This is kind of a broad question, it really depends on your passion, your profession, your budget, your vision and much much more.

However, what I can tell you is that 2011 is all about keyword rich domain names. Yes, we still see many short or more, 3 character or 4 character domains getting sold for $x,xxx or more.

While these are still good investments,  I have shifted my gears towards keyword domains.

Here is what I look for in a domain name in 2011 – this is for building a brand, a business and not for flipping domains.

  1. 2 words
  2. monthly exact search volume of 1000 or more, test using googke keyword tool
  3. short and easy to type in and memorize ( less than 20 characters or around there)
  4. .com  – if possible
  5. niche that will continue to grow in search volume and not decrease
  6. phrase must make sense, word combination must be in correct order.
  7. easy to monetize – in other words, it needs to be for a niche that will not require too much resources to build a nice site and gather content without breaking your budget. Unless, the niche is your passion and you want to create the killer site for it.
  8. no trademarks in the phrase
  9. check your competition –  is there already a feature rich site built for the niche that’s already on 1st position of google? If yes, it’ll make it much harder to beat them, especially if they’re a larger company. Again, if the niche is not your passion, move on.
  10. Users – will you have repeat users or is it intended for one time visit. I prefer sites that give value to the user and be some kind of unique service that they will want to use more than once.

Again, it may be hard to pass all these rules, but if the domain does pass them all, it’s worth it to pay a little more.  

What if .com is not available or is too expensive. My suggestion is if you’re going to build a large site, domain name does not have to be .com. However, if you want to be the killer industry brand in that niche and connect with vendors/users, .com will be a better option. But in that case, if you really have the passion/time/energy/budget to go all the way, you can even use a semi-phrase domain, etc, have “i” or “e” in front of the phrase, or something similar and get the .com

But if, it’s going to be another adsense site, a site that you want to built and forget about, then another tld, such as .net, .org, .co or even .me would work, but do get the exact phrase domain.

That’s it folks, enjoy your Friday.