What is going on with this auction for CSEBKerala .org?

Up, down, up…and it’s not about the SEO value.

I look through a lot of expiring names that pair an unremarkable domain name with a truly eye-popping price. In fact, that’s the main thing I’m looking for at expiring auctions because that’s the best way to sniff out an SEO domain name. There are very few of these auctions that surprise or perplex me.

But then I came across this domain, CSEBKerala .org. It is an unimpressive name at first glance, but it had a bid of $61,000 when I saw it:

screenshot taken from auctions.godaddy.com

That’s the highest price for the least valuable name I’ve seen… surely it has to be bursting at the seams with raw SEO power, right?

screenshot taken from Ahrefs.com


Ranking for zero keywords, DR 33 — I’d expect this to be valued at around $2k or so.

So why the huge price discrepancy?

I reached out on Twitter and some of my followers from India filled in the blanks:


For further insights, here is a site talking about the CSEB Kerala exam:

The examinations are conducted by the Kerala State Co-Operative Service Examination Board (CSEB) to fill the various categories of positions as the requests are made from the concerned societies. Read the article to know the CSEB Kerala Exam Date 2023 Junior Clerk, Cashier, DEO date and other details are provided here.

So that explains the outsized price a bit.

I soon received another reply with a twist in this story:


I’ve been participating heavily in the GoDaddy auctions since about 2015 and I don’t think I’ve seen a price reset like that, so I reached out to Joe Styler, GoDaddy’s PM for their aftermarket, and asked about this domain.

The bids triggered something at GoDaddy which monitors for fraud, and the auction price was reset to a lower amount once the fraudulent bidders were banned. Interesting.

So that’s the story of CSEBKerala .org. It has about two days left at auction at the time of this writing (2/24/23 at 7:30 am PST), and it has been bid back up to just over $15,000 (which, purely from an SEO point of view, is still the high side of what I’d expect, so there is likely some value in the domain for those that are familiar with the exam).

Post link: What is going on with this auction for CSEBKerala .org?

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