Want to know why these domains sold for so much?
To help fill in some of the gaps you may find yourself facing when looking at the “domains that sold at auction” recently, where you see some absolutely garbage-looking domain names selling for an extremely stupid amount of money, I’m here to help.
I’m an SEO expert with a domain name addiction, so who better to help you understand these ugly outliers?
A quick word about one of the metrics I’m using below:
DR stands for Domain Rating, and it is a logarithmic scale that Ahrefs gives a domain based on the authority of the sites linking to it. Higher = better.
NameJet and SnapNames:
AmericanPainSociety.org – $12,701 – DR 65
This very long URL has over 2200 domains linking to it which… is a lot, in case you’re wondering. Not only does it have 2200 domains linking to it, but a lot of these links are from super hard-to-get, highly authoritative, and niche-relevant links from sites like PsychologyToday, BioMedCentral, BMJ, VA.gov, APA, and so on.
I’m only surprised it didn’t go for more.
A competent (and well-funded) SEO could do some very profitable things with such an exquisite backlink profile on a .org like this.
Wikio.com – $9,200 – DR 61
Over 10,000 referring domains on this solid 5-letter brandable domain. Even though they’re more overall links, they aren’t as valuable (as you can see in the final price of this domain) because they aren’t as focused on one area, like medical, and they are overall not as powerful. Still a high-quality backlink profile, though.
YearsOfLivingDangerously.com – $3,655 – DR 56
1,400 referring domains in the eco/sustainability space make this one worth several thousand dollars, even though the URL isn’t something you’d buy for the name itself.
E4FC.org – $3,600 – DR 56
“Educators For Fair Considerations” was in the job/immigration space with lots of media links in its almost 2,000 referring domain backlink profile. Truly a 0/10 domain in terms of raw domain investing value.
DigInfo.tv – $4,215 – DR 55
Almost 6,000 referring domains, but they are all super general (not focused on a particular niche), and there are a few strong ones in a sea of really low-quality ones, hence the low price despite the number of links.
AboutDarwin.com – $5,850 – DR 48
It used to be a site about, uh, Darwin. You know the one I mean.
A lower DR than other sites on the list but a higher price because the referring domains are valuable and focused. Lots of hard-to-get Wikipedia and .edu links use this site as a reference. A no-brainer rebuild to keep those links (though how someone will recoup their nearly $6k investment with a Darwin-focused site will be interesting to see…)
NYCMediaLab.org – $16,250 – DR 61
Just over 1,000 referring domains in the media/business space give this name its value. Love to see a low-value .org with big SEO authority flex on better names with such a big price tag.
MezzanineSF.com – $7,800 – DR 47
Why is this restaurant domain with just 909 referring domains going for way more than some of the names in the NameJet list? Well, aside from GoDaddy attracting more SEO bidders due to an overall more robust inventory (bigger list of partner registrars), this site is still ranking for 200+ keywords despite not having a site on it for a while.
Nothing says “valuable SEO name” like a domain that keeps a big chunk of its rankings through the expiration process.
LiverpoolMutualHomes.org – $7,605 – DR 29
Only 229 referring domains but a great big price.
If you guessed it’s because this name is still ranking for keywords and bringing in traffic, you’re right!
According to Ahrefs, this expired domain with no site built on it still pulls over 1,000 visits per month in organic traffic.
The domains themselves aren’t that great, but traffic is traffic. Is the traffic itself valuable? Not really, but like a brightly colored flower calling to a hummingbird, the presence of organic traffic broadcasts to SEOs, “hey, this domain can RANK, buddy.”
StLouisCountyProsecutingAttorney.com – $6,600
This is my entry for “ugliest domain name going for the most money.” Go ahead, try to beat it!
Wow, what an utterly horrible domain name. With just over 100 referring domains — some decent ones, but nothing to write home about — you might wonder, “why is this awful URL going for so much money?” And the answer is, it’s the traffic. Obviously. This name gets a few hundred visits per month, still, with the potential for more (in the LAW space, of all niches — very valuable).
Attention is the currency.
NigerianMonitor.com – $6,100 – DR 35
This one has 5,200 referring domains and is still bringing in a couple of hundred visits per month in organic traffic.
It’s the traffic! Definitely not a name worth $6k by itself, but pour some traffic on it, and it goes for big money. The links themselves aren’t super amazing, but a lot of Wikipedia links (in different languages) which is usually indicative of a well-done, real site, and a lot of value comes from that as well.
I hope that was an insightful look at why some of these names recently went for so much money.
Got any questions? Hit me up in the comments, I’ll be around to answer.