8 Tips For Finding Good Domain Names

Technically, we can move all traffic and search engine juice from one domain to another. But in long run, domain acts like your brand name so choosing a good domain early is always wise even if you need spend some time for it. So listing in this post 8 points one can consider to find good domain name.

good-domain-name1Technically, we can move all traffic and search engine juice from one domain to another. But in long run, domain acts like your brand name so choosing a good domain early is always wise even if you need spend some time for it.

As we started our blog-network recently, one mammoth task I am facing these days is finding good domain names for more than 20 blogs scheduled to launch over next few months!

So listing below are some points we consider here at rtCamp. Not all points can be argued, but I will try to be reasonable as much as possible. Also do not forget to read summary at the end of this post.

1. Top-Level domain name must be .COM

I said must because in-general people confuse internet with .COM.Β  Number of people who knows CTRL+ENTER shortcut key to add .COM automatically are much more than number of people who knows shortcut for .ORG and .NET domains.

We in our brainstorming session here at rtCamp, mercilessly discard all non .COM domain suggestions. Just for clarification, search engines don’t care which domain name you are using.

2. It must not contain any hyphen (-) character or numbers

Domain name must not contain any hyphen or digits as you need to convey their presence explicitly to other people.

There are some exceptions though. Like blog about wordpress often start with “wp-” in their domain name. Similarly, some numbers like 16, 69, 007 can be counted towards exceptions.

Still, its good bet to avoid these hyphen and numbers.

3. Length of domain name

Shorter is better without a doubt. But sometime few extra characters can make things better.

Compare makeuse.com and makeuseof.com. Even though later is longer by 2 characters, combined with “.com” makes it better choice.

Still, if you want to put a limit on length, try not to exceed 15 character.Β  Longer domains will make – (a) your user type more (b) permalinks getting chopped off in Google search results and elsewhere. Second point may act slightly negatively for you.

Check following screenshots for Google search query #one and #two.



4. Do not abuse natural spelling of words

Most people, can not resist generic words like tech, tips, trick. As these are quite common words, chances of finding any good domain which fits in above mentioned criteria are very less.

So what people usually do they often come with innovative spelling like tek, trix, tipz and so on. Only problem is you have to explain everytime how to spell your domain name.

So avoid such innovative spellings and SMS lingos.

5. Make sure your domain covers topic of website

Blogs and websites, targeting a niche audience takes this point seriously. Others can ignore this completely.

We have OrkutFeeds (a service) and OrkutDiary (a blog), both dedicated for Orkut audience. So naturally it makes sense to have keyword Orkut in their domain name. Next, for OrkutDiary, which is a blog, having Orkut in domain name gives slight benefit on search engines’ side. Please note my highlighting of word slight.

Coming back to this domain DevilsWorkshop only, it neither represent devil nor it run any workshop! And I do not regret my choice as it help this domain stand out from large crowd of tech-something kind of domains.

6. Importance of domain’s history

First you can check any domains history by going to archive.org. You can see DevilsWorkshop history here.

When I brought this domain in 2007, I had no clue about archive.org or any knowledge regarding history of domain names. First time I checked DevilsWorkshop.org’s history, I was shocked to see someone was planning to use this domain to host porn between year 2002-2004.

I guess I was lucky because there were 2 years time when this domain was down, before I purchased it. 2 years of downtime is enough to get wiped out from search engines’ index completely .

Still, to be sure on search engines side, I suggest you to Google for queries like “site:domain.com” and “link:domain.com” where domain.com is domain you are planning to purchase. Ideally, both queries should return no results. (More about special Google queries)

In any case, if domain was used but remained unknown, there is no harm to use it. There is no full-proof way to know if a domain is really blocked or blacklisted. Moreover, you can file reinclusion request to Google if your domain gets banned using Google’s webmaster tools. You can also use Google’s webmaster tools to request removal of particular URL’s from Google’s index.

As far as archive.org is concerned, you can request them to remove old copies of your domain. Process requires some legal paperwork but its not that hard. I am just too lazy to do that.

7. Use right tools to speed up your search

Its good to have right tools which can help you search more domains. Ability to search many domains at once save your time. Such tools also help you try more alternatives.

My favorite one is GoDaddy’s bulk domain checker. There are many advanced tools but I use GoDaddy and I am mostly looking for .COM domains so GoDaddy’s tool is good for me. If you want more options and control, try bustaname.

If you are looking for ma.tt or del.icio.us like domains, its better to use domain hack tool.

8.Β  Do not think much about a domain before registering it

Unless you have lots of money to waste in buying highly priced parked domains, its better not to think more about a domain name which you haven’t yet registered. Register first and then start thinking about how to shape it!

GoDaddy’s bulk order tool help me here. I just paste all domain suggestion I get in it blindly. I add some more from my side to it. Then I hit search button and finally I look after those domain names are available for registration.

If you think too much about a domain which you haven’t yet registered, you not only waste your time but also weaken your chances to find a good domain. So stop your brain form thinking in direction which already met dead-end!


Above covers points and tools I use myself and always recommend. They all together may sound too much of work and some points may seem contradictory too.

So to make things simple for yourself, first finalize purpose of your website. Point #5 above explains how purpose can dictate your choice!

In the end above are mere conventions. Its good idea to think twice before choosing a domain name. But don’t keep thinking forever.

As time passes, content and uniqueness of site take over domain names and all SEO tactics.

If you have any nice input, feel free to share. I hope this answer you quesion Gagan. πŸ™‚


Jatin Sapra April 1, 2009

Thanks Rahul πŸ™‚ would remember these point for my next domain

Gagan April 1, 2009

Hey thanks a lot Rahul.

You cleared all my doubts and I learn a lot from this post. This post covers all the points I needed, so no need to got to any place for any query !!

Thanks again.


Pavan Kumar April 1, 2009

I have few points in relation with point 6. If you are buying a domain, it will be DROPPED by the day the registering period is over, and it will be held with the registrar for some time which I think is 30 or 45 days.

In this period of time, google wipes off everything from its index. Also, google wiping will immediately take effect as soon as the domain is dropped. I know a friend who lost all his traffic when he forgot to renew the domain, and when he renewed after it was dropped, it took some time for him to gain back the traffic and index.

So, if you are registering as a third party, other than the previous owner, you will be registering after some period of time by which time the google is definitely empty with index.

One benefit with old domains is the backlinks they carry, but if the backlinks are non related, its of no use for anyone.

What say?

Rahul Bansal April 1, 2009

Nice inputs buddy. πŸ™‚

Regarding backlinks…
First those who are pointing to homepage will remain intact. Internal pages links most likely will be broken.
Also as content may change significantly, Google and other search engine may find them less useful on “relevancy” scale.

Gautam April 1, 2009

Nice tips!

Harsh Agrawal April 3, 2009

Though if back link is irrelevant but if sent from an authority site, it will a gold mine.
People actually pay for such backlink…
but if it is sent to homepage without any keyword, it will be great
but if sent using keyword then it will be a loss.
So before buying a domain, make sure one should do proper research.

Meanwhile going for a brand name like “labnol” and such words which are no meaning and no search result, will be great for branding purpose.

Puneet April 6, 2009

Very useful and informative article. Will surely keep these tips in ind while buying a domain

Anshul Dixit November 9, 2009

I want to buy a domain for my site. I was looking for .com but its already taken. Shall I go for .info, .net, or .co.in domains ?? Which among these is the best ??

aks December 15, 2009

thank u for sharing. this one the interesting article which i read related to domain. thanks again for this.

TomJanneck February 20, 2010

I appreciate the information you post. Being new at acquiring a domain name means I seek guidance in this department. Glad I came across your knowledge.



Ankur February 25, 2010

I have a basic question. If I opted for .co.in or .in domain for my blog, will the traffic be limited to that of India. I reckon answer it’s NO! But still, can you clear the difference?

sourishnath March 6, 2010

nice aricle , but as short names are hard to find , i would suggest a long one .

Rajeel April 3, 2010

I wish if this post had been published before i choosed my domain…. Anyway, my domain too satisfy all these advices, i think. So i don’t have anything to Cry off πŸ™‚

This post will be a great resource for newbies. Sure πŸ˜›

jai prakash May 17, 2010

I think search engine don’t care about name of domain .But we have to take user friendly name which can define our blog very easily……nice post for all.

John Daly June 4, 2010

“I think search engine don’t care about name of domain” . I can develop a domain name for a competitive keyword and be on the front page of Google within weeks or less. PurchaseDomains.com I put up and it was on the front page within a week and a half competing with Godaddy.com.