What is the worst successful domain name?

I have been exploring names for my new venture and thought of a question: what is the worst domain name for a successful company?

Let’s define some traits of a bad domain:

-Difficult to spell
-Confusing or unrelated to its topic
-Contains hyphens or numbers
-Not a .com, making it difficult to remember
-Long (>10 letters)

Looking at the Quantcast top 100 sites, a few candidates emerge:

-#14: craigslist.org
-#50: merriam-webster.com
-#57: ezinearticles.com 
-#96: city-data.com

Craigslist took a while to establish its brand since it’s undescriptive and started as a .org. Merriam-Webster’s spelling and hyphen are problematic but it had an existing brand. City-data also has the hyphen, but at least it’s descriptive.

My choice for worst successful domain name is ezinearticles.com. It’s long and complex, seems like it might have a hyphen, and has a tacky leading “e”. Yet, it receives 16 million visits a month. Like an ugly guy who still manages to get the hot girl, that’s fairly impressive.

Honorable mention: #1 Google, for misspelling their name.

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3 thoughts on “What is the worst successful domain name?

  1. Josh McFarland April 29, 2009 / 5:01 pm

    The crappy names you mention derive the vast majority of their traffic from search… so there’s no need for a nicely directly navigable name. Ezinearticles is an especially egregious index/link spammer.

  2. Peter April 29, 2009 / 11:22 pm

    I personally don’t consider Ezinearticles to be such a bad name. Actually, it is quite easy to remember. I worked with several article directories webs, and Ezinearticles is one I still remember.

  3. Jeffrey KIstner September 4, 2011 / 10:18 am

    Hello Mark, I like this post. It’s creative and got me to think. I think that you can market any name and make it a success. Period! Well done! Keep it up!

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