for sale is currently for sale. It's been quietly doing it's thing for the last few years, and the owners (Intersect) are putting it on the market, available to the highest bidder.

Of course, I considered making an offer.

Not buying it for traffic

However, I then got to thinking why I might want such a domain name. Not why it's a good domain to have, but selfishly, why I would want it, and what I could use it for.
Yes, ranks well on for 'SEO'. But is ranking better for this phrase most of the time (currently 1st, but it changes daily), and even with great NZ rankings for 'SEO', the phrase is only bringing in 50 or so visitors per month.

Not buying it for prestige

So while brings in a pretty small portion of it's traffic on the phrase 'SEO', it's great for credibility to offer SEO services and rank well for 'SEO'. So for that reason, it's important for SEO companies to do well for these kinds of phrases, at least in their local market. I find prospective clients ask less questions because I can show evidence of good rankings in this area.

But how much can you claim in the way of bragging rights when your domain name is an exact match to the search phrase? ranks well for 'web design'. ranks well for 'bamboo'. ranks well for 'SEO'. I'm not suggesting that these sites don't deserve to rank well, but that Google gives a huge bias to exact match domains. It's great to exploit this bias, but you can't legitimately claim bragging rights to clients.

Not buying it for rankings

Because the site doesn't rank particularly well for 'search engine optimisation' or 'search engine marketing', I'm wondering if it's relying a bit too heavily on that domain name bias? Because of this, you wouldn't want to 301 redirect to your main domain as there wouldn't be much to gain from this. You would definitely be better off leaving the site intact in it's own right, and letting it hold a spot in the top 5.

It does however have a DMOZ listing, and the domain is 5 years old. Respect.

Keeping out the competition

So here's where the domain has some real value. It's holding a much-coveted spot in the top 5, which means that someone else isn't. Whoever buys the name gets a bigger slice of the pie, especially if they already have another domain in the top 10. While the traffic volume isn't likely to be great, it's better than paying Adwords for that extra bundle of traffic each month.

Value in many forms

The value of anything in an open market is whatever a buyer is prepared to pay. In this case:
  • The name has value to someone not already in the top 10, but could that money be better spent getting their own site ranking instead?
  • It has value to someone already in the top 10 for blocking out the competition.
  • It has value to anyone paying for traffic on Adwords.
  • It's a great domain for a brand new SEO company without an established brand, no doubt about it.
  • It has value to a domain name investor.

Value to ME

To me, the name is probably worth about NZD$1000. I suspect the owners are holding out for considerably more than that (based on the fact that it's still for sale), so I haven't made a formal offer. For my site, any more than that amount is better spent building links and improving design / content / community, which is going do more for rankings, bring in more traffic, and be better long-term. For my site.

But that's my opinion - it's worth that amount to me, and it could be worth a lot more or a lot less to someone else. I thought this post might be interesting as an insight into my thought processes, and perhaps illustrating some of the reasons why this great domain name hasn't been snapped up by someone just yet.
We just sold our house for considerably less than we wanted to, and know exactly what it's like to be on the market for ages and have to re-adjust your perception of 'value'.

I'll be interested to see what happens to the domain.
Digg StumbleUpon technorati blinklist furl reddit sphinn

Tags: seodomain names