I Call BS: A Category Killer Domain Hasn’t Lost Value, It Gives You More Authority Than Ever

May 27 2011

I don’t care what anyone says.  Category killer domains have more value than ever.  The reason is simple, regardless of where they rank in Google, in the eyes of consumers, the person that owns that domain is the authority in that category.

I keep reading articles about Google lowering the weight, yet I am still seeing the keyword domains dominating the front pages.  Sure they may lower the weight a little but there will ALWAYS be some sort of extra weight to the keyword domains.  Why? Because Google is based on keywords.  The entire business model is based on finding keywords.  If your company IS the keyword then Google is going to find that keyword all over your site. They are going to find that keyword in every link to your site.  Mattress.com has the word mattress in 99% of the links because that is their name.

What I believe you are going to see drop off the list are the made for Google sites.  Sites that have keywords but no guts.  The real businesses that use major keywords dot com as a brand are thriving and are actually becoming even more valuable as the Internet is littered with more junk sites and new tlds.   As Google culls out the wannabes it will leave the real businesses to rule the roost. I want Google to get rid of all the minisites and spam sites.  I want Google users to see a site with a keyword domain and know that it is going to be a real site with real information or products. Then I can use my domain to dominate even more.  I want them to search for a keyword, see my site IS the keyword and assume that I must be the leader in the field since I own the keyword.  I have an immediate advantage over all my competitors. They may not know the brand names but they sure as hell know what they were searching for and that’s my name.

So forget all that bull you hear about Google dropping the weight.  If you are in this to start a real business you are golden.  You’re in a better spot than ever to dominate a category.  You want to sell a company? I can’t think of a better multiplier to a sale price than including a category dominating domain.  Get it to the first page of Google and you’re going to make some money, real money.  So keep reading, keep believing, but most importantly, sell me your dot com cheap, real cheap.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Mark

    Spot on Shane!

    If one views the original video that Matt Cutts spoke on, he says the adjustment will be a little. He does not say that exact match domains will be completely wiped out.

  2. Obama

    Very true Shane. Let the good times roll! Domain prices are getting ready to explode in the next three to five years. Count on it. 🙂

  3. Domain Michael

    true, the key is the real business is for consumer, not for google and consumer will always value the .com and give it more recognition, search engines have no choice but to fallow what consumer wants.

  4. John

    Last week I researched a bunch of RV dealers from a poorly updated well aged directory. My take away was that the lion’s share of out-of-business dealerships had a crap domain.

  5. Earl Naegele

    Nailed it Shane!

    BS is right.

    The BS you are speaking about was from an SEO expert. Huh, can you say justifying your services?

    WTS, obviously SEO is a legitimate expertise, however, so is being recognized as credible.

    When the keyword is the category, doesn’t that have credibility to Google and the public, or not?


  6. qualitysites

    Hane you could have stopped at the first paragraph. What matters id the CONSUMERS and what they think, Not Google. All this google/search engine reverence is making me sick. Search Engines follow people. Build a site/business for the people and the SE’s will be all over you. Yes, its that simple.

    1. Post author


      I don’t take any advice from anyone with a yahoo email address. Especially a domain investor. My Grandma called. She wants her email address back

  7. Eric Borgos

    I agree. The SEO value of a domain is only part of what it is worth. It is just like how you can’t base the value of a business or website on its income. Many sites make no money and have bad domain but still sell for millions. It all depends on what the buyer is looking for. In the past 2 years I have sold over $2 million dollars in domains that I owned, none of which made more than a few hundred dollars a year and 95% of which made less than the annual registration fee.

  8. Chris

    I think that the domains still hold their weight in the long run. The only problem comes into play when your business model depends on only organic Google traffic for revenue and you’re in an industry like landscaping. Basically local results are going to dominate and the fact is more and more searchers are using a local modifier when they search.

    Category killers still have the branding that is bar none. Although you can’t just throw up a website on a great domain and rank almost immediately any more, a great domain still says a lot about you and your business.

    If you’re depending on Google as the only marketing tool for your business for mostly local dominated search terms then you’ve probably had to make some business changes. Word to the wise, you can’t depend on Google for much, especially not to make changes that will drastically impact your business and your bottom line, cough Mahalo.

  9. theo

    Like mentioned before depending on Google is a bad business model..Sure it brings in tons of leads.

    A domain is unique .

    Just imagine your in some kinda conference and your telling your new maybe client your email address


    I did leave out the @ on purpose.. Yet we all know the first example gets regged and we all know why it fails… And you can spend tons of SEO to make it right while you could have spend way less to make it right.

    Combining your company name with what you do works great. Word of mouth will get you really far.

    My car runs on LPG. Yeah i pay around 8 USD for a gallon of gas so i went LPG.. wich costs me around 2.54 USD. I had problems with the injection. So my regular mechanic tells me to get it repaired with this and this guy. He used his company name and LPG. Blam first page on google and i am gonna get it fixed next tuesday

    A two word domain and he gets my money. Would he put in all hypens and put in a geo location i am not sure if i would have found the company. I extended the search and i did not like the results.

    It’s that simple.

  10. Virtual Assistant - Richy!

    I agree with you Shane that keywords in domain will have authority but domain owners should do some justification to properties they own. Over 80% of domains are mere a parking page where as if they add a content rich website, will increase it’s visibility.

    Aaron wrote the fantastic post on category killer domains, he raises lots of valid points. Still keyword domains are best buy today.

  11. LS Morgan

    It’s worth being deliberate in distinguishing a category defining descriptive .com from everything else- particularly keyword domains in lesser TLDs that don’t wholly define an industry or a hobby or an interest- but are more targeting potentially lucrative search strings for the innate SEO boost.
    We all own them. I certainly own a few.

    The question is; is the exact match boost boost offered in the engines- and the income uptick associated with being (X) more competitive in that keyword space by way of employing an exact matching .us or .info- a reasonable multiple of the asking prices a lot of domainers believe its worth based on its SE signaling potential?

    I think we have to disregard the opinions of domainers who don’t know shit about either development or search engines- so, there goes 95% of them.

    Save for the search engineers at G- who aren’t talking- no one knows for certain just what the exact math is, in terms of how relevant an exact matching domain is to search. IF we did, then valuing them based on SE relevance would be easy.

    All we can do is go by what we see. In noncompetitive keyword spaces, an exact matching domain can be all that’s needed, like planting a tree in the woods that no one will ever see as it stands, nor hear when it falls…

    In heavily competitive spaces, exact match can be a competitive advantage in organics, but it doesn’t mean jack shit without significant development and a meaningful SEO effort. How does that exact match domain boost value itself when the effort required to get to Page 1 in the organics is already at $100K for a grayhat campaign and a two year soak?

    Nothing Google does is going to have much of an impact on whatever value is baked in to Jobs.com, but G has a colossal impact on the value drivers of “JobsInOklahoma.info”, since the latter only exists for one purpose and the branding dynamics that drive so much of .com’s value aren’t present there.

    A category defining descriptive .com is a loaded cannon.
    A search string matching .(anything else) is a bullet without a gun.

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