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11|24|2008 04:33 pm EDT

“Buy Low, Sell High”. Why are Domainers Ignoring Their Most Basic Principle?

by M. Fiol in Categories: Featured

The live portion of the Down Under auctions may have concluded, too abruptly in some cases, but some of the names that did not make the ‘cut’ are still on auction – ready for savvy domainers to ratchet up and purchase. Prudence favors the bold in times like these – opportunities were missed in both Australian auctions.

To that end, there are several gems still waiting for someone to snatch and capture, revalue and conquer down the road. Again, DomainConsultant chose every name for the Aftermarket.com auction with three criteria in mind: quality, price and value – with value being defined as ‘short’ and ‘long’ term. Latona was also able to offer value in multiple forms – a major tourist Mecca like San Juan for $150k?  Again, opportunity knocked and domainers, so eager before, did not answer the door.

For a domain purchase to become a bargain requires a solid combo platter of the above three ingredients, with a side of seasoned curly fries and coleslaw.

Just return to days past when many domains were bought without consideration to all three variants and their loyal subjects. This led to a ‘bubble’ in the ‘price’ sector and a drop in the correlating ‘value’ equation. In other words, lots of domain speculators overpaid in live auctions.

But yet, it was to the sheer financial benefit of the few who saw that time as ripe to sell inventory. They, we, are the ones who benefited most from the early live auctions – we sold names without heartbeats for tens of thousands of dollars. Why? Because we follow that damn old saying – “buy low, sell high.”

So simple yet so evasive – it drives the fear of opportunity, more than the fear of failure. Those who do not implement or ignore recede into the background – pushing their names out, at a loss sometimes, just to follow the speculative leanings of the marketplace. They bought too many, too fast for too much and now are selling to recoup.

So today that means they liquidate names like HandicapShop.com for $800, not $8000; NoCalorie.com goes for $450 and not $4500; GranolaBar.com sells for $3800 not $38k.

Backtrack over the last 12, 18, 24, even 36 months and decipher how much these current offerings would have gathered at those points – this formula can help guide speculative, value-based buying decisions. Cycles, baby, cycles.

Can anyone offer reasonable doubt as to the state of the market? Are we high or low? Of course, we are on the low, low side so if you consider yourself even a speculative domainer – then now is clearly the time to buy. A domain like iUS.com for $25k (particularly given the state of ‘i’ names and good LLLs)? Eighteen months ago, this premium generic would have brought $75,000-$150,000 in a live venue. Bottom line is the auctions were filled with names priced for easy end-user sales.

For our money, we chose names like SkiEurope.com (kicks ass), Coed.com (think 18-22 college dating), ChildLocation.com, BajaAdventures.com, iJar.com, Somehow.com and about two dozen more that are still available for bids closing November 26th. Rick Latona’s auction is now closed.

Some Aftermarket.com names just didn’t make it to the auction in the time allowed while others did not get bids like NewTLD.com. Didn’t we just spend a week talking about hundreds of ‘new TLDs’? How much does one application cost again?

Truthfully, reach the bottom and only blue skies, Simpson-like clouds and ‘ahhhhs’ await you. It is time-tested and true – repeated by speculators before (2000-2002) and repeated daily by some of the most successful domainers (like Latona) in the world. Afterall, domaining itself is based in the idea of buying low and selling high.

So the ultimate question is: why aren’t you buying?

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50 Comments

Steven

November 24, 2008 @ 5:07 pm EDT

why aren’t you buying?

QUALITY…QUALITY…QUALITY

PRICES…PRICES…PRICES

I do not see those inline with one another yet. I still think the market is expensive compared to other asset classes. Additionally, just because prices are lower today than they were 6 months ago does make something cheap or a good buy. It just means it would cost less today.

Sammy Ashouri

November 24, 2008 @ 5:18 pm EDT

Exactly agree with Steven. I had opportunity knocking on my door at the end of August, and I damn took it. Expensive as hell, but sometimes things just absolutely “ARE” worth it. Most of the domains now-a-days are a little bit cheaper, but still not worth getting giddy about.

James Sell

November 24, 2008 @ 5:23 pm EDT

Are you saying that we have bottomed?…

I don’t think so – not by a longshot.

Prices will continue to fall for at least another year or so is my thinking. Things are bad out there.

Ms Domainer

November 24, 2008 @ 6:00 pm EDT

*

I agree with James Sell–we have yet hit rock bottom.

*

Kevin Jackson

November 24, 2008 @ 6:36 pm EDT

Some people missed the boat in the nineties, and they will miss it again in 2008 with their eyes wide open. Now is a time to buy, even if it means maxing out credit cards.

The deals that you see today, may never appear again!

Mike

November 24, 2008 @ 7:06 pm EDT

In essence, the argument follows what all here are commenting.

Indeed, finding the bottom is key. History tells us the bottom is that point when speculators and others are not buying, they are selling.

So the question of a bottom is subjective and ultimately determines success and failure or some type of purgatory where revenue remains static.

Again, I think all make good points, it is a matter of analysis and partly why the piece was written, to get many opinions and definitions of the bottom. DNN asks that we write articles that spur discussion.

In this regard, there is several instances of precedent in the domain industries relatively short history. And from my experience, those who took advantage are either retired or at the top (privately and publicly).

But again, this is an important question for all – so feel free to impart your thoughts but save the high-horses and attacks.

Cheers, M.

Mike

November 24, 2008 @ 7:13 pm EDT

This is comparative, it should be noted. What would one value bachelordegrees.com today? It sold for $42k less than 18 mos. ago. Again, the article is designed to compare and contrast times and scales – and based also in experience of the first few rounds of cycles in this business.

AhmedF

November 24, 2008 @ 7:45 pm EDT

Big snooze. To somehow think that this is 2000 again is extremely short-sighted.

There is a reason Auction.com is a nice domain but that’s it – because the brand eBay eats it up. A generic was never the end-all solution, and to think it is now is simple-minded.

I love people who keep insisting domains are super cheap but don’t buy any of their own.

Mike

November 24, 2008 @ 8:29 pm EDT

Who says we’re not buying?

People should have noted the bidders in AU.

Rob Sequin

November 24, 2008 @ 11:09 pm EDT

Thanks for mentioning my ChildLocation.com as a good value. High bid is at $151 no reserve, item #75 if you use the link to the auction in the article above.

Now is the time to be buying. More people will be at home more. Out of work, under employed, traveling less, going out to dinner less… means people are on the Internet.

Watch the after Christmas retail numbers. ALL stores will be off but I bet the Internet sales are UP.

Johnny

November 24, 2008 @ 11:24 pm EDT

Outside of Rick Latona’s offerings, I really found the Aftermarket auction to be littered with poor domains.

I would not want most of those domains in my portfolio. ChildLocation.com, Somehow.com, IJar.com…..c’mon now…. those are lame.

I do think the NoCalorie.com sale you mentioned was a steal…..but probably not from a direct navigation standpoint…just a long-term investment or development site.

Rob Sequin

November 24, 2008 @ 11:38 pm EDT

To each is his own. ChildLocation.com may not be anything terrific, it’s only at $151 and might stay that way.

NoCalorie.com for $450? I don’t get that one.

So, I guess it’s how we see the development potential and how the domain fits into our interest and knowledge.

Mike

November 24, 2008 @ 11:42 pm EDT

I like childlocation.com. It is solid and timely, could be developed and branded and it relates to a growing and emerging market – so that makes it better than most dvds names for instance.

Most importantly, it’s the price.

Adam Strong

November 25, 2008 @ 1:10 am EDT

Johnny. Instead of slamming specific names, which other people own (not knowing how much they make, what offers they’ve received, what they paid, etc etc) and other people may plan to buy, how about pointing out some positives. If you liked the Latona auction then say so and point out the specific ones you liked there. I’d rather see a bunch of “hey these names are great” and congratulations to buyers on picking up good names that they happen to want or like, rather than a bunch of snide remarks about how much names suck.

Picking and poking a few names out of any group of 100 is easy, so is saying they all are crap. It is also pointless and petty. I think around 70% of the names that managed to go live were sold at aftermarket even with their technology taking a huge dump on them. Latona did around 60%. Opinions on what suck at that point doesn’t matter much at all.

Dr Singh

November 25, 2008 @ 8:26 am EDT

We seem to be on the very low side. Seller confidence has dropped while the buyers seems to be having a laugh.

tim davids

November 25, 2008 @ 9:47 am EDT

Imo the best deal of the AU auctions was “saws”… A complete business can be made on that domain. Get em there looking for saws and sell em gloves too, etc.

Cure Dream

November 25, 2008 @ 11:23 am EDT

My feelings come and go on domain value.

I’m the kind of person who develops sites that use AI and semantic stuff to extend the value of human labor. I might spend $1000 to develop a site that earns back it’s development costs in four months. Then it keeps on earning.

I usually use non-com domains for these projects. Keywords in the domain are important. Perhaps there’s a law of economics involved, but I notice that .com domains that I’d like cost about $1000. Well, I can imagine that having the .com would increase my revenue a bit, but not that it would double it. I’d rather develop two sites and double my revenue rather than double my costs for a single site. The fact that some domainer is getting 5% of my revenue from type-in traffic doesn’t bother me when I can double my growth rate.

Five years ago I thought that .biz and .tv, .md and the other “alternative” TLD’s were a scam. These days, I’m seeing them get picked up by real businesses, who are not convinced of the value of .com domains. I see products with strange TLD’s on sale at the mall, and I know of a local car dealer that bought it’s name in “.biz” rather than “.com”… And that’s a business that (last year) could have easily dropped 50k on a better domain.

Rick Schwartz once made a passionate case that businesses that are giving up on “.com” are making a big mistake: that he’s getting a good chunk of revenue from other people’s brand building activity. He may be right. However, most of the businesses which are building brands and selling products don’t agree with him: so domainers are mostly selling to other domainers who want to “buy low and sell high” rather than to the kind of businesses which are going to sink big money into developing a site and could possible afford big $$ for a domain.

As for “type-in” traffic, I think that’s going to go away gradually, just as new TLD’s are coming in gradually. Domainers have no friends in this world. Changes in the behavior of the web browser address bar may eventually eliminate “type-in” traffic entirely. Google would rather have people developing web sites with content that their search engine can eat, rather than making the kind of sites that have made “generic.com” a ghetto.

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 12:48 pm EDT

>>>There is a reason Auction.com is a nice domain but that’s it – because the brand eBay eats it up. A generic was never the end-all solution, and to think it is now is simple-minded.<<<<

If Microsoft owned this name they could extract the value to compete head to head with eBay. Like any recession this is the time when most people make the most money on the deals that are to be had.

There is only one internet and one set of domain names that are to be had. The biggest factor that should be pushing the price of domain names which I don’t hear near enough is the work the Google has done in making domain names more valuable.

What I’m referring to is the way search engines are changing their search algoritms at a DRAMATIC pace towards variables within the domain name. Back in the good old days (5 years ago :) ) most people got their webpage to the top of search engines using certain targeted keyword phrases in the ‘keyword’ meta tags and content on their web pages.

Every person in the search engine optimization business knows that the rules have now changed as Google wants to prevent seo teams from cheating the engines. They have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage.

This includes the keywords in the domain name, the domain suffix (.com or a pathetic .info?) and even more recently the domain information tied to the domain name. This was recognized recently by when it was noticed that Google employees secretly took out a patent that looks at the length that a domain is registered for and other contact and hosting information.

It can be expected that this trend will continue since the domain ownership is the hardest thing to cheat. If someone pays decent money for a good domain name they plan on doing something with it in the long run and will probably put money into development. Google knows this and knows that they will be fetching a better result by doing so.

There is a very interesting video created online at the following link that explains what most people don’t realize in domain names. There are four factors of value in every domain name that create the overall value.

Traffic value, SEO value, Brand value and Usability. An excellent video on this subject is located at the following location

http://www.webtrafficconsultants.com/search-engine-videos/DomainNameAppraisal.avi

It is 20 mintues long but it is very detailed on the true value of a domain name.

Ron

Rob Sequin

November 25, 2008 @ 1:30 pm EDT

“They (Google) have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage.”

Can you show me a news article where this is true?

Since Google doesn’t talk about their algorithms, I don’t know how anyone could state this as a fact.

If this was a fact, domain prices would triple overnight.

Mike

November 25, 2008 @ 1:40 pm EDT

Great discussion. This is what we strive for. These are important questions (with many answers). Who is right and who is wrong is subjective and based in circumstances and needs and resources.

I am working on a piece about SEO value, it may be a big bridge to the mainstream as I can also attest to Ron’s algorithm observations.

Jamie

November 25, 2008 @ 1:49 pm EDT

“Every person in the search engine optimization business knows that the rules have now changed as Google wants to prevent seo teams from cheating the engines. They have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage.”

That is some of the worst seo advice I’ve seen this year. Bear in mind that it is November and the bar was already set pretty high.

Cure Dream

November 25, 2008 @ 1:50 pm EDT

There’s no doubt in my mind that keywords in the domain have SEO value. Two popular variations are

AB.X
A-B.X

where A and B are keywords and X is a TLD.

It’s hard to say what Google thinks about TLD. Yes, there were some people making spam farm empires with .info names like

[a-z0-9]{5}.info

when they could register .info names for lt $2, but that doesn’t reflect the value of the average .info domain. I’ve had good SEO luck with them.

UFO.ORG

November 25, 2008 @ 3:57 pm EDT

There is very little quality in the marketplace. Most of it is locked down and only sells for huge $.

You only need to look at what’s happened to GreatDomains.com’s inventory on showcase versus what existed in 03/04 to see what “dross” is now on offer and at excruciatingly high prices.

I personally think many domains are overpriced and many NET’s aren’t worth a dime.

Still though, the market will adjust, and remember, why buy a high priced com when you could in theory buy an extension. Imagine .now and so forth. Great URL’s with plenty of marketing capability.

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 4:30 pm EDT

Hi Rob,

To answer you question. Most people haven’t recognized this yet, prices should and will multiply greater than you expect.

Google never discusses it’s algorithm but if you ask any SEO expert or an experience web designer they will verify these facts since they see the results which are easily proven. As far as Google and their most recent patent, there is tons of information on this event if you do a Google search of this information ‘secret patent Google domain name length’.

Most books on SEO and simple tests will verify that the keyword Meta tag and content in the website are no longer large factors.

As a domain collector, expert and seo master I can assure you that 25% of the search engine factor is due to the domain name and that it is safe to say that this percent will only be increasing in the near future.

Collecting domain names for over 15 years and studying search engine optimization, I have been paid a lot of money to explain Google’s algorithm and how it has changed over the past few years. I predicted this movement to domains years ago and have bought domain names accordingly giving me one of the world’s greatest collections.

I assure you Google’s algorithm is a lot more predictable that most people think. Google only has so much wiggle room to make decisions on what pages rank higher.

Question -> If you were going to create a search algorithm for a search engine what percentage would you take away from domain name factors? What would you give it to? Keyword Meta tag? Description Meta tag? Content on page?

Here are a few things you should try:

Type in three words into Google and do a search. Count the number of keywords there are in the domains, for each listing, on the first page. Did you notice they are in bold. Count how many domain names have a suffix other than the .com, .asia, .eu or country level code. None??? Do you see any .biz or .info? Strange? ?

Google is in the business of producing results. If it were to change it’s algorithm to make a fair playing field for all domain names where they be good or bad, it’s users would get frustrated and would leave in droves.

As a prediction I can tell everyone that there will be a massive shift happening in 2009 with regards to domain names. There are many people who know what I am talking about and are hoping that no one talks about it. I don’t even want to spill the beans yet but I’ll come back to this forum after the change has been made. It should change the way things are done and have a permanent drastic change to the Google algorithm.

WebTrafficConsultants.com made a video of this event but pulled it with their other videos when they realized they were sharing too much information.

I predict a very rosy future for domainers.

Ron

PS In regards to the comments by Cure Dream, .info names have been pulled by Google search engines. They no longer list them so I am confused by your comments.

In regards to the comments by Jamie, can you elaborate on this? What, in what I said, was the worst seo advice? This should be pretty clear cut for any person that works on search engine optimization. Is it the degree of which this is a factor that you are arguing. I could provide a simple test that will attest to this.

Cure Dream

November 25, 2008 @ 4:52 pm EDT

.info domains are alive and well. There was an incident in Spring 2008 where certain info domains got deindexed for 24 hours, but I’ve got .info domains that perform very well in terms of SEO. One of them, we’ll call it “AB.info”, beat “AB.com” for a #1 rank for “A B” in about two months — and that’s a typical result. “AB.com” was four years old, which counts for something, but 2008 SEO beats a 2004 link farm any day.

My big fear with alternative TLD’s is that a domain that costs $20 a year is going to cost $200 a year when some island kind decides he needs more $$.

As for .com, “AB.com” is a bad neighborhood, the kind of place where you should roll up your windows when you drive by… I mean really, is this ever going to rank for “plutonium nitrate?”

http://plutoniumnitrate.com/

More than 90% of “AB.com” sites are content-free and unlinkable. There’s no way that Google is going to have a bias towards them.

Spending $1000 for an “AB.com” site might make sense if there wasn’t an opportunity cost, but there is. $1000 bucks can buy you content and links: a LOT of contents and links if you’ve got an efficient operation.

Jack

November 25, 2008 @ 5:24 pm EDT

What’s the point of stating all this…if you had no intention of saying what it is? So, some readers will just assume domainers have a ‘rose future’ based on some secret you hint at?

“As a prediction I can tell everyone that there will be a massive shift happening in 2009 with regards to domain names. There are many people who know what I am talking about and are hoping that no one talks about it. I don’t even want to spill the beans yet but I’ll come back to this forum after the change has been made.”

Mike @ WannaDevelop.com

November 25, 2008 @ 5:35 pm EDT

Ron, it is more like 50%

everything else as far as actual SEO and CONTENT goes makes up the other half… and i’ve covered and wrote about it recently on my site ;)

and for the ignorant folks.. just because you do not know something, or because it doesn’t really seem to make sense right away doesn’t mean it is not true… do some of your own research and look into this further, because the SEO game isn’t all that complicated and can be mastered with all the basics to at least crack the top 5 which is pretty good too, starting from a good domain, relevant content and proper link building.

Mike
http://www.wannadevelop.com/

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 6:02 pm EDT

Hi Rob,

>>>Thanks for that detailed reply and I appreciate your experience. So, would xyz.com show up better than xyz.info or xyz.ws for example?

Are you saying that .net .bix etc will rank less because of the extension?<<<

Well first you must recognize that Google has more than one search engine, i.e. Google.com (North America), Google.ca (Canada), Google.cn (China) each different search engine has an algorithm tunned to the applicable crowd. In, Vancouver Canada where I am from, people use either Google.com or Google.ca. If I do a search for a inspector in Vancouver on Google.ca I will get a mixture of .com and .ca built websites.

If I do a search on the Google.com version I will get mainly .com.

In the case of .info, .biz, .ws and even .net you will be penalized. These names failed for two reasons

1) They have a similar usablity to the (.com)
2) The .com was first on the market
3) They were developed way to slow providing little competition to .com

Thus, the owner of the .com version will permanently have an advantage on the Google.com (North American) search engine and other search engines for competing with those terms.

Lets pretend Google didn’t follow these rules. If they were to change that algortim over night to give the advantage to .biz you would start to see .biz domain names show up in your listings. Why can we be sure they won’t do this?

An action like this would produce horrible results that wouldn’t be applicable to what the user is searching for. People would start using other search engines in droves.

If .info had been used before .com came out the opposite would have been true. A web page basically has information about something right?

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 6:18 pm EDT

Response to some comments.

Cure Dream ->>>One of them, we’ll call it “AB.info”, beat “AB.com” for a #1 rank for “A B” in about two months — and that’s a typical result.<<>> What’s the point of stating all this…if you had no intention of saying what it is? So, some readers will just assume domainers have a ‘rose future’ based on some secret you hint at?<<>> ;) For most of us it has been common sense for a long time. What isn’t common sense is the level that this balance is going to change and what it will do to the value of domaining. It is kind of funny how every SEO expert knows domaining to a degree and every domainer knows SEO to a degree. Most webdesigners however don’t know SEO or Domaining.

Finding a good domainer that knows what is down the pipe is hard. There is only one internet boys take advantage of it before all of the good domains are gone!

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 6:22 pm EDT

My last post didn’t process properly. My long answers were cut out.

I’ll answer some of the questions that were sent to me tomorrow when I have time to rewrite this stuff.

Jamie

November 25, 2008 @ 6:29 pm EDT

Ron, you started out saying that the engines “have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage. This includes the keywords in the domain name, the domain suffix (.com or a pathetic .info?) and even more recently the domain information tied to the domain name. ” To me that sounds like you’re saying those factors constitute the majority of the weighting in the algorithm. Later you say “I can assure you that 25% of the search engine factor is due to the domain name and that it is safe to say that this percent will only be increasing in the near future.”. If I didn’t understand what you were saying in the first post then my mistake. But which is it, the deciding factors – or 25%?

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 6:33 pm EDT

>>>What’s the point of stating all this…if you had no intention of saying what it is? So, some readers will just assume domainers have a ‘rose future’ based on some secret you hint at?

To respond to this question, as I mentioned in my initial post I will be saying what it is at a later date. You’ll know when the news comes out exactly what I was talking about. Most domainers reading this already know (I haven’t completely ruled you out yet).

No blogs or news sites are talking about this change because it will cause a flood of buying but I assure you that they will once the first quarter of next year is over. I have this post bookmarked so I intend on coming back.

I expect a complete shuffle in domaining and search engine optimization that will lead to all SEO books being rewritten.

I assure you domaining will hit another level very shortly and I can’t really tell you more than that without giving away too much.

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 6:42 pm EDT

>>>Ron, you started out saying that the engines “have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage. This includes the keywords in the domain name, the domain suffix (.com or a pathetic .info?) and even more recently the domain information tied to the domain name. ” To me that sounds like you’re saying those factors constitute the majority of the weighting in the algorithm. Later you say “I can assure you that 25% of the search engine factor is due to the domain name and that it is safe to say that this percent will only be increasing in the near future.”. If I didn’t understand what you were saying in the first post then my mistake. But which is it, the deciding factors – or 25%?

-> No problem Jamie. Maybe I should have been more clear. The 25% is based on all factors of the domain keywords, domain suffix, domain ownership age length, domain registration length, domain hosting, domain ownership information and everything else on the domain name.

In the past the domain had a much smaller factor.

What makes this a major change is the fact that if you do the other things right this can be the deciding factor to take control of the top positions/traffic. For example if I match all the other variables which isn’t that hard I can move on top of your site based on the domain name I own.

This growth will increase since there are other domain factors that are being looked at as we speak.

Jamie

November 25, 2008 @ 6:48 pm EDT

“For example if I match all the other variables which isn’t that hard I can move on top of your site based on the domain name I own.”

You lost me at “if”.

Rob Sequin

November 25, 2008 @ 7:24 pm EDT

Ron,

We don’t mean to beat you up but when you say

“The 25% is based on all factors of the domain keywords, domain suffix, domain ownership age length, domain registration length, domain hosting, domain ownership information and everything else on the domain name.”

you bring in length of ownership, hosting and whois information then it’s not so much about the .com any more. So long as crap-crap.net has been registered longer than crapcrap.com and has the right whois information (not sure how this matters) and is hosted correctly (not sure how this matters) then crap-crap.net is only a couple steps behind crapcrap.com, No?

I guess what we are asking for is proof, not just speculation.

It seems as though you are working on an educated guess and your experience which is fine but when you say “They have drastically changed their algorithms to make the root domain name the deciding factors, giving the owners an advantage.” I guess we’d like some proof.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for that to be true but saying the domain name is the deciding factor in a search result is a bit of an overstatement.

The reason I stay on this is it seems you are claiming that .info domains and the like are worth MUCH less all factors considered equal.

Is that true?

Mike @ WannaDevelop.com

November 25, 2008 @ 8:00 pm EDT

Ron, you were posting some good and useful info which was more or less correct overall but the more you come back here and post about something that is going to happen which is going to change everything or something.. the more it sounds like bs, and it is just that i’d bet anything on it as there is no such buzz. you should just stop because you sound silly… “hyping” things up, because it really is pointless.

Ron

November 25, 2008 @ 11:34 pm EDT

Hi Rob,

>>>The reason I stay on this is it seems you are claiming that .info domains and the like are worth MUCH less all factors considered equal.

Is that true?

—Definitely. Do a Google search and show me ‘keyword search terms’ that produce a .info or .biz result. If I advertise a site like Houses.info on a billboard what percentage of people will go home and type in Houses.com? Traffic Leakage from a domain that never had a useful purpose different from .com.

—I have proven it to myself a million times using seo tools. How do I prove it to you? A quick search of Google should provide quite a few people that believe what I’m saying is true. Cut and paste this into your browser.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=domain+name+length+google+patent+secret&meta=

—Four factors determine the value of a domain name:
1) Traffic (Brand Traffic + Guess Traffic + Link Traffic)
+
2) Brand
+
3) Search Engine Optimization abilities
X (Multiply)
4) Usablity (How usable is the domain name online)

—Length of ownership, hosting and whois information etc for a crap-crap.net cannot beat me on the search engines for the search term ‘crap’, if that is what you want to achieve, if I own crap-crap.com and match the hosting reliability, whois reliability, domain ownership length, domain registration length and other variables such as link quality, title, description etc.

Additionally aside from being negated by the algorthm for the ‘-‘ and the ‘.net’ suffix… why would anyone want to be on top of the search engine for ‘crap’?

I regret mentioning that there will be a drastic change after the first quarter of next year. I shouldn’t have said anything about ‘The Big Change’ until it happens. I won’t talk about it until it actually happens since there is no reason for me to provide any hype as pointed out.

I was just curious if anyone would take a stab at it or knew what I was referring to on this forum. I’m guessing several know but enough said. Those are my last words on it.

Cure Dream

November 26, 2008 @ 12:49 pm EDT

@Ron,

this is all old news. Serious SEO’s know that there are different rules for new sites and for old sites. It’s been that way for a long time.

It seems unlikely to me that Google is going to count five years of being a “type-in” spam site towards the history of a site. Such a site is just as likely to transform into an “SEO” spam site as it is to become anything else.

Eli, the Blue Hat SEO, thinks that “used” domains aren’t necessarily safe for SEO purposes. The trouble is you don’t know the history. An innocuous “type-in” spam site might have been an SEO spam site three years ago that got banned, got abandoned by the original SEO, and now belongs to a domainer. You could pay a grand for a domain like that, build contents and links till you’re blue in the face, and find you can’t rank better than #1,000,000 for “kitty litter paw prints.”

Anyhow, if you’re asking “why domainers aren’t buying?” you’re asking the wrong question. The real question is “why developers aren’t buying?” It’s just like the housing market: demand in a healthy housing market comes from people who want to live in a house, not from people that want to “flip.” So long as “flippers” are “making the market”, you haven’t seen the bottom.

Ron

November 26, 2008 @ 2:09 pm EDT

@Cure Dream

When you say ‘SEO’ spam site what are you referring to? I know of spam email but what is a spam site?

With all of my examples I was referring to good quality sites competing and one using the advantage of the greater domain name to take the top spots.

Ron

November 26, 2008 @ 2:11 pm EDT

@Cure Dream

You brought up an interesting point about a damaged domain name. Domain names can be destroyed. I purchased a decent domain name recently only to realize that there was a ton of spam as soon as I set up the email.

Medical Writer

November 26, 2008 @ 8:03 pm EDT

Again I am reiterating the fact that developing is the best option and coming back to selling it later. This is one of the good options and is debated extensively in many discussion forums.

Ron

November 26, 2008 @ 8:46 pm EDT

@Medical Writer

Again I am reiterating the fact that developing is the best option and coming back to selling it later. This is one of the good options and is debated extensively in many discussion forums.

–Of course. It is like saying developing a house on a piece of land will get more value than selling the land without the house.

It is still possible to buy a good piece of land and flip it for a profit but with a developed site you should get more financially.

jblack

December 1, 2008 @ 12:01 pm EDT

“For our money, we chose names like SkiEurope.com (kicks ass), Coed.com (think 18-22 college dating)…” Congratulations. But I do not see the Who Is has changed. Did you buy them or just say others should?

Ron

December 1, 2008 @ 1:53 pm EDT

It is hard to get a four letter .com domain name these days that means anything. What did you pay for each of them?

ds

December 4, 2008 @ 10:40 pm EDT

Ron, isn’t this what you’re talking about?
http://www.theage.com.au/news/web/rule-changes-to-spark-domain-name-goldrush/2008/06/27/1214472719636.html

Ron

December 6, 2008 @ 10:43 pm EDT

No that has nothing to do with what I was referring to. I am completely convinced that these domain names will fail. There is no difference between these new names and names such as .biz, .net etc. No one will use them.

The change I’m talking about will cause a spending frenzy and lead to all seo books being rewritten. Domaining is about to have a explosion of values. As technology has wiped out many old ways of doing things, domaining will evolve in the new year playing a key roll in completely changing the way we do stuff.

Getting back to your article, the way domains suffixes have been released has been horrible in my opinion. It has created a lot of problems and some domains that are comepletely useless. i.e. .net

What is .net? How can someone use a .net? Where would someone use a .net? When I see some of the auction prices for .net domain names I am shocked that someone would pay that amount.

Anyone that uses .net for a website or company name usually changes it over time when they realize the amount of traffic they are losing to the .com version of the domain name. It is even worse when someone develops a .com version to something that is similar to your site.

ds

December 7, 2008 @ 3:45 pm EDT

For the most part, yes, com is indispensable. And I also agree that .net is useless. Except… It’s more complicated than that. Com is a must for a US or global business. For a German business, however, it is not essential – at all. The .de suffix is essential. Net is quite popular in a number of countries, where com is virtually not used.
Another thing – even globally, you can use something else than com and be more successfull than com. Example? Last.fm. According to your logic, anyone developing last.com would fare better in searches. I really don’t think so. Last.fm is already a brand, and fm really suits that site – music. Of course it is an exception that only proves the rule. Nonetheless, it also proves that you can something else other than com and be #1 in google. Speaking of google – sure, it is the most widely used search engine, yet msn, yahoo are still alive and kicking. And there are people who use them (I, for one, almost exclusively use yahoo for my searches – why? because i have always done so, since yahoo was born. Kind of like .com addiction :). And I don’t know if you know that, but both msn and yahoo don’t care all that much for com – they put a lot more weight in the domain name itself, whatever extension it might have.
So I guess what I am saying is this – if you have the money, go for .com. But if your budget is constrained, it is better to have a great .org or .tv name, or even .fm (if its about music).

Ron

December 7, 2008 @ 11:32 pm EDT

Very interesting points. I would agree with you for the most part but disagree on a few key points.

—. Com is a must for a US or global business
It is a must for US and north american business. I am willing to bet that over time .asia and .eu will rise in popularity in those areas. The problem with .com in asia and eu is that when someone does a broad search for something such as electronics Google shows some results for .com but mostly the country code. The problem with .com overseas is that when someone does a broad search in asia or europe, they aren’t looking for .com sites because most of them are north american companies. If I type in Cars.com or electronics.com north american sites that don’t apply to asia show up. That’s why type in traffic usually comes from North America for .com domain names. People that type guess type-in .com domains usually get what they are looking for and people that do it in asia get punished with an unapplicable result. .ASIA and .EU clearly tell Google that it represents a broad search in those areas.

-If .com, .asia and .eu came out at the same time this would have been an instant change. Since countries outside of the North America didn’t have a proper (broad) domain for their area they have navigated to the country code first but if you are doing a search for Office Supplies using Google.cn you often get restricted to a country level search when a cheaper store could be in the surrounding areas. If I was the German business I would also purchase the .eu since all it will take is Google to make this decision to start rewarding this domain more for these broad searches and everyone will jump in.

—Another thing – even globally, you can use something else than com and be more successfull than com. Example? Last.fm.

-Out of curiosity where did fm come from? Was it originally a country code also? I agree you can be successful but you will be losing a portion of your traffic to Last.com. I can attest to that since the only .fm domain name I am familiar with is WebMasterRadio.fm and when I first learned about this excellent site and tried to return several times I typed in WebMasterRadio.com instead. Naturally WebMasterRadio.com has always been a cash parking site but if it was a site that had the same content as WebMasterRadio.fm I would have been fooled. I actually have another client that ran into the same problem with owning the .ca country level domain name and not buying the .com North American domain name. Similar site taking their business one person at a time. This is especially common when the word of mouth comes into play.

When the UFC went with .tv, I was also fooled several times into typing in UFC.com. UFC have since changed their domain name over.

Finally if I were to ask you to name ten .fm and ten .tv sites would you be able to do so without doing a Google search? My guess is not since most site owners have realized the traffic leakage and switched.

—I really don’t think so. Last.fm is already a brand, and fm really suits that site – music.

-Well I agree with you to a degree. If the domain has a unique usable purpose it is usually more likely to succeed, however a domain also has to be developed quickly. With few sites most people don’t recognize .fm and most radio sites had a .com previously.

—Nonetheless, it also proves that you can something else other than com and be #1 in google.

-I agree. I do however think that anyone that has the .com has an advantage for a North American search if they play all of their other cards correctly.

—Speaking of google – sure, it is the most widely used search engine, yet msn, yahoo are still alive and kicking. And there are people who use them (I, for one, almost exclusively use yahoo for my searches – why? because i have always done so, since yahoo was born. Kind of like .com addiction :).

-I notice this. I notice that when you look at traffic figures coming in from search engines, obviously the majority come from Google but there are also still a lot of people using Yahoo. This puzzles many people in Canada as the search technology is no where near as accurate. I agree with you however that when you get accustomed to using something else, there is an inertia changing. I still use hotmail even though I hate hotmail and would rather use another account for my signups. What is surprising is the fact that Google searches way better and I thought people would change over.

—And I don’t know if you know that, but both msn and yahoo don’t care all that much for com – they put a lot more weight in the domain name itself, whatever extension it might have.

-I have noticed this difference in the algorithm. I find it very easy to get on top of these engines. They also are more likely to show pages with less content.

—So I guess what I am saying is this – if you have the money, go for .com. But if your budget is constrained, it is better to have a great .org or .tv name, or even .fm (if its about music).

-I would disagree and recommend a North American company to come up with the best .com name that is available. I would then recommend that they buy the .ca if they are Canadian since Google has already put preference on Canadian searches. A .com version of your domain name is always going to haunt you so spend what you can and come up with an original. .org if you are a charity, pass on the .fm or .tv.

ds

December 10, 2008 @ 10:00 pm EDT

Same here, I agree with you for the most part :)
.fm is of course a repurposed country tld (federated states of micronesia). Now, before I googled, I was only aware of 3 or 4 fm sites – the webmasterradio site you mentioned, last.fm, and jazz.fm. But then I of course couldn’t help googling and noticed that there were quite a lot of them out there.
Back to the topic. If I had an extra couple of mils, I guess I’d go with jazz.com, but given a limited budget, I think I’d better spend a few thousand bucks on jazz.fm (replace “jazz” with something else, jazz.fm by now is well established and would fetch far more than I can afford), and spend the extra money that I saved on creating a better site. Fine, I will lose some traffic to jazz.com, but remembering how much I put in, that’s something I can live with.
Also, I do own two fm names (parked), and I get pretty good traffic from all over the world, daily. So it’s not something obscure. Granted, the names are very high search keywords, and their com equivalents would be worth millions, but I wouldn’t buy anything lesser as far as fm goes.
By the way, just thought of something – if the owners of last.com tried to exploit the fame of last.fm and create a radio site, would last.fm have grounds to sue them? Would be pretty funny, but I think they might stand a chance.
Just my two cents fo

Ron

December 10, 2008 @ 11:06 pm EDT

I had a client that had almost the exact thing happen to their company. They spent millions suing and still weren’t able to get the .com version. Recently the owner of the .com version sold it to another company with a condition that on ownership they don’t sell it to my client. Shows you how ugly these things can get.

According to my lawyers however they said that there is no way anyone can sell a domain name and insist that they are not allowed to sell it afterwards. A deal like that wouldn’t stand.

The thing in this case is that when my clients domain name was small, it didn’t seem like a problem. It was only after his name got big that the problem grew. This happened for two reasons:

1) People figured out the .com version was getting a decent size of traffic.
2) The larger the traffic level got for my client the more traffic leakage that happened.

This is a good lesson for country level code owners. For examnple if you own the .ca (canadian) a lot of their traffic, as I speak from experience goes to the .com (North American) version. I believe we’ll start to see the same thing happening overseas but worse. The .cn will start to loose traffic to the .asia owners. They started with the country level being released first.

I don’t know if you where part of the recent .asia auctions but they were a fierce fight. There were several big players fighting for the main domain names and paying amazing amounts. I saw some of the .ASIA domains going for over 100,000 on release. It got so crazy I couldn’t even spend my last 20,000 because all of the names went above that.

As I was bidding there were clues as to who was buying them since when people registered with some registers they used their real name as their username. I saw a lot of American, Australian and UK investors go in heavy.

I’m waiting to see when Moniker has their first .asia auction. I noticed they put one .asia domain name on auction a while ago. It was absolutely a horrible name and it fetched if I’m correct a little under a thousand.

It will be real interesting to see the way the domain world is represented in 20 years from now. What will fly and what will bomb. Already there are plenty of clues indicating each trend.

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