Are All The Good Domains Taken?

By | September 15, 2015

Surprisingly, this is a very controversial question. It plays a central part right now in a big lawsuit, where Verisign (they run the .com domain system) is suing XYZ.com (they run the .xyz domain system) and its CEO Daniel Negari for among other things talking badly about .com domains. Verisign specifically takes issue with the promotional video XYZ.com posted on their site where they say “With over 120 million .coms registered today, it’s impossible to find the domain name that you want.” Obviously it is not really “impossible,” but the question at hand is how true that statement really is. Is XYZ.com just exaggerating a little like many ads do or are they being disparaging?

I consider finding the right domain name to be a skill. Like Googling is a skill. Many times people will search for something in a search engine and not find what they are looking for, but I can find it within seconds. The same goes for .com domains. You just need to know how to look.

Just recently I set up a bunch of new sites (they each aggregate content from many other websites, all on one page), and I needed .com domains for them. I spent anywhere from 5-30 minutes making a list of available names I liked for each site, and this is what I ended up using:
TechGrapevine.com – The latest technology news from dozens of leading tech sites.
HearPodcasts.com – Listen to podcasts from dozens of different sites.
BadFails.com – Thousands of epic fail videos, updated daily.
BigCashflows.com – Business wisdom from the leading entrepreneurial blogs to help you get rich.
WildLists.com – Fun, crazy, and amazing top 10 type lists updated daily.
HugeStartups.com – A constantly updated list of new products and services from startup companies.

Also, I was trying to register a domain for weird news stories and happened that same day to get an email from JustDropped.com (sign up for their free daily list of domains) that had TotallyOdd.com for sale for $69 so I bought it and set up the site. That same week they had the domain Wordisms.com for sale for $99, and although I was not looking for a word related domain, I bought it anyhow because it was short and catchy. I used it to set up a site listing funny, made-up words. I also purchased UltimateRiches.com from them for $69 but nine months later (the day I started working on making the site) I discovered it was no longer in my registrar account (at Moniker.com). I knew it would take a few weeks to find out what happened, and I did not want to wait to get the site started, so I spent 15 minutes looking at alternative domains to register instead and settled on BigCashFlows.com. It turns out that when the JustDropped.com Moniker.com account rep pushed the domain to my Moniker.com account on their behalf, it either did not transfer like it was supposed to, or it did transfer but by mistake kept the JustDropped.com’s ownership/contact info. When JustDropped.com did a bulk transfer of all of their domains a few months later, this domain got accidentally included. Moniker.com has had huge technical problems over the past few years, so none of this surprises me. Dan at JustDropped.com was great about it and offered to give me the domain back, or a comparable domain to replace it.

Here’s an example of the process I go through when trying to think of a domain to use. When I was looking for a domain for my tech news site, I created this list of domains that were all available to register:
TechFads.com
TechNotices.com
TechPolka.com
TechRiches.com
TechMadman.com
TechMyself.com
TechGrapevine.com
TechEchos.com
TechDispatcher.com
TechPaydirt.com
TechRemarks.com

I ended up choosing TechGrapevine.com.

Sometimes I use a domain name generator site to help me find available names. You just type in a keyword (like “flowers”), and it will suggest dozens of flower domains, all of which are available for registration. Some free sites that do this include:
http://impossibility.org
http://www.domainhole.com/namespinner/
http://namestation.com
http://www.namemesh.com

Below is another example of my domain name registration process. Last year, I bought the domain BrainTumors.com for $6,600 and set up a site on it with brain tumor diagnosis and treatment info, but it made no money. I eventually gave up and decided to use a different name, so I could try to sell the BrainTumors.com domain. I came up with this list of replacements that were available to register:
TumorAdvice.com
TumorFacts.com
TumorHope.com
EndTumors.com
KillTumors.com
KillCancers.com
TumorHelp.com
TumorSite.com
eBrainTumors.com
FindTumors.com
TreatBrainTumors.com
BeatBrainTumors.com

I chose TumorHelp.com.

Sometimes the name I want is for a topic where lots of good domains are available. For example, I am working on something related to noise cancellation technology (a type of soundproofing), and in 5 minutes off the top of my head I found all of these good domains were still available:
StopNoises.com
NoNoises.com
CancelSound.com
CancelSounds.com
StopSounds.com
CancelNoise.com
BlockNoises.com

I chose StopSounds.com.

I also recently changed my OfficeHumor.com site so it instead uses the domain OfficeJokers.com (which I hand-registered), so I could sell the OfficeHumor.com domain. And I replaced LocalArea.com with LocalRecap.com (which I hand-registered) for the same reason. Neither site had any significant traffic, so changing the domain did not cause any problems.

Here are some other new sites I registered domains for:
CelebStartups.com – A list of companies started by celebrities.
BingeShows.com – A list of recommended TV shows for you to binge watch.
WatchBackwards.com – Upload a video and watch it backwards.
Precrastinators.com – About people who have an urge to get everything done in advance.
ShakyVideos.com – Upload your shaky video and download a stabilized version.
BingePodcasts.com – Links to thrilling and amazing podcasts you can binge listen to.
CryptoConversions.com – A currency converter to let you know how much cryptocurrency is worth.

It is pretty clear from all the examples I gave in this blog posting that it is still possible to find good .com domain names. You just can’t usually get the exact one you want. It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming Verisign/XYZ.com courtroom battle.

11/20/15 Update: Verisign lost their case against .XYZ, see details at http://www.thedomains.com/2015/11/20/judge-in-1st-verisign-vs-xyz-case-publishes-15-page-memorandum/.

Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

19 thoughts on “Are All The Good Domains Taken?

  1. Bobby.Lafaye

    Great post as always, Eric.

    This process shows how finding an available domain can be done but assumes that the one looking is ready, willing and able to develop the name — not just trying to flip domains.

  2. Anticareer

    Those sites you set up are those final sites? They look, well, bad. With WordPress there some great RSS aggregation plugins, a nice template from Themeforest for $49, and 1 hour of time and you have a nice looking content aggregation site.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I just launched the aggregation sites last week. I don’t think the design effects traffic any, since all traffic is from the search engines, so I will hold off on doing new site designs until I see if any of the sites get any traffic first.

  3. Soue

    Unless you fully build out some of the best ones? They all seem very very niche which is tiny business.

    The brain tumor domain is like the when people were too afraid to mention the cancer word. People just can’t talk about illness, especially men.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      It is very cheap and easy for me to create new sites, especially if I don’t worry much about having them look nice. I like testing out various types of sites, to see if any make money. They probably won’t, but you never know unless you try.

  4. Michael

    Good post Eric and even if the .com domain that someone really wants is registered, chances are they can get it for under $5000. But people are cheap and want to buy everything for $10!! lol It’s like come on if you are trying to build a million dollar business you can spend a little more then $10 on your address right? Even buying a shabby .com is better then buying a new tld, at lease with .com your in a good neighborhood haha

  5. Towhid Zaman

    This is a great piece of article. I absolutely loved it. I own TalkToGeek.com (Also the plural version). I was planning to start a geek news aggregation site.

  6. NoTie

    Sure it’s possible to get a decent mixup of words that one could use. Especially for a domain pro.

    But it comes down to “that you want.”

    “You” = the XYZ audience.

    “Want” = not settle for, but truly want.

    All XYZ needs to do is explain that their audience for the commercial is not a professional domain investor but the average businessman who “wants” the domain for their business, often already in existence. And that dot com is usually taken. And they can point to Alphabet (ABC.xyz) as an example. They wanted ABC.com or Alphabet.com. And lord knows they had the money. But even they couldn’t get what they wanted.

  7. Douglas

    Sure there are still good names available. Do not be put off by those domainers who say only the aftermarket has good names. They only say this because they are investing in sure bets, or higher value domains.

    Investing in emerging tech is a different ball game, great names can be found, but it is an investment risk.

    I only look at dot coms normally, and some cctlds. You cannot define a newly created name in a newly created gtld a good name since they are all new to market and have zero value. Sure someone might buy them, but they have zero value as any business does when it starts from scratch. Some of the gtlds that are good, we will see the true value coming in a few years, there are some nice gtlds out there, but most of them are run to create money for the owners only with no real value purpose for the end user.

  8. elevator

    Thank you for this nice article. I believe that there are still some good .coms in the deep sea of domain name, if looks deep, one can still find grail names in dot coms. For example I just hand regged NicheAce.com and ccTLDMarket.com for niche concept and blogging for country code.
    Cheers.

  9. NIz

    Thanks for some nice tips on domain brainstorming..

    I have few domains that I’d like to set up news aggregator sites on, I’d very much appreciate if you could please share the process you go through.. when setting up these aggregator sites..

    Thanks and appreciate your response.

  10. elevator

    Can one strictly use feed and plugin for site development? How would Google look at the site, is it ok with some addition or not necessary for addition of original articles on the site or what do you think?

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I don’t think a feed aggregation site will rank well in Google. None of mine have ever ranked well. Adding original articles would help.

  11. David

    Hey Eric,

    I just launched another business name generator ( https://namesmith.io ).

    It features a lot of suggestion algorithms including phonetic blends and rhymes. It really offers some features other generators don’t.

    Check it out and let me hear what you think of it! I’m still working on it and improving the site daily.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I like the concept, but for me, it would only be useful if it only shows results for domains that are actually available to register. It is useless to me see results for good name combinations that are already taken.

      1. David

        Thanks for your feedback. Different people have already suggested that to me and I absolutely agree with it. That’s why I’m already working on a change. Should be live in a few days.
        I have also many more tweaks/changes incoming like: synonyms, social account availability checks and more!

        Best regards,
        David

Comments are closed.