A Domain name can be reached in two ways: one in which an internet user types in the name on the browser and another where it comes up when a relevant keyword is fed into a search-engine. Since the main intent of a website owner (who is using the site as a business in itself or as part of an offline business) is to attract traffic, the idea is to make the domain name as accessible as possible both to type-in visitors as well as search engine users.
To encourage type-in visitors, a domain name needs to be simple to remember: short, with no weird hyphens, numbers or spelling and definitely no weird extensions. It should be something that can be easily and correctly remembered from a phone conversation, or a radio broadcast. To make the domain name appear in search engines for relevant keywords, the domain name ought to be industry relevant, and not some strange word that may never come up on the search engine. This means a prime domain name is one that is a single word, less than seven to eight characters long, which denotes something of value at the present or future, and could become a goldmine if developed.
Following this logic, names like cool.com, toy.com, fight.com and gamble.com are very valuable domain names indeed. All of them are short, easy to remember, and can easily be used by a relevant industry or activity. Yet, not one of them is associated with a successful enterprise. On the other hand, some of the most famous and successful domain names today like google.com, yahoo.com, ebay.com , monster.com and Amazon.com should not have been valuable. This is because none of them show any relevance to what the site is actually about, and on second thoughts, are actually quite weird and unusual.
This brings out a discussion on why these domain names are now household words despite being somewhat strange and unrelated to their actual field of work, without any keywords of industrial relevance. The answer lies in branding. Each of these domain names is not only easy to remember, it is unusual in a way it is difficult to forget. Not only that, each domain name comes with a story behind its meaning which somehow conveys a certain spirit behind the brand.
So a successful domain name could be a cleverly branded weird name which sticks to the mind of its audience, and has great recall value. A weird brand name like google.com has a hidden meaning where the word google derives from googolplex(the highest number), it is unusual enough to be distinctive, and memorable and smooth enough to be verbalized. What is most important is that it captures its audience and makes them curious, because it engages rather than informs. It thus provides a much higher branding value than a generic, conventional, informative and keyword-friendly domain name like toy.com.
A weird domain name also has another ironic advantage, and this one is with relation to the search engines. A conventional, key-word rich domain name takes much longer to be listed on the top pages of the search engines. This is because it has to compete with all the other domain names on the basis of common keywords in the relevant category. A weird, unique name on the other hand will have fewer search results. It can easily reach the top pages of search engines, making it very valuable for attracting traffic. Even weird extensions like .tv and .info can be quite valuable, once attached to fields like television or information.
The value of a weird domain name lies in its brandability. Weird names, when chosen with the context in mind, can be very valuable indeed. So, any weird domain name can become valuable and successful: weird for the sake of being weird alone does not add value. However, given a proper branding strategy when it comes to domain names, weird can actually mean wonderful.
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