International Association of Certified Domain-Appraisers

To determine an accurate valuation of a domain name or portfolio of domains, a CDA relies upon a variety of factors including, but not limited to (similar name and types of sites, length of site name, readability, keywords, search results, brand appeal, history, spelling and marketability), to name a few. Also, the CDA must give weight to the marketing strategies and vertical marketing influences the domain(s) or portfolio utilizes.

Valuations are based upon industry standard practices as outlined below, as well as utilizing any previous valuations on either the domain itself or the portfolio (if available). The following factors are all critical to the valuation:

  • Top-Level Domain (TLD) – Is the domain(s) TLDs?
  • Popularity and Traffic – Is the domain(s) popular and/or does it have high traffic?
  • Brandability – Is the domain(s), individually and/or collectively, contain all the elements for successful branding?
  • Spelling – Is the domain(s) correctly spelled?
  • Length – Is the domain(s), length short or easy-to-remember, in accordance with industry standards?
  • Comps – Just like an appraisal of a property in real estate, the domain(s) in Cyberestate, need comparable for proper valuations. Domain names that have been sold previously that are similar to the domain(s) being appraised, need to be compared to both public and private sales, as well as public auctions on sites such as SEDO & GoDaddy Auctions as the industry standard for such info.
  • Keywords – Does the domain(s) contain keywords that foster positive cost-per-click results?
  • History and backlink profile – Does the domain(s) have a CLEAR URL history?
  • Number of search results – Does the domain(s) have repeated monthly searches?
  • Generic and brand appeal – Is the domain(s) easy to remember and will it continue to hold value?
  • Marketability – Does the domain(s) have certain marketability from one or more channels?
  • Market Trends – Does the domain(s) conform to current or future market trends?

Additionally, the domain name valuation process should cross-reference all criteria into the anatomy and history of the URLs, and then further be determined by the specific type of valuation as described below.

Types of Domain Name Valuations

Retail Pricing

Retail Pricing – Domain names that are offered by domainers, to end-users. These buyers are typically the ones that benefit the most from owning the digital real estate. They have a clear use, and understanding for the URL, and have conducted due-diligence and effective research on the opportunity.

Liquid Pricing

Domain names that are being unloaded by an owner, bankruptcy, or court-filing. They are typically sold in a lot—or as a portfolio. Most of the liquid inventory is sold by private companies or independent domain brokers. Liquid pricing is usually 20-30 percent of the total retail price. There are very few opportunities in the marketplace around the liquid pricing structure.

Investor Pricing

Domain names that are offered by domainers, typically looking to turn-over inventory. Most investor-priced domains could be acquired via Auction or directly between domainers in the space. Sometimes, domainers trade with other investors or become partners on certain domain names with other like-minded domainers. Investor pricing is usually 40-60 percent of retail.