A domain data provider has found that all of the possible combinations of four-letter .Com domains have officially been sold.
WhoAPI reported the discovery on its blog after running a domain API check to see what combinations might still be available for purchase.
The answer is none, at least when it comes to the 26 letters in the English alphabet, which make up 456,976 possible combinations.
WhoAPI co-founder Goran Duskic says the team had decided to focus on letters only because they hold a more unique status that symbol and number combinations.
“4 letter domains are also known in the domaining industry under the jargon LLLL.COM or 4L,” he explains on the company’s blog.
“So for example, 1PRO.COM wouldn’t be a LLLL.COM domain. Also LLLL.COM doesn’t mean literal domain llll.com but a representation of a group of domains.”
Duskic also reports on the popularity of LLLL.com domain names based on the types of letters used, listing the top four as Nike.com, Sony.com, HSBC.com and Ford.com.
In terms of consonant and vowel combinations, however, he says the consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel structure of domains like Nike.com is the most popular.
“Especially popular (worth more) CVCV domains are where the same consonant and vowel are repeated. Bobo, Gogo, Zaza, Vivi, etc. They are short, memorable and easily pronounceable,” he says.
“However, it goes without mentioning that the most expensive 4 letter domains are 4 letter generic words – cars, boat, card.”
The Cost Of .Coms
With aaaa.com through to zzzz.com completely registered, and three- and two-letter domain names also “long gone”, it is up to numbers and dashes to help create short, unique .com domains that people can still buy.
Unfortunately .Com is the most popular domain name extension available, making it hard to find the right combination of letters (or words) and expensive to register these domains if they are available.
In fact, one of the biggest sales for 2013 was the two-letter IG.com, which sold for $4.9 million – more than twice as much as other top domains sold through the year.
But not every business has the same name or branding goals, so it could still be worth looking for a .Com option when you are considering different domain names.
There are also a growing number of domain name options outside of .Com that offer more affordable investments, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers planning to add hundreds of new extensions like .London, .Melbourne, .Sport and .Apple.
Some of the already established options can also be complimentary for businesses – .TV for example, is great for video-focused companies, while .FM is ideal for music sites.
While .Com is clearly still the most in demand domain name option, thinking outside the box can go a long way when it comes to setting up websites.
But if investing is the name of the game, following domain name trends could be the best way to get ahead of the pack.