Deck the halls! Carol.com, which GoDaddy sold for $20.8k this past week, may be one of the best brand names for the Christmas season. Either that or some woman named Carol ought to be immensely flattered! Another dictionary-word .COM, Pranksters.com reached $7.1k. It’s not hard to imagine a “Pranksters” show based on the premise of pulling pranks proving pretty popular. Plenty have.
That clip I just linked to is also something of a comment on the price paid for Mambo-Foundation.org: $8.2k. That’s a bit baffling. Now, I say “paid”; but here I only report on bidding — not consummated sales, which cannot be verified until 7 days have elapsed. (For GoDaddy expired auctions, that is.)
Speaking of the future … Why get bogged down in retirement planning when — by thinking a bit farther ahead — you can forecast whether you’ll be reincarnated as a cockroach or a king? Perhaps soon enough, MyKarma.com ($1.2k) will allow us to check our cosmic moral status in the same way in which we currently monitor our credit scores or compulsively tally up our Facebook friends. …Click here to read more of this week’s Expired Domain Report!
Information about recall is on a non-descript domain with a restricted robots.txt file.
SC Johnson, maker of Off! bug sprays, is recalling certain 4 oz bottles of its OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent. It’s undertaking some website and search engine tricks to limit the long term consequences.
Although SC Johnson is publicizing the recall, it is taking some precautions to limit long term consequences in search engines.
Yesterday it registered a number of domain names related to the recall (which it calls a “recovery”):
None of these descriptive domain names resolve.
There’s a link to the recall on the official Off.com site, but it’s labeled “recovery” instead of recall. People search for recall, not recovery, so this will limit its exposure.
When you click the link on Off.com, it takes you to the non-descript web address botanicals-info.com instead of content on Off.com. Companies like to use a domain name that doesn’t include their full brand when publishing recall information to avoid brand-damaging effects in search engines.
In this case, SC Johnson also adjusted the robots.txt file for the website to limit what shows up on Google and other search engines.
At least by publicizing the recall, SC Johnson is doing more than what Guthy-Renker did with a Proactiv recall several years ago. Guthy-Renker followed the textbook of not using the product name in the domain (PABottleReplacement.com instead), excluded the site from search results using robots.txt, and registered lots of alternative domain names that didn’t resolve.
I’ll admit it must be hard to be a consumer products company. The reason for the recall: it might be easier than intended to remove the sprayer from the bottle. “In the unusual circumstance where a consumer could remove the sprayer from the bottle and drink its contents, the liquid could be harmful if swallowed,” the company explained.
(Photo from botanicals-info.com)
Marketing efforts pay off as .Club crosses milestone.
.Club sent out a press release this morning touting that it has now sold 100,000 domain name registrations — the first new TLD to reach this milestone.
.XYZ and .Berlin have more registrations, but most of their registrations were given away for free.
What was .club’s secret to getting to 100,000 registrations? Pick a good domain and then add money.
The company has certainly outspent all of its rivals on marketing.
It hired 50 Cent as a pitchman and then threw a big party in NYC.
Its team has traveled the globe going to club-related events.
It paid to be front and center on GoDaddy’s home page for several weeks.
The company has spent much more on marketing than it has taken in from registrations so far. That’s the business model, since domain name sellers are selling a subscription product. You have to look at the lifetime value of a registration, not one year.
Big launches make the next 50 days a key period for new top level domain names.
A lot of new top level domain names have come to market already. Some have flown out of the gate, others are growing modestly, and some have stalled.
In my opinion, the next 50 days will be an important period for new TLDs due to the number of high profile launches and the companies involved.
You can argue that a slow launch doesn’t kill a TLD. But new TLDs have a chance to get some positive momentum if they collectively make some noise over the next 50 days.
Here’s why this upcoming period has the potential to define new TLDs going forward:
Big .city domains.
.London and .NYC will go into general availability over the next 50 days. .London appears to be off to a strong start (15k domains were added to the zone file overnight), and .NYC could match it.
These cities are as big as it gets. Many people see promise in geo TLDs, and we’ll get a good measure on this very soon.
That’s not to mention other geo domains like .vegas, .moscow, and .scot.
.Realtor is a .brand domain that could shake up visibility for new TLDs. National Association of Realtors is offering the domains to 500,000 U.S. Realtors for free for the first year.
IF a lot of Realtors take them up on the offer and IF they use the domains, this could give a lot of visibility to top level domain names.
For adoption to happen, NAR will need to make it very easy for Realtors to forward the domains or set up websites. If I were a portfolio applicant, even one with competing real estate domains, I’d see if I could lend a hand to NAR to make this launch successful.
Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines, one of the biggest portfolio applicants for new TLDs, finally gets its first batch of domains into general availability in September. And it’s a big batch.
Excluding .London, the other domain names weren’t highly contested ones: .cooking, .country, .fishing, .horse, .rodeo, .vodka, .beer, .surf and .bayern.
Yet it’s still important: in addition to the volume of new TLDs hitting the market, Minds + Machines is a pure-play publicly-traded company. Its results will be watched closely.
Another portfolio applicant, Radix, launches its first batch of three domain names: .host, .press and .website.
Radix will be interesting to watch for a few reasons.
First, the company has experience launching domain names. It managed to get hundreds of thousands of .pw registrations.
Second, the company is spending big to promote its first three domains. Take a look at this big booth from a recent HostingCon conference:
They’ve also done a good job with online advertising targeted to the press and hosting companies.
Third, Radix should have good distribution given its connections to registrar platforms now owned by Endurance International.
As for its initial batch of domains, .host should be solid but faces a massive list of name collisions. .Website is a good generic; I’m curious to see market reaction given that .web and .site will eventually become TLDs as well. Pricing will also be important for .website.
A long game, but a momentum game
A lot of new TLD applicants will tell you that new TLDs are a long game and that launch numbers aren’t that important. Yeah, I’d say that too if I watched my launch flounder.
They aren’t lying; it’s a long game. But launches are important to the long game, and the next 50 days will be important.
One domain is off to a quick start, the others not so much.
Seven new top level domain names launched this week.
By far, .Hamburg for the city of Hamburg was the most registered domain name. (Ironically, this is the one new TLD launch this week that I missed in my weekly preview.)
There are approximately 13,800 .hamburg domain names in the zone file, up about 10,000 on the first day.
On Tuesday, .black added about 100 names to end the day with about 150. I never understand the .color domain names. Apparently I’m not the only one that can come up with a reason to register them.
.HIV, a charitable domain, also launched on Tuesday. It added about 50 domains to end with 115, despite quite a bit of press.
Donuts launched four domain names at regular pricing yesterday. Here’s approximately how many domains they had after the first day: