I recently came across a new comment on an older post in which the commenter requested that I provide a working definition of what exactly constitutes a premium domain name.
I wrote a post about this very topic some time ago, but re-reading it today, there is very little substantively speaking that I would change about it. Most edits would pertain to grammar and the wording of the article, but not its message.
Basically, what it all boils down to is that a premium domain name is one that either: A) Has the potential for aftermarket sales in the four-to-seven figure range (U.S. Dollars); OR, B) One that helps get traffic to your site, either by way of direct-navigation or by helping your site rank in search for keywords contained within the domain name.
The “premium” tag would apply to those domains that contain exact-match keywords in the name (preferably without dashes in between the words). The keywords themselves must have some commercial value (or extremely high non-commercial search traffic value), and must either be high-search-density keywords (those that are searched for most often), and/or an unusually high margin on converted sales leads (such that would compensate for lower search densities).
For example, in the post in which the commenter posed the question, the domain name TheMedicalSupplyStore.com contains keywords (medical, supply and store) that appear in the same search queries an estimated 49,500 time per month worldwide and over 40,000 times monthly in the U.S. alone according to Google.
Taking into consideration the fact that all other factors being equal (including that the site in question hasn’t been spamming or using black-hat techniques), the presence of those keywords in the domain itself should give it an advantage over the competition when competing for front-page placement in the search results. Granted, there is a lot the site owner or webmaster can do to screw it up and negate such an advantage, but barring incompetence or malice on behalf of the person or people responsible for the site, a relevant, useful site containing those keywords in that order in the domain should rank ahead of a domain of equal age, equal rank, equal relevancy and equal trust for the keywords in question. The fact that the domain ends in the ‘dot com’ TLD (top level domain) doesn’t hurt either.
Granted, this is all 100% hypothetical as in real life there will likely never be two sites who are equal in every regard except the domain unless an optimization pro was conducting an experiment and deliberately set the two sites up that way.
That said, all it takes is a brief tour of the top two pages of results for relatively commonly searched two-to-four word keyword combinations to see a pattern of sites appearing high in the results that have the keywords contained within the domain itself.
TLD is a factor here. For example, my research suggests that a ‘dot COM’ will outrank a ‘dot IN’ in the United States and across the world except for maybe in India, where the ‘dot IN’ will at least be on a level playing field, if not with a slight advantage. All-in-all, I have found that .com, .net, .us and .org domains will all perform fairly well in search if marketed properly. ‘Dot Info’ domains can also rank well, but seem to be at a mild-to-moderate disadvantage compared with the others listed in the previous sentence. WS domains are still something of a mystery, as the lack of available data about the performance of otherwise solid sites renders me unable to speculate at this time about this domain extension’s potential as a premium TLD somewhere down the road.
You can view the original post about premium domains here: What is a Premium Domain Name?