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Domain Names Worth Their Weight in Gold Again 223

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-not-much-then-is-it dept.
prostoalex writes "So far in 2006 domain name on.com fetched $635,000, Macau.com was sold for $550,000, blue.com was sold for half a million, and Jasmin.com was bought for $310,000. With the exception of the last domain name, which is currently used for erotic video chat, the rest of the domains run some sort of domain parking ads. USA Today talks about revived interest to domain name trade, and companies like Marchex, a 'leader in vertical and local traffic', which happens to own a .com domain for every single zip code in the United States. There's also a report that in the few days that .eu domain names were made available, 1,454,218 European domains were registered."
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Domain Names Worth Their Weight in Gold Again

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  • Bah!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:55PM (#15133865) Homepage Journal
    To all those companies that are being so helpful in "parking" domain names for me and then charging outrageous prices to "register" them........ FSCK YOU!!!. Seriously though, how many of you have tried to go out and register even the most obscure of domain names for your website only to have companies like Marchex or GoDaddy say "Sure, we'll get that domain for you for the low, low price of $5000.00" (or more). This is the concept of the middle man taken to criminal levels. Can someone enlighten me as to what benefit(s) they provide? What services do they provide? Is there anything good at all about these companies or are they simply parasitic ticks feeding off the belly of the Internet?

    And what does it say about the market audience when domain names with misspelled words (like Mortage.com) can go for $242,000?

    Oh, I forgot.... at least one domain level parking company provides Microsoft with advertising because they "parked" all of their unused domains on IIS servers....which......appear at some level to be able to handle those traffic loads. :-)

    • Re:Bah!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by QuickFox (311231) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:36PM (#15133991)
      I'm amazed that Google accepts and encourages [google.com] the domain-squatting parasites. They are link farms! How are those inane squatter pages better than the link farms that Google frowns upon?

      -- --
        Terrorists can destroy our trains and buildings, but they can't destroy our rights and freedom. Only we and our lawmakers can destroy that.
      • Re:Bah!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        "... how are those [Gooogle] inane squatter pages better than the link farms that Google frowns upon?"

        Their income goes back to Google.

        That was to expected from a company that went public and reports to their shareholders. Lots of money and values don't go together.
        • Bah!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "That was to expected from a company that went public and reports to their shareholders. Lots of money and values don't go together."

          Yeah! Just look at the Catholic church.
          • Show me where you can buy their stock, and you might have a point. However, since they're not publicly traded, you don't haev a point.
      • Re:Bah!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by ejito (700826)
        Just because a domain is currently using a parked page doesn't mean their intent is to sell domains or leave the parking page up forever. If a site is on hiatus, then parking pages can serve as a source of revenue or at least a traffic redirection.

        I have domains I currently use for email but don't have corresponding websites.
    • two words: artificial scarcity

      Many people benefit from scarcity (real or artificial), and those who benefit keep the "system" working with .com as really the only viable game in town for a commercial domain. There are exceptions, but they are rare. Over the last 2 weeks I've been brainstorming on names fora new project and the domain name issue is insane. All reasonable combinations of 1 or 2 words in business oriented applications are taken in .com -- and 3/4 oof them have either no content or parked ad
      • Personally, I think that the second a domain name expires it should return to the public domain, as meaningful names are a finite resource, and speculators shouldn't be able to hold new businesses ransom.

        Also, the second you put up "this domain for sale" on your page, it's stripped and returned as well.
    • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday April 14, 2006 @10:22PM (#15134106) Homepage Journal
      Here's a few of the names I registered and never made a cent on:

      BudgetDSL.com
      BudgetDSL.net
      Artoo-Detoo.com
      See-Threepio.com
      InstantOnPC.com
      NoBootPC.com
      EarnPage.com (wow that's dumb!)
      DSLCheap.com
      DSLCheap.net
      MartianSprings.com
      19x.net (I let it lapse, but I'm thinking I should have kept it... even for email, a 3-letter domain is cool.)
      PeeRat.com !!! (yes!!! Pee Rat! Actually I was thinking Peer At. Shows what registering names at 4 am can cost you.)

      I regged a bunch more, some of them probably ok (something with fix.com in it... I forget... hmmm.) I regged at least 50 over the years, and only one has turned out to have any value.
    • Just recently, I learned *far* more than I ever wanted to about attempting to claim a domain after a previous owner lets it expire. It's amazing what a racket that whole thing has become!

      One of my clients paid a consultant to set up a web site and some email hosting for his daycare centers a couple years ago. Well, recently, that consultant ran into some personal problems (divorce, etc.) and became very difficult to reach/unresponsive. So finally, the daycare owner decided what he needed to do was redire
    • Re:Bah!!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by NilObject (522433) on Friday April 14, 2006 @11:51PM (#15134304) Homepage
      Oddly enough, I think "mortage.com" could be a clever company name for a mortgage company:

      "Mortage: When you need some G's."
    • by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @01:59AM (#15134512) Homepage

      I mean seriously, I constantly have customers coming in fretting about domain names. One chap sits at the visitor PC and spends hours (literally) trying different iterations of common words, and combinations. This is just silly. I tell them to relax, the name really isn't important. Content is king on the internet, the name doesn't matter a damn.

      Lets take our favourite website, slashdot. What exactly does that have to do with technology or news? Nothing, and yet its one of the most successful sites out there. Google is a verb, for gods sake, and its domain name has exactly zero to do with searching. If these guys had their way, it would have been called simplysearch.com or something. One of our most successful websites LIreland [lireland.com] the domain name doesn't mention anything to do with driving or driving schools.

      This domain name hunting fad will be consigned to the murky annals of bankruptcy before too long, as more and more useful, content rich sites gain a reputation and a following. Meanwhile, trust me, the name doesn't matter a damn.

      • The slashdot name. (Score:3, Informative)

        by aliquis (678370)
        The name does have something to do with the content.

        Slashdot = /. = inverted ./ = path to the current directory in unix.

        I think that matches "News for nerds" quite well.
        • I thought /. was older than that: it's the vi (and more) editing command meaning "Search for any character". Considering the number of characters (human and byte-sized) on /., this makes just as much sense as the http: explanation. It's also a pretty useless command, which also seems appropriate to many of the posts here. :)
        • Nope. Spell it out. h t t p colon slash slash slashdot dot org. It's even on the FAQ.

          What does the name "Slashdot" mean?

          "Slashdot" is a sort of obnoxious parody of a URL. When I originally registered the domain, I wanted to make the URL silly, and unpronounceable. Try reading out the full URL to http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] and you'll see what I mean. Of course my cocky little joke has turned around and bit me in the butt because now I am called upon constantly to tell people my URL or email address. I can't

      • Domain names are important because search engines seems to value the occurency of the searched word inside the domain quite high.

        Other off topic things I don't like about googles search result are that a search for "product-name review" often results in lots of pages which has the word "consumer review" or similair inside them, even thought there are no review and never a large and good one. When I search for something like that I want to have more on my bones then "I've bought it for $30 and I like it".
    • Parking Sucks (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MikeFM (12491)
      I want a Firefox plugin that blacklists parking domains the way Adblock blacklists ads. So that if I try to go to one of those pages it just warns me that it's a parked ad trap and allows me to choose not to go. Better yet, let the search engines screen the blacklisted sites out for you.

    • And what does it say about the market audience when domain names with misspelled words (like Mortage.com) can go for $242,000?

      I fail to see how such a mispelling can be worth that much moneyt. Maybe my visitors are too smart, but still, typing piping desoin into a search engine is not going to get them where they want to be, and they'll quickly realize their error.
    • The ironic thing is that this domain squating wasn't really possible until until a lot of people got all bent out of shape because Network Solutions was charging $50/year to register domains, and they had no competition. They helped force NS to share the business with other companies that were free to charge as little as they wanted. One result of this was bulk registration services, that let squatters grab every name in the phone book and every word in the dictionary for just pennies a domain.

      So now a do

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:02PM (#15133886)
    I've been holding back on this one but ... OK, that's it.

    shavedteenasiancamwhoremyspacediggxenisucks.com is now for sale.

    Bidding starts at $500,000.
  • by Laven (102436) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:04PM (#15133896)
    If you buy and hold a domain name for more than a year before selling it for thousands of dollars, do you pay the U.S. IRS long-term capital gains tax? =)
  • by bort27 (261557) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:07PM (#15133906)
    With the exception of the last domain name, which is currently used for erotic video chat, the rest of the domains run some sort of domain parking ads.


    And now, thanks to Slashdot, they've got tons of extra traffic plus a one-way link from a PR9.

    bort.
  • I'm no scar! I'm no scar!

    ... dot com
  • by Tx (96709) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:08PM (#15133913) Journal
    Domain Names Worth Their Weight in Gold Again

    So how much exactly does a domain name weight? I'm thinking those that paid half a million dollars got ripped off badly.
    • Well, one of the domains I own (stampoutliteracy.com) has been compared to a mountain of "bullcrap." It's currently for sale for the low, low price of $8.3 million.

      Any takers? We're talking a whole mountain here...
  • Shit... (Score:3, Funny)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:14PM (#15133934)

    ...and to think I just wasted money on a house.

  • .eu too (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ubersonic (943362) *
    Yesterdays news was showing how someone got shopping.eu

    According to the report an independent institute valued the name at 300000 €
  • NOT SAFE FOR WORK (Score:5, Informative)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPAM. y a h oo.com> on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:19PM (#15133953) Journal
    That last link Jasmine.com is definitely not safe for work. Slashdot linking to porn on the front page without a warning. Nice going. Oh, wait, no one even reads the F'n articles.
    • Wait it did say that it was a porn chat site. DUH
    • Looks like someone got all excited when they say a pr0n link...the next sentence says "With the exception of the last domain name, which is currently used for erotic video chat".

      Literacy is fun.

    • That last link Jasmine.com is definitely not safe for work.

      You've just demonstrated the value of "typo" domains.

    • It doesn't stop there :

      The page behind Jasmine [dot] com also tries to install flash malware.

      There are javascript pop-up's hidden hundreds of characters off to the right, which appear to be click-through ads.

      The link techinterviews [dot] com behind the poster prostoalex is another link farm.

      /me smells a rat.

    • I am not sure what is scarier, you not reading the next line, or other people get this disinfornation to a +5 level.

      Probably done by people who thing disinformation is some kind of information.
    • Slashdot linking to porn on the front page without a warning. Nice going.

      From the /. blurb:

      With the exception of the last domain name, which is currently used for erotic video chat,

      It sounded like a warning to me. Perhaps they should use the blink tag next time? ;-)

      Tom Caudron
      http://tom.digitalelite.com/linux.html [digitalelite.com]
  • I used to laugh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wbren (682133) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:22PM (#15133957) Homepage
    I used to laugh at people that said we are experiencing the Dot-Com Bubble all over again, but after reading stories like this... Should those people be dismissed so quickly?
  • What about the three that I own? Do they own those too? :)
  • And meanwhile, Microsoft gives away domain names (and some web space, too) for free: http://www.officelive.com/ [officelive.com]
  • by Doppler00 (534739) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:41PM (#15134002) Homepage Journal
    First, why did the price of registering domain names get so cheap? I mean, how much are these companies paying now to register domain names? $1 each? Less? Where does this money go? Does it go to the people who have to maintain these DNS servers with bogus parking domains? If we think about how spam got out of hand, you could imagine that someday 90% of all domain names are "spam".

    Why did we have to make registration so cheap to begin with? I don't see what's wrong with charging $50 for a a year for a domain name. If someone needed it that bad they should pay up. Now with the ultra low cost anyone can buy up a bunch of domain names and sell them back for an excessive fee.

    So... when will legislation be inacted to prevent domain parking? It's obvious that parking a domain can bring no benefit to the economy or society, it's just an unecessary middleman tactic. Also, registering a domain name and a copyright are two seperate things. If you own the copyright you should definately be able to sue these domain parkers for infringement.

    It's just absolutely ridiculus that we got into a situation where every imaginable word, phrase, or typo is now registered.
    • But not everyone who runs a web site really "needs" their domain, that doesn't mean their not using it. I have a couple of domains registered myself, one of which I use almost solely for e-mail. For quite some time it was parked on a godaddy.com page. I didn't care, I still got to use it for e-mail. Now I put it to slightly better use, but I never would have gotten it if I'd had to pay $50 a year. Maybe an intial payment of $50 a year and a smaller renewal fee thereafter. My point is that the internet isn't
      • And you talk about suing over copyright infringement. Suppose some hobbyist named Bill McDonald had bought McDonalds.com before McDonald's decided to get on the internet scene. Should they be able to sue Bill for copyright infringement? I should hope not.

        As far as mcdonalds.com goes, it should probably go to McDonalds Inc. instead of Bill if we examine this simply from an efficiency perspective. Almost every reader visiting the page is expecting the company, not the hobbyist. DNS is, after all, designed t
      • by cgenman (325138) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @02:19AM (#15134539) Homepage
        First domain - 5 dollars
        Second domain - 20 dollars
        Third domain - 50 dollars
        Fourth domain - 100 dollars
        Subsequent domains - 1,000 dollars

        Sure, you have the problem of people registering things under other people's names, but that can be solved.

        Essentially, your e-mail and personal identity domain should be basically free, your first and second hobby domains should be reasonably priced, your third and fourth domains should have a lot of motivating factor behind them, and if you need 5 or more domains you're probably a very large company with a lot of people working for you.

      • I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, if you can't be bothered to pay a measly $50/yr for a domain you don't deserve to have it. Hand it over to someone who will make more active use of it, or PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE of owning it. People like you are the reason all these domain squatters exist.

        I'd personally raise the price of a .com to $100/year minimum. Who is it the registrars have to pay, ICANN? Why can't they forcibly raise the price? Fewer domain registrations I suppose, but a lot more money per-
    • So... when will legislation be inacted to prevent domain parking?

      As soon as the legislators realize that domain parking is analogous to sitting on any other sort of property, and that the natural way to fix it is property taxes.

      As long as this is perceived to be a "some nerd had to give his website a stupid name because some other nerd was hogging the good names" problem, it'll never attract legislative attention. Make it clear that there's an untapped source of tax revenue here and you'll see the problem
  • WTF? What does this mean? They drive vertical and local traffic by redirecing 90210.com to local Beverly Hills companies? Sure they do...when I want to perform a search for Beverly Hills (90210), for example, I type in the Zip Code instead of the city name. Dumba$$es. Let's test their theory of driving vertical and local traffic when I type my zipcode plus .com into IE and Firefox.... 15 seconds later...in both Firefox (with Adblock) and IE 6 SP1...I get NOTHING but blank screen. Maybe Spysweeper is blocki
  • Coupled with a strong US economy, no wonder the dot.com days are comming back!!! Yey, finally I get to wear more casual clothes to work. Oh, maybe now I can ask for a raise too. =)

    For those in the UK, your unemployment rate is at a fantastic 2.9%

    Hell ya, let's keep the momentum going!!! Bout damn time too. Good times are ahead, good times!
  • My wife a few years ago wanted to get into pet items, beds, toys etc etc and so I bought her a pair of domains to start the shop ( petluxuries.com etc ), alas, 6 months later and our lives had changed a bit and the pet luxuries idea was out the door, a shame since it's a rather profitable market. So now we're left with two domains that aren't much use to us, so what better to do than to sell them.

    What does iritate me though is when I'm trying to buy a domain which is held by a mass squatter and despite see
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    This is basic capitalism in action. As long as there are people willing to pay up a fortune, there will be people to try to sell it for a fortune.

    Thing is, you don't have to have the money if you have the imagination. I've recently started brainstorming for domain ideas for some projects I'm releasing in the next couple of months, and I can assure you that despite it being difficult and sometimes frustrating to find a good name for free, it's ALWAYS possible to get one, if you so wish.

    When I mention my doma
  • So, at $42.2222 per troy ounce [treas.gov], and 14.5833333 troy ounces in 1 pound [google.com], if these sites are really "worth their weight in gold", then on.com weighs ~1/2 ton while jasmin.com weighs only ~1/4 ton. Makes sense, of course, given the starvation diets most of those girls are probably on ...

    Please don't crucify me if my math is off ... I'm tired. Just laugh at attempted joke ....
    • I assumed by the title that there had been some sort of bust and domains had become worthless, given that a domain name is nothing more than a pattern of data on a disk, and that the pattern on the media weighs nothing(*).

      But obviously the opposite is true. The next big thing will be businesses whose names are created by a random trigraph generator or are corruptions on existing words.

      In Australia .com.au's have to provide evidence of registered company names, so in theory we don't have such a problem with
  • On Technology, made the Meeting Maker calendaring application. Massively crossplatform (even had DOS, OS2 and Windows 3.0 clients!) They spun it off, good product. Guess the rest of the company doesn't need the domain, hope my 401k is fine!

    I just loved that domain as an email address...

    Paul
  • There is a piece of old lore that sales of cardboard boxes is one way to see if there is an upcoming business recovery or expansion...because when businesses start preparing to ship more things, they need lots of cardboard boxes to do it with.
    This may or may not be true, but, we could still look at an upswing in domain names as a type of "cardboard box effect", it may mean that e-Commerce is picking up again.
    Or it might mean nothing at all!
    • Actually it means that lots of homeless bums have begun buying boxes to rip up and make their "I need beer, at least I'm not lying" signs. That would be a good analogy in this case.
  • So, let's say we get a group together some weekend, buy some beer, and reinvent DNS in a way that obliterates the value of all these registrations.

    Then we'd just need to get Firefox, and of course IE to ... oh, yeah. Nevermind.
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  • by Animats (122034) on Friday April 14, 2006 @11:41PM (#15134285) Homepage
    In the beginning, we had banner ads, and advertisers paid for "impressions". Then we had banner ad glut, nobody looked at the banners, and the bottom fell out of banner ads.

    Then we had click-through, and advertisers paid for "clicks". Now we have "click glut", very few clicks lead to a sale, and the bottom is falling out of "clicks".

    What we're going to end up with is something where advertisers only pay for actual sales. This creates accounting problems, but Yahoo Store and parts of the porno industry already have it working.

    The main thing keeping the click trade going is Google. When the day comes that Google stops paying affiliates for clicks, others will follow and the domain spam industry will fall apart. This will probably happen right after Google gets a payment system in place.

    • Using Adsense you can already measure the cost per conversion (CPC, the cost per sale). Google isn't paying anyone for clicks, it's just a broker between two people buying and selling advertisement-space/clicks. As long as the people buying advertisements get a high enough conversion (which they can already check themselves), this could go on indefinitly.

      It would be relatively easy for Google to implement a payment-per-conversion system, however this would put a lot more risk on the person selling advertise
    • The main thing keeping the click trade going is Google.

      Oh, nonsense. Less than one in eight domain squatters use Google. The domain squatting game existed years before Google did. Google doesn't even run the kind of scam ads that most squatters do.

      What is it with people like you believing that without Google, the entire Internet goes away? Do you honestly believe Google's the only ad broker on earth? That all these advertisers will just say nevermind? That these content providers will go "well that's
  • by whig (6869) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @02:18AM (#15134537) Homepage Journal
    Does it seem like Books.by.net and Music.by.net or adult-oriented content addresses like Porn.by.net would be valuable?

    It is generally the case that .com names are worth considerably more than .net. But consider a marketing campaign for a company that is selling cars online, by web or by net so to speak. A TV ad could say, "Shop for a new car at Cars by net," while showing "Cars.by.net" on the screen.

    Sure, "Cars dot com" works as well or better, but that one's taken, and so is almost every other "Product dot com" domain. So the question is, would "Cars.on.com" be better than "Cars.by.net"?

    Which is the more valuable domain space?

    I'm asking sincerely, even though I have a self-interested motivation in doing so. I've literally been told by some appraisers that By.net should be worth 10-25% of what By.com would be, and it just doesn't make any sense at all.
    • You're thinking about it wrongly. The reason it's worth 1/10 to 1/4 what buy.com is is because 75-90% of a domain's value is people going "huh, i wonder if i can [verb] things on [verb].com."

      The other 10-25% comes from domains working the way they're supposed to - someone goes out and actually builds something there, then gets the word out, and people go hit the site. In the case of two- and three-letter domains, the value there is drastically inflated, because they're so much easier to remember, even if
  • I'm working from memory so I may have some of the details wrong:

    There was an article in Make magazine a few months ago about domain names (I believe it was written by Tim O'Reilly). Basically, it said (paraphrased), "If we were registering a domain name for this magazine a few years ago, we would have needed to get make.com to get any visitors. However, given the ubiquity of search engines now, makezine.com is fine . . . people will still find us with no problem."

    So, um, what I'm saying is, domain names a
  • by binkzz (779594)
    They don't weigh anything..
  • Are surely much more valuable domain names than amazon.com, google.com, and ebay.com? The thing no one has explained to me yet is are these idiots making money squatting on all these domains? Or is this like all those "work from home" things, where none of them really make any money, but the meme of the multi-level marketing thing is infectious and spreads prolifically? Same question could be asked about spammers, how many of them make any real profit, and how many more are either spamming at a loss or at a rate less than they could make the kwikky mart per hour? Seems to me if these things are all as usually un-profitable as I imagine we could educate away at least some of the annoyance caused by spam and domain spam etc.
    • Domain speculators serve tremendous numbers of ads. 99% of google's revenue is ad-based. QED.

      For what it's worth, just think it over. These people own sometimes upwards of 20k domains. We always say "there's no way they could sell a tenth of a percent of their $5k domains." Okay, so what if that's true? Buying domains in bulk they're like fifty cents each; if we assume a turnover of one tenth of one percent, and a return of $5k each, then they've made $100k off of a $10k investment.

      Yes, they're making
  • Check out this "definition" of cybersquatting from LinkUWant.com, a link farm who is holding the URL of the name of my company.
    http://www.linkuwant.com/website/cybersquatter.php [linkuwant.com]
    "This term is used by envious corporate world executives and attorneys."
    Feel free to slashdot them.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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