Several domain blogs & TechCrunch reported last week that the premium domain name, RealEstate.com (with associated domains and online services), was sold by Lending Tree to Market Leader for $8.25 million dollars. RealEstate.com would classify as one of the all time best domain names right along with Business.com and Loans.com. Market Leader is reported to have been buying other online services and companies to expand their niche in the real estate industry.
Neustar, who oversee the .biz and .US domain name registries, has launched a new website at DotYou.biz to promote the forthcoming release of newer alternative tld’s (top level domains). Their choice of the .BIZ web address makes good use of the business-centric focus that .biz represents.
Raleigh, NC was voted the #1 city in America by Businessweek. Factors included green space, cultural amenities, and school performance. Raleigh.info is a premium web address currently available through the Menius Enterprises, Inc. domain name portfolio and the PremiumDomains.US website.
Update: The www.Methadone.US website, which launched earlier this year, exceeded its own monthly record for consumer traffic in August with that month seeing the largest number of visitors since the site’s inception. The largest single day for unique site visitors also occurred in August.
DomainSherpa.com is a domain name information website which features interviews with domain name investors. I recently found this site, which is authored & edited by Michael Cyger, and was impressed with the quality of Michael’s online interviews with well-known domain industry veterans.
Most entertaining & informative are two interviews, one with Ron Jackson, and the other with Mark Ostrofsky. Ron is the editor of DN Journal (the popular domain industry trade magazine), and Mark is the domain pioneer who sold Business.com for multi-millions during the early years of the internet’s explosive proliferation.
In the DomainSherpa interview, Ron Jackson discusses his domain name portfolio and his interest in the .US domain space. Following Neustar’s public release of the .US extension in 2002, Ron used various strategies to secure nice quality domain names like Reno.US, GreenBay.US, and three-letter domains like AFI.US. Ron shared having hundreds of three-letter .US domains in his portfolio, many of which would be ideal fits for a wide variety of US-based companies.
In the Ostrofsky interview on DomainSherpa, Mark informed viewers of his recent release of a new book he authored entitled Get Rich Click!. Mark also spoke of his affinity for .BIZ domains and his belief that the .BIZ domain space is significantly undervalued. I share this sentiment, and have held that the internet’s official Business (.BIZ) web address is stealthily expanding year after year. dotBIZ presently has 2,254,284 worldwide registrations.
Also quite thought-provoking & informative on the DomainSherpa site are interviews with Andrew Allemann of DomainNameWire and Elliot Silver of ElliotsBlog.com. Both domain investors offer their unique experiences and views on domain investing and website development.
My only criticism of the DomainSherpa site is the inclusion of a guest article which references Estibot, an automated domain appraisal device which has been criticized for producing distorted, unreliable domain valuations based on limited, simplistic metrics. Unfortunately, the guest writer article fails to emphasize the illegitimacy of automated appraisals, particularly in regard to premium domain names. Since DomainSherpa aspires to be an authoritative domain information site, any endorsement of Estibot detracts from the site’s credibility and integrity.
That being said, I very much like what DomainSherpa is offering. Michael Cyger is personable and an excellent interviewer. I encourage all to check out the site and to enjoy his interviews with domain industry veterans.
For more on domain investing, negotiation, and domain appraisal, read:
Geo domains are a niche within the larger domain name industry pertaining to domain names containing cities, states, countries, or other geographical names. A new organization for geo domain enthusiasts has sprung up at GeoPublishers.com.
GeoPublishers is staffed/led by some familiar names in the geodomain industry including the Castello Brothers (David and Michael) who own such greats as PalmSprings.com and Nashville.com, Fred Mercaldo of Scottsdale.com, and Jessica Bookstaff of PigeonForge.com.
GeoPublishers aspire to become the new voice of the geodomain industry. Many of its members and/or partners were previously involved with the Associated Cities network although differences led to an eventual split.
Geodomains are a special interest of this writer as well as a focus of investment for Menius Enterprises, Inc. (dba PremiumDomains.US). Pure generic city and state domain names offer a unique angle since they have natural appeal to local residents & businesses as well as those planning to travel to a particular city or state location.
GeoPublishers will be open to geodomain owners in a variety of top level domains. Already listed in the site’s membership directory is Louisville.US, an attractive website providing information on local business, attractions, restaurants, hotel booking, etc.
GeoPublishers will provide periodic conferences for its members for the purposes of networking, learning, and information exchange. The first such conference is already being scheduled, and is entitled “GeoPublishers.com Expo 2011″. It will be held in Chicago on October 1-2. More information is available here.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of those medical phrases that take an extra few seconds to type in order to make sure your spelling is correct. RheumatoidArthritis.com is certainly already registered. Indeed, to a biotechnology company called Genentech … whose corporate website is actually located at Gene.com. They sure know how to zero in on high quality, generic domain names. Once again illustrating that branding is best employed with singular, descriptive domains.
However, the real subject of this piece is another premium domain name owned by Abbott Laboratories, a U.S. based pharmaceutical company who describe themselves as a broad based healthcare company. The domain is RA.com and it too focuses on treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, a disease which affects about 1% of the world’s population.
RA.com was originally registered on June 16, 1993 making it one of the earlier domain names secured well before the rapid expansion of the internet. Whether Abbott Laboratories had the foresight to acquire the name back then is unknown. I would not be surprised to learn that Abbott purchased the domain name some years later via private transaction. In any case, RA is the common abbreviation for “rheumatoid arthritis”, and much easier to spell. So credit to Abbott Laboratories for going the common sense route, and taking advantage of the power of premium domains.
Several notable .BIZ domain sales were picked up the other day by Domain Name Wire. Casinos.biz was purchased through Sedo’s online brokerage for $19,000 as verified through their RSS feed of recent sales. And All.biz was sold for a very substantial $61,750. Neither site is developed yet although both domains lend themselves to good branding possibilities for the buyer(s).
PremiumDomains.biz recently sold InjuryAttorney.biz and PersonalInjuryAttorney.biz in private deals, as well as MedicalMalpracticeLawyer.info through an online brokerage.
On a different note, www.Methadone.US which was developed in the first quarter of 2011, has experienced consistent week after week growth since going live January 23rd. The site has a wealth of original content, a U.S. city clinic directory, online assessment, and several other tools & resources.
The old adage “There’s only one chance to make a good first impression” can certainly apply to domain name brokerages. Customer service is apparently a low priority for some brokerages, namely Afternic. Not good.
I recently sold a domain through Afternic that transferred into the buyer’s account over a week ago. Afternic is still waiting on the buyer’s “confirmation”. Of course, Afternic have already been informed that the domain is in the buyer’s possession, and a simple whois search shows this.
Sedo, on the other hand, has consistently performed well for me over the years. Consequently, I have both bought and sold domain names through Sedo’s brokerage, with complete satisfaction, including a few premium domains. And I have been very pleased with Sedo’s service in every transaction. As a matter of principle, I will not spend money with a company that fails to deliver acceptable customer service. So Sedo is in, and Afternic is out.
As a result of Afternic’s subpar response and assistance, there will be no purchases made by me through their brokerage. A first impression can open the door for future business. Blow that, and you lose customers. It’s a pretty simple concept: don’t aggravate your customers, or waste their time. Is that such a complicated lesson?
Most people are aware of a search engine technology merger having begun between Yahoo and Bing. Despite sharing and cross-referencing each other’s search engine results, I am seeing distinctly separate page rank for the same search terms when examining Yahoo vs. Bing.
Bing, in particular, seems to give high priority to Yellowpage and/or Yellowbook listings. I find this odd and not particularly useful for searches on a variety of keywords. My own search experience often yields noticeably better results (more relevant) when using either Yahoo or Google.
Another small but recurrent nuisance with Bing webpage submission is the Bing captcha generator. Never before have I had the level of difficulty providing captcha confirmation as I do in Bing. I often have to submit 3 or 4 times before Bing confirms the captcha string. Captcha is the series of letters & numbers one must enter before a webpage submission is accepted by Bing and then indexed in their database. Captcha prevents automated submission of webpages, and ensures that a real human is initiating the submission.
There appears to be a lack of consensus as to how much weight a generic, keyword domain is given in each of the search engines. There is no question that consumer familiarity & recognition always lead toward the generic keyword. Whether one finds desired information at that generic domain name destination is another issue. I have often stated that the perfect synergy is a premium generic domain name that has been fully developed with relevant content, such as Hotels.com, Spain.info, or Charlotte.US. Such sites deliver an excellent user experience.
As an observer of domain name news and as a domain investor/developer, I check the number of total domain registrations over time to identify rates of adoption. One might predict that domain registrations would have decreased over the course of the economic recession during the last 2 years. But this is not the case. They increased.
Below is a comparison of domain registration numbers from February 2009 through January 2011 (just short of a two year period). While every domain space shows significant growth, pay particular attention to the rate of increase for .US and .info, which have emerged as reliable mainstays in the internet world:
- .US (1,385,171 to 1,817,893 -> a 31% increase)
- .biz (2,008,779 to 2,195,953 -> a 9.3% increase)
- .com (79,243,372 to 92,420,283 -> a 16.6% increase)
- .info (5,081,111 to 7,751,574 -> a 53% increase)
- .org (7,392,611 to 9,273,770 -> a 25.4% increase)
- .net (12,077,702 to 13,706,637 -> a 13.5% increase)
It appears that the American economy has picked up considerably based on stock market investment activity. However, the landscape is unclear, and the United States remains in the middle of a financial resuscitation of itself.
Despite lingering questions on America’s long term financial stability, the internet has continued to vigorously evolve during the recession. Domain names remain viable & valuable as the gateways to internet commerce. And companies now more readily explore how domain names can boost marketing, internet presence, and extend the company’s brand.