Seth offers his new rules for naming, but unfortunately I think some of them are no good.
This means that having the perfect domain name is nice, but it's WAY more important to have a name that works in technorati and yahoo and google when someone is seeking you out.
Sort of a built-in SEO strategy.
is debatable in it's presentation, but this:
So, that was the first task. Find a name that came up with close to zero Google matches.
is absolutely unnecissary.
The concept of needing nearly zero competition to rank is beyond me. If you are creating something of quality over 99% of the competing pages for any phrase are going to be of zero significance.
If your product or service is truely remarkable you should be able to redefine the meaning of language. That is what remarkable people & companies do.
By looking at the number of hits for a word you are just looking at the number of pages that have that term in it. Want a better glance at the competition? Search for the number of pages which have the word in the anchor text and the page title (that tool will be made better & open source...it is still very beta). Even that number does not matter much though.
You really only need to look at the top few results, because those are the ones you will be competing against if you are trying to own the meaning of a word or phrase.
When Nandini named a directory Web Atlas that was a bad call because there are authoritative well established .edu & .gov domains in that keyword space.
When I created Myriad Search, I did not look through the competition at all (in large part because I wanted to create Myriad Search for link popularity and personal use more than for it to spread widely).
In spite of spending under $1 avertising Myriad Search, in the first month the site already ranks at #11 or #12 in Google for the word "myriad" (out of 28,000,000+ results).
You don't really establish a cult status until after many people are talking about your product. People do not search for your product until they heard about it elsewhere.
You shouldn't think of your site starting from zero and every page that has the term you want to rank for as competition. You should compare the quality of your idea to the quality of the top ranking ideas and see if you think it is possible to outrank them based on that.
Also notice how Seth's post title sounding authoritative is more likely to get comments. New rules for naming sounds much more definitive than naming tips & ideas.
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