Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 1

Marketplaces need an overhaul.

In this article I’m going to propose an idea that could be very unpopular amongst domain speculators but wildly popular amongst domain investors. Yes, there is a difference between those two camps and it’s this difference that needs to be highlighted.

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If we are to look at the domain aftermarket, there are really two major and a host of second tier (not second rate) marketplaces. If I was running either Afternic/Godaddy or Sedo I would look at two things:
1.    How I could remove the garbage domains from my marketplace.
2.    How I could make more money from brokerage.

The garbage domain problem is a real issue. When a person searches for a domain they are often presented a host a trash that covers the real gems that should be highlighted. How would I solve this problem? Easy, tax the domains.

I would charge some nominal fee per month per domain (eg. $0.10 per domain) with a minimum subscription of say, $50/month, to have your domains in the marketplace. All those with good domains will happily pay the fee and the speculated trash gets washed out. There could be a sliding scale depending upon volume, but I don’t think this is even necessary.

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Saturday Musings - Cubs, Scouts and Life

Lord Baden Powell - founder of the scouts

When I was a young strapping lad, (I sound so old!) I attended cubs and loved it. As well as learning about bush craft and how to be a better person I had the motto of “Be Prepared” drummed into my head. Some people mistakenly believe that this motto only related to the outdoors, but they would be completely wrong.

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“Being Prepared” was meant to be for all aspects of life. It was all about being prepared to do your best in every situation. For the past eighteen months, my wife Roselyn and I have been preparing for a five-day hike in the South Island of New Zealand. As well purchasing a whole lot of gear we instituted a regular exercise regime. Although it’s hard work it’s going to be well worth the effort.

Could you imagine embarking on a hike by just rocking up? You’d get to lunch and regret the food you left in the cupboard. This is how many people approach business meetings. They turn up without having prepared and expect a great outcome…..sadly, they will be mistaken.

I have a motto when it comes to business and that’s I always try and be more prepared than anyone else in the room. Given circumstances, this isn’t always possible but it’s an aspiration that I’m sure my cub leader would be proud.

The scout motto didn’t just finish with “Be Prepared” it continued on with, “Do our best!” Having a “best” mentality raises the standard not only for yourself but for all those around you. If you are leading a team and only put in your second best, then don’t expect those whom you lead to excel. They will look to you as their leader for inspiration and finding it lacking.

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The Domain Monetization Seismic Shift

Did you feel the domain investment earthquake?

Over the last few years the domain monetization industry has gone through a silent seismic shift that many investors are completely oblivious about. For the last decade it’s been assumed that with the demise of Yahoo that Google was the only alternative to monetise domain traffic…..boy has that changed!

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I went trawling back through the many presentations that I have conducted at various conferences around the world and a slide from May 2016 leapt out at me. It showed the relative difference between revenues generated from traditional domain parking versus direct advertisers.

May 2016 data

What you will notice is that around 8% of the total revenue generated from domain names came from traditional parking solutions that are underpinned by Google. The numbers came from ParkLogic and given that we run a truly competitive marketplace for the traffic it means that about 92% of the time Google paid more than direct advertisers.

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Was NamesCon Worth it?

Having fun during the Morning Movement session.

Thank goodness, my brain has finally caught up with my body after NamesCon. The twenty-four plus hour journey from Vegas flying in a tin can at nearly 40,000 feet is more something to be endured rather than enjoyed. During my time of Internet withdrawal (there isn’t any on the planes across the Pacific) I pondered the question, “Was NamesCon worth it?”

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If you judge NamesCon on parties and having a big crowd of like-minded people in one location then you would have to emphatically answer, “Yes”. But NamesCon is more than these two things, for me, it’s was all about business, deal making and getting the roadmap for the year ahead.

You see, the right people were at the right location at the right time and this meant that every conversation became even better than the last. There was a “let’s do a deal” mentality that made it feel like opportunities were falling from the sky….which was quite an achievement since we were all inside.

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On My Way To NamesCon

As many readers know, one of the last things I like doing before I board a flight is to write a blog that I’m on my way. So once again I find myself in the Melbourne Qantas Club but unlike the majority of my trips, this time I’m not alone.

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It just so happens I have both Danny and Laci from ParkLogic with me and they have managed to lighten the mood considerably. There’s nothing quite like having a couple of friends that you’ve been working with for over a decade travel with you.

So why are we heading to NamesCon? The simple answer is because everyone that is anyone will be there. I for a fact know that there are an incredible number of industry luminaries flying in from all over the world and they’re all attending because they want to do deals. Sounds good to me.

The question we really need to be asking is what happens in Vegas when you have nearly a thousand incredibly jetlagged individuals all in one place? The only answer to this has to be, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”

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