Why this four letter domain sold for $106k (and other SEO-related sales)
Sean Markey examines last month’s SEO-based sales at NameJet and SnapNames.
With the passing of another month, we get to look at the names that sold at NameJet/SnapNames and talk about how much they sold for, as well as WHY they sold for that much. I’ll be focusing on the names that sold for SEO-related reasons instead of “this is clearly a fantastic domain name on its own.” You can see the full list of sales here.
NCHC.org – $106,000
Of course short domains are valuable, but a 4-letter .org wouldn’t fetch over six figures on its own. This is actually a very powerful SEO domain (hence the price). NCHC stands for National Coalition on Health Care. If you are fairly new to SEO here is a pretty straightforward way to think about what makes an SEO backlink profile more or less valuable than another:
1. Is it in a YMYL niche?
That stands for “your money or your life,” meaning: does it relate to investing, bank account advice, saving money, etc., OR does it relate to health. Google doesn’t want to be taken to task for promoting sites that promise a quick cure by eating kiwis for a legit medical condition, so their standards for ranking sites in the finance and health space are sky-high.
2. Are the backlinks old and well-established?
It has been theorized that the older the backlink the more valuable and trustworthy a backlink it is.
Therefore, acquiring a site like NCHC which has been a trusted source of medical advice for many, many years is a great way to quickly gain trust from Google’s algorithm based on the super trustworthy, authoritative backlinks, and THAT is why this domain went for above $100k.
SouthwestJournal.com – $42,001
This is a smashing SEO acquisition, as the domain has a TON of broad authority, with over 3,000 backlinks from sites like Wikipedia, NYTimes, Yahoo, Inc, HuffPo, etc. If you visit the site you can see they put the site back to how it used to be before it went down, and started adding new content, like a post about “which companies are in finance field” — a topic which gets roughly 50,000 searches per month (according to Ahrefs.com) and for which they rank in the top 10 for despite having just recently published it:
THAT is the value of acquiring an established, trustworthy (in Google at least) site like this.
You can even hit such a site with a bunch of AI-generated content, like that article I just referenced, and it does amazingly. Here is a screenshot of the tool Originality.ai, which scans text and displays what percent it is confident that the text in question is AI or human:
And it works exceptionally well.
DMER.org – $25,600
This is a very common story for domains with big authority and a legitimate backlink profile that expire:
The URL goes for a significant amount of money at auction and is quickly built into an Indonesian online casino that has nothing to do with the previous site it used to be and ranks for a bunch of keywords related to the site it has become.
You can see from this traffic screenshot:
This tactic can work quite well.
Rosser.com – $4,800
A DR 20 with over 200 referring domains, Rosser.com used to be the home of an Atlanta-based architect. Now it is the home of “Rosser Media” and is just being used as a landing page to link to four properties (PROBABLY owned by the same person and if I had to guess, I’d say this is a link-building strategy to push Rosser.com’s authority to a small portfolio of sites. Not bad!)…
ASPP.com – $4255
Former site of the American Society of Picture Professions.
That makes me think a domain investor picked this up for the four-letter value instead of the SEO value (of which it has some moderate value, DR 41, just under 1,500 referring domains and ranking for a few keywords). If that’s the case, anonymous domain investor, by parking this domain you’re killing the SEO value. Put something live on the site…
DigitalEnterprise.org – $8,099
Objectively not a name worth $8k so there must be some SEO value here, right?
A DR 39 with almost 900 referring domains, there is definitely value. Looks like a lot of the domains linking to this website are educationally related–from universities and related organizations (valuable) and pretty old (VERY valuable).
No site built here yet but looks like the beginning of one, maybe.
Wanderful.com – $5,751
A super-strong DR 70, this site is parked, which makes me again think a domain investor grabbed this site.
Even though the DR of the site is on the high side, it’s not ranking for any keywords currently, which suggests the site was down for a long time or redirected to another site for a long time. This definitely hurts the SEO value. A great domain name, though!
AffiliateShop.com – $2,000
The steal of the list, getting this DR 60 for $2k is a pretty solid pickup. The site used to offer an affiliate solution to various websites, where they could easily create affiliate links and generate affiliate revenue (I’m pretty sure). Many sites ended up linking to this domain in the act of creating an affiliate link… so it ended up with a lot of referring domains (over 2,000!), but they are less valuable this way than if they had been made editorially by linking to the site in the context of an article.
Still, a great pickup (and also: parked, killing a lot of the site’s SEO value).
That’s it for this look at the domains from the NameJet/SnapNames February sales list. If you have any questions about these domains and why they’re valuable, I’ll hang out in the comments for a few days to answer your questions.
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