I believe everyone using a web browser should use a form of SEO bar/toolbar, and especially any would-be domainer. Even if your particular method of domaining doesn’t revolve around search, you should still be aware of its value-assessing (and thus value-giving) nature.

Domaining is largely about buying and selling based on a variable but approximately measurable perceived value, across a variety of value criteria. Because search engines so often represent such a significant portion of the marketing potential of a website, the domain’s connection search is inevitable.

SEO Value Tools

For those that don’t use them, there exist SEO plugins and toolbars which provide information about a given site, or the list of sites in a page of search results. This information includes domain age, number of pages indexed, Pagerank, information about other sites linking in, and more, which you can customize. These areas represent, to different extents, search engine ranking factors, meaning aspects which, when favourable, make it easier for the site to rank. Whether there is currently a site on the domain or not, this information about it is available, and can help inform you as to how valuable the domain is.

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For example, inbound links are massively correlated with ranking potential. In seeing that a large amount of links point to a domain, you see its search engine value (in proportion to the quantity and quality of those links). The more search engine value it has, the more the domain is worth.

I use this as a normal web surfer to see if a site is trustworthy. For example, if a site has 6-figures of links pointing to it, I am likely to trust it, as the web community has, essentially, validated it (you can’t really fake figures that high). Google uses backlinks to determine how much it trusts a website, and if it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for me.

Here are a few SEO Toolbars that friends and colleagues of mine use:

SEO Quake
SEO Book
SEOMoz Toolbar

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