A lot of people have been talking lately about how great domains are for marketing and SEO.
A quick trip to the movies last week convinced me Hollywood isn’t listening. With millions of dollars made in a single weekend, people in movie marketing still think its a great idea to put their advertising budgets behind a $7 domain name.
It’s rare that I post about things outside of the Joomla world, but I’m a domain-addict who lived in Asia for several years and those two interests came together in this story.
Apparently the Chinese government, through its proxies, is taking back domain names that have already been registered and paid for.
The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is responsible for Chinese .cn domain names. It is a private company but one with deep government links and its been responsible repossessing domains during the past month.
Sometimes a comparison can confuse more than it can explain.
One of most common is domain names are "21st century real estate". A quick search of Google reveals nearly 2 million results for the phrase, coming from companies as big as Yahoo, USA Today and Fox News.
That the phrase was just plain wrong hit me while reading Tropical SEO’s recent claim that there’s a slump in the domain market … just about the same time as old-fashioned real estate sinks in the United States.
As domains become mainstream worldwide, its been interesting to see how popular the extensions have become for each country. In most places .com is actually less popular than the local alternative.
One result of that is that domain forums have sprung up, specialising in names from all sorts of countries. Here’s a smattering of some of the best. If we’ve missed any, drop a line in the comments and we’ll add them to the list:
I’ve always been pretty cynical about the 2006 launch of .mobi.
My strategy for domain investing has long been “.com and the main extensions of countries you know well”. I did buy half-a-dozen .mobi domains when they came out but have remained a pessimist since then. It seemed like a textbook example of pump-and-dump, with people hoping to sell keyword domains for a high price, before the inevitable collapse.
Well, I’m prepared to admit for the first time that .mobi may actually have a chance. When I logged into to my Bank of America account this morning I saw a big advertisement for their online banking. The domain name was bofa.mobi. No alternatives. No use of bofa.com/mobi or mobi.bofa.com
It is possible that Bank of America may remain lonely in their use of .mobi and their experiment with the extension may not last long, but equally it is undeniably true that the outlook for .mobi is much brighter than it was yesterday.
The unveiling of one of the world’s biggest domainers has made a huge splash in the domain industry this week. The story about Kevin Ham has the wonderfully sensational title of "The Man Who Owns the Internet".
Why all the fuss?
He struck a deal with Cameroon that redirects anything all unregistered .cm domains to his own servers. In effect he’s typo-squatting the whole of .com but doing it legally because none of the typos are actually registered.
info is a keyword which makes it great for SEO. If you consider people searching for golf, you have a good number of people searching for "golf info" but no-one would ever consider looking for "golf net", "golf org" or "golf biz".
Its still possible to pick up great domains. While .com, .net and .org and covered by the large firms who make it impossible for small fry to pick up valuable dropping domains, there are still .info gems that can still be caught by people like you and me. In the last month, we’ve picked up major cities and lakes in the state of Georgia including lakelanier.info and johnscreek.info.
They cost about 80 cents! What else can you buy now thats of any value for less than a dollar? You can get 8 .infos for the price of 1 .com.
The extension is perfect for history and education sites. Whereas .com, .net, .org, .biz and the others have been shoehorned into use for general information sites, nothing fits as perfectly as .info. See webhosting.info, chomsky.info, pinyin.info and watergate.info for starters.
It works in multiple languages. Every major Western European language has a word beginning with "info…" that mean "information".
Its a global extension. Unlike a .us, .co.uk or .de, a .info domain can brand your site worldwide.
It can complement a company’s main site. Quite a lot of companies are now using their .com to serve as their main selling platform and .info as the main resource for stock market and investor information.
Did I mention they cost 80 cents? Ok … reason #10 is that .info is actually used more than the other TLDs that were introduced at the same time in 2001. Where as .biz, .aero, .coop and other disasters have fallen by the wayside, info is still going strong with 1.6 million domains in use according to Wikipedia. Thats pretty good when you consider that 70% of .com domains registered every year never get used.
Ok – we’ll have a #11 as a bonus. They are starting to sell well too! 2007 saw sales such as NewYork.info for $46,392, Credit.info for $36,000, Casino.info for $35,127 and Camping.info for $28,100.
Over the last few years the domain business has profesionalized rapidly with big corporations forming, each controlling thousands of domains. Companies like iREIT and Moniker have led the way using large statistical packages to analyze every feature of a domain and its value.
However, there’s one aspect of the domain world where the only limit is your imagination (oh, and your willingness to deal with obscure government organizations in tiny islands and countries).
Domain hacks are basically puns. The simplest way to describe them is that they are domain names that actually use the extension as part of the word.
So for example, Blogs.com is a traditional domain name that might cost you millions of dollars, but Blo.gs is a domain hack available for a much cheaper price. All you need to do to get a .gs domain is to hunt down the registry for the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The most famous domain hack of all is del.icio.us which utilizes the .us code for the United States.
There was bad news for one New England Church this week as they learned they’d forgotten to renew their domain name. To make things worse, the name was purchased by people with something very different than Bibles on their mind.
Although the article tries hard not to mention it, the old website address seem to have been found by the readers at Digg. For obvious reasons I won’t post it here.
So what can you use to make sure you keep track of your domains? I’m sure many of you have domains spread across multiple registrars after seeing a special offers here and there. Its not unusual for people to call us up and admit that they’ve forgotten WHERE they registered their domain, let alone when it expires. We used to do the same thing ourselves.
One of the great things about working in technology is that exciting developments occur so frequently. Some ideas are gone within months whereas others change the business completely. Whether the events of October 2006 go down as boom or bust might not be known for several years, but I thought it might be interesting to revisit two events that have the potential to reshape the World Wide Web.