Domain name is an address by which you identify a website on internet. Technically speaking all address on internet is in form for numbers like 18.104.22.168. However, it would be difficult for human being to remember these numbers. So, concept of domain names cam into picture where some name like example.com is registered and in turn resolve to number like 22.214.171.124.For example you can visit Google by typing http://126.96.36.199/ in your address bar in internet browser. As you may see it is much easier to do it by typing http://www.google.com .
Structure of a domain name : Domain name may look like example.com or google.co.in. In example.com, .com part is known as Top Level Domain (TLD), and example would be second level domain. While in Google.co.in .co.in is second level domain and Google is third level domain. .com and .co.in are also known as domain extension. There are some global domain extension like .com,.net,.org,.info,.biz etc. Some extensions are country specific like .in and .co.in are India specific, .co.uk are for United Kingdom, .cn for China.
Global Top level domain : Global top level domains which ends in extension .com,.net,.org,.info,.biz etc regulated by ICANN. You may be able to register a top level domain from any of the ICANN accredited registrar or their resellers.Any one in this world can register a Global top level domain name.
Country level domain extensions : Every country in this world have a top level domain suffix.This is being assigned by IANA. Each country in turn have a registry which formulates policy related to country domain names. They also appoint registrar to register domain in their behalf.Some country do have restriction on who can register the said country domain name.You should get acquainted with policies of specific country before you decide to register a country specific domain name.
How much you need to Pay to Register a domain name : This varies extension to extension as well as registrar to registrar.However you should be able to register a domain for 1 year in less than 10$ for most of the domains.This is the domain cost which you would have to pay each year.This is cost of domain in primary market.
There is secondary market for domain : Meaningful domain names are internet real estate some of them are highly sought after that enhances its valuation. Others, bring traffic which can be monetized. Hence, if you come up with a domain that is no longer available to register you may buy it from existing owner. In this case you may have to pay a “premium” for that domain. Acquisition of domain from other domain owners is called acquiring it from secondary market. Why someone pays premium to acquire a domain?
- Brand Some names are just more memorable than other. For example, dog.com, gives extra edge to owners than anyone else selling dog supplies. Anyone visiting dog.com may find what they expected. These domains have high resale value. Chances that you may find such name at registration cost is negligible in .com. Such names are even may not be available in most of the extensions.
- Keywords domain : Search engine optimization professionals are looking for key words domain in any category.People do searches on internet. now suppose a few thousands are looking for solar panels.Then solarpanels.com, solarpanels.in would have value. As it is highly probable that content related to solar panels will be placed in top position in search engine results. Google have a few tools which you may use to do keywords research.People have already done a lot of keyword research, so chances on an unregistered Good keyword is low. But it won’t hurt and to do some search and learn.
- Google Adwords Keyword tool – This will help you in researching keywords that was being searched globally and a particular local market.It also shows advertisers competition for that particular keyword and related searches. If a domain name contains exact keywords and competition is high it has good value for SEO professionals. SEO (Search engine optimization professional) can use these name to create a website.These domain names are valuable.
- Google Search Bases Keyword tool – This will help you find exact searches of a keyword and their advertisers bid.If it is 2-3 word keyword and have adequate search volume and good advertiser bid a .com domain would be lucrative.
- Type in Traffic domains : There are a few domains which people type in their browser address bar and expect a website. Such domains are called type-in traffic domain. These domains are valuable because people can place Pay Per Click advertisement on such domains (also known as PPC) and make money. Question is how you find a type-in domain? Generally, generic and good keyword .com domains do attract natural traffic. This is also true for some of the country code tlds.From personal experience, I found Indians are typing .co.in for popular terms and as well as .in and .org.in sometime.How to find a domain with traffic, well it comes with experience, however, you may use Alexa.com as well. on http://www.alexa.com click on siteinfo and put a domain name you want to verify the rank for, like rrb.net.in. It shows some traffic rank, however low, it may be. There is a good chance that that domain name have traffic. It doesn’t mean domains which doesn’t have alexa rank may not have traffic at all.Now, if you have a domain name with traffic there are many providers who allow you to park and monetize your domain. I prefer Sedo.com.
- Residual Traffic – There are many expired domain that are associated with an old website.It do happen everyday that a website owner lost interest or forgotten to renew the domain and domain expires. These domains do have back links. If you register such name you may get traffic for sometime. However, some sustainable residual traffic based on back link is sustained for a long period.These domains do have value as well.
- Also remember all the domain traffic are not equal, some keyword may pay you more than dollar per click and some may pay just 1 cent. It also depends on geographical location of visitor. A click from USA will generally worth more than a click from India.
Hopefully, you must have got idea about why domains have value. If you have not entered in domain business consider many fact before making it a a source of income. First, if you have good budget you may acquire domains in secondary market and this article is not for you. But if you have low budget and can only acquire domains from primary market (means only at registration fee) then keep reading on. First thing first, if you come across a news that domain such that sex.com, business.com etc are sold in multi million dollars, don’t get over excited. Such domains in .com version are long gone. Also, .com is most sought after extension because everyone knows .com. There are paid tools who let you catch expired domains in global TLDs. However, if two or more people are looking for same name you have to bid in auction so that will cost you more that just registration fees.
If you are new domainer look for alternative extensions as well. I am doing on and off domaining since 2001. I didn’t have much info about PPC and traffic domains till 2006. I have sold few domain names maximum I have got is 3500$.So I am not a big guy in this field. However, I found .co.in and .in brings good traffic. Now, I make 400$ to 450$ a month from parked domains.My cost of renewing domain is around 1000$/per year, it includes domain I am just renewing on speculation.Points to note is most of my traffic is Indian and Indian click doesn’t pay you much.
So, my point is if you can find out a way to get good traffic name or good keyword name you may still do good and earn some income from domaining. There are people who are dealing with expired domain in alternative extensions, where big players are not involved.They are registering good domains at just registering cost it self. So yes, you can still make money in domaining by either speculating on right domains or registering traffic domains to your benefit.You questions, comments?