Two interesting data points to look at when investing in one-word domain names

When it comes to buying domain names as investment, there are a lot of things to consider. If I were to write a post about all the things you should consider, it would be really long and boring, plus there’s entire courses like DNAcademy that do a great deep dive into topics like this. That being said, there are two datapoints I do usually look at that I thought would be interesting to share.

The first is, when I search for that word in Google. If the first page is full of dictionary definitions of the word, I see that as a sign that it’s not used much commercially. Maybe it will be in the future, but it’s not right now. You’ll usually find this with one-word domains that you can just hand-register, let’s say something like the word exclusion.

Search on Google and what’s the first thing that pops up?

Scroll down the page and you pretty much have nothing but different dictionary definitions of the word. Not a great sign.

Next I look at what’s happening with the .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Using this example again, all three have “for sale” landers, also not a great sign. Of course, this should come as no surprise, I used a particularly bad example because let’s be honest, who would want to call their company, exclusion?

That being said, let’s use a good example like slice. Positive action-words are my favorites, do a Google search for slice and it’s a whole different story. First, there’s an add, delivery startup Caviar is actually paying money to advertise for this term, and right below that is a pizza service called where you can order pizza from local pizzerias.

Next, let’s look at the .COM, .NET, and .ORG. The .COM is developed and actually houses the product page for Rakuten Slice. The .NET, also developed. The .ORG doesn’t resolve but isn’t listed for sale.

Yes, these are two obvious examples. I know what you’re saying, duh Morgan – obviously Slice.anything is better than Exclusion.anything. Like I said, just using some extreme examples here to illustrate my point. If you’re not sure about a name, run these two tests, it shouldn’t be the only two datapoints you use to make a decision, but it should factor into your decision.

I got the inspiration for this blog post looking at OneWord.domain, a site that lists one word domain names that are available to register. When I look at a lot of the words, I’m not surprised they’re available to register…but like most things in the domain world, there are needles in the haystack somewhere, and using these datapoints could be part of the path to identifying them.

Have you used either or both of these techniques when evaluating whether or not to invest in a domain name? What are some of the other datapoints you look at? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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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.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Fabrizio - HK May 23, 2020, 9:36 pm

    Very true, when investing in domains the google results are a great hint of how much the word is popular. But investing in famous words is more expensive than non highly ranked words. On our website we try to do a compromise between the 2 Things.
    best regards!
    Founder @

  • Sri May 24, 2020, 9:21 am

    Great insight. Here I want to share an interesting happening. Your post on one word domains turned up today in my Google feed on phone, within 3 days of my searching for and registering a one word domain – bespoke dot sale.

  • Darryl Lopes June 6, 2020, 1:31 pm

    Also, look at Google images for the domain name to get a feel of the emotion of the word.


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