Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • New TLDs: is it an awareness, acceptance or demand issue?

    1. BY - Aug 22, 2014
    2. Uncategorized
    3. 7 Comments

    Are domain registrants not aware of new TLD options or do they just not accept them? Or is there just low demand for each .com alternative?

    My initial reaction to the underwhelming “out of the gate” registration numbers for new top level domain names this year was that it’s an awareness issue.

    99.99% of people have never heard of new TLDs. Once they’re aware, they’ll start registering them.

    After taking a look at registrar search yesterday, I’m starting to wonder if the issue is actually acceptance instead of awareness.

    It’s not the 99.99% of the public not knowing about new TLDs that matters right now. What matters is how many people searching for domain names to register are aware of them.

    I think most domain searchers are aware of new TLDs.

    Search for a domain name at GoDaddy and the top search results (after the matching .com) are new TLDs. They’re slotted ahead of alternatives like .net and .info.

    So if I search for a domain at GoDaddy right now, I’m aware of new TLDs.

    Right? Or do I never look at the suggested alternatives if .com is already taken? Do I not accept alternatives to .com, so I just look for another domain.

    I’m not sure. Startups have embraced alternatives such as .io, .co and .me. Will they start to accept other new TLDs once they see a hot startup using them?

    I believe awareness in the general public is coming, and that will lead to an acceptance by domain registrants. When Realtors start using .realtor, New Yorkers start to embrace .nyc and a brand advertises its .brand, then the public slowly becomes aware.

    At that point, someone searching for HomeRun might register since is taken.

    Yet it will be a slow climb, which gets to the demand question. How many people every year register domain names related to construction or biking or plumbing? Not many. Once both awareness and acceptance click, people will consider these domains instead of .com. They will siphon off a sliver of the 30 million .com domains registered each year.

    But how much of a sliver? Is there enough demand to be spread across all of these TLDs? After all, there are only so many domain names related to each niche already registered in .com.

    Awareness, acceptance or demand?

  • Why Frank Schilling’s new bus ad uses http://

    1. BY - Aug 22, 2014
    2. Uncategorized
    3. 6 Comments

    Otherwise, lots of people might not get to the website.

    Yesterday Frank Schilling tweeted this picture of a bus ad for his .sexy top level domain name:


    Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry, responded asking about why the ad includes https://, and Frank Schilling explained:


    That lots of cell phone users need to type in http:// before a new TLD if they’re typing the address into their address bar, is a key example of the universal acceptance problem with new TLDs.

    Even if cell phone browsers universally recognized new TLDs, would advertisers feel inclined to put www. before the domain so people recognized it as a domain name, as Kinderis proposes? That might separate it from ads with dots that aren’t domain names:


    The problem with what Frank did here, is that even through people will now recognize this as a web address, they probably won’t type in http:// at the beginning. When’s the last time someone typed http:// in front of a web address, except for new TLD applicants trying to access their domains on different devices?

  • Domain name search is much improved (at some registrars)

    1. BY - Aug 21, 2014
    2. Domain Registrars
    3. 1 Comment

    A look at how major domain registrars are handling domain search in the wake of new TLDs.

    I’ve written a couple times about the state of registrar search as registrars grapple with an onslaught of new TLDs, most recently at the end of February.

    There’s good news for TLD registries: search is getting a lot better.

    Let’s run through the registrars I checked last time for an update.

    (For this article, I chose to search for “valleyview construction” for three reasons: The second word exactly matches a new TLD, that new TLD has several similar alternatives, and the .com is taken.)


    GoDaddy still defaults to tacking .com on the back of whatever search term you put in. That makes sense because most people are looking for it.

    Last time I searched, GoDaddy was pulling up TLDs related to the search topic but was not “spanning the dot”. For example, if you searched for Valleyview Construction”, it would offer but not Valleyview.Construction. is still the top result, but GoDaddy placed the spanning-the-dot version as the fourth result:


    That’s pretty good. Although I think is redundant and not a good choice, I can see the other side of the argument as well. Are companies willing to put a dot in the middle of their brand?

    By that token, perhaps is a better choice. That’s in slot 3. Or (slot 9) or (slot 13).

    Without seeing the data, I can’t fault GoDaddy for these results. It has a patent on an Adwords-style bidding system for new TLD search results. Maybe putting .build up there with its $99 price tag converts well overall compared to one of the domains with a $39 pricetag.

    Or maybe I’m giving GoDaddy too much credit.

    As for .org, that’s a sensible result given that both .com and .net are registered. Registrars also place domains near the top based on marketing programs. That may well be the case for the .org, given that it’s on sale.

    Here’s a TLD breakdown of the first 20 results for this search at GoDaddy:

    .construction 8
    .com 3
    .org 2
    .build 1
    .builders 1
    .contractors 1
    .engineering 1
    .guru 1
    .watch 1
    .productions 1

    This seems reasonable, for the most part. The .com suggestions are pretty bad, though, throwing in similar words for “view” (e.g. valleylookconstruction). Presumably the search system doesn’t realize this is likely a brand or geo domain. I imagine that’s difficult to teach a computer.

    GoDaddy continues to improve.


    eNom was on the ball early on. This makes sense given that it’s owned by a large new TLD applicant (Rightside).

    Here’s the top part of the search results page when I search for “Valleyview Construction”:


    You see that call to immediately below the “box” results? That seems like a homerun to me.

    As for the domains in the boxes, .ninja and .haus are there because they are Rightside domain names. .Builders is a good match and is run by partner Donuts.

    Scroll down the search page a bit and you’ll see more suggestions and some premium (aftermarket) options:


    The suggestions are all .construction.

    But scroll down more and other relevant TLDs come into play:



    First things first: did you know you can’t put a space in the search box at 1&1?

    That makes sense if you’re searching for a domain. Domains can’t have spaces. But in today’s world, registrars should treat the input as a search box, not a lookup box. It’s a name spinner, not an exact-match lookup.

    1&1 still has a dropdown box next to its search box. The dropdown box is getting rather long!

    Here are the suggestions I get at 1&1:


    Two possible conclusions: 1&1 hasn’t gotten around to programming new TLD suggestions into its main search results, or it has decided it’s more likely to close the sale if it gives familiar alternatives.


    Here’s an interesting progress bar when you search at Hover:


    More interesting is what Hover has decided to do with results. It has the most interesting search results of all of the registrars.

    It doesn’t separate them into categories that don’t make sense to the user, like “regular TLDs” and “new TLD”. Instead, it separates them into categories:

    • “Domains About You” .guru, .me, .expert, .actor, .democrat…
    • “Domains with a Clear Purpose” .tv, .pictures, .webcam, .recipes…
    • “Domains For Businesses” .bar, .consulting, .ventures…
    • “Domains For Organizations” .club, .university, .community…
    • “Domains for Products or Services” .construction, .build, .catering…
    • “Domains for Shopping” .cheap, .blackfriday, .luxury…
    • “Domains with Attitude” .cool, .fail, .buzz…
    • “Non-English Domains” .uno, .viajes, .futbol…

    There are also regional categories.

    This is an interesting approach. Hover seems to not try to figure out the meaning of the search, and instead steer you to the categories.

    It’s possible that the search term is taken into consideration at some level — .construction is the first results under “Domains for Products and Services”.

    I think a combination of figuring out the meaning of the search (i.e., including .construction, .build et al near the top) and the categories makes a lot of sense.

    Network Solutions/

    Like 1&1, NetSol’s search doesn’t allow for spaces. You’d think a registrar targeted to non-technical SMBs would allow free form search.

    Once you get past that, NetSol is now showing new TLDs above traditional TLDs:


    .Org and .info are at the bottom of the list.

    So there you have it… a look at how some of the bigger registrars are handling domain name search as of August, 2014.

  • This week’s expired domain report: Got .info?

    1. BY - Aug 21, 2014
    2. Expired Domains
    3. 5 Comments

    Expired Domains

    “Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink.”

    That would be Coleridge — his ill fated sailor thirstily contemplating the vast seawater. But I doubt “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was the that just sold at GoDaddy Auctions for $12.8k. Aside from that archaic spelling of “rhyme”, we have “rime” as the hoarfrost that forms from a fog in winter. Nope. Not it either. My bet is on the Play Station game, Rime — whose trailer is oddly reminiscent of Coleridge’s poem with its sea scape, gulls, curse, and isolation. I’d go beyond that and wager that this shared mythos — far from being a coincidence — probably inspired the game’s name. sold for $8.4k, by the way. Oh, yeah … Another maritime masterpiece (by Herman Melville) sold a domain last week: ($510) will probably go to a seafood restaurant somewhere.

    Speaking of thirst, Middle Eastern deserts had an exceptional showing in last week’s expired auctions — and all of them .INFOs. Highest of these sales stands the home of the world’s tallest building, ($7.1k). Accompanying that modern tourist destination were 2 more ancient: ($86) and ($280).

    Other .INFOs did well too. For starters, ($570), the 4th largest city in Brazil with a population of 2.5 million. But then we have a string of non-geo domains: ($294), ($166), ($136), and ($65). Those are all strong keywords, and .INFO (which already sells regularly on the aftermarket) seems to me more promising than most new TLDs being introduced this year. ($2.95k) and ($3.5k) are no surprise. .ORG is perfect for the first one. I’m taken off guard, however, by a $1.9k sale of After all, Canadians would prefer .CA and .COM to .ORG, one would think. As for at $5.5k? Haven’t got a clue! If I read this as Italian, then it means “His / Her / Its Direct Current”. (DC = CC, “corrente continua”.) That Italian explanation is beyond far-fetched, especially when .CC is only really loved in China and the registrant’s in Vancouver. $5.5k is quite high for .CC. So your guess is as good as mine.

    Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 12811 8400 7100 5050 3561 2950 2509 1925 1802 1691 1466 1302 1259 1225 1071 1045 1025 1025 1008 999 996 912 891 885 809 771 760 723 710 710 701 625 610 601 570 567 531 511 511 510 510 505 500 475 444 442 410 410 405 405 405 405 401 397 390 385 375 WholeBodyVibration
    365 355 355 355 355 355 350 339 337 330 EmigrateTo
    326 325 320 315 315 310 BluegrassDay
    305 305 305 305 305 305 305 305 301 300 294 290 ThePaperBoy-
    286 285 284 281 280 280 280 280 277 268 265 265 265 265 OntarioClassic
    260 258 255 255 255 255 245 244 240 235 UmbrellasOf
    235 230 230 225 223 215 215 211 210 206 205 205 Fantasy-Goddess-
    205 205 205 205 205 205 204 200 195 190 185 180 178 176 175 175 172 170 170 170 166 165 165 165 164 155 152 150 150 150 142 141 136 135 128 125 DallasNorth
    122 121 115 111 108 106 106
    106 105 105 101 101 94 93 86 65 62 60 46 46 45 35 35

    Remember disk drives? Well, the .COM for that outdated computer technology just sold for $723. Frankly, I think that was a decent buy. Although domainers mainly chase future trends, older technology becomes more expensive the rarer equipment and technicians become. will have its day again! E-commerce product domains aren’t dead. claimed $809.

    Spanish domains did fairly well. ($710) means “to the full” and has various end users to sell to. ($510) is about declarations of romantic love, and there are a few developed active sites based around that concept and phrase, including and Other lower-valued Spanish domain sales (e.g. y are scattered in the charts.

    Some domain sales clump together. For instance, ($610) + .org ($305). Likewise, this quartet of European cities: ($410), ($305), ($265), ($115). Bizarrely, the highest of those was a .NET, while the other 3 were .COM. I suppose we can add to that list ($355).

    One clear argument in favor of some new TLDs is the ongoing pattern of awkward domain choices for movie releases. Every time I see an encumbering suffix like “-film” or “-movie” or “theMovie”, I must admit there’s room for an nTLD to step in and clean up. All the same, domains like ($210) and ($280) won’t simply go away. Thanks to all the back-links they accrued during promotional lead-ups to the films’ debuts, such domains retain SEO value, I guess. Names of the form ($175) or, better yet, ($108) (without any suffix) are preferable. But movie distributors clearly understand neither domains nor SEO. Otherwise, they wouldn’t continually be letting go of domains about their back catalogue! ($62) slipped right past most of the would-be cybersquatters and went astonishingly cheaply, considering the Chinese website is ranked #16 globally and #5 in China, according to Alexa. was also undervalued at $150. In the grand scheme of things, marijuana-focused travel is just a transitional phase. But right now, while recreational cannabis is legal in some U.S. states and illegal in others, people definitely do plan trips around getting high; and companies exist to help them. Meanwhile, a completely different motivation for travel shows up in another good buy: ($326).

    What else? 5-digit numerical domains continue selling but were down last week at GoDaddy. I counted 6 … and all between $35 and $152. ($94) may be short for “vehicles”. ($106) stretches a proud 30 letters long, whereas ($141) makes a short, ultra-catchy brand name for gif videos. ($235) is a hauntingly beautiful French musical (and film) by Michel Legrand – going by its English title in keeping with performance practice. anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Yes, you guessed it.  That $280 domain is Turkish for UX (user experience) design. sold at the appropriately introductory price of $101. ($93) is obviously about women’s swim wear. Less obviously, the .CO.UK is already in use. If neither of those is your image of ($290), there’s always ($142). But regardless of your sexual preferences, ($280) might prove a handy reminder if you find yourself infatuated with pets , pizzas, or furniture.

    Now for NameJet! passed $11.1k last week. Other expired auctions included 2 domains of social importance: ($3.1k) and ($360). ($2.7k) seems like a money maker to me. Unfortunately, the typo ($1.3k) will have to be written off as somebody’s loss.

    Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 11121 3300 3101 2700 2505 1901 1644 1500 1410 1401 [sic] 1280 860 841 807 761 759 711 670 666 650 620 565 501 450 401 391 381 360 337 332 330 315 310 299 275 272 258 256 205 180 90 70

    I quite like ($450) as a version of “Bumper”. It’s got bounce. has the opposite — give. Another good brand name, in my view … ($381) is a strong term for housing, travel, or fashion. As for ($272), it’s simply one of the cheapest good dictionary-word .COMs I’ve seen for awhile. In contrast, 3-letter .NETs did consistently well at NameJet, based on ($860) and ($670). ($299), ($332), and ($2.5k) afford some useful comparisons with nTLD domains on offer — .LONDON, .CLUB, and .GALLERY. So do GoDaddy’s ($1k) and ($211).

    This week’s ($70) hearkens back to last week’s sale of ($180) seems like an obvious way for dating websites to push video marketing; so I was surprised by the low price. Maybe dating videos seem old fashioned. If you really want to see something antiquated, though, check out This directory website has scarcely been updated since the 1998 version.  I don’t mind seeing directory websites superseded, but it is disappointing to see something like, which dates back to 1998, displaced by PPC ads. This internet of ours doesn’t last.

    I’ll end with a riddle. What do George Bush Senior, acoustic guitars, offline advertising, conventional ovens, traditional Chinese characters, analog recordings, and Coca Cola Classic have in common? Hint: It’s a particular domain found in the charts above.

  • .Cash and .Fund each get fewer than 1,000 registrations

    1. BY - Aug 21, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 0 Comments

    Slow start for the two new TLDs that launched yesterday (for which we have data.)

    Five top level domain names launched yesterday. Unfortunately, ICANN’s centralized zone file system only has updated zone files for two of them.

    .Cash gained 725 registrations to end the day with 909 in the zone file.

    .Fund picked up just 414 to get to 625.

    There are no first day zone files for Donuts’ other two TLDs, .tax and .investments. A zone file for Rightside’s .haus is also missing.

    I feel like Donuts four financial domain names will be a big test. We haven’t seen much in the way of defensive domain name registrations in new TLDs. But financial companies are very worried about phishing. If they are to go after any, .investments and .fund should be on their radar.