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Domain Name Length Statistics

January 7, 2013

A domain name can be as long as 253 characters all told - but it's rare that one is. Here are some interesting statistics related to domain name length.

According to a report from domain marketplace SEDO, during 2011 the most popular length for any name traded on the marketplace was 8 characters - the longest was 42 characters.

A study by Gaebler in 2009 revealed that of 1 million of the most popular websites (at that time) according to online metrics company Alexa, those in the top 50 averaged around 6 characters in their domain name. For the entire million, the average length was approximately 10 characters.

A 2008 analysis, also based on Alexa data, found the most common domain name in the top 250 had 7 characters and 2 words.

So does this mean that if you register a domain name that is more than 10 characters long, your online business will be doomed? Hardly. Quality of a name counts for a lot too.

For example, if you're selling domain registration and web hosting, a name such as th8n4wx is less than ten characters but hardly describes the nature of the business, nor is it even pronounceable. While made-up names aren't a problem, particularly if you are trying to build a brand; if they consist of numbers and letters and cannot be pronounced, their word of mouth potential is practically zero. 

A name such as may be 18 characters long, but it easily pronounced and remembered, a common term that people search on and accurately describes the business. 

The general rule of thumb in relation to domain name length:

- If you're wanting to create a brand name; go for short and catchy
- If you're wanting to use a generic name that refers to your products, length (within reason) isn't such an issue; but it's probably wise to limit the number of words in the name to 3 maximum and still attempt to keep the name as short as possible.

Multi-generic word domains can also assist you with search engine ranking, but this certainly is not the be all and end all of ranking well - it's just a small piece of the puzzle.

If you're currently undertaking a domain name search; pick up some tips for choosing a good name.

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