by Aaron Krawitz, Gary Males & Patrick Carleton
[Editor’s note: this is a guest article about the potential of IDN geo domain names.]
We’ve long been believers in GeoDomains and continue to be on the lookout for new and lucrative niches, which is why we have each individually made substantial investments in IDN GeoDomains.
With the fog of uncertainty finally lifting over IDNs, now is the ideal time for for geo investors to stake a claim in IDNs where the window of opportunity is quickly closing.
For years, antagonists of non-latin IDNs have focused on the premise that the part to the right of the dot was still in English. Let’s face it, [non-English] dot [English “com”] never made any sense, and that was the number one reason why many didn’t take a closer look.
But a few weeks ago, this all changed, as VeriSign finally showed its hand and put to bed the rumors of how these half IDNs were going to operate. In a brief, but game changing interview, Vice President of Policy and Compliance for VeriSign Information Services (VIS) Chuck Gomes spoke of how an existing [non-English] dot [English “com”] could be unlocked so that the domain owner also owns the rights to the same domain but with a localized extension (i.e [the same non-English domain] dot [non-English “com”]). For example, the owner of the Japanese domain, ãƒ‹ãƒ¥ãƒ¼ã‚ªãƒ¼ãƒªãƒ³ã‚º.com (New Orleans), would also hold the rights to the same keyword with a non-English extension in the corresponding local language, such as ãƒ‹ãƒ¥ãƒ¼ã‚ªãƒ¼ãƒªãƒ³ã‚º.ã‚³ãƒ . The characters “ã‚³ãƒ ” are the familiar way to express “com” in Japanese.
So what does this mean for GeoDomainers?
ICANN’s IDN program aims to deliver on many promises, and the majority of these promises are to native speaking countries. IDNs intrinsically breed nationalistic pride in having one’s own language represented in a domain name, so it makes complete sense that GeoDomains of native cities/towns in their respective languages will be warmly welcomed.
What should we make of the competition, the new IDN ccTLDs?
Russia’s new .Ñ€Ñ„ extension is a prime example, which, like the existing Japanese ccTLD are reserving all geos for government use. You can bet there will be mildly interesting informational sites put up on these geos for IDN ccTLDs, but they will be void of any commercial use. This will clear the way for IDN dot com names to dominate.
Where are the opportunities?
With only 1 million IDNs registered today, there is ample opportunity, and most old-time IDNers haven’t bought geos with a population under 100,000!
We are still in the early days of the IDN market and geos can be picked up for bargain prices on droplists or even occasionally at reg fee.