1. Proper names VS Common Names. First of all there are two different kinds of names, proper names (unique words, person, place), or common names (things like cars or cheese.) The types of names that will have good lasting effect on the internet are proper names. Think of some of the biggest sites on the internet, such as yahoo or google, why are they the most popular search engines in the world and not searchengine.com? Simple, the average consumer will group names of things with there .com names. If the names are too similar they get lost in the mix. That is why no one names there car dealership cars. Sure cars are what they sell, but image the conversation, Frank asks "what dealership did you buy your car from?" Jim replies "cars" as you can image it would get really confusing. A lot of dealerships use proper names such as XYZ Motors. That is why a lot of sites such as cars.com aren't doing as well as say vehix.com.
2. Real world Brands. The most successful brands on the internet are not "real world" brands. That is why amazon.com does over three times as much business as Waldenbooks.com or Borders.com combined. Internet branding is something completely new. In my opinion, the sites that are going to last on the internet are the ones with proper names. Proper names can be anything, names, and unique words. Use your imagination just as long as it is catchy and unique. It was a good idea to put www.what you are selling here.com back when the internet was young. People used the URL as a directory tool. This is a dying fad.
3. KISS Method. Keep It Simple Stupid. The best sites out there have simple easy to remember names. Alexa.com Excite.com you don't see many popular names like incrdiblesearchingpower.com
4. Shorter means better. If there is a shorter way to use your name do it. There is a reason cnet.com isn't computernet.com and schawb.com isn't charlesschwab.com. The less I have to type in the search box the happier I am.
5. Spelling 101. Make your .com easy to spell. Back when your product was mailed by the postal service spelling wasn't as important. You could get away with misspelled words and it would still be delivered. But now you have to enter your .com name exactly right for it to work.
6. What is in a name? Words that are better for search engine names and brand names all together have less total letters. That is why Datsun which has 6 letters to make there name changed to Nissan which has 4. As general rule brand names do better with the lower this number is. Such as Yahoo it takes 4. Google, it takes 4.
7. Abbreviate. Take a look at America Online. They didn't make there site www.americanonline.com they made it AOL. Other abbreviated names include, MSN and Cnet. This goes with the keeping it shorter rule but it is another possible helper.
8. Name it after a person. In 1987, PC's Limited changed its name to Dell Computer Corporation. In 2003, the company became Dell, Inc. Dell, Inc. became the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world. Dell sounds a lot better than PC's Limited.
9. Hidden meanings. Most names have hidden meanings such as Amazon which is the largest River on earth, is the largest book store on earth. I recommend you take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_company_name_etymologies
10. Run names by friends and relatives. They can be your best source for ideas, and best of all they will tell you if something sounds good to them or not. Ultimately what ever .com you choose it has to sound good to you!
I decided to pursue my passion, internet marketing. I have spent countless hours reading books, and listening to lectures. I finally decided to take the plunge. I created http://www.awesome-possum.com June of 2005. I hope in time to be a webmaster and internet marketer full time. I hope this article was helpful and informative. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. I am always happy to help.
Thanks Ryan Churchill