New Feature: Search Domain Hacks!

Domain hacks are a lucrative niche in domain investing because they are popular among startups. For those who aren’t aware, a domain hack is a domain name that spells a word when you combine the SLD and the TLD, for example Famo.us or Sto.re.

However they have always been very difficult to find comparable sales for, the only option was to individually search ccTLDs that lend themselves nicely to domain hacks and then read through a ton of unrelated sales. Not any more!

Now you can go to our homepage and select the “Other” category along with the “Domain Hacks” subcategory:

https://namebio.com/?s==YDN3UTMyETM

Want to find all the hacks in a particular ccTLD, for example LY? Not a problem:

https://namebio.com/?s==cDN5UTMyETM

Want to see the highest domain hack sales of all time? You can do that too:

https://namebio.com/?s==kzN3UTMyETM

Now when you visit the Domain Details page for a domain hack, the comparable sales table will realize you’re looking at a domain hack and show you others in the same extension. Take a look at the page for Manu.al for example, which was a recently reported sale:

https://namebio.com/manu.al

This new functionality also allows us to quickly gather sales data on domain hacks, so we can determine which extensions are the most popular as far as sales numbers, and what the average sale price is for a domain hack in each extension. Here are the results:

ExtensionNum SalesTotal AmountAvg Price
.ly105$274,607$2,615
.es65$244,011$3,754
.at36$238,821$6,634
.al21$35,987$1,714
.de17$163,355$9,609
.gs12$32,037$2,670
.us11$56,900$5,173
.et10$33,730$3,373
.se10$53,028$5,303
.sh9$4,770$530
.ch9$52,200$5,800
.rs9$19,222$2,136
.in7$13,647$1,950
.ma6$16,946$2,824
.me5$34,400$6,880
.st4$20,175$5,044
.pe4$8,880$2,220
.ng4$12,243$3,061
.am3$4,785$1,595
.re3$38,291$12,764
.be3$9,147$3,049
.as2$3,604$1,802
.ba2$4,300$2,150
.im2$2,870$1,435
.top2$109,493$54,747
.red2$1,040$520
.io2$8,750$4,375
.ht2$2,600$1,300
.fit2$4,356$2,178
.ms2$2,965$1,483
.ee2$1,302$651
.co2$8,350$4,175
.la1$1,600$1,600
.by1$2,000$2,000
.life1$1,500$1,500
.mp1$350$350
.club1$12,000$12,000
.to1$9,263$9,263
.works1$11,250$11,250
.work1$100,000$100,000
.ag1$60,000$60,000
.it1$10,000$10,000
.city1$10,000$10,000
.so1$5,000$5,000
.house1$14,888$14,888
.ac1$104$104

I hope you find this new feature useful!

Michael Sumner is the CTO of NameBio.com, and is the lead developer at State Ventures which owns and operates geo domains such as OceanCity.com and Maryland.com. Michael is also the co-founder of DN Media, a company that has been involved in seven figures worth of domain name transactions.

12 thoughts on “New Feature: Search Domain Hacks!

  • By Julio Maysonet - Reply

    This is a really good feature added to namebio. Just recently someone at namepros was asking what were the price of a domain hack.

    Thank you!
    Twitted.

  • By Michael Cyger - Reply

    That’s awesome, Michael!

    Was it inspired at all by my recent show on domain hacks? 🤔 It took me forever to compile the sales at the bottom of my infographic: http://www.domainsherpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DomainSherpa-Domain-Hac.ks-Infographic.png

    I could have really used this search earlier. 😍

    Just a heads-up, I’m taping a show next week about emoji domain names. If there’s a way to search for them on NameBio and have them appear as the emojis inline (with IDN) — THAT would be awesome. 🦄 👏 🚀

    • By Michael Sumner - Reply

      Thanks. Not sure how I missed that show, I’m checking it out now. Max actually emailed me to submit a private sale of a domain hack, and as I always do I replied with a link to the details page. When I went to the details page myself I realized how awful the comps were. So while it wasn’t that show, it was the guest you had on that show who inspired it.

      The sale of ☁.com is the only emoji sale we have in our database unfortunately, I just checked:
      https://namebio.com/xn--l3h.com

      • By Michael Cyger - Reply

        Max is single-handedly building a market for hacks! 😀

        Yeah, I’ve done a ton of research to find more emoji comps as well and nothing is public besides ☁.com (which is technically a pictograph, not an emoji), but I do have some research on what people are charging to sell their emoji domains.

        Thanks for all you guys do at NameBio, Michael!

  • By Max Guerin - Reply

    Amazing feature Michael S.! I don’t see K.im in the list though (http://domainnamewire.com/2013/06/13/kim-dotcom-buys-k-im-domain-name-for-20000/).

    This and Michael C.’s interview are great news for domain hacks (aka branded domains).

    By the way Rocketna.me + BrightNames (sales) = Claim.Club

    Thanks for supporting innovative naming!

  • By WAYNE - Reply

    What about domain hack w/h sub-domain?

    such as:

    in.suranc.es
    o.ffic.es
    s.martphon.es

    From my point of view, those names are easily to marketing and promote.

    Just my thoughts ~

    • By Michael Sumner - Reply

      This would be difficult to display, taking your example of o.ffic.es we’d be showing “ffic.es” as a sale of a hack and people would be confused. I also doubt there is much of any value in these types of hacks because there are so many alternatives. Take your example of in.suranc.es, why would someone pay a premium for that when there is also:

      i.nsuranc.es
      ins.uranc.es
      insu.ranc.es
      insur.anc.es
      insura.nc.es

      And imagine showing “nc.es” as a hack sale, nobody would get it. I would imagine there are very, very many L, LL, LLL, and maybe even some LLLL sales in ccTLDs that would be detected as a “subdomain hack” when really they most likely sold just because they were short domains. I don’t think this would be a viable type of hack to include, but if others feel different let me know.

  • By Mike - Reply

    yes, this is awesome and very interesting. One thing – does it do multiple word hacks (e.g. “send.to” or “about.me”)?

    • By Michael Sumner - Reply

      No, at the moment it doesn’t do multiple-word hacks, either in the form of Send.to or ToySto.re.

      I look at the first as more of a “span the dot” than a hack, it doesn’t seem any different than any new gTLD where the SLD actually makes sense with it (like Smart.Watch). It would be difficult to programmatically know when they make sense together, but if you have any suggestions I’m open to exploring.

      The second type would be straightforward to detect, but to do that we’d have to keyword parse every sale twice, once for the SLD and once for the SLD+TLD with the dots removed. It didn’t seem worth the extra cost/processing, single word hacks are already pretty rare and many sell for low $xxx so I doubt there is much of a market for multiple-word hacks in this format.

      • By Mike - Reply

        I understand. Maybe there is a language processing API or library that could help with the multiple word hacks (e.g. send.to, about.me) to see if the words go together, but I agree it is more difficult. These type of domains hacks can sometimes have a lot of value – e.g. meet.me sold for $450,000 USD. I bet the TLD list above would be much more weighted to .me if you were able to get the stats on this – this one .me sale alone is almost as much as the top two TLDs above combined (.ly, .es).

        But regardless I love this kind of stuff and it’s awesome namebio is working on these cool things – keep up the good work!

        • By Michael Sumner - Reply

          N-Grams would show how often the two words appear together in text. The problem is we’re looking to assign a 1 or a 0 but the data is more like a scale.

          For example imagine you were trying to categorize SLDs as “popular words”. You can get data to know how common a word is or if one word is more popular than another, but when trying to decide if a single one is popular or not you’re left deciding on an arbitrary cutoff (X > some number, top X percent, etc).

          We ran into this issue categorizing domains for the Category and Subcategory filters. A single domain could fit into a half dozen or more subcategories with varying confidence scores. Imagine there was a really high sale that was a weak fit for a category, when you search that category and sort by price everything goes out the window and now you’re wading through a ton of sales that are very weak fits.

          At first we tried having it first sort by confidence score and then by the requested sort (price, date, etc.) but it confused people. Sure, better fits were on top even when sorting by price, but the prices jumped all over the place which is bad on a price sort. We eventually had to settle on picking a fixed cutoff point for a sale to be considered in a certain category (80% confidence or higher) and then just doing a true sort on price, date, whatever. We had to go through tons of searches and results to come up with that number, with the goal being to obviously minimize weak matches while not excluding decent ones. Was a pain and I’m still not 100% satisfied with the results.

          I feel like it would be the same type of problem with determining if the SLD and TLD made sense together. Maybe it would be enough to group all the ccTLDs this can be done on (ad, at, be, do, in, it, me, my, to, us) into one entry in the Extension filter (like the All New gTLDs one) and then people can search by dictionary and sort by price to find the good ones? Not really sure the best solution, but I agree that at this point it is still hard to find the interesting sales like Meet.me.

          Sorry for the essay, this is one of the more interesting/difficult problems and it helps to talk it out.

  • By Paolo Redaelli - Reply

    Hi all, thank you for the job and contributions.
    What do you think abot domain hacks when SLD has a different meaning from the global (SLD+TLD) name?
    I registered chic.as, i think it can fit with a clame like “for very chic girls”. And i registered merci.al (able to write com.merci.al), wich i like as a word game, but i am not sure it could be intersting for the matket.

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