Go Where The Liquidity Is – One and Two Word .COMs

I thought I would start-off today with a short and sweet post about the sweet spot in the domain world, one and two word .COMs. While it can be easy to be tempted by all kinds of domains and TLDs it is always important to understand where a majority of the liquidity is in the domain market. Yes, while you might be bidding against twenty or more people for that one word .NET you’ve been watching, understand that the demand for that name is significantly less than the corresponding .COM, the same is true for all TLDs.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have made good money off of other TLDs, specifically .ME, .CO, and .TV, I still absolutely love those TLDs, but I’m honest with myself that the best liquidity and highest prices still comes from one and two word .COMs. Here are some of the reasons why one and two word .COMs have so much liquidity now and in the future:

  • End-users know and want .COM. There are very few companies dying for the .NET or .ORG of their name or category. If I sell Used Boats I can tell you that I want UsedBoats.com a lot more than the .NET, .ORG or any other TLD. While all end-users want their .COM, not all can afford it, however you can bet that few end-users want their .NET, or .ORG and they most likely won’t be coming to you with an offer, you’ll have to go to them.
  • One and Two word .COMs can have type-in traffic. While there are some .NET’s and .ORG’s that get some type-in traffic, there really is no comparison to .COM. The web is all about targeted traffic and being able to monetize this traffic or offer it as an additional selling point to a domain is a good thing.
  • If you want to call your company “This” you need This.COM. You’re at a dinner party and people ask you what you do, you tell them you work for a company called “This.” Most people will go home and type This.com, if your site doesn’t appear they may decide to do a Google search or they may move-onto something else. If a competitor owns This.com then you’re really in trouble as they might take a segment of your customers. Suffice it to say that everyone wants to call their company “Something” not “Something.net” or “Something.org” (unless it’s a non-profit).
  • .COM is global. There is no doubt that .COM is the global TLD. Yes, if you’re in Germany you should still own the .DE of your brand, same goes for Canada with .CA but you can still advertise the .COM in any country and people will know and understand it. Advertise a .CA in Germany and expect some confusion, .COM is a global TLD.

Once again, don’t take this article to mean that you should only invest in .COM, I invest in many other TLDs. That being said, I do know that the liquidity is in .COM domains and one and two-word names are the sweet spot. So if you’re noticing your portfolio fill-up with other TLDs or three or four word .COMs just make sure to adjust your expectations. Have more to add? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Backslash December 12, 2012, 11:41 am

    Very well stated…..and true.

    There is opportunity everywhere you turn, but .com is #1 for sales for now.

  • Joe December 12, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Morgan, I don’t really think that in 2013 people still type in Company.com as their 1st option when they hear of “Company LLC”. Today people go to Google, type the name and let Big G do the job for them.

  • Joe December 12, 2012, 12:33 pm

    As a matter of fact, it is a known fact that, since Google is the default homepage in most computers, most people use its search bar even to go to Facebook or check their email.

  • Morgan December 12, 2012, 12:50 pm

    @Joe – not necessarily true. I think most people try Company.com and then if they don’t find it then do the Google search. That being said, if your company is some common word then a Google search might show many other sites before yours. I’ve seen this happen with many one-word .COM owners.

    It would be interesting to see the data on this but since I do know people that make millions a year on type-in traffic I can tell you that many people still do go to the .COM even before searching.

  • Abracadabra December 12, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Don’t forget the sheer “Preponderance of Numbers” as it pertains to literally decades – an untold billions of dollars of advertising – focused exclusively on that little three-word extension known as “com”.

    When you acquire a “.com” (even a bad .com, for that matter) you are the immediate and permanent beneficiary of the entire world’s prior efforts – and expenditures – to focus the planet’s business and consumer attentions EXCLUSIVELY on “.com”.

    By now – decades after the dawn of the Internet – it is entirely intuitive, as well as automatic. When businesspeople and consumers think “Internet”, they instinctively think “.COM!” (of course, that’s also part of the reason so few “lay people” in the world adequately understand or appreciate the domain industry …”what industry? – it’s a dot com world, right!! What more do I need to know!?”).

    The foregoing CANNOT be said about any other domain extension in existence – now, or in the future. By all means, “piggyback” on the enormous effort and expense of all those who have come decades before you! 🙂

  • Luke Summers December 12, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Hi Morgan

    I didn’t fully realise just how ingrained .com is in consumer minds until I ran a test a few months ago.

    I set a catch-all for any emails going to a .com domain, the domain has since been sold, but it was a city hotel domain: [city]hotel.com

    Within a few weeks I literally had thousands of emails that were actually intended for a major hotel that used the cctld version of the domain: [city]hotel.[cctld]

    These emails were booking reservations, functions enquiries, reminders for invoice payment, internal staff emails (even staff got the extension wrong) etc.

    The bleed of email traffic to the .com of their cctld was simply staggering. I turned off the forwarding because I got sick of the inbox flooding.

    This test and others I’ve run since, forced me to make a drastic shift in my strategy. I buy almost entirely .com now. The only time I buy other extensions is for brand protection of my businesses.

    Since the strategy shift I’ve had more offers and more sales. Incidentally, my focus is on one and two word .com domains.

  • Morgan December 12, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing @Luke and great point about the traffic extending beyond the website and hitting email accounts as well. I’ve found my one-word .COMs also get an incredibly amount of email if I enable a catch-all, another reason why a .COM is so valuable to a company!

  • Lawrence December 12, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I had both the .com and .net of a very popular keyword that had a monthly Google exact search of 146,000 per month.

    The dot com received 2000 type ins a month and the dot net received less than 200.

    I also leased one of the most popular keywords in the world in the dot net version. I negotiated what I thought was an outstanding lease of only $2000.00 per month.

    I was shocked to find the dot net version only received around 400 type ins a month. I had to buy my way out of a one year contract to cut my loses.

    I found that a dot net gets about 10% of the type ins of a dot com. So if a dot com is worth $100,000 the dot net is only worth $10,000. JMHO

  • Adam December 12, 2012, 8:21 pm

    @ Morgan, totally agree on the “if you want to call your company “this” you need this.com” point. Without the .com there is the potential of bleeding traffic when it comes to viral sharing.