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Some companies use number-word domains, but be cautious

Number-word domains probably aren’t good domain investments.

Five pound number signs in blue on a yellow background

We know corporate China loves numeric domains. For example, 6.cn, 37.com, 360.com, and 2345.com are all owned by Top 100 internet companies in China. But how about a number mixed with an English word? Will this type of domain sell?

Recently, I read in financial news report that 51job Inc. was bought out by a consortium of investors. This Nasdaq-listed job platform is based in China with little presence outside the country. The company was founded in 1998 and currently ranks No. 61 on the Top 100 (in Chinese) internet companies in China.

51Job.com was registered in 1999 and Wayback Machine records suggest that it was likely acquired by the company for the standard registration fee. Since 51 rhymes with Wo Yao (我要=I want), job seekers know what the “I want job” platform can offer.

This numeric naming approach was also used by ecommerce platform Jing Dong, which likely acquired 360Buy.com in 2004 for the standard registration fee. Since 360 means “all, everything”, consumers know what the “buy everything” platform can offer.

Jing Dong later acquired the brand-matching JingDong.com and then upgraded to JD.com. Today, Jing Dong is the 3rd largest internet company in the world.

The issue with 51Job is that its corporate brand is actually “Wu You” (based on 51Job.com and related 51Jingying.com). Incidentally, 51 also rhymes with Wu You (无忧=without worries). Therefore, if they want to follow Jing Dong’s path and upgrade, they should consider acquiring Wuyou .com (developed, so unlikely) or even WY .com (forwards to Weyerhaeuser.com).

Before you get excited and try to find number-word combos, keep in mind why these companies settled on 51Job.com and 360Buy.com. They were acquired mostly likely because of their low costs (aka registration fees). For this reason, this kind of domain might not sell for much on the aftermarket and probably isn’t a good investment.

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  1. Richard B Morris says

    They probably aren’t very good investments, but because of what just happened to me at NamePro’s yesterday, I just registered the domain;
    2woSides.com. It’s because there are two sides to every story that I registered this domain for a possible book title, blog or website.

  2. Yemi Alade says

    I think domain names mixed with numbers and alphabets doesn’t really matter as long as the content and overall SEO work is good.

    • Kassey Lee says

      If that’s the case, what do you think is the reason Elon Musk spent years chasing Tesla.com and then invested $11 million to acquire it in 2016. Will Tesla123.com work well?

  3. Jeff Schneider says

    Hello Andrew,

    We agree with you mostly, but like life there are exceptions.
    What We found interesting is your comment on not getting too excited, because they may have purchased these names out of ignorance of Strategic Marketing with URL’s , much like the SEO advocates that think non-description URL’s are the way to go. This could not be a bigger Lie.
    SEO advocates wrongly think SEO and SEM marketing strategies override the need for a Quality Business URL. These advocates are very happy to have their clients lost in the Google Matrix, making them indisposable or so they think.
    They are working for Googles best Interests, not Traffic Starved Train Wrecks within the Google Matrix. After Google starves these new platforms of Traffic. They and other Tech. Titans enjoy the spoils of buying Traffic starved Tech platforms for pennies on the dollar.
    This process has been going on since Googles Inception, decimating our countries Equity Infrastructure. This has created an equity infrastructure dominated by a very few. Google is a Prolific Destroyer of Online Competition. The Chinese have clamped down on this pattern, Why our Country Continues to Tolerate this is beyond our apprehension. JAS 7/5/021

    Gratefully and Respectfully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group)
    Metal Tiger
    FORMER – (Rockefeller I.B.E.C. Strategic Marketing Analyst/Strategist ) , Iicensed C.B.O.E. Hedge Strategist

      • Kassey Lee says

        No problem. I always say why depend on the kindness of strangers (Google, Facebook, etc.) and live under their roof when you can have your own address which you can freely control? SEO is only part of the business. There is also a powerful tool called word-of-mouth which is still very popular even in the internet age. That’s why the best companies use brand-matching domains such as Apple.com, Alibaba.com, and Toyota.com.

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