How Short Domains Are Used In Brands

Giuseppe Graziano, founder of, emerged a few years ago as the real expert on four-letter domains (not to mention numeric domains). He received part of his business education in China, and speaks Mandarin. Chinese domain investors are responsible for causing the market to boom. The phenomenon of Chinese domain buying, which accounted for 2/3 of all domain purchases last year, also forced the West to take a sharp look at the short domain. Graziano’s website has some excellent articles on the history of numeric domains, Chinese premiums and other four-letter domains.

He emphasized quite some time ago how important the pronounceability of a short domain was. Most domainers seemed to care more about whether Chinese-preferred letters were in the domain — which made it an instant sell. But the bigger prices were almost always found on domains that became corporate short brands, and these were mostly non-Asian companies., quoting from Graziano’s free Q4 2016 report on the market in short domains: “.. Since end user demand does not seem to favor domains with Chinese Premium letters, domains with vowels seem to offer better prices than their Chinese Premium counterparts.”

And a domain with four letters has more room for vowels. It seems like a good idea to examine how short, 3- and 4-letter domains are being used, and if they are used as acronyms or otherwise. Using the admittedly unscientific method of typing in randomly-chosen 3Ls and visiting their websites, we found :

1. 3L dot-com domains are highly likely to be company abbreviations, more often than 4Ls are. For example: is owned by someone in Israel. The website shows that the company is also named BQR, and makes engineering & design software. is owned and used by Experian Data Quality. is owned and used by Platinum Debt Group, a finance company. is owned & used by Reel Power International. It supplies equipment for oil and gas drilling. is owned by Digital Reserve International. is owned by Silicon Storage Technology. is owned by HHR Asset Management. is being used by Advanced Marketing Resources, but is owned by iVenture, a California corporation. is owned by IT Domains, which appears to be a business that is interested in old IT companies, such as Fast Forward Designs. Their website on goes to a page on Fast Forward Designs. is used by QRS, a ergonomic/health equipment maker, and is owned by Scott Ash and Worldicom.

2. 3Ls may make use of an abbreviation for a product they make or sell, or a common abbreviation you may know well. For instance: redirects to webpage devoted to different cameras. CCD stands for “charge coupled device” which is the basis of most digital cameras; CCDs are in basic cell phone cameras, our most-used consumer cameras, all the way to very high-end scientific instruments. is owned by Disney. Who doesn’t know this stands for Tender Loving Care?

3. 3Ls are so valuable to acquire that a company may establish a new company name, or name their product after the domain. For example — is owned by a beer manufacturer. Their beer is named Sol.

4. 3Ls — and 4Ls too — are like big ships. You hate to have them go empty; so before a website is developed, may be used to redirect to big places, for advertising revenue. redirects to (now owned by Newscorp.) is owned by a domainer with a company address in Florida. also redirects to redirects to a wicker furniture store.

5. 4Ls have a distinct advantage over 3Ls. They are more often dictionary words, or they may resemble words. This allows developers to build a site all about that very short word. These become very memorable! is owned and used by TheMotleyFool, a stocks/finance news company. This great domain is not only a word, it’s a short way of expressing their longer company name. is as expected, a site where you can look to find all sorts of free things. is an even better design of the “free” principle, where people must sign in with an app to get the free perks the site provides links to. redirects to, a dating site. offers online shopping. is a jobs site. is for loans. is a Betty Boop store. is a site selling doorbells, home surveillance cams, other home monitoring devices. is a young girls/teens/women site. is NOT a boys’ site after all. It is a spiritual site whose makers hope will aid in a growing world consciousness. I think., in a similar expectation-defying moment, redirects to, the company site for Heller Information Services, a datacenter/webhosting business. They clearly have a sense of humor.

6. Harking back to domain broker Giuseppe Graziano, it is interesting that the 4L he uses for his site ( is not exactly his initials but is close and now serves as his company name. Almost-words (or almost-abbreviations) are interesting and sometimes you can intuit why they were chosen; sometimes not. is a puzzle site. is a place to design and build your business site. You take all the pieces and put them together. is a site for an app to facilitate the work of business teams., against expectation, redirects to Kremmer Investments at What you may not realize at first is the owner is from Budapest.

7. Domains with double vowels EE and OO are favorites to use in made-up brand names of one syllable. Popular brands, they definitely appeal to the public, whether they seem funny — cool — or clever, or all these at once. For instance: is a site for a radio app that gathers your favorite news and sounds for you to hear altogether. This seems to be named because the owners acquired this domain. is an Amazon domain, and simply goes to the main site for now. is owned and used by a Hong Kong jeweler. Not a word, but a store name, now. goes to a packed Korean news and entertainment site. is the well-known lifestyle/shopping site owned by actress Gwyneth Paltrow.