2020 Top Tech Entrepreneur Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com, addresses how premium domains are increasing in value during COVID-19. At the time, Gargiulo's purchase of VPN.com for $1 million was the 7th largest transaction in the world. As a member of the Forbes Technology Council, Michael Gargiulo aims to stay on the pulse of tech and to share in-depth and insightful information for both entrepreneurs and visionaries. One of these topics is the rising value of premium domain names.
"A major reason for the increase in the value of ultra-premium domain names is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," says Michael Gargiulo. "According to Forbes, internet usage is up by 70% because of COVID-19 and the shift to a digital-first economy. Premium and lifestyle brands with an exact-match domain have a huge opportunity to define their expertise and authority in their industry and generate leads from search rankings."
Domain names have always played an integral part in the online identity of brands and businesses and with COVID that is even more true. Premium domain names are short, simple, and descriptive. And the right domain name, such as Cars.com, can be valued as high as $872 million. Or LasVegas.com was sold for more than $35 million.
With over 1.5 billion websites in the world, and more than 70,000 search queries every second. Premium domain names are one of the best ways to rank high in these search results. A company's search ranking on Google and YouTube immediate indicators of brand trustworthiness. During a once in a lifetime moment, such as COVID-19, trust is valued more than ever and the price of premium domain names continues to grow.
Online spending is also on the rise, and in such a competitive space as the internet, premium domains are helping brands increase their ROI without additional marketing and advertising campaigns. "With such a steady demand for online services, it's also a worthwhile investment to consider acquiring premium brand names that might see a sudden rise in value," says Michael Gargiulo. "Some great examples premium brands who have maximized their domain include Ring.com, which was later acquired by Amazon and Jeff Bezos for $1 Billion and Insurance.com which was later acquired $16 million.
Lead generators are vital in a crowded online space. "To prepare for your companies future it's important to scout the internet landscape for any ways to help drive users to your company. Identify potential lead keywords or abbreviations of your existing name to help redirect search to your account. The WHOIS database offers a suite of tools to help collect information on web domains," says Michael Gargiulo.
VPN.com, has a comprehensive understanding of the premium domain market. The company is committed to showing other visionaries what is possible and has helped over 600 entrepreneurs and brands acquire and sell premium domain names.
Many premium domain sales are not publicly recorded or available for sale. While it is possible to buy premium domain names on sites such as Godaddy, it is likely that you will need a broker. Luxury domain name prices are often set quite high by the buyer and having a team behind you who understands the market can lead to a more fair purchase price. Gargiulo acquired VPN.com from the original registrant of the domain name in 2017 after having an original budget of just $150,000. The deal was completed in Cupertino, California, and will forever be one of the most expensive three-character domain transactions of all time.
In 2019 Gargiulo was selected by NamesCon CEO Soeren von Varchmin to share his expertise on domains across the globe as a keynote panelist. NamesCon is the largest domain conference in the world and is owned by GoDaddy.
Photography by: VPN.com