When buying a domain name I recommend always trying to get a .com name. People naturally see the .com website as the authority and if they are typing in your web address they will often type .com out of habit. You can still be very successful buying a .net or .org domain name, I just recommend getting a .com.
There are 3 reasons you should consider buying an existing domain name. I don’t mean going to a domain registrar like Actnowdomains.com and registering a new never before registered domain. This is something you should and will do most of the time. I mean buying a domain name that someone else has registered but they are selling the name.
First, if your heart is set on a certain name and you don’t think that you can do business with any other name then you should try to buy the domain name from whoever owns it.
The second reason to buy an existing domain name is to take advantage of any previous link popularity the domain has. Many domains that are up for sale used to be active websites that were promoted by their webmasters. Many of these old websites obtained many links pointing to their site and although the site has since shut down the links remain. That leaves the opportunity for you to build a new website and take advantage of the old links pointing to that domain. Keep in mind that you need to put up a new site that is similar in nature to the previous website or the links will hold little to no value to you.
Use the Yahoo link feature I explained in step 9 of the Buying A Website Part 1 to check if a domain has links pointing to it.
Thirdly, one of the quirks in the Google algorithm is that if someone searches for exactly what your domain name is, you have a very good chance of ranking for that term with out doing a lot of SEO for it.
For example, if you do a Google search for “buy domains” the website buydomains.com is the first listed site. Google makes the assumption that when you search a key phrase and there is a website who’s domain name matches the exact phrase you searched, they assume you were searching for that specific company. So you can buy domain names that are highly searched key phrases and get ranked fairly easily for those phrases. This is a great way to get traffic to your website quickly.
Keep in mind that Google at anytime can change their algorithm and this could no longer be an effective technique so there is risk involved if you are spending a lot of money for a domain. Having said that I recently spent $800 on a domain because it is a good search term that would bring very targeted visitors for what I am offering. After a month or so I am now #4 on Google for the name and the site is getting good traffic.
You can Google’s key phrase search tool and find some commonly searched terms. Then go see if any of the domains that match those key phrases are available for sale.
Many times you will actually have to just go to a browser and type in www.keyphrase.com to see if there is a site up or not. If there isn’t you can go to www.whois.net and find out the owners contact information and then contact them directly about buying the domain.
Sometimes you will type in a domain name into a browser and then see a live website but in reality it is just a parked page and there actually will be a link on the page that says “This Domain Might Be For Sale”. You can click on that link and then make an offer on the domain. You may or may not get a response but this is how I purchased my last domain.
Here is a list of some good websites to buy or sell domain names.
http://www.buydomains.com has hundreds of prime domains for sale.
http://www.afternic.com another good list of domains for sale
http://www.sedo.com has a big selection of domains as well.
http://www.tdnam.com is a good place to find a very large selection of domain names for sale at a cheap price.