Biggest cash sale of a domain – Porn.com

By | May 18, 2007

Porn.com yesterday sold for about $9.5 million with the sale being brokered by Moniker. That is a mega sale, the biggest domain sale so far in Web history as far as a cash transaction is concerned. The domain was bought by MXN Ltd, an Internet media firm. Details are of course a little sketchy, as with most huge transactions like this. But have no doubt about the kinds of prices these domains command. The sales price is believed to be 5-6 times it’s annual revenue, which means it was a huge revenue earner to start with.

The biggest sale in dollar figures (partly funded by a bank) was Sex.com that went for $12 million in 2005, adding another statement on behalf of those that stand by the byline, “Sex Sells”. 🙂

If you look at the trends for the past couple of years, domain names are getting bigger. Last year, it was Diamonds.com at $7.5 million at Sedo. The increasing digits may have more to do with increasing awareness amongst non Web savvy people who also happen to be affluent, or companies realizing the importance of having a suitable domain to acquire for their business.

99% of existing domains do not command such high prices because of one reason alone, namely traffic. The domain Porn.com likely receives tens of thousands of visits a day, basically from type-ins. This is the kind of domain that doesnt require any linking and any advertizing, because it is all free traffic. It doesn’t need Google or Yahoo or MSN to give it traffic.

What others spend thousands to acquire (traffic), it gets for free from the thousands of people looking for porn and typing “porn.com” into their browsers every single day. By the way, “porn” and “sex” are the top searched terms on the Web, so it’s only natural…I guess.

Now what domain would be worth many billions? Google.com of course! So don’t despair if your domain is not so “valuable”. Development raises the value of a domain by many notches. For the non webmasters, “development” means to make a website out of your domain, and making it the best there is, so that it acquires mass mindshare.

It doesn’t matter too much what your name is. Google.com was not worth anything when it started out, nobody even knew what the term google meant (it comes from “googol;” a number 1 followed by 100 zeros), but now everyone knows “Google” because of the public mindshare it has cultivated over the years! In fact it is becoming synonymous with, “searching for something online” in the minds of many people. How many times you heard someone say, “If you can’t find it, try googling it”?

Now, time for a Google valuation… $150-200 billion is my guess.

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