Marchex CEO steps down

A new boss at Marchex and Q4 earnings released.

Marchex reported earnings today, and also announced that long time CEO Russell Horowitz has stepped down. Company co-founder Pete Christothoulou has taken over the top post.

The company, which derives the bulk of its revenue from performance advertising in which customers pay for phone calls, had a rocky 2014 after losing the bulk of its business from its biggest client. The stock trades for about $4.00 now, well below its 52-week high of $12.84.

Marchex also owns a large portfolio of domain names that it monetizes and sells through the Archeo Domains brand. The Archeo business reported revenue of $3.0 million for Q4 2014, and $14.5 million for the year. Both of these numbers are down from their prior respective periods.

Minds + Machines reports numbers, including $36M from auctions

Big 2014 numbers from losing auctions, but domain registration revenue starting to grow.

Minds + MachinesMinds + Machines released some preliminary numbers for 2014 today.

It can be summarized as: it pulled in a lot of cash from losing auctions, and registrations of its domains picked toward the end of the year as it released more of them.

Here are some highlights:

Auctions – Grossed $36 million from losing 21 private auctions for new top level domain names last year; spent $25.9 million to acquire 6 contested domains. Click to continue reading…

NamesCon sets dates and early bird special for 2016 show

NamesCon sets dates for 2016 and offer $199 tickets.

It seems like just last month that the domain name industry converged on Las Vegas for NamesCon 2015.

Oh yeah, it was last month.

Yet NamesCon has already announced dates for its 2016 show, which will take place January 10-13 in Las Vegas. Tickets are 80% off through the end of this month, and will cost only $199 until then.

The event will again take place at The Tropicana hotel. Co-producer Richard Lau tells Domain Name Wire that it will re-evaluate venues after next year’s event, based in part on if the show continues to grow in size.

The dates line up nicely for the newly announced THE domain conference
, which takes place at the end of September. That gives enough space between it and NamesCon, and avoids a head-on collision with the ICANN meeting in October.

Don’t be surprised if you hear about another, smaller domain conference taking place between now and then (not to mention the European show circuit).

gTLD Food Truck coming to Austin during SXSW

Sedo to promote top level domain name choices during SXSW.

Sedo gTLD Frozen YogurtSedo is bringing its “gTLD frozen yogurt” marketing idea to Austin next month during the SXSW conference.

The company partnered with registries for a similar program during dmexco in Cologne last September. Sedo served frozen yogurt with toppings, and the toppings were all named after different TLDs. For example, someone who wants their froyo topped with chocolate sauce and sprinkles might have to order it “with .club and .sexy on top”.

In March, Sedo is taking the idea and putting it on wheels.

The gTLD Frozen Yogurt Food Truck will roam Austin March 13-17, coinciding with the Interactive portion of the SXSW festival.

The official attendance at SXSW Interactive alone is about 35,000, and many more people descend on Austin toward the end of the Interactive portion for the Film and Music festivals. All told, SXSW attracts close to 400,000 people to Austin over a roughly ten day period in March.

Getting exposure at the crowded event can be difficult, but giving away free food is a surefire way to get attention.

Let me know if your company is doing something cool at SXSW and I’ll feature it in a future post.

Google: Become mobile friendly, or else…

Google sends warnings to website owners.

Google has a message for you: it’s time to make your website mobile friendly or suffer the consequences.

The search giant has started sending notices out to Webmaster Tools users notifying them if their site doesn’t work well on mobile resolutions.

The emails warn that “These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.” Click here to continue reading…