To Plural Or Not To Plural – What A Difference An “S” Can Make

It’s amazing how one little letter can make such a big difference but when it comes to Domaining, it does. When you’re buying a domain name it can be easy to get excited about what you might think are hot keywords, only to be off by one letter. At DOMAINfest this year I was talking to a major domain broker about this exact topic. He was telling me how getting this wrong could be the difference between a four-figure sale and a six-figure sale, especially when it comes to end-user buyers.

So what’s the big deal? It all comes down to what makes sense and what people are really searching for. Since a domain name represents the name of a brand end-users and major companies want their brand, not something close to their brand. Here’s a few examples with search volume and CPC data coming from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool:

“Buy Car” – 18,100 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $3.08
“Buys Car” – < 10 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $0

“Home Insurance” – 110,000 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $15.45
“Homes Insurance” – 260 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $8.81

“Home Improvement” – 60,500 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $2.60
“Home Improvements” – 6,600 Global Monthly Searches, CPC $0.62

As you can see from these examples, that little “S” can really make one heck of a difference. However this difference isn’t just search volume and CPC, it is also whether an end-user wants your domain, or a domain name really close to yours. I get at least one email a week from someone offering a domain name that is exactly the same as one that sold for five or six-figures, the only difference – an “S”. They are often looking for the same price and basing this on the previous sale, what they don’t realize is that the two names are actually very different.

When I buy domains I always make sure I am buying the dominant phrase. Yes, this usually means paying more but this really can make the difference between making a good investment and “almost” making a good investment. So next time you buy a domain, take the time to check and make sure that you’re buying the phrase that people are searching for an advertisers are paying for, or as I like to say, “Stop Collecting, Start Investing!”

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Dual Screen Phones March 26, 2012, 9:12 am

    Nice article and suggestion: “Stop Collecting; Start Investing!”

    Domainers in this debate often side with the plural as descriptive, “this site offers ___s” even if the singular is more highly searched! Glopbally, “tablet,” singular, has much higher search than “tablets,” plural. But domainers choose, “tablets,” plural, to denote a selection of tablets, and say, “The singular applies to a brand.”

    From the developer perspective, no matter what the keyword domain, it is important to rank for the higher search term.

  • Jeff Matthews March 26, 2012, 10:39 am


  • BullShitWebsites March 26, 2012, 11:10 am

    As I said many times, if everyone of you just reg dot com and drop all the dot whatever, the dot com value will rise.

    What don’t you understand??

  • March 26, 2012, 12:46 pm

    Sometimes the “s” is on your side.  Diamondring or diamondrings?  In this case, you want the plural one!

    • Morgan Linton March 26, 2012, 8:49 pm

      It is true, that’s the point I’m making in my post, sometimes it’s great, other times it can be bad, that’s why checking the search volume is so important!


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