Update On My Offer To Buy A Domain From One Of My Readers For $1,200

On Monday of this week I did a post that now holds a new record for number of comments received on a single post. The post was an open invitation for people to post domains that meet  a specific criteria with a chance to sell one to me for $1,200. I was very excited to see the number of people who submitted domains but also pretty amazed to see how few people took the time to follow my instructions, and actually shocked at how many people didn’t know what exact-match search volume was!

I was so surprised how many people misunderstood exact-match search volume that I did a post titled, Understanding The Difference Between Exact And Broad Match to shed some much-needed light on the subject. It actually started to get a bit sad as I saw people who obviously thought that they were buying great domains, when they were actually buying complete junk with incredibly low search volume.

Along with a misunderstanding of search volume, many people ignored the rules and posted domains that didn’t come close to meeting the criteria. I knew a bit of this was going to happen, but it really happened a lot more than I thought. Still I published every single submission since I feel that if you want to take the time to comment on my blog, I’ll publish it!

Now this has turned-into a bit of a project for myself since I have to check every single submission to understand if the search volume and CPC actually matches what people submitted. I’ll be spending a few hours this weekend organizing this all and on Monday will be reporting the following:

  • # of domains submitted
  • % that met the criteria I specified
  • Domain I will buy (if there are enough that meet the criteria)
I still don’t know how many domains met the criteria I specified so I don’t know whether I’m picking from a pool of 50 domains, or 5. My plan is to buy one of these domains but I do need to make sure there’s enough of a selection to make a good purchase. If at the end of my review I find a few good domains that met my criteria, I will absolutely buy one, or more, but it’s a bit too early to tell since I still have a fair amount of work ahead of me to verify all this data!
Even though many people didn’t follow the directions, and yes, a ton of people turned-out to have no idea what exact-match search volume is, I am still incredibly grateful to everyone who participated. I am excited about digging deeper this weekend and sharing the results with all of you this weekend. Stay-tuned and of course if you have any comments, anonymous or not, please feel free to share them below!


{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Anthony Pierre May 4, 2012, 8:05 am

    While you are correct in your assessment of several of the entries, I think you may have done all a tremendously good turn by initiating such an exercise. It sure have been a wake-up call many. Since you come over as someone sincerely interested in helping others I can only commend you on the patience and tolerance exhibited thus far.

  • Tom May 4, 2012, 8:55 am

    Quit complaining, you got a free thread post out of talking about this, 50 names is not a lot to filter thru, man up.

    • Morgan May 4, 2012, 10:13 am

      @Tom – haha, I can complain if I want 🙂

  • rob sequin May 4, 2012, 9:12 am

    Now you have an idea of what people are selling 🙂

    I get phone calls and emails EVERY single day from people asking me if I can help them sell their crap domains.

    People have the balls to ask me if I can help them sell domains that were registered two weeks ago.

    People want stupid prices from crap that I wouldn’t hand reg.

    So, just a message to everyone with crap domains… please stop calling me!

    If people are not contacting you with offers, you have crappy domains.

    • Morgan May 4, 2012, 10:14 am

      @Rob – so true and I think your last sentence here is a really good one, if people aren’t contacting you with offers on your names…they probably aren’t as good as you think they are!

  • Jonathan Martin May 4, 2012, 11:26 am

    Hi Morgan. I love your blog, and I always think you have interesting ideas to get people involved.

    First, I have to tell you that I submitted no domains for consideration.

    However, I have to point out that you made a commitment to purchase one domain name for $1200 which is why so many people went to the trouble of posting their domain names on your blog. Some of the people may not have wanted to actually post the domains in public, but that is what your contest required.

    To quote your previous post, you said: “For this first round I’ll be buying one domain but if this goes well I might open it up to buying more like this in the future. ” There was no hedging or maybes. To keep the integrity of your blog, I believe you must purchase one. A promise is a promise.

    • Morgan May 4, 2012, 11:33 am

      Thanks for the very thoughtful comment @Jonathan!

      Just to be clear though I am an investor, not a collector. I’ll gladly buy a name that is a good investment, but I think I’d lose a lot of credibility if I bought a domain that’s worth $100 for $1,200.

      I would never promise to buy a domain name that I’d lose money on, just not a smart business move. That being said, it does look like there might be some promising ones in there and once I run the search volume and CPC analysis I’ll know for sure!

  • Jonathan Martin May 4, 2012, 11:36 am

    I understand your point, Morgan. I’m probably very sensitive to exact wording, because my company runs lots of contests, and we always have to run them by the lawyers.

    Hope you find a good domain.

    • Morgan May 4, 2012, 11:53 am

      @Jonathan, totally understood! This is definitely not a contest, technically speaking it is just a blog post with comments, no lawyers involved here 🙂

      @Logan – awesome, I’ll be reviewing this weekend and can’t wait to see what you submitted!

  • Logan May 4, 2012, 11:37 am

    Morgan – Of course, I made sure my submission met your criteria. Hopefully, I picked a winnah!

  • Bram C. May 5, 2012, 4:00 am

    I think one of the issues was that a lot of people look at “exact GLOBAL” searches and not
    “exact local” searches using the Google keyword tool. Exact global searches are still exact matches.

    Also you have to remember a lot of people are not from america as well so their exact “local” searches will differ from yours (unless of course they select USA as their location in the google adwords tool which should have been mentioned in your post as a requisite but wasn’t I think).

  • Doug May 5, 2012, 1:39 pm

    I’m not sure I trust Google’s analytics. I’ve got domains that have seen no change in Google’s reported traffic year after year.

  • Neil May 6, 2012, 12:36 am

    I have to say, I saw the comment Jonathan wrote and had had exactly the same thought (and again it’s probably to do with having dealt with lawyers recently on an offer we were running). There was at least one name I saw on your list which I’d make an offer on – maybe not $1,200, but a solid offer and that was after a quick skim through…So I hope there’ll be something of interest to you.

    And, despite not submitting a name myself (the criteria are pretty similar to my own when it comes to choosing build out domains) it provided an incentive to actually go through my portfolio and have a look at what I have in the “what am I going to do with this?” pile and turned up one or two names which I’d planned to drop and now have to reassess. So a thank you very much for that AND a massive thank you for teaching so many people what exact search numbers are – I think the page and its comments are going to be heavily linked to every time I’m trying to negotiate buying a name where the owner is convinced s/he has 1.2million, rather than 1,200 searches/month….

    • Morgan May 6, 2012, 8:10 am

      @Neil – excellent comment and I appreciate the feedback!


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