Posted by Matt Mazur (@mhmazur)
If you've ever attempted to find a domain name, you know just how hard it can be. It may seem like no matter what topic you're searching for, all of the quality domain names are taken.
I built Lean Domain Search to solve that problem. You type in a search term and Lean Domain Search pairs it with over 2,000 other keywords to generate domain names and instantly shows you which are available. If you've used it a lot, you'll notice that some queries like
cloud return only a few dozen results (about 35), while others like
photobook return an enormous amount (about 1,700).
So I started thinking about it: the fewer the results, the more popular domain names with those words are. Which are the most popular? Looking at the the number of results returned by Lean Domain Search is a good indication, but the definitive answer could only be gleaned by analyzing all of the domain names out there, not just the ones checked by Lean Domain Search.
Since the number of domain names registered for a particular topic is also good indication of how popular that subject area is, the results of this analysis could be extremely interesting. And as it turns out, it is.
Calculating The Number of Registered Domains for a Specific Topic
Before I get to the results, it's important to understand how these results were calculated.
Quick question: Are there more domain names related to clubs or cars? Answering this question, as it turns out, is not quite so easy.
Verisign publishes something called a TLD Zone File which lists all of the registered domain names for a particular Top Level Domain (TLD) (aka .com, .net, etc). The .com zone file, for example, is more than 1.8GB and contains more than 100 million registered domain names.
To figure out how many domain names are related to cars, you might think you can just look for all of the domain names that start or end with
car and add them up. The problem with this approach is that in addition to domains like
carfax, you'd also wind up counting domains like
So how do you do it? Several weeks ago I published a list of the 5,000 Most Frequently Used Domain Name Prefixes and Suffixes. If you know what a domain name's prefix or suffix is, you can also tell what the topic is. For example, if you look for all the domains that end with
hub you'll get a list including
carhub. Since we know the suffix is
hub, we can tell that the topics are
car. Figuring out the most popular topics then is a matter of figuring out all of the domain names that start with a given prefix or end with a given suffix, determining the topic, and then adding up the results to see which occur the most frequently.
The 10,000 Most Popular Topics By Domain Count
A few notes:
1) This list does not include one letter results because it would be a stretch to call
g (for example) a topic. Also, topics that are entirely numeric (
432, etc) are omitted for the same reason. Topics containing numbers and letters (like
401k) are included though. Finally, topics that include a hyphen are omitted because in almost every case the variation without the hyphen occurs higher up on the list.
2) This analysis only looks at .com domain names; not the other TLDs (.net, .org, etc). However, the sheer quantity of .com domain names makes it perfect for this study.
2) Each topic is linked to the Lean Domain Search results for that particular word so you can use this list to find great domain names for yourself.
3) If you'd like to perform your own analysis on the results, you can download the full list of results here (63KB).
4) The nature of this list is such that the more popular the topic, the fewer available results there will be. The top results may only return a few dozen domain names, but the rest will have hundreds or thousands.
Finally, if you find this list useful, please share Lean Domain Search. People waste tens of thousands of dollars each month buying domain names from squatters because they mistakenly believe all of the good domain names are taken. Send them to Lean Domain Search and show them otherwise.