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This should have been about .info

I had a post all planned out for today that included some great new .info's I've picked up recently. It was going to go on and on about how I love .info for developing mini sites (and even larger wiki-style community driven sites). Then this morning I did a bit of digging around in Google Analytics and noticed some weird numbers on some of my sites I hadn't really done much with... so now we are going to talk about the value of development and exact match domains!

Exhibit A: FantasyTees(dot)com

I had purchased this domain from a fellow domainer for not much more than a reg fee. He was testing the waters at dnforum and it was actually the first domain I bought through dnforum so I wanted to go small. I've also got a big "fantasy" fetish and our house - particularly our bookshelves - are full of fantasy works. Even my closet has it's fair share of fantasy attire so it seemed like something that fit my personal interests. Fantasy Tees gets several hundred exact match queries a month, so I figured it would be a nice small site to play with. What I try to look for though are terms that are not only exact match search terms themselves but that define a category of content. For example, we could easily have content related to fairies, World of Warcraft official t-shirts, D&D or popular fantasy movies and have highly relevant and highly ranked search content for each.

As soon as the name was transferred into my account, I setup a blogger site with the custom domain name. I know, not ideal, but I wanted something quick and dirty and the free hosting was just a bonus. I chose a theme, slapped on a Google Analytics script and promptly forgot about it for much of the last two months. It occasionally got a type in visitor, but really, the volume of hits never piqued my interest enough to spend time adding content. Until this morning. Turns out that the FantasyTees site had sneaked to the top 3 entries at Google and had become #1 at yahoo without me realizing it. And all of a sudden there was a nice slow trickle of search engine traffic. Sadly, the site was not ready for searchers. The meta description for example wasn't set and there wasn't even so much as a single post to get people to look around the site.

The reason why I listed it here was that without a single post, without a valid meta description to help woo search engine users to my site and without any kind of link building, I was able to rank very highly just by not having a parked page. Imagine what I could do with a little development of content?

Exhibit B: GirlPics

This is a slightly risque site, but generally designed to be more PG-13 than R rated. It's just a site for pics of girls. It's also not a .com. I'll not divulge the extension but it is an exact match to a highly searched term (Girl Pics). I grabbed this site from a GoDaddy drop auction for the minimum bid, set it up in a similar way to FantasyTees with a couple exceptions:

1. I had a single post that linked to another one of my sites so that any traffic that happened across the site would have at least a chance to funnel some place where I had developed content and to help build back links to my other site.

2. I forwarded some traffic from another dropped domain that had traffic in anticipation of developing this great keyword site. Unfortunately that site's traffic was too good to just drop off at an undeveloped site so I eventually pointed that traffic elsewhere. What it did do though is throw me off so that I didn't notice in Google Analytics that there was actually a very large spike in search engine traffic to the site.

What had happened was that Google had at least occasionally thrown my silly little one post site up on the first page of results for searches on Girl Pics. It wasn't because of my great content or my amazing SEO skills. It was simply an exact match domain name that wasn't parked. And in some cases it got as many as 50 unique visitors in a single day, even with poor descriptive text in the search results and with absolutely no content to help drive it up the rankings and rank for other related terms. Seriously, I knew the power of a good domain but this was just silly!

And now about .info

I've grabbed some great .info's lately that I'm now obligated to develop! Sites like WaterPurifiers (the .com recently sold at namejet for over 15k), CollaborationTools (yes, to go along with Collaborative-Tools.com), and UnlimitedReseller which is a keyword phrase related to unlimited hosting and domain reselling, both of which have nice CPC averages as well as big affiliate pay outs. But now I'm out of time so I'll have to talk about development plans for these sites later. If you can grab an exact match, category killer name, and then actually put something... ANYTHING up... the Search engines will come to you!

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