“I’m a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk on the catwalk yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk”…Right Said Fred
So, the other day, I got this very interesting email from a domain seller:
I am the owner of ______ . We are now offering our domain name www.______.com for sale to companies. with "______" in their company names who would benefit from the simplicity, elegance and ease of use of this single-word domain name. As you may be aware, there is only one such address available, so that if it is purchased from us by another "______" company it is unlikely to become available again, as with most corporate domain names. The value of the domain name ______.com could be quite significant, depending on your ability to use it as part of a branding program, and to benefit from making your corporate website and email addresses more memorable and more easily recognized and accessible by your customer base. We have received a bid for the domain name which we are considering now. However, the bid is slightly below our price threshold. Please let us know by return mail if you may have
an interest in acquiring www.______.com at or above our threshold price of
$$,$$$. If you prefer to speak in person, please feel free to call me . With
best regards, xxx
Now my initial impression of this domain seller was extremely favorable. This was probably the best domain sales email pitch message I’ve ever seen. He was marketing a one word, common last name dot com domain that certain would be worth a five figure sum to the correct company. He realized he had a unique and intrinsically valuable asset and wanted to cash it out since he didn’t feel it to be necessary for his business.
So why do I ultimately think this guy is a F’ing idiot? Because he owned a prized asset and shamefully neglected it. A little research shows that he bought the domain 15 years ago and over those 15 years, he only generated (according to Yahoo Site Explorer) 13 inbound links to the site (and all the strong links to his URL appear to be accidentally confusing his site with better known companies that shared the same name). He isn’t ranked in the top 100 results in Google for his own name despite owning the dot com domain (domain name in URL likely the strongest SEO signal of them all). Even a minimal amount of SEO work should have achieved a top ranking for his keyword (and related search terms) and would have added a considerable premium to the prospective sales price.
Being blessed with a category-killer domain name is like being blessed with great genes. Before maturity, the owner probably might not recognize the intrinsic value of what is possessed. But at some point, when the person could perceive the social and societal value of what they have, whether it be a killer domain name or a killer body, great care is definitely needed to be taken to maximize the value and longevity of that asset.
For people, it’s nutrition, exercise & style / fashion. For domain names, it’s content and links. Those at the top of the gene pool might have to work less to achieve optimum results…but if they don’t work at all, they negate any and all inherent advantages of what most folks would see as blessings.
The gym is full of people who were pretty average in the gene pool but through hard work and effort, have made themselves look pretty hot. Similarly, despite any and all obstacles thrown at them (e.g. Vince), sites with B & C quality domain names can get top search rankings if they put the time and effort into earning them.
One of the worst things that can be said about a woman is that she has a “pretty face” because the implied message is that the rest of her is unattractive frequently due to her own self-destructive behavior. I can’t think of a better phrase to describe the domain that was offered to me. I see the domain owner trying to sell me 15 years of wasted potential…a platform upon which he could have sold and marketed himself to a top position in his industry. I do think the ultimate purchaser will see the value of the asset and position it accordingly and since the domain is almost as virginal as it was back when originally purchased, the new owner won’t be getting sloppy seconds.