….it’s all about the income stream. A single good domain name–Candy.com, Cellphones.com, Athletesfoot.com–can bring in hundreds of dollars a day, in some cases while the owner hardly lifts a finger. Schwartz, for instance, directs his traffic to one of the many small companies that serve as go-betweens with Google and Yahoo, the two giants that make this all possible. The middlemen, known as aggregators, do all the heavy lifting, designing the sites and tapping into one or the other of the search engines’ advertising networks to add the best-paying links.After acquiring the domain from me, the domainer put up a pretty lame “site” at countryinn.com, powered by one of the aggregators. Heck, the home page doesn’t even have a title tag! How lame is that! But of this I have no doubt: it’s making him money while he sleeps. This is such big business, and here I was, absolutely CLUELESS about it. Of course that’s what the domainers rely on, that the seller has no idea of the money-making potential, and thus the true value, of the domain they possess. Frank Fleischer, who runs the site breeders.NET, also owns the domain breeders.com. Frank received two phone calls last week from someone who turned out to be a domainer. In the first call the domainer offered an amount in the mid five figures. Sounds like a pretty sweet offer, eh? Well, after considering what I and some others had to say about the business of domain name buying and selling, he’s decided to keep the domain and make the most of it himself. A wise decision. The dirty little secret is that the search engines are a party to this seedy industry. They don’t like to talk about it, but all this type-in traffic is lining their pockets BIG TIME:
No one knows for sure how much Web traffic comes from type-ins, and Google and Yahoo execs won’t discuss it. But privately, during one of the late-night parties at the Traffic conference, one Yahoo official estimates that type-ins could make up 15 percent of its search business.The engines even wine-and-dine the domainers and go out partying with them. The Business 2.0 article regales us with the story of 14 Yahoo executives at a trade show for domainers called Traffic and how they all piled into a stretch Hummer with a few of the domainers and headed off to a Gentlemen’s Club to hang out in the VIP section complete with plush booths and red velvet curtains. I wonder if the IRS considers lap dances as expensible items?