Interesting and informative post by Sahar over at conceptualist.com:
Looking at our top domain names, here are some patterns we may all learn something from:
1. One or two word generic (descriptive) domain names, all .com
2. Traffic is usually strong and/or constant.
Massive traffic on some of the single word domains (hundreds or thousands of unique visits per day) isn’t unusual however, the more traffic a domain has the less targeted the likelihood. It is unusual to find domains which have a lot of traffic and are also extremely targeted and commercial. Those domains, if you are lucky to ever find one, can do thousands of dollars per day with a simple PPC page.
3. Commercial keywords seems to perform the best, however, others may do well over time as well
What isn’t commercial today may be commercial tomorrow. This is the true hope of generic domain names which may have strong traffic but poor performers today. Reminds me of a domain we bought in 2002 for some 22K where back then, it would take 25 years to get ROI on. Five years later the domain is making x50 of 2002 numbers and I believe will do extremely well in years to come.
4. In most instances our best one word domains have less then six letters, two word domains have less then 12 letters
5. Our best domains do not have hyphens, numbers in them.
6. Our current best PPC performing domain was essentially bought for free.
Read more about it here.
7. Our best traffic domain was bought on eBay
A generic/descriptive domain that gets massive traffic due to an existing popular site. The way to keep such domains it to treat them with extreme care, avoid anything that may be related to the trademark owner’s content, usage.
8. Our best PPC performer long-term was also bought for 12$ when expired in 2000
More about it here.
9. Most of our best domains were bought regardless of traffic numbers
No secret we like simplicity. We got extremely lucky over the years focusing on what makes sense versus what gets traffic. Most of the old domainers in the space, those who got into the game early (Roy Messer, Rick Schwartz, Scott Day, Castello brothers, Greg McLemore, Garry Chernoff, Anything.com, others), since there was no market for traffic back then, have done the same.
10. We hardly ever quoted prices for our best domains, and we have never sold any.
Proud to say we kept all. Before being domainers, we are first collectors.
And one last point to note, doing the right thing pays and pays well. One of our best domains, a domain that if we put on the market today will fetch 3+ millions on a rainy day, was virtually given to us for pennies on the dollar simply because we went out of our way to help someone. This happened to us few times so far with other domains as well. I will write more about this story soon.