Domain Name Appraisal Services and Domain Name Values

As you might recall, a while back I talked about Leapfish, the world’s fastest search engine. Now, Leapfish has brought back a popular feature of their site, their domain name appraisal service. Type a domain name into their search engine and they will attempt to put a dollar figure on it, telling you how much it’s worth.

leapfish search results

From what I can tell, it appears that Leapfish is figuring out (estimating) the amount of traffic you have to your site, putting a price on each visitor, and then doing a quick calculation. As a domain name expert myself, I have to admit that there is definitely value in traffic: but when you’re calculating the true value of a domain name you have to take in account other factors.

That’s where I disagree with Leapfish. I know they want to put a value on a domain name and it’s helpful to be able to find out how much your domain name is worth. But, to really know how much your domain name is worth, a human, someone with experience in the domain name industry, needs to put the value on the name: no computer program can give you a true estimated value of a name.

Besides, isn’t the value of a domain name really only what someone is willing to pay for it?

One of the main factors I would add to the price of a domain name is the potential revenue of that domain name over it’s entire lifetime. Potentially that could be 50 years of revenue. You see, if you were to purchase that domain name and even park it at a Domain Parking service like Fabulous (yes, I know they’re not only a domain parking service, they’re a great registrar, too), then how much would that domain name make in 50 years? What if you were to develop that domain name, put great content on it, have top search engine rankings for it’s best keyword phrase, and soforth? How much would that domain name make? Well, in my professional opinion, as an online marketing, website marketing, social media, SEO, and domain name expert, that’s really what a domain name is worth.

And yes, if you’re interested in my professional opinion, you can hire me to appraise your domain name.

Let’s get back to Leapfish and what they say about their domain name appraisal service that’s now integrated into their search engine. Here’s a recent press release forwarded to me about their domain name appraisal service:

“LeapFish, the only online search portal to deliver the best of the web in a click-free search, today announced the re-launch of its popular free domain name appraisal service at LeapFish.com. Due to high consumer and fan demand, the search engine has revamped the domain appraisal system and released a far more attractive version to users.

“The new domain appraisal service utilizes a complex proprietary valuation algorithm that considers length, traffic, age, link popularity and many other factors,” said Behzad Behrouzi, Director of Product for LeapFish.com. “As a result, the new service is far more accurate then the previous version that was offered years ago.”

The domain name appraisal service is initiated through the search engine’s existing search field and returns instantaneous valuation results. Users are able to learn more about each valuation by clicking on the valuation dollar figure in LeapFish’s right hand side results set.

“We’ve received a tremendous number of requests to bring back the domain appraisal system and so we did,” said Ben Behrouzi, CEO of LeapFish. “Our robust valuation engine will kick in anytime someone enters in a domain name in the search engine’s search field.”

Prior to its acquisition by DotNext Inc, LeapFish.com served as a valuable and popular domain name appraisal system. The LeapFish.com domain name was acquired by DotNext Inc. for utilization in the development and release of a next generation search engine that works to capture the variety of the web as you type. LeapFish now offers a free, quick and robust domain name appraisal widget as part of its growing arsenal of unique search data integrations.

To find out what your domain is worth, visit www.leapfish.com and enter your domain in the search bar.”

Let’s take, for example, a domain name that’s a generic domain name, like www.LocalHomeBuilders.com. (By the way, that’s a domain name that I used to own.) There are a fair amount of searches every month for that phrase, and even more for “home builders”.

estibot-local-home-builders

What does Estibot.com say that the domain name is worth? $560. That’s probably about right, at least it’s a reasonable guess for an automated tool. I probably would put the domain name at about $5000, though, considering the fact that if it were to be built out and developed, it would make at least several hundred dollars a year (i.e., Google Adsense, advertising, affiliate program revenues).

leapfish-localhomebuilders-value

What does Leapfish say about the domain name value? $12. Huh? That’s actually LESS than what Network Solutions charges to register a domain name. Granted, I have to admit that it appears that Leapfish is only relying on traffic data to estimate the value of a domain name. But really! You have to put in other factors into your calculation if you’re going to say what the real value of a domain name is.

I have to admit that I kind of like what estibot.com is doing when it comes to appraising a domain name in an automated fashion. There are a lot of factors that should go into the value of a domain name. And I don’t really think any automated tool can give you the true value of a domain name, that has to be left up to a human.

Comments

  1. Lanyard Badge Holder says

    Interesting post. I’m not involved with website appraisal or anything but I would have to agree with what you wrote. There are many factors besides website traffic that should have a say in a domain names price. As you mention, the potential revenue the site could make over time should be a factor and a big factor as well I believe.

  2. IrishWonder says

    Bill,

    Actually besides the traffic value (which is badly wrong to consider of course as most domainers never deal with actual live sites getting traffic but with bare domain names), they also take into account the domain name length – and that is where it gets screwed up. By this logic, jgfdhb.com would be of a higher value than your localhomebuilders – but this method does not care about the keywords value – which makes all the difference between these two names. We have been working on an automated domain evaluation system as well for our internal purposes – but its logic includes splitting domain names into keywords and getting the search volume for these keywords, to mention only one point.

  3. Polish beer says

    This was very interesting. I had never really thought about how much a domain name could be sold for or purchased for. I checked my website’s domain and it’s worth $100! I don’t think I would pay $100 for it now because I got it for $10… Wonder why the price went up. Regards!

  4. Jason says

    I find it hard to put my faith in any software related apprasial. There are too many outside factors involved for a piece of software to be able to accurately appraise a domain name value

  5. Chairs and Barstools says

    Thank you for posting about LeapFish. I wasn’t aware of the website. Thanks again.

  6. Ngoc says

    Domain appraisal by other systems are flawed, they only consider extension, they consider length but not words, they consider google results but not google searches, they do not even consider categories, the economies, and market conditions.

    For the most accurate domain appraisals, at http://www.ITS.Asia we consider all the relevant factors to give you the closest prices to market. Ie. Try LLL.com at ITS.Asia and choose between, its word, pronounciable, or acronyms or something else and you will get different values which are market values. Accurate and fast. Try it

  7. Bubba says

    “Value is in the eye of the beholder”. It all depends on timing and being in the right place at the right time. You hold until the right buyer comes along and that will determine the value of the domain in many cases.

  8. SteaveAndrew says

    Hey I like Your posting. The LeapFish search engine and its click-free search seems interesting. I had never think of Website appraisal and don’t know how to calculate value for any domain, but this will help me. . This feature is amazing. Good idea. Thanks Leapfish.

  9. Pet Professional says

    These domain appraisals are more trouble than they are worth if you were to rely on them. I always believed the value of a product is only the value someone is willing to pay for it in an arm’s length sale. Arm’s length sales meaning no coercion, no extra benefit except the benefit derived from the product.

  10. Elsie Bridge says

    Wow, just stumbled on this post and I’ve just checked out a load of domains and I’m in the money. THanks for pointing this out, I’m selling a load now!