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Why choose a 4 letter .COM domain name?


Why I Spent $1.5 Million on Our Domain
These four Chinese companies upgraded their domain names for different reasons
Direct visits lead to spectacular domain prices in China
A look into the negotiation and sale of ($675,000) – Video
Seller of at $30 Million Predicts Massive Boom in Domain Values in the Decade Ahead


See examples of 4 letter domain names sales prices and also 4 letter domain names recently sold in the marketplace


It all started more than 2000 years ago with the ancient Romans. "The Roman Senate and People", the civil authority that presided over the peoples was called the "Senatus Populus Que Romanus". Clearly too complicated to spell and too long to put on banners, the Romans adopted the acronym SPQR. To this day companies have found it is easier, more straightforward and memorable to use acronyms in place of their full name.


A marginal domain suggests you’re a marginal company.

Sure, it's possible to run a successful online business with a lousy domain name, but your business will always do better with a good domain name. The internet is like a city centre shopping area - you can either have a high-street address or a side street address. A clumsy domain name makes a business look less credible and less memorable.

A domain name is not just something that you type in on a computer keyboard - it is your brand, written on your letterheads, business cards, advertisements, maybe also on your company vehicles, carrier bags, promotional give-aways etc. Your domain name also forms part of your email address.

Not only typed, or written, an extremely long or complicated domain name makes it harder for people to type and to share through word of mouth. They also fit much more easily into a 140-character tweet.

A short domain name on the other hand aids for a memorable identity providing a powerful tool for marketing and brand building. Examples of created brand names which fit into this category: eBay, uBid, xBox, iPod, Digg, Hulu, Bebo,Tivo, Bing, Uber, Takl.

The fact that they are short makes them easy to remember.  The longer the domain name the more prone to typing errors.  This is even more true if your full company name is complicated to spell.

How do you spell that ? Some words are difficult to spell. It is therefore easy to understand why it makes sense for organizations such as "Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center" to have the 4-letter domain name "" and "Narragansett Bay Insurance Company " to have the 4-letter domain "". And for the company "Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos" (how do you spell that ??) then they were very wise to opt for "". Or how about spelling "Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation" which use "" or "ArbeitsGemeinschaft der KörperschutzImporteure" which use "" or "Deutsch Aserbaidschanischen WirtschaftsFörderinstitutionen " which uses or the "Dharamsi Morarji Chemical Company" which uses!

It seems that increasingly firms are using short acronyms for their web identities - even Facebook has recently acquired In fact, it is now revealed that Facebook paid a cool $8.5 million dollars to acquire the domain - which by comparison makes the prices of 4-letter domains small change! See Facebook Paid Farm Bureau $8.5 Million To Acquire

Some names are difficult to truncate without going for the straightforward four letter acronym option thus companies such as "The Country's Best Yogurt" use "" and "Forest Products Research Laboratory" have "" and "" the "Arthur Ashe Kids Day" and "" for the "Take A Kid Fishing" Foundation etc etc etc etc.....

And how much simpler and easier is it to type in "" than the unwieldy and lengthy ! And what a fabulous choice of name is "Angry Bald Guy Productions" using ""!

"Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative" now uses "" (instead of the longer and clumsier "" ) and "Herzog Railroad Services Inc" choose to use "". "Game Trading Technologies Inc" have since acquired "" (a vast improvement over their "" domain name) and "ThinkDirect Marketing Group" choose "", and "Canadian Lender Solutions Ltd" choose "" etc etc etc.... See also some more 4 letter domain name acronyms

Prestige, ease of recall, branding, less prone to typos

The main reasons that 4 letter domain names are so desirable is that they appear more prestigious, are easy to remember, are great for branding,are less prone to spelling errors as is the case with much longer domains (especially true if the full company name is complicated to spell) and requiring less keystrokes (important on mobile handheld devices with small buttons) and of course great for offline marketing. Mobile devices are becoming ever more popular and more and more people are surfing the web on their mobile phones than from conventional PCs.

Voice recognition technology has now come of age, and will be used to power many of the next generation browsers. Dictating 4 separate letters .com into a voice recognition device is easier and less prone to error than a longer more complicated name.

As mobile usage grows you may be glad you have that 4-letter domain name in the future.

Why .com is the preferred suffix

As ".COM" is the most widely recognized domain name suffix worldwide, then the preferred suffix should be .COM if you currently conduct business internationally, or intend to conduct business internationally in the future.

Venture capitalist Paul Graham makes the argument for picking a good name and owning the matching .com. Change your name. Get the .Com .

It gives a more prestigious impression than less widely used domain suffixes such as .ORG, .NET, .US, .BIZ , .INFO etc.  Similarly many people are unfamiliar with country codes and usage of  a two part suffix such as COM.MX .COM.CN COM.HK etc...  and less easily understood. This is even more relevant with some country codes like CO.IN - not COM.IN and CO.UK - not COM.UK !! There are also other suffixes - .AERO, .ASIA, .COOP, .EU, .TRAVEL, .PRO, .MOBI , .TV, .CAT, .TRAVEL, .JOBS, .PRO, .TEL and more recently .XXX etc etc etc and the proliferation of more of these lesser-known "boutique" suffices simply reinforces the power and value of the .COM brand. You need to ask yourself when was the last time you saw a web-address with one of these suffices - if you haven't then it is unlikely any of your potential customers will have.

domains registered

More than 35 years after the first .com domain was registered by Symbolics Inc., those three letters continue to dominate the internet. "If you don't own the .com, you will forever have to talk about yourself by using the full extension of your domain name," said Paul Nicks, the vice president of aftermarket sales at GoDaddy. "If you were, or dot-whatever, your entire branding strategy going forward is you have to include the complete URL. If you call yourself Protocol, people just go to"

Some companies when expanding their brand into other countries choose .COM instead of the local country code suffix to avoid being burdened by local country laws and regulations. For example the Chinese giant social networking website Baidu changed its domain name from a Vietnamese domain name .VN to a .COM which allows avoiding the registration at Vietnamese agencies. see Baidu uses ".com" domain name to dodge Vietnamese laws.

Now may be the time to replace your "keyword-laden" domain name with an acronym "brand-name".

A number of years ago your website designer may have advised you to choose a domain name that was keyword rich and descriptive about what you do.  That strategy may have been right at the time in the understanding that Google would give a boost in their searches to websites with domain names containing key words -  domain names such as or or etc.

However this was all too easy to manipulate, as companies started to register keyword-loaded domain names in the belief that Google would rank their websites more highly.

It is understood that Google has now addressed this issue in its recent Google Panda updates. See Brand-focused domain names favoured over keywords in new Google algorithm change

In the video, Matt Cutts (head of Google Webmaster guidelines) announcing a further change to the search algorithm that will reward domains that feature the brand name, as opposed to keywords, explains that "[Google have given] a little too much weight for keywords in domains. And so we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two different domains it wouldn't necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it."

See also Keyword Rich Domain Names Are About To Be Targeted By Google's Algorithm

In summary, if you have a longish domain name incorporating keywords which you once thought were of utmost importance to people finding you on the internet, now may be the time to consider changing your domain name.

Who are using short domains?

We ourselves, for example, Get On The Web Limited,  have of course registered the domain name (and other variants - such as the hyphenated version etc) however we prefer to promote the shorter 4-letter acronym GOTW with the domain name GOTW.COM which we believe appears more prestigious but also takes less time to type into a browser.  Furthermore, it makes giving our email address out verbally much easier.  Imagine spelling out the email address over the phone:-
i n f o @  g e t o n t h e w e b . com    as opposed to the much simpler i n f o @ G O T W . com

The Chinese. There is an increasing number of Chinese purchasers of 4 letter .com domain names. (Sometimes the Chinese use the phonetic acronym as opposed to the written acronym - for example :“安徽口子”). This may be due to a number of factors. Firstly, China is now selling its goods and services to a global marketplace and having a .com domain name, website and email address definitely assist when selling to a worldwide marketplace especially to the USA, which is widely tuned into .com domain names. Secondly, there are now greater restrictions for companies in China (and worldwide) registering local Chinese .cn and domain names. Indeed, GoDaddy (the largest domain name registrar in the world) stopped registering these Chinese domain names, due to the restrictions. See GoDaddy to stop registering .cn domain names.

There are a number of economic/industrial zones in China selling goods and services to the rest of the world. Having a domain name spelling that is complicated to westerners and having a domain name suffix that is unfamilar to westerners can be a disadvantage. Hence having a short .com domain name can be an asset when selling to a global marketplace. In progressive industrial zones in China a number of companies in this region aiming at the export market have registered 4 letter .com domain names starting with "NB" (for NingBo) and "AH" (for AnHui) etc.
See NingBo companies using domain names starting with NB
See AnHui companies using domain names starting with AH.
See HeBei companies using domain names starting with HB
See XiAn companies using domain names starting with XA

also individual cities
See ZiBo companies using domain names starting with ZB

For example, sold for $80,000 to a Chinese buyer 北京奇虎科技有限公司 (Beijing Qihoo Technology Co., Ltd)..

See also Fashion Brands using 4 letter domain names

There is no such thing as “bad” letters.

Some letters such as “Z”, “Q” etc. etc. might be considered as not the best letters in the West but especially in China are considered desirable. For example, SyFy, the television network owned by Universal Studios, paid $43,000 for the domain name Yet even in Europe, the domain name could have had some appeal to, for example, Turistička Zajednica Grada Zagreba.

How to put your new domain name to use

You may already have an existing (but longer) domain name.

The most straightforward method is to put your website on the new 4 letter domain and advise Google. See Tell Google when your site moves. You can then point the older longer domain to the new 4 letter domain. As demonstration of this, click on and you will see that it goes to

Alternatively, you could simply "point" the 4 letter .com domain name to your existing domain name. For example, this time of a country code domain name: click on HAZK.COM (Hersteld Apostolische Zending Kerk) and you will see that it goes to HAZK.NL (Netherlands), or AHXH.COM (AnHui XinHua Computer Institute) which goes to AHXH.CN (China) etc etc etc......

Scarcity of attractive 4 letter combinations

Four letter domains (sometimes referred to as "LLLL" domains) are relatively scarce. There are only 456,976 possible 4 letter combinations of which maybe less than 50,000 are attractive consonant/vowel combinations. Of these, only a much smaller number will be available - a miniscule number compared to the total of over 99 million registered dot com names.

4 letter .com domain name prices

Because of their rarity and desirability, four letter .COM domain names with attractive letter combinations command premium prices.

Of course, some four letter "dictionary words" not unsurprisingly sell for extremely high prices like such as for $10million, for $9.5 million, for $7 million, for $5.1 million, for £3.5 million, for $3.3 million etc....

For a list of the most expensive four letter .com domain names see Most Expensive 4 letter .com domain names.

For other examples of 4 letter domain names recently sold in the marketplace see "Example domain name prices".

Buying a good domain name is an investment. Always remember, your domain name is an asset, just like any other assets that you own.

Get that 4 letter .com domain name while you still can - Once it has gone it is gone!

So you think you're the only company that wants that desirable four character .com domain name - Think again!

There are probably many other companies that desire the same domain name that you are thinking about. Once it has gone, you may not get a second chance! And you are left with your second-rate domain name.

A classic example of this is the domain name "" reported to be sold for a mere $5000 see snapped up in April 2010 by "Game Trading Technologies, Inc.".

Game Trading Technologies, Inc

A whole host of other companies could have raised their game by obtaining this sharper more succinct .com domain name. There are probably many many more companies with acronyms such as GTT Inc, GTT Incorporated, GTT International etc. - but here are some examples just to name a few:

Global Think Tank Institute
Global Thermoforming Technologies, Inc
Georgina Trades Training Inc       
Gambia Technical Training Institute
Global Technology & Trading Inc
Global Tactical Training Institute
Global Transportation Technologies Inc
Gruppo Telecomunicazioni e Tecnologie dell'Informazione
Gedee Technical Training Institute 
Golden Tech Technologies Inc
Global Technology Transfer Inc
GT Training Inc
Golf Talent Tour Inc
Gallatin Truck & Tractor Inc
GTT International
GTT International
  Another example of of a four letter acronym domain name that could be desirable to many different companies is "BDSI" - or another is "ADSS"  

Rebranding to was one of my best decisions .......

In 2002 Jeff Braveman created In 2011, Jeff Braveman bought for US$700,000. He said rebranding to was one of my best decisions and has helped the company to grow from $1.5million per year in revenue to $35million.

"Behind The $700,000 Acquisition."



And finally a quote .......

"Our biggest asset is four letters: S-O-N-Y.

Norio Ohga, Chairman of the Board, Sony Corporation


And also .......

"Domains have and will continue to go up in value faster than any other commodity ever known to man."

Often attributed to having been said by Bill Gates

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