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More from TRAFFIC East… things are looking good

I will post here and there live from the TRAFFIC East domain conference, because the overlap of SEO and domaining is just so darn interesting I can’t help myself. This is just one of those posts from the floor of TRAFFIC  East in Hollywood Florida…. 

LeaseThis.com notes 2 separate camps meeting at the Google/Yahoo! trading post these days: Fortune1000 with big money, long investment cycles, and futures-research based vision, and domainer entrepreneurs with rapid change, independent strategic thinking. Kleenex didn’t want to be known as “tissue” and so had no interest in tissue.com. Domainers proved that “being” the definition of tissue on the Internet is extremely valuable. They are now called “domain assets” instead of domain names over at LeaseThis.com, because both camps understand that nomenclature. It’s not about clicks and uniques, but sales and conversions. When you look at sales/conversions, domain assets make sense to both camps.

There’s an office game over at LeaseThis.com… something like “how insane a URL for an advertisement have you seen” game. Instead of a short, memorable, generic defining domain name tied to a commercial campaign, many companies still use bizarre, long, difficult to remember “insane” domain names. We’ve all seen them, right? Add yours to the comments just-for-fun.

Adam Dicker from High Impact Sites… the future is relationships. Domainers are focused on acquisition, and missing the opportunity to make relationships that enable development. Planets.com should build a relationship with Discovery Channel, for example.  During the morning session he got an email offer to buy his domain zzzp.com for $1000. It is a nonsensical name in which he saw no value himself, but obviously somewhere someone values it at least $1000. That’s how it works. Adam says next 4 years is big for domainers.

Owen Frager has a blog… TheFragerFactor. Why it’s on blogspot I can’t explain, but his bio says he’s a creative strategist with a history of successes driving commerce through brands. I’ll try and meet him later and ask him myself, I promise. Sprint spent 1.8 billion in advertising and failed as a business during the same period of time. Hyundai ran a campaign branding a BigDot something or another without owning the domain. By the way, they lost sales over the two months of what they called a successful advertising campaign.  He notes NowWhat.com selling insurance where brand names like AllState wouldn’t convert nearly as well…. and he’s right. FreeCreditReport.com sold 20 million subscriptions via advertising FreeCreditReport.com to the public. he calls it “Direct Response Advertising”.. I think we call it offline promotion for affiliate income. Whatever. The Solgar-owning supplements company has 20,000 products in it’s marketing inventory… most with bad names. That’s a need for 20,000 plus domain names, no? Someone needs a matchmaker.

Leland Hardy’s NewYork.com is the “World’s Greatest Website” and does little promotion. It represents over 4,000 site seeing tours, and 70,000 hotels. Nice affiliate business. Oh, and he’s from Philadelphia, not New York. Go figure. His original concept for NewYork.com? A personal shopper service to help people who come to New York find the counterfeit shops on Canal Street where they could buy Gucci watches for $5. Even wrote a business plan around that, although he never built it that way. They key to success? Developing direct relationships with the tour companies and hotel operators as a referring affiliate. Smart man, that Leland Hardy. Oh, and by the way, he owns a domain asset NewYork.com that, for some reason, is worth a helluva lot of money. Let’s say it together….. “nice”.

By the way, did I mention that there is an outlet strip every 4 feet at TRAFFIC 2007? Nice.

Ron Jackson notes he is very, very positive about the domain industry. No kidding. Someone estimates a 37% growth rate for advertising in the domain channel alone next year. Up to 60% of every new ad dollar spent will be in new media. Ron owns DNJournal.com, as everyone knows. He’s such a bright guy I love to read his site, and he’s very supportive of the “human capital” of the domain industry. Nice read.. I totally agree. At last night’s cocktail party everyone I met was a domainer, but I didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t also a venture capitalist, private equity partner or fund manager, brand or trade executive, or otherwise a successful, informed, and involved high level executive (discounting myself, of course). Ron says things like how likely it is that the next American Billionaire is likely to come out of this very room. Ron says he gets so excited at TRAFFIC he can’t sleep well when he’s here. He supports the ICA initiative… noting the millions of asset value needing protection. As Howard Neu said after Ron finished speaking, “Excellent as usual Ron, thank you”.

Ammar Kubba says everything is looking good right now, and reminds everyone to “provide a high quality experience for end users and advertisers”. Educate people about where the traffic is coming from, because he believes parked domains are getting a bad rap in the press and word of mouth.

Peter Lamson of BuyDomains sold 80 domains for $200,000 in revenue last month (where domains start at $700 and go up). Global small business demand for domain traffic via domains. Drivers are online ad spend growth and the coming online of the global small business sector. The demand for brandable domains is MASSIVE.

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4 Responses to “More from TRAFFIC East… things are looking good”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the insight John, I really wish I had made it down to that show. Looking forward to more updates..

  2.   Florida TRAFFIC conference coverage by Domain Name News Says:

    […] More from TRAFFIC East… things are looking good […]

  3. owen frager Says:

    John,

    I really got a lot out of the knowledge you shared at Traffic and was glad Rick and Howard are embracing the important science of SEO within the Traffic mix. That in mind, “why blogspot” speaks exactly to the point of SEO. But as you mentioned, exposing your SEO secrets is not self-serving fodder for bragging rights.

    Thanks also for your excellent recaps on Traffic. I’ve linked your posts from my blog and forums so that others may be equally enlightened and inspired by an SEO expert’s take on the domain landscape.

    Btw, My example was about Hyundai’s big duh campaign and it’s covered here:
    http://fragerfactor.blogspot.com/search?q=hyundai

    Casualties so far include the transfer of some budget to Hispanic marketing, the firing of the CMO and putting the $600m media budget and its agency under review.

    I’ve come up with a moron award for the “insane” domain syndrome and you can find many examples here:
    http://fragerfactor.blogspot.com/search?q=moron

  4. Ben Wilks Says:

    lol, how about How-To-Get-Rid-Of-Man-Boobs.com

    Owen Frager, you amaze me constantly, is anyone as prolific in their online reading? I think not, this guy get’s it. Even with the blogspot URL :P

    Cool posts John, cheers!