Woolworths buys hardware.com.au for $33,000, as domain market heats up

The domain name market in Australia is heating up as SEO competition becomes even more fierce and the number of innovative URLs being created dwindles, one expert says, following a move by Woolworths to buy hardware.com.au for over $33,000.

David Lye, who heads up domain name registrar Netfleet, says the purchase comes just a few days after CurrencyCoverter.com.au was sold for over $27,500. He says businesses are searching more than ever for established domains to help them rank well in Google.

“The market is pretty hot at the moment. So you have Woolworths buying the hardware domain name, which is a record for an expired domain, and then the new domain selling for that amount, it suggests the market is travelling well.”

Woolworths grabbed the Hardware.com.au domain through Drop.com.au, and will use it to direct customers to the company’s new chain of hardware stores, which are being constructed through a joint venture with US chain Lowe’s. The company has said that it keeps an eye on expired domain names from time to time.

Lye says the price of $33,333 is a record for an expired domain and that as competition for Google rankings becomes even more essential for businesses, prices will only keep increasing.

“There’s a bit of a realisation among the mainstream public that there are just a handful of domains that have real value.”

“But right now, getting to the top of Google has been more competitive, trying to promote your brand is increasing hard and a great way to improve your chances is through a top domain name.”

The domain name market has certainly heated up over the past few years. Last year SexToys.com.au sold for over $25,500, while FressStuff.com.au and Mortgage.net.au have sold for $18,700 and $13,500 respectively within the last 24 months.

Other major sales include Reid.com.au for $14,300, Forster.com.au for $11,000 and WebDesign.com.au for $10,000. But Lye says these will only become more expensive and that businesses should move quickly if they want to get a good deal.

“To get a great deal, businesses need to choose the right name. There are certain rules you should follow – is the domain name memorable? You want people to actually recall it when they tell people about it.”

“There are also other points you should follow, such as, don’t use domain names that are particularly hard to spell, because you risk having that customer not come back to you. People pay big dollars for these types of names, and you need to get them right.”

Lye says businesses should consider buying a well-established domain, but only if they feel they can bring some quality content to it.

“If you get to number one in Google, you’ve got a site that is possibly getting thousands of hits a month. If there’s a domain name that is getting that amount of traffic, then it’s worth looking at it.”

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