The domain name industry has come a long way in the last 20 years. In the early 1990s, an individual needed to write in and request a domain name and there was a limit of five names. A few years later, Network Solutions came on the scene and you could register a domain name, but had to commit to a two-year registration fee of $70 – it was so primitive back then that they would even allow you to register names and they would send you an invoice for the domain. There was no obligation on the invoice, so if you didn’t pay it, the domain would back into the pool of available names.
In 2001, Network Solutions lost its monopoly, and companies like GoDaddy came on the scene offering domain names for less than $10/year. Although the internet bubble burst between 1999-2000, excellent domain names became available when people chose not to renew their domains fearing that the internet was not all that it was cracked up to be. This allowed for many people to find great names.
Fast forward 8-9 years and here we are in November 2009. Is it easy to find a one word dictionary term domain name? The answer is no; the days of the single word names being available for registration are long gone. What about a killer two-word or three-word domain for that new sports business you are starting up? Or even finding your first and last name? The answer to these questions, in my opinion, is yes – you can still find great domain names with the right tools, and background knowledge.
Here are just a few of the many ways I research domain names for my business and for my clients.
1. Check the desired domain at your favorite registrar, such as GoDaddy or Moniker. I would not recommend checking domain names at Network Solutions. They’ve been know to put a hold on the domain you research so you could only use them as the registrar.
2. If the name is already registered, and you still would like this name, check the site to see if it is being used for anything. If it’s an existing company, then you’re pretty much out of luck and you’ll need to think of a new name. But if it’s a blank page, a parking page, or a page with ads on it, that is a good sign that the owner has registered it with the intent to sell it. You can then look up the contact information for the owner of the domain name and see if it is for sale.
Just Dropped allows you to search for names that have deleted over the past 90
days as well as name that are going to becoming available in the near future.
The Advanced Auction search tool at Domain Tools allows you to search for names by
keyword as well as see if they have any linking value from the Yahoo and DMOZ directories.
Notable sports related domains becoming available in the next few days include:
- AthleteStocks.com – November 25, 2009
- BadBets.com – November 26, 2009
- AnyAthlete.com – November 30, 2009
- CycleGifts.com – November 30, 2009
- GameTrends.com – December 1, 2009
- SoccerLinks.com – December 3, 2009
- SportFun.com – December 3, 2009 (name was originally registered in 1996)
- SportPitch.com – December 12, 2009
- SportSeats.com – December 13, 2009
In the coming weeks, I’ll be going over some of the details and intricacies on the above methods of finding a great domain. If you have a domain name story or an idea that you would like to share with the readers, please comment below.
With 63,688 domain names dropping tomorrow, I’m sure there is a golden nugget domain you can use to help build your sports business or your personal brand!