….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?
Hi Stephan, I just came across this blog entry and was so happy to see someone who feels the “domainer” industry is a seedy pit also. I’ve recently been searching for a domain to put a small, mostly for fun, internet business up on, and every last short site name with relevance to my idea is taken by a domainer with adsense, yahoo, whatever ads. In the “old days”, at least they had to limit themselves to speculating on names they thought someone might actually want. Now all they have to do is make $6 or however much in ad revenue to make it worth holding that domain for eternity. And they own a LOT of the registered domains out there.
Here’s to hoping that Verisign’s new price increases force at least some of the lesser profit generating site names back into the open market.
Seedy Pit Denizen says
I find it funny how comments like the one above (incorrectly describing the domain name industry as a seedy pit) are almost universally accompanied by the cry of: “I’ve recently been searching for a name and found it taken”!
The cry of “sour-grapes” is palpable and positively laughable. Yet I see it almost 100% of the time when the domain industry is refered to in negative terms.
I’m sure we’d all love to live in beach-front mansions and some of our grandparents were smart enough to buy the land when those mansions now sit for peanuts, back when there where cottages there.
Tough luck that they’re gone but calling the domainer industry a seedy pit, against the backdrop of missing your first name-choice just makes you look envious.
We know you’d just “LOVE” the domainer industry and be gushing about how great it was if you actually owned 20 or 30 names that were worth something.
If you were attempting to fill 5 paragraphs with as many fallacies as possible, you’ve succeeded.
Moving past the ad hominems, you make the usual domainer analogy to the real estate market. The two are not the same. Such analogies fail to draw further logical analogies and comparisons to subjects such as land taxes vs. yearly domain fees, land usage and zoning regulations and eminent domain.
You last assertion is simply false, drawn out of air, as is the one before it.
Come up with some solid arguments in your favor that don’t rely on such pseudo-tactics and this discussion might be worth continuing.
Jogos Online says
people are making a few dollars at this, but there’s gotta be a finite number of possibilities.