What If The Domain Name I Want Is Not Available?

  • There are good places to buy and bad
  • How can you tell the difference?
  • What I use

Not being able to purchase the domain you want is very frustrating. I know from experience. mattsteele.com has been ‘squatted’ on since 2001 according to ICANN, who manages domain records. Each year when the name comes up for renewal I sit and wait for it to expire so that I can finally take what’s rightfully mine. I even have a calendar reminder set.

Despite the frustration, not owning the exact domain you want is becoming irrelevant.

The increasing power of Google

In the past, your domain name DID matter. Do you have the .com, or maybe just the .net? Does your name have the dreaded hyphen in it (as mine does)? These used to be able to make or break your discoverability on the web. Luckily this is no longer the case.

Search engines have grown up a lot over the years and have gotten much smarter. Whether your domain is ‘toms-drycleaners.com’ or ‘tomsdrycleaners.net’ it really doesn’t matter anymore. The old adage is now more true than ever before: If you’re publishing good, consistent content, Google will reward you.

But I REALLY need that domain

If you really have your heart set on a certain domain though, there are services out there that could help you snag the one you want. The key to this working out though is being patient as the expiration dates comes closer and closer. The other option is to simply offer whoever owns the domain some. How much? I’ve seen domains moved for as little as $20 ( and as much as a few million).

Bottom Line

Don’t worry too much about your domain name. Instead, focus on creating great content that will drive visitors to your site. If you REALLY have to have the perfect domain, you can have it for a price, either in money or time.

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