It is almost impossible to find a good .com exact match domain, but there are still some good .net and .org domains available. Google's exact match bonus works with those, as well. A large part of my business is affiliate marketing where the .net and .org domains work almost as well as a .com.
A year ago I didn't own anything but .com domains. Today, and increasing percentage of my domains are .net TLDs.
I use the AdWords Keyword Tool to see a list of domains related to a primary search phrase. I then cut-and-paste the top keyword phrases into the Bulk Check tool at DomainTools.com.
Most of the time, the DomainTools.com tool is pretty accurate, but it is not 100% up-to-date. A few months ago I found an available hobby-related domain with over one million searches each month. I rushed to register it, but found out that it had been registered by someone else just a few days earlier. The Domain Tools Bulk Check tool did not show it as registered until the next day, which means it sometimes has a 3 day lag.
I am also seeing that the search estimates in the AdWords Keyword Tool are not always accurate. You can almost guarantee that if a domaineer owns the .com domain and has it parked on one of their cheesy advertising pages, the Google estimate for searches will be extraordinarily high. At first I thought they were just doing a good job of picking good domains, but if you do a search using WordTracker, you will frequently find that their estimate of the number of searches is less than 1% of the Google estimate. Even though WordTracker uses a daily estimate, that doesn't account for the discrepancy, which leads me to believe that the domaineers are doing something to artificially boost the number of searches estimated by Google. This in turn raises the value of their domains. I think they are using the tools used by the "guaranteed traffic" scammers to artificially boost the search estimates in Google.
My advice is to check the search estimates using both the AdWords Keyword Tool and WordTracker.
Last edited by TopDogger; 21 July, 2010 at 13:42 PM.
"It's inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians." -Henrik Ibsen