Domain Appraisal Tools

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Have you ever asked yourself; ‘how much is my domain worth?’

Well, that’s always good to know, and in this guide we will take you through some of the best domain appraisal tools out there, that will give you a quick estimate of your domain’s value.

These automated domain appraisal tools can provide a solid starting point, however we wouldn’t recommend you rely on them blindly. If you need a more reliable estimate then you should perform a manual appraisal using the process we outline here.

But let’s get back to these domain value estimators, and see when and how to use them, and talk about their limitations.

Why Domain Appraisal Matters

Imagine you inherited a van Gogh painting. Unless you’re familiar with fine art, you’d probably seek out an expert appraisal to determine its value before deciding what to do with it.

Domain names are similar. 

Every domain is unique, so it’s tricky to pin down an exact price. 

While you may have a hunch, getting an objective valuation helps inform smarter decisions.

A domain appraisal will help you 

  • buy at a fair price; 
  • sell for maximum value;
  • decide whether to develop, sell or hold the domain; (knowing current and potential value helps assess the best path forward).
  • negotiate better deals that are backed by data; and,
  • identify hidden gems.

Best Domain Appraisal Tools

Several established automated domain appraisal tools can provide baseline guidance for the value of your domain, however the best 4 domain appraisal tools we personally like to rely on are the following.

Estibot

Estibot is a longstanding tool for appraising domain name value. It uses an algorithm which incorporates various domain valuation factors like search volume, pay-per-click costs, similar sales (comps), and more.

It’s primarily designed for generic keyword domains rather than brandable names. 

The Estibot tool provides an ‘order of magnitude’ estimate for the likely retail price range, rather than a definitive value.

You can try this tool for free, since Estibot offers one free appraisal per day for basic users. 

For those who need to use it regularly, Estibot has unlimited appraisals for paid subscribers.

How to Use Estibot

Go to their website: https://www.estibot.com/

You will see a search bar at the very top of their home page.

In the input bar, insert the name of the domain that you want the estimate for, and click on the ‘Estimate’ button.

Screenshot of Estibot Domain Appraisal software

A pop-up box will usually come up requesting verification that you are a human. Just tick the ‘I’m not a robot’ box, and the ‘I agree to not send automated queries’ box, and press VERIFY.

In the next page, Estibot will display an estimated value for your domain, along with other supporting data including:

  • Keyword search volume and CPC data
  • Similar sold domains
  • Registrar
  • Reasons for why it is a valuable domain
  • Available extensions for the same SLD
  • Search traffic potential
  • Advertiser competition

This supporting data reveals keywords, demand trends, and intrinsic value beyond just the appraisal itself.

Estibot domain value estimator screen shot

Estibot can be useful for estimating ballpark retail prices of domains, especially for mid-high value keyword domains. 

It also allows you to easily compare appraisal data points and generate ideas for similar keyword domains.

However, Estibot often misfires on appraising brandable domains without search volume and low value domains with little PPC data.

GoDaddy Appraisal Tool

The GoDaddy domain appraisal tool provides free valuations for domains under $25,000. For higher-value names, it just says that the value is too high to estimate.

For appraising lower-cost domains, GoDaddy provides a quick snapshot of the value and some comparable sales, however it lacks any other supporting data, which unfortunately limits contextual insights.

How to Use GoDaddy Appraisal Tool

Go to thee website: https://uk.godaddy.com/domain-value-appraisal

You will see a search bar in the middle-left of the page.

In the input bar, insert the name of the domain that you want the estimate for, and click on the ‘Get Value’’ button.

screenshot of Godaddy appraisal tool

In the next page, GoDaddy Estimator will display an estimated value in USD for your domain, along with other supporting data including:

  • Examples of comparable domains sold in the past
  • Highlights the value drivers of the domain name, such as memorability, extension, etc
  • A list of similar SLDs with different extensions, and the option to buy these.

Screenshot of Godaddy domain value appraisal

GoDaddy appraisal tool can help when you need a fast benchmark for domains with less than $25k, and adds a perspective of what similar domains are worth.

However, this tools lacks range, since for domains with a valuation of over $25k it simply says ‘too high to estimate’.

FreeValuator.com

Free Valuator provides standard automated domain appraisals, but also offers a unique crowdsourcing feature to get multiple value perspectives.

Users can get a free basic appraisal for one domain after registering. However, tapping the community’s wisdom is Free Valuator’s special sauce.

After creating an account, you can leverage other experienced users to weigh in on a domain’s value. 

freevaluator.com domain value checker screen shot

When buying or selling, crowdsourced opinions bring invaluable insight.

Seeing diverse viewpoints allows you to make more informed decisions from different investors’ lenses. It adds crucial perspective beyond just an algorithmic appraisal.

For professional appraisals, Free Valuator has experts who will manually value single domains for $69.

Portfolio appraisals encompassing multiple domains are also available at custom pricing. 

Getting multiple valuation perspectives is prudent for high-stakes moves. By blending individual appraisals with community collaboration, Free Valuator unlocks a fully comprehensive domain appraisal service.

Modified Rosener Equation

The Rosener Equation calculates domain value based on type-in traffic potential. Developed by Andrew Rosener, it’s been modified over the years as the domain market evolved.

The Modified Rosener Equation is:

Annual Value = (Type-ins Per Day) x (Keyword CPC) x (Days in Year) x (Ads Present)

For example:

  • Type-ins Per Day: 115
  • CPC: $12.44
  • Days in Year: 365
  • Ads Present: 1 (Yes)

So the Rosener equation will be: 115 x $12.44 x 365 x 1 = $522,169

This equation values a domain based on the annual cost of buying the matching keyword’s PPC traffic. 

As an appraisal method, this is useful mostly for exact match keyword domains, and it compares favorably to Estibot.

However, the Modified Rosener Equation requires accurate type-in and CPC data. It also only applies to domains actively monetized via PPC. 

Using Automated Tools Judiciously

While they all have their limitations, automated domain appraisal tools offer helpful perspectives when used properly. 

Here are some best practices we recommend you follow when using these tools.

1. Start with a manual appraisal first

Before even using automated tools, try and evaluate your domain manually based on all tangible and intangible valuation factors we mentioned in this guide. 

This will help you create an informed valuation baseline, giving you more context on which to interpret the automated appraisal results.

2. Consider automated appraisals one input among many

No appraisal, manual or automated, provides ‘the final valuation number’. 

Smart investors evaluate from multiple perspectives. Use tools to add another data point to your custom valuation model.

3. Understand the methodology behind valuations

Algorithms simplify complex appraisal factors into digestible scores. But recognizing the methodology behind them allows smarter context for interpreting values.

4. Verify questionable results manually

If an automated valuation seems suspiciously high or low, dig deeper manually. For example, inspect the sales of similar domains or research keyword demand trends.

5. Consider wholesale vs. retail perspectives

Automated tools provide retail price estimates for end-users. So you will need to adjust your expectations when buying or selling domains for wholesale price between domain investors.

6. Rely more on supporting data than the appraisal itself

The standalone appraisal number means little without context. But metrics like search volume, type-in traffic, or linguistic potential reveal useful insights.

7. Appraise batches to identify outliers

Looking at appraisals individually lacks perspective. Valuing an entire portfolio makes anomalously high or low appraisals stand out.

8. Recognize limitations for brandables, low-value, and edge cases

No tool works perfectly across all domain types. Methods relying heavily on keywords falter with brandable domains. 

The Limitations of Automated Domain Appraisal Tools

Various tools promise to automate domain appraisals with minimal effort. But believing their accuracy too strongly can backfire.

Legendary statistician George Box wisely noted, ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful’. 

This perfectly sums up automated domain appraisals. They provide ballpark figures, not definitive assessments.

What are the main limitations of these automated domain value checkers?

First off; they miss qualitative factors. 

Algorithms can’t measure things like branding potential, uniqueness, or niche demand trends. All factors that can significantly impact the value of a domain name.

They also struggle significantly with brandable names. Automated domain appraisal tools rely heavily on search volume and pay-per-click (PPC) data. However this data doesn’t always apply to brandable domains with inherent value.

Another important limitation is that they lag current events. Domain values fluctuate in real-time based on industry trends, innovations, scandals and more. Automated appraisals use outdated, or incomplete data, in this regard.

They assume efficient markets, which in the domain trading world, doesn’t always exist. Just like Art, domain values aren’t perfectly efficient or rational. Two identical domains may be prized differently by different buyers.

So, while automation simplifies domain appraisal, overreliance can lead to misguided acquisition, poor sales or missed opportunities. 

Be careful and always seek a manual appraisal if you are ready to sell or buy a domain in the second hand or auction marketplace.

Use tools to identify ballpark value ranges then supplement with manual assessment.

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Conclusion

While automated appraisal tools provide a helpful perspective, treat them as a starting point for further strategic evaluation.

What has your experience been using automated domain appraisal tools? Share your lessons and thoughts below.

This article and the previous guides, have gone through the domain appraisal process. Now that we have a solid foundation for determining the value of a domain, we can shift our focus to the next step. The art of buying domains. 

Our next articles will provide a blueprint of different domain investment strategies where we guide you on how to source domains with high potentials to expert tips for closing profitable deals as a buyer. 

For the full list of knowledge articles head on to our Domains Investment Hub.

AUTHOR

I am a branding and naming consultant with 16 years of experience. I believe in building a strong brand name that identifies your visions and that of your business. A brand identity motivates you and your team to achieve success.