How Much is a Domain Name Worth?

I was reminding another customer about renewing their domain name yesterday.  This brought up the question of how much is a domain name worth on the open market.

Domain names are assets just like a car or a piece of property.  While domain names are reserved or “rented” for a period of time people do sell the rights to them.  There are whole websites devoted to selling and buying domain names.

But just how much is any one domain name worth?  There are certain rules of thumb:

  • A shorter domain name is better than a longer domain name
  • A domain name ending in .com is generally worth more than one ending in .net or .org
  • A domain name associated with a website that has established traffic (visitors) is valued higher than one with no traffic

There are websites that will look at all the factors and give you an online estimate for just how much your domain name is worth.  I looked at a few sites that had online tools.  I found the one at VERY interesting.  It was interesting because when I entered my domain name,, it came back with a valuation of $294,150!  Wow!

I savored the dream for a few minutes.  Then I decided to verify the number before I booked that flight to Hawaii.  While I was doing my research I saw that has a domain name appraisal service for about $15.  Part of the service involves a real person looking the situation over instead of just an online tool.

GoDaddy promises the results in two days.  In my case it took about 4 hours.  I paused for a moment to savor the dream before I opened the email from GoDaddy.  $294,150!  Then I took a deep breath and saw how much GoDaddy thought my domain name was worth.  Instead of giving one number they gave a range.  The range was $72 to $208.

Why the big difference?  I think fooled LeapFish because it’s an old domain name, it gets a lot of traffic and a lot of other sites link to it.  Those are all great things.  The problem is that unless your name is Perry and you’re involved in the web business it’s not going to do you a lot of good.

So to the rest of the world it’s not that valuable of a domain name – but for me it’s perfect!


  1. Unfortunately, sometimes those harmless-looking, perfectly-named domains may have a checkered past. Before picking up a domain name that may be banned or blocked due to previously delivering malware, trojans, or porn, you need to do a background check.

  2. Hello,

    Ignoring the aspects of traffic, page rank, current monthly profits, etc., and just looking at the domain name itself, you raise valid points, but the topic is really quite broad and the following additional points may be helpful.

    Apart from the well known fact that domains without numbers, hyphens, or special characters are generally penalized from a value standpoint, the big thing that needs to be added to your information of the value of country specific domains.

    While many countries have strict nexus requirements, there are several high population countries that have no such rules (other than in rare cases requiring a registered agent if you are not a citizen, a service you can often get for free from your domain registrar). Also, some of these extensinos are beginning to attain high prestige and value. Domains worth looking at from the above perspectives include .at (Austria), .be (Belgium), .ch (Switzerland), (New Zealand), (Great Britain), .de (Germany), .eu (European Community), .ph (Philippines), .ro (Romania), .ru (Russia), and (South Africa). Admittedly, some of these currently have higher prestige/value than others, but all have large populations, and you don’t need to learn a foreign language to use them; I’ve seen some eye-popping sales of second level English phrases in countries above where the primary language is not English.

    Also, consideration needs to be given to the emerging generics, like .mobi, .cc, .tv, .biz, .travel, etc. Even though some of these are actually non-US country specific extensions, their actual use will be mainly for specific functional purposes on a wordwide basis (such as .cc and .tv).

  3. To come across a domain name that has good appeal is rare.I think all the good domain names are taken. Domain names aren’t worth much only the price you pay unless you build a profitable and recognized brand behind it in my opinion.

  4. What Nigel is saying is quite true. About 99% of domain names are essentially worthless, and the 1% that do have value (in the presitigious extensions, like .com,, .de, etc.) are already registered.

    An exception to the above are domains that have essentially no value deriving from their name itself, but have high value due to the effects of aging, such as high quality incoming links, high Google PR, high Alexa traffic, etc. Another exception would be domains that again have no value deriving from their name itself, but are associated with web sites that are up and running and generating a meaningful profit stream.

  5. I thought I’d add another comment as it is relevant to this discussion. Domains can have alot of value if they receive a high number of exact phrase matches in Google searches. “High” depends on what country you are talking about, but something in the area of 1 per thousand per month population for the TLD involved will make the domain valuable. Even if it is a long name unsuitable for branding, it can be valuable as a redirect URL.

    The reason for the above is that domains that exactly match high volume search phrases are easier to optimize for SEO purposes than other domains.

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