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Category Archives: domainers

Keeping Open-Minded about Creativity when Considering Domain Portfolios

A reminder of the value of creativity, even when an idea seems so very awkward.

The Next Web in Amsterdam plus The Hague for Domaining Europe

The Next Web in Amsterdam followed by Domaining Europe at The Hague. Looks like a great trip.

Visit Spain in April :

Updates: As I update this post, you’ll find the additions either as UPDATE asides like this one, or at the end where I extend the post to reveal some of the activities I secretly engage in when on conference travel in foreign lands. Agenda now online. is an annual conference held in Valencia, Spain […]

Why “dot everything” is a Good Idea (and ahead of its time)

I’m getting tired of so-called experts trashing ICANN’s decision to open up the Internet naming system on the right side of the dot, to enable names with dot anything. It was a smart thing to do, although it may have been executed poorly. It for sure has been interpreted poorly by the same people it […]

Premium Domain Name, Lazy SEO

I wonder sometimes if it is a strategic business decision to hire/contract/deploy low quality, short sighted, and or downright lazy SEO on premium domains. I’d think that a premium domain would represent a golden opportunity, if not a mandate to execute the best SEO available. Perhaps it depends on which premium domain. Perhaps premium domains […]

Why He’s A Domainer

I know a guy… he says he’s a domainer. He has about 3200 domains registered. It is like a collection. He collects domains. Not killer domains, just unique, probably-would-still-be-available-if-he-hand-not-reserved-them domains. Now I am not new to domaining. It is big business, and a very strategic part of web publishing. But time and again I meet […]

Domain Conference June 8-10 Vancouver

The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Domain Industry conference will be in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 8-10. This is a long running and very authoritative meeting within the domain investment industry, and is billed as a great way to learn the business side of domains. You can read the official announcements here or some press coverage here. I […]

Not All Domainers are Scammers

I’ve been a competitive web publisher (and SEO consultant) for many years, and I’ve been participating in domain development for the past few years, working with domain portfolios and people generally classified as domain investors or “domainers“. Lately we’re seeing news articles about scams and rip-offs, and some of those are on big premium domains […]

Search Engines want to Eliminate Domain Names

Search engines want to eliminate domain names. There, I said it (again). Anyone have any thoughts on this? Years ago I said it out loud to several people at a meeting, repeated it in conversation many times at domain industry meetings and SEO conferences, and in a few venture capital/startup private meetings. I believe I […]

Hey Affiliates – Screw You! (pass it on)

If this new ICANN proposal called “Rapid Suspension System” goes through, I can cheaply file a complaint to get your affiliate landing pages taken down immediately. Shoot first and ask questions later! Think about that… I file for next to nothing, claim your Acai-berri site is confusingly similar to my Acai-beari site, and your landing […]

Shhh…unused domains are worth real money

Last year sometime I said that any domain, if it is wanted by someone, is worth about $1200. That’s the price that justifies a quick buy. Want it? Twelve hundred bucks and it’s yours…. or you can spend a few HOURS looking for another one, a few HUNDRED on consulting fees when your SEO or […]

Front-end Trimmed Typos as Domain Portfolio Strategy

Trends are important. A research director once pushed me to note a trend in some experimental data; a trend which I did not see myself (despite careful analysis). In the presence of a trend, small subtleties assume importance far beyond their inherent value. Seemingly insignificant experimental findings can be considered very important if a trend […]

Guilty! Reverse Domain Name Hijacking… only $5,000 ?

According to DomainNameNews today, a company has been found guilty of a Reverse Domain Name Hijack attempt, which carries a fine of $5,000. The report says this is the first time a company has been found guilty of that charge, which I find remarkable. More remarkable, however, is the mere $5,000 fine! The legal fees […]

Paul Mockapetris at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley

The upcoming Traffic Internet conference in Santa Clara later this month will feature Dr. Paul Mockapetris at the podium. Dr. Mockapetris and Jon Postel invented the “domain name system” (DNS), the core domain name to IP number lookup system powering the world wide web since it began. If you operate a business website, you are […]

Web Prescience, Coming True Every Day

I’m working on a newsletter I call WebPrescience. I will host it at It will highlight insights into the future of the web, as I and others see and describe it, or hint at it. I hope it will ultimately replace this blog, and significantly advance my objective of noting, describing, and questioning what […]

Domaining and SEO Revisited, Again

In SEO world there is this repeating argument that a monetization project could be executed on almost any domain, even though some domains are clearly better than others. The issue is cost: for Internet marketing projects, a “premium domain”, the argument goes, is not worth a premium price because the project could be executed on […]

Armchair Quarterbacks, SEOs, and Domainers

Domain Name News is one of the leading online “newspapers” of the Internet domain industry. Publisher Adam Strong asked me about the recent $5.1 million dollar sale, and after some conversation on SEO aspects I agreed to write my thoughts for publication on I asked a few friends in the SEO industry if […]

Affiliate Summit West Live Blogging

Gonna give this a try and see if the 3G connection enables me to blog some thoughts from the Affiliate Summit session on “the Future of Performance Marketing (Part 1). Part 1: Session focused on “Performance Marketing” or CPA (cost per action) going forward I hope it’s not all about subscription scams (that was sarcasm, […]

Why is GoDaddy Hawking Domains that are Unavailable?

I got an email from GoDaddy offering me for 25% off. That’s right, if I act now, I can get 25% off that wonderful domain name. Problem is, is not for sale. It is an active web far as I can tell. See for yourself I guess this is just an […]

SEOs Do Your Homework

One of the good things about the modern social web is the associated ease of communication with distant colleagues… people who do similar work, but with whom I would not otherwise communicate. Professional associations and meetings used to enable such connections. Today meetings bring us the face-to-face aspect of professional relationships, but  we largely make […]

Google’s Brand Arrogance & Typo Domains Revisited

I can count on one hand the number of SEO consultants I have met who understand Google’s perspective on brands. That’s not a good sign for those of you hiring SEO consultants. And, given Google’s recent public statements about brands, it’s also not good for the majority of the SEO industry still trying to optimize […]

Reputation Management Domains : SEO Online Reputation Web sites

So many projects, so little time. The following domains are being offered for sale pre-development and pre-promotion. That means you can buy them now, buy them in a few weeks after they have been promoted for sale, or pay even more next year when they have active content and traffic. – looks good […]

Live Blogging T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East, New York

I think that’s an attractive title… we’ll see how it goes with the wifi. Note to conference organizers everywhere — wifi makes for more and better dealmaking! If we can get online from breakfast, in seminars, etc. we do more and better deals! (I tether from my cell if necesary, but then I need a […]

Breeding Bad Domain Names

TechCrunch has been evaluating 1000 companies for a special “TechCrunch50” list. They just published the 50 finalists, and I took a look at the domain names for these young companies. Wow. When I visit a web site and see a horrible or horribly-mismatched domain name, i wonder how that came to be. Now I know […]

The Platform is Not the Message, Mark Cuban.

It seems every time I read what Mark Cuban writes, I disagree with him. Are we living in the same world? Obviously not. If he didn’t make headlines on Techmeme so much, I doubt I would ever read him these days. This time, in “The Platform is the Message“, billionaire HD movie developer Mark Cuban […]

Consequences of a Baaad Domain Name

Seth Godin has a new book coming. It’s called “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us“. Seth is a popular guy and writes popular books. It should be popular. He’s also a marketing innovator, notorious for doing things differently in obvious ways (so every notices that he’s doing things differently). To pull that off, he […]

IDN: International Domaining

Old but great quote from Kieren McCarthy on the very strange world of IDNs, those “international” domains made up of characters not found in the typical “English” keyboard: One of the things about researching IDNs is it makes you feel so uneducated….When you start looking at the issue at IDNs though, you realise that even […]

Airline Domains: TAM Airlines doesn’t own

TAM Airlines (TAM) is the largest airline in Brazil, and has been expanding operations. They used to compete with Varig in Brazil, which owns as well as, the Brazilian equivalent, and GOL. Airline web sites are notoriously badly configured for SEO, and these are not exceptions, but TAM airlines doesn’t even own […]

Think Tank – for domainers and web entrepreneurs

Think Tank is happening and I am now looking forward to it. I can personally vouch for the quality of Dave Klein (DK), who has put this together. He ran a charity poker tournament last fall that was nothing short of great, and several off us encouraged him to follow his instincts after he suggested […]

Less Trust for .info, .hk, .cn Top Level Domains

A security firm is releasing a report stating .hk, .cn, and .info domains are the most “dangerous” when it comes to threats of malware. Whether you like McAfee or not, search engines like Google and Yahoo and MSN are very likely to incoporate this “trust” factor into their operations, if they haven’t already done that. […]

Selling Web sites Domain Assets Ice in Alaska

How do you value a web site as an asset? If your company is closing down, what is the web site worth? Increasingly common questions, for which there are no standard answers. And there won’t be any “standard answers” for some time to come. That’s not how business works at this stage of the Internet […]

Why Keyword Domains Are Better for SEO

The DomainRoundTable Conference hosted Matt Cutts of Google and a panel of SEOs, to discuss search marketing and domaining. One topic of conversation afterwards was the value of keyword domains. Is a domain “better for SEO” if it contains exact match keywords? Matt said yes, keywords in the URL can help rankings, but you don’t […]

Dan Kaminsky on DNS and Trust

ISPs are placing the security and privacy of their customers squarely in the hands of a third-party ad company Dan Kaminsky is always fun (and scary) to watch, and he is describing how some ISPs are utilizing a 3rd party DNS service in an attempt to monetize user activity. According to Dan, that third party […]

What Matt Cutts Said at Domain RoundTable 2008

This is live blogging from matt’s session. It will update as I enter information. Matt said: about his role on the web spam team, he defined spam as sites that “rank higher than they deserve”. Go figure that one out. Matt asked how many people were into domaining because it was like a garage sale, […]

Live Blogging from DomainRoundTable San Francisco

I’m at Domain RoundTable, in San Francisco, with several hundred Internet entrepreneurs. Like other webmasters, these guys own the Internet. Unlike most webmasters, these guys own a significant percentage of the Internet. But besides scale, they have similar interests to other webmasters: managing risk, earning and monetizing traffic, navigating politics and managing cash flow. They […]

Google does WHOIS, again.

Google’s mission is to make a fortune off other people’s content organize the world’s information, and now Google and DomainTools are joining forces to bring the power of WHOIS lookups to the Google interface. Again. Google started hitting the Network Solutions WHOIS lookup without permission back in 2004 before Netsol promptly shut them out. That […]

Domain Roundtable 2008: San Francisco

Updated: Message came in from the conference organizers: I received quite a few emails and calls this morning from people forgetting to reserve their hotel room at the discounted rate that ended yesterday. DON’T PANIC !!! The hotel has agreed to extend our rate until April 7. Our rate of $239 is only for the […]

Still Domaining, even in 2008.

Several friends have been saying lately that “all the good domain names are taken“. Several domainer friends are sifting through their portfolios right now, dropping lesser names, and looking to list mediocre names for sale to raise revenue for buying premium domains on the aftermarket. I can’t help but think “buy on rumor, sell on […]

AdSense Alternatives – Alternatives to Google AdSense

AdSense Alternatives – Alternatives to Google AdSense I thought it might be interesting to look at AdSense Alternatives, to see options are available for monetization other than Google’s AdSense contextual advertising program. Let’s go to the SERP for “adsense alternatives” and see what the top 10 ranking sites are using for monetization: #1 Web page […]

Live Blogging the Moniker Domain Auction

This post will be a live blog, updated every few minutes with additional content as we go… just for fun. AffiliateSummit 2008 in Las Vegas. Monte has done his homework, and is prodding the audience with insider knowledge of the affiliate game as he can. had little interest, and Monte started chiding the “ticket […]

Moniker Live Domain Auction at Affiliate Summit

Live ta th auction, finally got a WiFi connection. The energy levels are high, partly due to the energy of the Moniker guys. These guys are UP BEAT and doing a good job. The room has plenty of empty seats in the front 10 rows, but the back is full of “lurkers”. I suspect the […]

Domain Management Tools: Asking the Difficult Questions

Why ask the “difficult questions”? Well, quite simply, the difficult questions are the ones that need asking. Pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. I have seen a number of positive, virtually promotional posts about dnZoom in the domain space over the past few months. Since dnZoom works with domain industry vendors via […]

Do You Recognize Today’s (tomorrow’s) Affiliate Marketer?

Yes, I did suggest that affiliate marketing is an upcoming opportunity. No, I am not crazy. But I may have been crazy to assume some of the evolution of affiliate marketing was obvious, because it is apparently not obvious to everyone. What about YOU? Do you, or even can you recognize today’s evolved affiliate marketers? […]

Affiliate Summit Moniker Domain Auction: Opportunity?

Since I registered to attend AffiliateSummit in Vegas and commented about the alignment of Affiliate Summit and T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in the same city at almost the same time, I have heard feedback from domainers, affiliates, and SEOs about both events and domain auctions in general. I wonder now, is the domain auction at Affiliate Summit a […]

Selling Domains : Auctions Aren’t TheAnswer

In the domain industry, the auction is the place to get the best price for your domain. You read that just about everywhere. Auction, auction, auction. But the auction is not always the best answer. We need some more options. Every week it seems I hear someone say they submitted X domains to “the auction” […]

With More Domain Thefts, enter Fort Moniker ?

The world is full of scams, and as domain values increase there is a need for a Fort Knox style facility for holding domains securely. Moniker continues to earn top praise as the registrar of choice. I see Moniker recommended every time there is a domain theft or a new scam (and there is a […]

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. + Affiliate Summit + SMX?

Domainers and Affiliate Marketers… what a combination! Domainers doing asset development like SEOs because SEOs know how to get tons of search referral traffic. But I often think that one of the reasons many domainers who don’t understand SEO still like SEOs is because SEOs know affiliate marketing (and monetization in general) and domainers want […]

The Google Sandbox : Now Applies to Domainers

The “Google Sandbox” is a time delay imposed on new domains, preventing them from ranking in search results unless they exceed some set of criteria known only to Google. It was named by search marketers who have since debated its character as well as its existence. Many new domains show no signs of “sandboxing”, while […]

Domain Development & Liquidity: SEO will work for Equity

The domainer space is interesting and exciting for me because it is a rapidly changing market built on a disruptive concept, tightly linked to search marketing. It’s got style, including wild success stories and Big Courageous Egos, yet is actually quite simple in concept. In short, it’s beautiful. But like most things beautiful, it suffers […]

GoDaddy Pushes the Limits of Ethical Behavior, Too

With all the discussion of Network Solutions “stretching the envelope” of respectable behavior as a licensed, sanctioned and trusted domain name registrar, we shouldn’t let down our guard with respect to all registrars possible taking liberties with our data and trust. Just today I noticed yet another perversion of the registrar role, with GoDaddy. I […]

Domain Acquisition is Tricky Business

I have been buying domains since they were $150 each. I have been a “domain acquisition consultant” since I started making side money hand-crafting DNS records for others back in the early 90’s (Network Solutions was the only registar, and they did almost nothing for your $150). During the past year, domain acquisition has become […]

Shoulda Pownced on

Is it still ‘cool’ to make Bad Domain Decisions? A long time ago, bad domain names were kool. They were difrent. Call it anti-establishment, or call it uneek, but it was cool to look stoopid. Before search. Not now. Really. No longer. Not cool any more. Nope. Kinda stupid now. Yup. Looks bad. Ugly even. […] – let’s talk about bad domain names

I read that just got $196 million in funding, and bought smaller rival Funders of the travel company now include Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital. Wow. That’s a lot of cooks in […]

Domain Typo Squatting: Where there is trust, there is an exploit

McAffee has an opinion, and if you trust them for your AntiVirus and personal computer “security”, that opinion is now shaping your Internet experience. Hacking credo: where there is trust, there is an exploit. It goes way back. The art of the con… find or create a point of trust, and you have opportunity to […]

Google vs. Innovation

Okay, so I understand search is politics and I have long been an advocate of the “Google is not your friend” philosophy of life, but as a professional search marketer I have not been this disgusted with the search industry in many years. I was reviewing my post and noticing that Google had (manually?) […]

The Politics of Search: it’s just beginning…

When a blog gets “popular”, the blogger is faced with a quandary. Continue to do what has made the blog popular, or recognize that there is now audience expectation, and accommodate it? The audience is people, and people live by politics. If you don’t accommodate the people, you can find yourself on the wrong side […]

Search Marketers : study this list

If you are in SEO/SEM then you probably understand the historic value of a domain name from a marketing perspective. You are also probably increasingly understanding the market value of generic domains, and perhaps developed domains. But do you recognize just how fast this market is advancing? Adam Strong over at DomainNameNews just published the […]

Is The Web Honeymoon Almost Over?

The “honeymoon” is the initial period during which much is forgiven. The situation is new, overreaction is dangerous, and a decision was already made to “try it and see how it goes“. You aren’t usually thrust into a honeymoon — you decide to go there: you manage the risk. The web, from an SEO perspective, […]

Google, Users, Domainers and SEOs

Warning: Sometimes a blog post is less an essay than stream of consciousness… and some people may get headaches from wading through such a post (see the first comment – sorry!). The rest of you have been warned. By the way, according to the wiki, “stream of consciousness” was first defined by William James, the […]

Is your registrar worthy of your domain assets?

This morning’s “Meet the Registrar” session demonstrated the importance of the registrar in domain asset management. We all know this, and have been aware, but have we been truly aware? As domains increase in value, they become more valuable than money, yet how many are “stored” at registrars where security is not exactly top priority? […]

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…. notes 2 separate camps meeting at the Google/Yahoo! trading […]

Who Can Take Away Your Domain?

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…. Preserving the long term value of domain names for domain […]

Favorite SEO Blog Posts

Pay Attention to Attention Here Come the Domainers A Market for Lemons and SEO Snake Oil SEO: the Card Counters of the Internet SEO as International Minutia Dealer Self-effacing Link-bait for the SEO Community “there are no secrets” and other SEO myths banished from the Google kingdom Buying Links: Poyfickly Leegull The New […]

Domain Aftermarket Wipes Out Domain Name Consulting

As a consultant I work with and for marketing directors, VPs and senior executives. As business issues arise, they like to gather the creative and strategically-innovative minds together for review and comment, so I am often pulled in to discussions of side issues not directly related to SEO and web performance, but aligned with long […]

Seatle Domain Conference (Domain Roundtable) $100 discount coupon code

I have ten (10) promotional discount codes “johnon2” for the Seattle Domainer’s Conference next month. Put that code “johnon2” into the “promotional code” box when you register, and get $100 off the registration fee. This comes in from the conference organizers. Two years ago Sedo gave away 3 free tickets (old news), the hotel discount […] — Freakin’ domainers!

Conversation in my house last night, after the kids were asleep. I’m on the couch, my BFF is on the computer in the kitchen nook, and I want her to experience LOLCats. “hey honey, checkout this LOLcat site. No, it’s cats. but with bad grammer. Whatever, just check it out. Go to I have cheeseburgers […]