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Domain marketplaces should include these search functions

These search parameters and features would improve domain discoverability.

Graphic with the words Domain Search above a search box

A couple of marketplaces reached out after I wrote my most recent plea for domain name marketplaces to improve their search functionality. They asked what I would include in marketplace search.

Here are some of the features I’d like to see. (I’m ignoring ones that are already included on many sites, such as excluding names with numbers are searching by length.)

Dictionary word search: Sedo lets you search by the number of words but the results it delivers are gobbledegook. Search should compare against at least the English dictionary and only show words that are in the dictionary. This will let people search for one word and two word domains.

Number registered: Filter by the number of TLDs the second level domain is registered under. Added points for letting users choose which TLDs they’d like it registered under.

Age: It’s not the perfect measure, but showing only domains over a certain age is a crude quality filter.

Listing Age: Filter by how long the domain has been on the marketplace, or exclude ones within a certain timeframe. For example, I might just want to see domains added in the past month.

Rank by quality: This is an important one. Responding with a list of thousands of domains isn’t helpful. Some people are wary of putting automated prices right next to domains, but they can be used in the background to rank the domains. If you look at a list of domains ranked by GoDaddy appraisals, I think you’ll agree that the quality drops as you go down the list. Even if you disagree with the valuations, this type of appraisal is great for ranking domains.

Alerts: Another important feature to alert investors about new inventory. This way they don’t have to come back to the site to research and find new domains. Let people sign up for alerts whenever new domains meeting their criteria are added. For example, new domains less than 10 characters, over 10 years old, in which the domain is registered in at least three TLDs, with a buy now price of under $5,000.

What have I missed?

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  1. Brent Alan says

    Spanish Language Domain inclusion, very important when you think about the number of countries that speak Spanish (not to mention 30% of the USA), making .com more powerful than ccTLD’s for generic term domains.

  2. Brent Alan says

    Historical domain age (first time ever registered) and number of times dropped might also be a good indicators of quality, not just the domain age reported since being (re)registered.

  3. Dave Tyrer says

    1. Ability to display priced domains only. Then you would have a choice to display only BIN domains and exclude make offers.

    2. The following suggestion mainly applies to brandable domains, but sellers could have the option to assign up to say three or four search keywords to each domain. (Accuracy might have to be policed.)

    Then a buyer would be able to search for a [fintech] [brandable] [dot com] up to [8 letters] in length, for example.

    Also, the term “brandable” should be a searchable criterion in itself, since they are now so popular.

  4. Jamie Zoch says

    The first thing as an industry that needs to be fixed is inventory management. So many domains are listed for sale at many marketplaces that are old listings, not owned by the current registrant any longer or are available for registration after expiring. Removing these and just having a cleaner inventory to search would be helpful. It’s a big problem in the brokerage sector as well.

    What you suggested for search tools would be helpful but also requires some big time computing power to quickly display results. It may also increase the purchase price on the displayed domains to the filters, so you have to use a bit of caution with what you ask for. I have played with a dictionary search tool for years and years and it’s tricky. Many words actually hurt the tool, so it really needs to be tuned, tested, tuned, tested etc. and a lot of “words common to us, are not actually dictionary words”. aka Domainer for an example.

    • Andrew Allemann says

      An alternative would be for a marketplace to expose its inventory to a site like ExpiredDomains.net. Then it doesn’t have to do much work at all.

      As for dictionary, you can add open source slang dictionaries. I don’t care if it misses some one-word domains as long as its one-word domains are full of gibberish.

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