Animal domain names such as Meerkat.com have a significant value to both domain investors and end-users. Animal .COM domain names can range in value from the low four-figure range ($1,000-$9,999) up to the seven-figure range.
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Why is Meerkat.com valuable?
Why are animal .COM domains such as Meerkat.com valuable? Well, let’s take Meerkat.com as an example here. Meerkat.com is one of just a concentrated number of exact match, animal .COM domain names that are in existence. There are over 134 million .COM domain names registered, which means Meerkat.com and the other exact match animal .COM names represent a very tiny percentage of all .COM domains. Rarity makes Meerkat.com a highly valuable name, especially to investors who pay top dollar to own the world’s rarest names.
There’s also the question of trust and stability. If you’re called Meerkat, then you need to own Meerkat.com for your brand. By owning Meerkat.com, you are displaying a sense of trust to your customers or clients. As a consumer, would you trust Meerkat.com or GetMeerkat.com more? The right domain name gives an instant sense of trust in a brand to anyone who visits the domain. A sense of stability and permanence also comes from owning a domain name like Meerkat.com. It shows a long term investment in a brand.
Unfortunately, animal names such as “Meerkat” are popular brand names. Because they’re commonly used, instantly recognizable names, it makes the equivalent .COM (Meerkat.com) valuable since so many companies are interested in using it. That makes it an expensive prospect for a brand to acquire.
An exact match domain name such as Meerkat.com for a company called Meerkat can also offer that company some security from data and traffic leakage that is commonplace amongst longer domain names.
These factors, and more, are why Meerkat.com is a domain name that has retained its value for more than two decades. The factors listed above are fine in theory, but let’s take a look at some examples of animal .COM sales to back up the overall value of Meerkat.com and animal .COM’s in general:
Real world usage of domain names is a key indicator of value, which is why we have put together a series of small case studies below. If several companies spend six or seven-figures on an animal .COM domain name, it demonstrates clearly that exact match animal .COM’s play an intrinsic value in the online brand of savvy businesses. Read our case studies:
Cat.com houses the worldwide homepage for the largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world, with Wikipedia listing the company’s revenue as .5 billion in 2017. Caterpillar Inc, who also owns caterpillar.com, use “Cat” as one of their main brand names. According to DomainIQ’s WHOIS history, they’ve owned the domain since at least 2003 when DomainIQ’s records began. “Cat” is also the NYSE stock ticker symbol of the company.
Owned by Lion Technology Inc, Lion.com hosts the New Jersey-based company’s main website offering expert training and support. Based on archival copies of the website, Lion Technology has used the name since at least 1999, but there are plenty of companies who would like to own it. The female equivalent, Lioness.com, is owned by a leadership agency for women, founded by leadership coach Stephanie Redlener. According to DomainIQ’s WHOIS history, Lioness.com was acquired from the Internet Real Estate Ltd portfolio in recent years.
In October 2019, it was reported by DNJournal that the domain Gorilla.com had been sold by broker Monte Cahn (RightOfTheDot) for a total of 6,320. The name was acquired by a Russian online casino, and as of writing, the name is being used in conjunction with the brand’s online betting division.
These are just three examples of animal .COM domains that have been acquired and put to use by brands willing to invest significant amounts of money into their online identity.
Another means of getting a face-value appraisal for Meerkat.com is to take a look at verified domain sales data.
NameBio, a trusted resource for domain name sales, lists the following animal .COM sales in its database. There have likely been plenty more, but they haven’t been publicly disclosed:
Snake.com – $135,000 (2019)
Walrus.com – $55,000 (2018)
Gorilla.com – $496,320 (2019)
Bird.com – $200,000 (2005)
Pig.com – $125,000 (2010)
Coyote.com – $65,000 (2011)
Pug.com – $61,000 (2016)
Hornet.com – $60,000 (2017)
I wrote an article for NamePros in 2019 about how certain animal domain names are being used. You can read that here Some of the content here is quoted from that article.
Working out the intrinsic value of the Meerkat.com domain name (without any attached content, IP or other considerations) is a difficult process. Automated appraisals cannot be relied upon, and ultimately it comes down to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition or sale of the domain (with associated factors including motivation to buy or sell, the need for the domain, funding available, and current circumstances).
However, it can be easily proven that domains such as Meerkat.com are highly desirable, and previous sales data indicates that this type of name routinely sells for five ($xx,xxx) or six ($xxx,xxx) figures. In some cases, this will be higher.