a great list to kick-off the new year and help you find your next domain development gem! In case you haven’t read this series before, below is a list of basic criteria I’m looking for in a domain that makes a good development candidate.

  1. Search Volume – this is the most important for me, I like to see at least 1,000 exact-match searches with reasonable traffic around related terms as well.
  2. CPC – I have a very simple way of looking at this – the higher the CPC the more valuable customers in this niche are to companies. I think of this as getting more bang for your buck or being able to sell your traffic at a higher price. Great example of this is a debt site I run vs. a sports site, they both get roughly the same amount of visitors and clicks but the debt site makes 10x what the sports site makes! If the CPC is below $0.50 I tend to ignore it
  3. PR and Backlinks of Competition – last but certainly not least I want to understand what level of SEO the top three sites in Google have done. If they are all PR 6 sites with thousands of backlinks it could take me years to beat them. My goal is to find a niche where the top sites are PR0, PR1, and PR2 if I can.


A great two-word .COM domain with 4,400 exact-match global monthly searches and a CPC of $2.97. Looking at the first page of Google I can see a site with only 18 backlinks sitting in the #5 position. This means that it’s not going to cost a small fortune in SEO to get on the first page. This domain has great development and re-sale potential and would make a great addition to any portfolio.

Originally registered in 1998, this three-word .COM has 2,400 exact-match global monthly searches and a CPC of $4.47. It is in a market with lots of affiliate and lead generation opportunities and some nice initial monetization options just with Adsense alone given the CPC of this keyword phrase. Google Local has taken-over this term quite a bit but there’s still a good chance to get on the first page. Of course this would make a stellar domain for a full-scale online brand focused on luxury car rentals and there’s definitely some nice end-user sale potential with this one.

You might think that Overhead Projectors are old news but according to Google, over 12,000 people search for this exact term globally every month. With a CPC of $1.94 this domain has real monetization potential in a niche with a very healthy search volume. You might initially think that would be the better domain but it only gets 1,900 exact-match global searches, about a sixth of what gets! The challenge here is that Goolge’s page one is incredibly competitive for this term. This could definitely make a nice flip to someone with a real budget to build it out, or if that’s you this domain has some serious potential given how many people are searching for this term.

I really like this one and think it is a particularly good domain for this time of year when everyone has made their New Years resolutions, many of which are to get in shape. Originally registered in 1998 this keyword phrase gets 2,900 exact-match global searches and a CPC of $0.96 it meets all of my development criteria. This is another domain that makes both an excellent development candidate or potential end-user sale. The #1 Google result only has 100 backlinks which means you have a nice chance of getting a strong position in Google if you focus on great content and SEO.

2,400 exact-match global searches, a CPC of $1.02, and a trend that is only growing every day. LED is in and while most car lights still use traditional bulbs this is changing and LED will be the standard before we know it. The first page of Google has some good competition but with no local or places results taking-up spots there’s definitely room for another contender.

This may seem like the odd-man out as a .NET in a niche that might seem hard to make money in. Looks can be deceiving and while this probably won’t ever make $x,xxx/month it could make a great Adsense site to add to your portfolio. The keyword phrase “Apple Salad” gets 4,400 exact-match global monthly searches and has a CPC of $0.61. Like I said, this won’t be a huge money-maker but if you can get in one of the top spots on Google a few thousand visitors/month along with Adsense could get you into the $xxx range before you know it.

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Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Bold Metrics, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Sukh January 2, 2012, 2:18 pm


    Great article with your thoughts about these names There are two names that I was watching before your article and it makes me feel great that I have learnt something from your previous posts about potential development names. I think after your article prices for these names are going to go higher than normal. The names I was watching are luxury car rental and LED car lights.

    BTW how did you pick these names ( I mean do you use any software to find these names) ?

  • Morgan January 2, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Thanks @Sukh – I am very glad you liked it! I use Protrada to find most of the expired domains that I buy, definitely my favorite new tool of 2011!

  • DomainFuze! January 2, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Google Local bedamned!  Very surprising, indeed, that overhead projectors gets that many monthlies.  

    Looking at the first page of Google I can see a site with only 18 backlinks sitting in the #5 position.

    Do you have a plugin for researching this, or do you just manually research by typing ‘custom suits’ into the google machine, then type “” for each site on the front page?  Some other method?

    Thanks for sticking with this series, Morgan.

    • Morgan Linton January 2, 2012, 6:13 pm

      I know, isn’t it amazing, I thought Overhead Projectors were long gone!
      I use a tool called SEOQuake that makes it really easy to see the PR,
      backlinks, etc. of search results.

      Glad you like the series, it’s definitely here to stay!

  • TeenDomainer January 2, 2012, 6:05 pm

    I really like that car rental name, I have a few developed rental sites and they do quite well. There are some nice lead gen offers for the leads out there. Great names!

    • Morgan Linton January 2, 2012, 6:12 pm

      Thanks Brian – so true, really nice niche for lead generation!

      • Luke Summers January 2, 2012, 7:13 pm

        I’m pleased to hear domains in this area do well, I just acquired!



        • Morgan Linton January 2, 2012, 7:34 pm

          Nice! 8,100 exact-match global and a CPC of $3.20 – I love it!

          • Luke Summers January 2, 2012, 8:49 pm

            Thanks Morgan, always good to get your feedback

          • Morgan Linton January 3, 2012, 8:00 pm


  • Trico January 2, 2012, 6:16 pm


    I don’t know if it was your intention but newer comments are appearing above and before older ones.

    It’s kind of awkward as you have to start at the bottom to follow the normal flow of comments on comments.

    This is a recent development since older comments appeared first previously.

    Older postings seem also to be affected.

    • Morgan Linton January 2, 2012, 7:35 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out, still learning all the configuration options of Disqus and will definitely try to get this reversed as it is a bit confusing!

    • DomainFuze! January 2, 2012, 10:37 pm

      Also looks like it doesn’t play nice w/TeenDomainer or my transparency avatars.  I’ll have to research.

  • MattD January 2, 2012, 6:47 pm

    Damn, looks like we’ll have a bidding war on a few of these.  One of them was very high on my radar screen with some significant bid escalation already.

    • Morgan Linton January 2, 2012, 6:56 pm

      Definitely – some of these have some really intense bidding…of course this is also a good sign since that means there are other people who also see the name as valuable.

  • Anonymous January 3, 2012, 5:49 am

    I really like the potential of some of these:
    CustomSuits – Tailored suits measured locally and drop shipped from overseas – I read about a semi-retired Saville Row tailor who did this

    GetInShape – This just screams “use me in a TV commercial!” to me

    LuxuryCarRentals – Something like Elliots DogWalker or CatSitter sites could be great! A listing fee and commission for every lead – awesome!

  • Tom January 3, 2012, 9:56 am sold for $126. This was removed from my recipe network, as I own,, and I decided to drop a few sites from the network at the same time I was upgrading a few sites from .net to .com names I acquired. Good luck to the new owners.


    • Morgan Linton January 3, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Nice – thanks for sharing Tom! Does this mean that is in your future?


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