A domain name says a lot, and it gives driving directions to your site on the World Wide Web, now 33 years old. If it calls out the name of your industry, you’re in luck. If someone else wants your name, even better.

What’s In a Domain Name?

The URL (uniform resource locator) includes a protocol, domain, and path. It is a complete website address that directs visitors to a specific page. A domain consists of letters, numbers, hyphens, or a combination of each. 

The domain name (let’s use www.apple.com) includes the third-level domain “www” (or subdomain). The keyword “apple” is the second-level (SLD or 2LD) domain. The domain extension (.com) follows, also known as a top-level domain (TLD).

Top Five Most Registered Generic TLDs:

  1. .com       217,561,407
  2. .net         19,459,715
  3. .org         15,165,446
  4. .gov         8,619               
  5. .edu         8,129
(Domain Name Stat)

What is a TLD?

According to the VeriSign Q3 2021 Domain Name Industry Brief, there are 364.6 million TLD registrations. The primary classifications are generic gTLDs (.com) and country-specific ccTLDs (.us). 

The “.com” TLD is the most registered and commands the highest value. Currently, 48 percent of global websites use it.

The “.tk” ccTLD is for Tokelau, a territory of islands off of New Zealand. It is uniquely famous as the top TLD designation globally, compelling considering its population is 1,400.

Top Five Most Registered ccTLDs:

  1. .tk            24.7 million (Tokelau)
  2. .cn           24.49 million (China)
  3. .de           22.17 million (Germany)
  4. .uk           18.76 million (UK)
  5. .ru            10.25 million (Russia)

What Makes a Domain Name Premium?

A premium domain name is one already owned and attractive to investors for its value to make a profit and assure the masses will find it. It will end in .com and have a universal keyword or phrase like “apple.”

To date, the highest-valued domain name was cars.com. Tegna transferred ownership in 2017 for $872 million as part of a spinoff IPO (NYSE: CARS). The S-1 filing with the SEC determined the value. 

Cars.com is memorable with a high search volume. It is an SEO dream with a name that matches the industry. 

There we have a premium domain.

Top Five Publicly-Reported Domain Name Sales:

  1. CarInsurance.com       $49.7 million
  2. Insurance.com             $35.6 million
  3. VacationRentals.com   $35 million
  4. PrivateJet.com             $30.18 million
  5. Voice.com                     $30 million

The Business of Domains

There was a decrease of 2.7 million domain registrations from 2Q to 3Q 2021. Domain registrations also decreased by 6.1 million from Q3 2020. The drop is in TLDs because high-profile domain name operators ended low-cost registration promotions during Covid.

Registering a domain name is easy. You can have it for $10 per year or less. If you want a domain, but someone else has it, you may make an offer through a broker such as GoDaddy. 

If you own a domain and someone else wants it, they’ll find you. Yours may not be the next Cars.com, but it’s always good to be noticed. Traffic is headed your way.