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05|23|2008 01:15 pm EDT

Following the Trends of the Top 100 Domains

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Miscellaneous

Danny Dover of SEOmoz wrote an interesting article, “Know Your Playing Field: The Real Top 100 Domains.” By studying the habits of the top internet companies, he figures other people can apply what has worked to their own websites in order to achieve success. Here’s what he found:

Big Guys Rule: 60% of the top 25 domains are owned by an elite six and 43% of the top 100 domains are owned by an elite dozen. These 100 sites pull in over 1.3 billion unique visitors each month.

What This Means to You: Dover thinks “the surest way to conventional success is to be bought out”, but it’s important to note that 57% of the top 100 domains are not owned by “the big guys”. While there’s a slim chance you’ll be able to compete with the top 100, you can still make a lot of money online without ever being considered for this list.

Niches are Relative: Dover’s study shows only 14 avenues to online success (from least to most common): gaming, audio hosting, internet service provider, video hosting, image hosting, social networking, blogging, adult, banking/financial management, search engine, software, news, reference, and e-commerce.

What This Means to You: If you want to follow a proven path to success, these are the business ideas that have worked online. Nonetheless, if you have a great idea you shouldn’t ignore it just because it doesn’t have a place on this list; blogging didn’t appear here 5 years ago.

.Com is King: Over 90% of the top 100 websites use .com as their primary TLD.

What This Means to You: If you’re looking to develop your domain, .com’s have the best chance of success.

This data is extremely useful for seeing what has worked the best before, but it’s important to note there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of other websites online that are pulling in over $1 million per year. While the top 100 domains are certainly worth analyzing and emulating, it’s hardly a large enough sample size to say you won’t have online success unless you follow these formulas.

As Dover says, “These graphs and statistics won’t necessarily unlock any secrets but they will help you understand conventional online success.”

[via SEOmox]
[Entire Top 100 Spreadsheet – .pdf]

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May 23, 2008 @ 1:27 pm EDT

Interesting write up. I look forward to reading your work in the future. Thanks

Ari Shohat

May 23, 2008 @ 4:55 pm EDT

It’s a nice list, but I didn’t really expect to see top companies there from the headline of the article. It’s more like a Top100 businesses online (with nice domains?).

People don’t go to Google because it has, but because of what it lets people do. Almost all there in fact are just businesses, and few have generic domains.

So this isn’t about “domains” at all here, in my humble opinion.

john andrews

May 23, 2008 @ 5:50 pm EDT

I didn’t get much out of that article, although it had pretty graphics.

High traffic networks like IGN are not always high traffic because they are good, but because they seek traffic as a metric and acquire it… Fox buys up properties to add to IGN to aggregate the traffic, for example. Some of these companies know they need to be big to make serious money. How are we learning by observing thatthe biggest traffic domains are owned by the biggest companies?

SEO Sheffield

April 26, 2012 @ 1:12 pm EDT

What is the successful small business today?

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