Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What are the big price domains doing today?

I decided to take a a look at the domain names in the top 20 positions of the NameBio all-time sales list. Collectively these 20 sales (across 19 different domain names, since one sold twice) represent investments in digital assets of more than $140 million.  I looked at whether the name currently leads to a  developed website, and if that site employs a SSL certificate. The data is pictured in the table below (click on the image for a higher resolution view).


  1. All 20 sales were in the .com extension. 
  2. The prices range from $3.6 million to $14 million per domain name. The total of the 20 sales is just over $14 million.
  3. All but four transactions were private sales. Moniker had two of the sales and Sedo one.
  4. Most of the sales were years ago, the most recent in 2016. 14 were in 2010 or earlier.
  5. As of today, one is listed for sale, three are used for redirection, one shows a 'coming soon' lander, one is a legacy page for a company that went out of business,  two others are not in use, and 12 of the names have developed content.
  6. It would appear that none are directly used for websites that make the main most popular lists. For example none are on the Moz Top 500 sites (Facebook is on the list, but not as FB).
  7. Four of the top five sales lead to adult websites. These are designated by a !! warning in the table and should only be accessed by those 18 and over.
  8. All but two of the active websites go to English language sites.
  9. The types of names on list: 1 single letter, 6 double letter, one four word name (AsSeenOnTV) and the rest are single word. 
  10. To protect users from possible harm, Google Chrome flags websites that do not use SSL certificates.  Only 11 of the sites have SSL certificates operational at the time I checked. 


Possibly the most surprising result was that so many of the names lead to sites that are not SSL secure.  At a cost of the order of $20 per year for an SSL certificate you can perhaps see a blogger who is making pennies per day delaying implementation, but it seems hard to see why a digital asset worth millions should not have this feature.

When I look at the most popular websites and compare them to a list of the highest value sales, even going further than the top 20 covered in detail here, it seems that there is a definite mismatch between which domain names are used for sites that get the most web traffic and which sold for the highest prices.  Com is dominant in both lists, but much more so in sales prices than in lists of popular websites.

Others have commented that the huge sale prices were predominantly in the decade from 2000 to 2010.  While I did not do a rigorous analysis for more recent periods, such as the top sales 2018 YTD, the sales are still .com dominated although two new extensions makes the top 20 positions on that list.  The type of domain seems even more single word dominated in recent top sales, and the predominance of private sales is far less evident.


Original post Sept 26, 2018.

Fine Print

This post is offered for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered domain name investment advice. While an attempt has been made to be accurate, there is no implied or explicit warranty, and you are responsible for verifying any information of importance to you. You also accept full responsibility for any domain investing decisions you may make.

I try to be fair, balanced and objective in my analysis.  If you feel this post does not meet that standard, please express your concerns to me. 

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