All the Good Ones Have Been Taken -- In Domain Names, Too


It's hardly secret knowledge, though perhaps only Dennis Forbes has seen it in all its glory.

There are roughly 47 million domain names that end with ".com," making that space the biggest and most prestigious piece of real estate on the Internet. Getting a URL listed as a dot-com involves, ultimately, checking in with a database at Verisign, the Mountain View, Calif., company that keeps tabs on the dot-com world, the way your state's DMV knows about which cars have which license plates.

If you know who at Verisign to ask, you can get the complete dot-com list. Mr. Forbes, an analyst at Vastardis Capital Services, a New York mutual-fund service company, got it and has since made a hobby of studying the list, something he does in his spare time. He has, in the process, become the world's pre-eminent domainologist.

His findings ought to be relevant to aspiring Web entrepreneurs everywhere. For the rest of us, they are an amusement. (Registering a dot-com domain costs around $9 a year. After the initial registration period is purchased, you have to re-register the name or risk losing it to someone else.)

Most people trying to do business online will tell you that the good domain names are already taken. Mr. Forbes's research proves them out. For example, for every possible two-character and three-character combination -- including both letters and numbers -- all possible domains are taken. Virtually all English words with four letters are claimed; those that aren't are usually contractions, and Web rules don't allow apostrophes.

All of the 1,000 most common English words have been snatched up. The word "a" appears more than any other, though most of the time, of course, it's just a letter in a longer word. The least-used common word is "consonant," Mr. Forbes says, which is in just 42 domains, including "," which isn't a misspelling but a word game.

formatting link

Reply to
Monty Solomon
Loading thread data ... Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.