Todd Mintz raises an excellent question.. Selling TM intent domains has been going on since before Michael Arrington was the CEO at Pool. I suspect it has less to do with "design" on Pool.com's part and more to do with the sheer volume of names expiring. You can only prescreen so far. Still, a rudimentary filter or diclosure relating to trademarks would not be that difficult and would probably help as this industry matures.
***FS*** I like CC Tld's a great deal.. On a relative percentage basis I don't like .us as much because the defacto .us extension is really .com in the hearts and minds of the US populace. Still, I do believe in .us as a long term alternative to .com as good names get scarce.
Richard Quilley sends some tips and free advice for freshman and sophmore domainers.
At the risk of sounding precocious, I thought your readers might like to share the following tips. I'm at the beginning of the learning curve (6 weeks) and have made plenty of mistakes, so I know what it's like to be starting out with little money.
* Organise domains using Treepad Lite (free). Create categories as you go along - health, alternative health, etc. Highlight important domains by putting stars**** in front of them. The longer the row of stars, the more important the domain. You can then scan the page and see them; you can sort them using TED Notepad (free) and everything with a star in front wil then be at the top of the page
*Cream off the important domains into a separate category to buy.
*Use Domain Name Analyzer (free) to scour through domain names. It's brilliant. Upgrade when you can afford it. Set it up to search for the TLDs you value. It bypasses middleman registrars, so reduces the chances of sniffing.
*If you ever get a complete mess of domains with extensions, and want to sort them by extension, use TED notepad (free). Reverse the text - the extensions are now at the front. Sort. Unreverse.
*Overture and Google Keyword have their place. However, the list crunchers have taken nearly every .com of value. Use O and GK to get ideas. For example, a new technology comes out. Find a similar technology, then use GK and O to see what phrases are of value in that similar technology. Then use those phrases with your new technology. (***FS*** ie. Enter WAP keyword into overture and replace newer phone standard into results where it makes sense)
*.Net of a short snappy name is more valuable than .com of a long name. GolfTips.net is more valuable than AllYourGolfingTipsHere.com. The short snappy name is more memorable and can be used across a wider range of PPC adverts
*Browse the net. Go where you go. There's SOO much stuff out there.
* After a while O and GK seem too slow. A shorthand way is to look at the top of the Google Serps and how many documents cite your phrase. Now glance at the right hand side of the page, at the adverts. (There are adverts, aren't there? If not, it's usually best to leave that phrase.) Now go to page 3 or 4 of the SERPS. Still adverts? Good sign. Decent adverts, as opposed to Ebays dynamic insertion of your keyphrase? Even better. Is your search phrase still appearing in the SERPS? Excellent!
*Different domains have different values. Your made up brand name won't earn you anything right now - don't buy too many of them at once or you'll suffer a cash flow crisis. (Yes, that's me).
*Park at NameDrive - it's SOO easy to join, compared to some of the dinosaurs. Or DomainTools when they come out of Beta. Use your Parking not for revenue (that's a bonus) but to get an idea of which domains are getting type in traffic. In other words, have you got a feel for what is of value. It's great feedback. It also inspires you to set up a site on those names that are getting a trickle of type in traffic. The real value will come from development.
* There's more, but I'm keeping it quiet for now. Hope this helps someone!
Great blog, and thanks for starting me out on this! Richard""
***FS*** You are most welcome Richard... Thanks to you for some outstanding tips and advice!~
"Here’s a domain-parking related post on Mashable I found interesting… how parked pages are perceived by non domainers: Three Clicks to Spam: Google’s Hypocritical Link Selling Policy http://mashable.com/2007/10/24/google-page-rank/ Thanks!" "
***FS*** Sahar is correct of course.. Everything in life is a matter of perception or a gradient-optic through which you view things. Create a domain name and point it to your registrar's placeholder page and the name is "unused" .. add advertising of your own and the name is "parked".. Heaven forbid your inactive domain with advertising gets indexed into almighty Google.. If this happens by accident or design, you've unwittingly created the sinister sounding "Spam page" .. Point your spam page to another website to make money from those visitors and the name becomes "inactive". At least in some peoples eyes. Never have so many "inactive" domains made so much, for so many active entrepreneurs.
Life is full of labels and when you're Google and your mission is the domination of Internet search, navigation and online user behavior, then it serves you well to create labels which empower you and weaken those who could challenge you.
I like Google the search utility a great deal, but I am less than enamored with Google the marketing machine and businessman. Google has managed to convince the world it does no wrong. It is a "happy fun ball of love" :) Not true of course. Google creates what business people perceive as great wrongs each day, but sells the masses on the fact that those wrongs are either not occurring or justified in the name of a greater Google.
Quote: ""...For Google’s part, the reason these sites are being slammed is because the company’s policy tells web publishers to “avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web.” Do some of the effected blogs sell links to such sites? Perhaps; we’ll let these folks defend themselves and their practices. But the real story is the hypocrisy of Google enforcing this policy on third-party publishers, when within their own engine they profit immensely by selling ads to spammers and so-called “bad neighborhoods.”"
Reading this I was reminded of the gent Vern told me about who attended a recent SES show. This gent was practically in tears that his livelihood was wiped out after his site was scrubbed from Google's index, and he couldn't for the life of him get an answer or explanation as to what he had done wrong. Google giveth and Google taketh away.. When Google giveth it is your best friend.. But it's really sad to watch the "Google taketh away part" as Verno described it. People starting over.. but not knowing why or where to begin.
""Of course what Google was really doing was playing politics. Better than most, I might add. Sans the lobbyists and open debates, Google was working the people. Price controls? No, Google doesn’t control prices. Google measures quality, and adjusts pricing based on quality scores."" ... Reading this quote Danno sent from Johnon's blog really struck me...
As a domainer I get the majority of my traffic from "outside the Google framework". Google knows my sites exist but for the most part they work to actively deny visitors typing the domains I own (at Google) from ever finding my website in their search results. I exist on the "Free Internet", you can navigate to me in your address bar because I run a real website. But to believe Google's marketing machine, I reside in the "Bad neighborhoods" of the net. Why else couldn't you find me? Because my sites advertising made me too much money for Google's liking? Because I was displaying a Google competitor's ads?
You see Google knows my websites contain advertising. They hypocritically take visitors trying to navigate to my "bad neighborhood" and show show results with different advertising or content... In their view, this 'sleight of hand' miraculously gentrifies the Internet.
Luckily for me, Google only takes the dumbest and laziest of my visitors. Millions of people say "screw this". Google won't give me the site I really want so I'll just head to my trusty address bar and leave 'the Google' for the site I really wanted. It's frustrating for users, but a necessary frustration that reinforces to users that the authoritative way to locate a website is via the browser, not 'the Google'.
Plenty of others have been brainwashed into viewing the net the way Google wants them to. Tens of thousands of the Internet's brightest dutifully attend SES, they leave friends, family, loved ones - They miss life's important moments so they can serve the Google. When I look out across the floor of a show like SES, I see a group of people who have largely abandoned the Free Internet in favor of being a servant to the Google.
Remember that guy crying about his lost livelihood at SES? Everybody attending that conference is "that guy" .. like the car wreck you pass on your way home during rush hour.. That could have been you. Every person who ignores organic domain name traffic and embraces Google alone is basically selling themselves into a lifetime of servitude.. You are beholden to Google to get your traffic forever. God help you if they turn on you.
I guess a lot of this post is common sense with a bit of bluster. Buy into another party's "platform" and live and die by "their" platform. Things could be worse I suppose. You can learn the "new smart pricing tricks" in 6-9 months.. and "quality adjustments" can be mastered in another 6 months.. as you gray, dancing to the tune Google plays for you, their black-box ensures that Google's house will always win. Your revenue will remain flat, theirs won't. You will feel like an entrepreneur, but in the end, "you" work for "them".
Well good luck to you my SEO friends. If you're looking for me, I'll be on the Free Internet.. Buying generic names like Scott Day's DiamondsDirect.com .. logical sounding generic domains.. I have opted out of the Google traffic generator in favor of creating sites for the 20 or 30 visitors who find their way to names like that each day. The more sites you acquire the greater the trickle of traffic you get. Buy enough and the trickle becomes a torrent. You can arbitrage traffic from Google (when they let you) and increasingly from other reliable traffic sources such as Microsoft, Facebook or traditional media in order to sell products, sales leads and other advertising.
When you own a generic domain name you join the Free Internet.. I encourage you to stake your own claim here and release the chains that bend your perception. Long Live the Free Internet.
Opera's new web browsers will allow their standard browser and mobile web browser to share bookmarks. from the article: "Opera is a popular browsing choice for smartphones running Symbian. The idea behind Opera's mobile products is similar to how Apple CEO Steve Jobs has sold the iPhone: smartphone users will no longer endure a compromised Internet experience on their phones, von Tetzchner said."
Josh hypothesizes: "Over time, content developers will be less concerned about creating separate content or separate websites for mobile phones. In 2006, JD powers claimed that "The average replacement cycle for a typical handset is 17.6 months". My hunch is that many many people will have access to this more compelling way to view the web with a mobile phone over the next 24 months. .mobi?"
Post by Alex Tajirian on Circleid.com who conducts an appraisal of domain appraisals.
I look at domain names based on a few criteria, some are technical and some relate to unspoken metrics... the feel of the name.
Like any real world appraisal it depends on how you are using the asset. A vacant low-lying piece of land surrounded by high ridges and lined in clay may be worthless as a residential real estate site, but priceless as a landfill. Similarly, the value of a domain name changes depending on whether you're building a media co on domain foundations, or whether you're in the business of selling the names themselves.
Quote:"From the early inception, domain names were treated like third-class citizens in the corporate arenas and also by all the legislative bodies around the globe. After all, these names were very cheap and very easy to get."
***FS*** The headline caught my attention :) Fairly weak domain name related piece.. with the exception of the above quote which perfectly synopsizes why the modern domain name industry "is what it is".