Good question... I dunno what is the right answer. I'll do some investigation and get back to you if I find an anything. You should email the people at Godaddy as they probably could give you help..
Which is actually the term for the personal navigation and mobile commerce industries. So, three words work fine for me..
1}When the name is a) composed of popular search terms that b) accurately describe the idea and c) there are no alternative terms, available, that can express the idea as well as, or better than the longer term. NewYorkRealEstate is an excellent example. "New York" and "Real Estate" are the top, keyword search terms for expressing the idea. Shorter, alternative, names are available but their search terms are weaker, ie "NY" Real Estate, or they are compsed of search terms that are weaker and that are more limiting/confining and/or less accurate. ie New York "Property". This is not to say that NewYorkLand or NYLandSales wouldn't, both, be very good names and a more accurate description of a New York company that specializes in the sales of parcels of land, but NewYorkRealEstate would get the company a heck of alot more hits..
2)A longer term that a)expresses a product or service in a unique, site-specific manner and that is, often, b) a common and/or catchy phrase. ie TheOneStopPhoneShop. From a resellers, standpoint, registering these names can present a problem because there are several of them out there and lining up a company that wants to or is willing to market themselves this way and that has not, already, registered the name can be difficult, and may require alot of persuasion and/or luck if a sale is to be realized..
3) A work around. Many companies, either can't, cannot justify, or, simply, will not shell out the money for a GoDaddy site that uses the shorter, preferable term and will lengthen it to avoid the expense. This has been a growing trend in the, (generally, short lived) sites that motion picture companies use to promote a film. ie [Name]theMovie, TheOfficial[Name]Site, etc..
4) A descriptive name that is composed of the slogan being used in a promotional campaign and that is, genrally, backed up by TV and radio spots,, newspaper and magazine ads, etc. These names are, also, a hit and miss proposition for the reseller..
So, to answer your question, if reselling is your intent, and not development, go with #1 and you can "get away" w/ #2,3 and 4 but, do so, at your own risk...
Length doesnt really matter to me but if your HostGator is lengthy because you added a crap load of adjectives then the HostGator probably sucks, however if it's a term your good to go. Long domains are usually specific and bring in highly targetted traffic if there are type ins and that can convert a lot better than a broader shorter HostGator with more traffic...
If you are a developer, than a long name is useful because, as droplister stated, it will be "specific and bring in highly targetted traffic". If reselling is your intent, than I wouldn't waste my time looking for avails., because the profitable one's are all long, gone. You might be able find a bargain if you find the right owner who is motivated to sell, a good name in a drop auction that goes unnoticed, or if you are able to isolate a strong, new term that combines well with another strong keyword or a new technology that makes sense of 2 terms that, previously, weren't associated w/ one another and you are the first one in line at the registrar. Just, recently, NP member, capiche, had some good sales, with names that he registered using the latter method by combining (something like- I don't remember, exactly), LiquidPetroleum and Lawnmowers...
Thanks guys, Excellent and informative responses! Very much appreciated!.
When it's long but still:.
1) easy to remember.
2) as short as possible to still make sense..
I remember "snowboardingforum" or something similar selling for a good $XXXX price. 17 characters long but it's hard to think of a logical way to shorten that and it's very easy to recall...
The name of a person.
The name of a place.
Even when it is long, it is still a good choice because you have no other choices...
Sometimes it has to be long to cleary say what it means IMO - I try and not reg anything longer than three words usually - two of my longest .coms being SiliconRealEstate & DubaiLuxuryProperty - without the word "luxury" it really means something different..
LasVegasRealEstate.com - NewYorkRealEstate.com are long but it needs to be to define it properly (the shorter version vegasrealestate.com went for about $ 53,611 at snapnames).
I think when it comes to the reg fee appraisals of long domains it is because they are given usually only from a resellers aspect - long domains & hyphen domains are still seen by the majority of resellers as non desirable or worthless but alot of end user cleary have no problem using either and there have been many decent sales recorded..
Here's a few other looooong sales I've seen posted.
WealthManagementServices.net at $1,288 afternic.
TheOneStopPhoneShop.co.uk 975 = $1,708 Sedo.
HealthSavingsAccount.com - $16,750 SnapNames.
RetirementInvestmentAdvisors.com - $2,500 at Afternic..
I think you can get away with it if it still gets type ins. I recently regged a few 3-word names with over 500 OVT that immediately started getting traffic as soon as I redirected them to ND. You need to be careful with that though - to make sure the sequence of words is correct and sensible as OVT doesn't put them in correct order...