Do you think you have a valuable domain name, or are you trying to buy a domain and need to know the domain name value?

Today’s video and post is on the fundamentals of domain name value and pricing. This is one of the toughest aspects in the industry, because one letter and the value of the domain name can be worth thousands more in value.  

There is no definitive formula for determining domain name value. To do a proper domain appraisal it requires an in-depth understanding of market trends, sales of comparable domain sales and industry expertise.

This article will go over several key topics to determined the estimated value:

  • My unique formula for domain valuation using search engine organic search data

  • Free domain appraisal tools

  • Comparable domain sales


What is your domain name worth?

There is no simple answer to that question, but there is a formula and method to determine a range of values for most domain names.  I have spent the last eight years in the domain name industry developing a unique process to valuing domain names.  

There are three main factors that influence the sales price of a domain name.  Think of these like levers that can be moved independently of each other but add to the value of your domain.  

The Three Pillars To Determine Domain Name Value.  

  • Raw Equity

  • Brand Equity

  • Perceived Equity


Quick clarification, this formula is based on the (.com) domain extension.   The formula still applies, but as you move to the other extensions the value becomes a fraction of the (.com) extension.  For example, if you own the (.org) top-level domain the value would be 5% to 10% of the main (.com) value. 

Ok, let’s get into the details.

Domain Name Pricing using Google AdWords 

The first thing I look at when someone presents me a domain name is the raw equity inherent in that keyword.  You can use Google AdWords or sites like Ahrefs or SEMrush. 

What I mean by this is how many people are searching for that keyword on a monthly basis.  What is the number of broad searches and exact match searches?

The broad search is when they include the keyword but add descriptive words in front or behind.

So, for example “Quilt Classes” or “High Quality Quilt” would be broad match searches.

The exact match search is just like what it sounds like.  This is the direct keyword only in search.  In this example it would be

The domain name value is typically higher in keywords that have higher exact match search volume.  This is because it shows that it is a common word or way of speaking.

You can see this value by looking at how much a company will pay to advertise on that keyword.  This is the “cost per click”

In the case of the keyword receives 49,500 exact match searches a month.  Businesses are willing to pay $1.41 for someone just to click on their link.

This shows that there is raw equity and value in the domain name

Brand Equity 

From there, the next pillar is brand equity.

Now brand equity is the life that other brands have already built into this keyword.

Brand equity is created because companies have breathed life into the keyword or phrase that your domain name represents.

The raw equity may be nothing, maybe a couple thousand dollars, but because a brand came and has built their empire on this keyword, well guess what? They’ve breathed life into that and that life is what you call brand equity.

It is the trust, the loyalty, the goodwill, the millions of dollars they have spent advertising their brand and keyword.  Now, the beauty is when you get high raw equity and you get good brand equity.  This creates a valuable domain name.

There’s several domains were brokering that have 10, 15 companies or even more companies that are all advertising and saying, “Hey, we are this brand.

Here are some questions to help you determine brand equity and your domain name value.

  • How many brands are out there?
  • How much money have they raised?
  • What’s the equity that they have into it?

That’s going to be an important part and I think the most difficult aspect of only using an automated tool like   Sometimes were they get the value wrong is they can’t put a finger on brand equity.  It is very elusive and it’s something you just have to research to find out.

Here is an example of how many businesses call themselves Carrot.

The domain name was recently acquired by a company called Carrot that was previously using the domain name

You can hear more about this domain name acquisition here .

I also did a podcast and blog post on this topic here 

The beauty of this domain name acquisition is that they now hold the leadership position for their brand.  One company had raised $30M and yet seems to have passed on owning

This is what I mean when I refer to brand equity.

Perceived Equity 

Then there’s this third pillar called perceived equity.  Perceived equity is the value a company will place on the future growth for their brand.

Now perceived equity is almost impossible, impossible to put a number on.

But there are people out there who will price their domain names at some ridiculous value because they’re going after only the people that have perceived equity.

Think about it like this, you have a serial entrepreneur, someone who’s built three or four businesses and guess what? They know that they sold their last business for a billion dollars and so they’re saying, “Listen, I sold my last three businesses for a billion dollars.”  So to spend a million dollars on this domain name is not a problem.

Although the raw equity may be worth $100,000, $150,000 I am willing to spend a million dollars because I realize that my investment is going to be worth $50 to $60 million dollars by the time I’m done.  By the way, I’ve got a billion dollars so it’s not a problem.”

The story of originally launched on the domain name  They were seeing strong sales and continued to get a massive lift after going on Shark Tank.  At some point Jamie (CEO) realized he needed to upgrade their brand and domain name.  They were planning on scaling beyond just the door.  He decided to go with a premium domain and rebrand to

They spent a million dollars to buy the domain name  When he sold his company, he has valued that at over 50 million dollars when he sold it for a billion dollars to Amazon.

Now, if you’re anywhere in retail you know that Amazon could have picked the phone up, called up China and said, “Hey, knock me off every single product in a week and we’re going to go head-to-head with,” with their own brand.

They could have done that overnight, no problem.  They could have put a billion dollars into marketing that, but here’s the thing that had.  They had momentum and equity and they had a solid foundation, a solid user base.

They were close to the category king, as far as the share that they had in the marketplace.

So perceived value, it was worth 50 million dollars.

This is his first rodeo going through this, but what do you think next time as he builds his next company?  What do you think he’s going to do?

He’s going to be like, “Hey, last time our purchase was worth 50 million dollars for me easily, not including the other intangibles.” He’s going to most likely put money down to get the best position and domain name he possibly can acquire.

The Real Estate Example

Perceived value is what moves the market.  For example, you have a plot of land, let’s say 20 acres.  A real estate developer comes along to you and says, “Hey, I’ll give a premium on the market because I can put 40 houses on this land.  I’ve done this multiple times and in multiple cities.

It’s could be a good property.” Okay, so they’re going to give you above and beyond what it’s worth. Maybe you don’t even have it on the market yet, right, so there’s not even a price out there for this property.

Now, the difficulty for domain owners is that they may get a million dollar offer and and think  this is what my domain name is worth.  But the problem is that the perfect buyer with the highest perceived equity may only come around once.

I spoke to person who had a one-word domain that had received an offer for $3M at one point years ago.  He turned it down not even to see a high six figure offer again.

I think the domain value was worth maybe mid to low six figures.

Market trends also impact this bucket I call perceived equity.  For example, when Bitcoin was $100 domain names with Bitcoin where barely selling.

When Bitcoin reached $15,000, domain names with Bitcoin, Coin and Crypto where extremely valuable.


Don’t get over optimistic on perceived equity. 

The reality is most quality domain names sell in the $1,000 to $3,000 range. This is what these startups perceive as the domain value. 

You can watch my video on this here –

For more stories on how market trends impact domain prices listen to my daily podcast here –


The Best Domain Appraisal Service To Use

We recommend using domain appraisal services only as a general direction of a domain’s worth.  The issue with most domain name appraisal tools are that they are based off of estimated search volume which is outdated.  Do not use an auto appraisal tool if you do not understand the three pillars I discuss above.  

While they are many appraisal tools, we recommend only using

How does work?

  • relies on a statistically derived model to calculate the value of a domain name based on over one hundred internal and external domain attributes. The model is updated continuously to reflect the latest market trends.

  • Internal attributes include domain name length, extensions, word count, pronunciation and other characteristics directly linked to a specific domain. External attributes refer to third party data such as a domain’s search popularity, type-in rank. age and much more

  • The characteristics of a specific domain name are then compared to those of previously sold domain names and the valuation is based on that comparison.

What makes different than other valuation services?

Estibot’s unique approach to domain valuations is based on actual sales rather than estimates. They use proprietary algorithms to determine the value of each domain. The algorithm accounts for things like the age of the domain, the number of links pointing to it, and the amount paid per year for the domain.

The algorithm is constantly being updated to reflect changes in the marketplace.

Use this tool to see directionally what your domain is worth.  It is not to be used as a hard number on the value of your domain name. 


The best domain appraisal tool to use.


Do different domain extensions impact domain name value?

There are now over a thousand domain name extensions.  Some of these include .club, .online, .store, .blog, .network, .site, .info, .design.  These related domains have value but only a fraction of what the (.com) domain name is worth. 

Are shorter domains more valuable?

Short domain names are typically more valuable domains than longer domains.  Longer domain names can be harder to spell and remember, but it depends on the right keywords.  Use my proprietary formula above to determine the value of your domain name. 

The type of domain name and use case impacts domain value.

How the domain name will also increase or decrease the value.  The four strategies of domain names are brand, sub-brand, marketing and defensive.  The value will always be higher for brandable and sub-brand domains. 

Does domain age impact the value of a domain name?

Older domain names are considered more valuable for several reasons.  They are typically one word or stronger worded domain names and could possibly have a valuable back links profile. 

How do domain name investors value domains?

Domain investors will typically value a domain name at twenty to forty percent of the end user value.  There is a healthy domain investor market if you need quick liquidity. 

Does domain name authority impact a domains worth?

Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score that gives a measure of how successful a site is when it comes to search engine results (  The value increases with higher domain authority. 

What is the most expensive domain name ever sold? could be the most expensive domain name sold.  Other domain name sales included the website, traffic and revenue. 

Will domain names increase in value?

Yes, premium domain names have consistently increased in value.  They have been one of the best asset classes to invest in over the last twenty years. The demand for premium domains continues to rise while supply is limited.

How much should I spend on a domain?

The value of the domain name to your company may not be the same value as the domain name.  Think about the increase in traffic, customer acquisition and profit your brand will achieve with the perfect domain name.

What is the best paid domain appraisal service?

How much is your domain worth? MediaOptions is considered an expert on the subject of domain name valuation and domain appraisal.  We will do a detailed domain report  detailing your domain name’s value. 

How do you find recent comparable domain name sales?

Visit these sites to see recent domain sales (,,


The foundation to selling your premium domain name is to understand the domain name value and pricing it correctly.

We look at domain name values in three different major buckets that all come together towards a price and value range for a domain name.

Here are the three pillars to domain value:

The first pillar is to determine the raw equity of a domain name.  How is the keyword used in the everyday way we speak and interact?  Also, determine how much companies are willing to spend advertising on that keyword (Cost per click).

The second pillar is the brand equity that has been built around that keyword.  Is there a brand that is spending millions of dollars advertising around that keyword.  This momentum and equity is the life that a brand breaths into the keyword and can elevate the domain name value.

The third pillar is the perceived equity and market trends.  For most of the quality domain names there is a perfect buyer that will make the best offer on your domain name.  This is almost impossible to predict but can produce some of the top domain name sales.  If you get this wrong you may walk away from the perfect offer on your domain name.

Please reach out, if you have any questions on domain valuation and think you have premium domain name.

You can find more information about our brokerage services here