June 2010 NameMonetizer Newsletter - Issue #59
Summer Thoughts
Internet traffic tends to slow down for the summer.  Most of us are spending more time outdoors and less time in front of our computers.  Here are some other trends that are a bit worrisome:
Two million iPads sold.  

The iPad will undoubtedly have an effect on the domain industry.  With Apple's recent announcement of 2 million iPads sold, two million people are now surfing the web in new ways.  Many of them are using Safari on this new device, but others are using dedicated apps that create small walled-gardens of content.  If you want to read the New York Times you can surf to NewYorkTimes.com or you can download the New York Times app and just click on an icon.  In this case the expense of the app limits the number of people who will subscribe, but in many cases people are opting for the one-click simplicity of apps instead of surfing with a browser that can't even render simple flash elements on a web page.  

Traffic to apps means less traffic to domains.  This is but one recent trend that threatens domain traffic.  

Chrome to the Rescue

Google's Chrome web browser recently emerged from beta for Mac and Linux systems.  (it's been out of beta on Windows for some time.) If you haven't tried Chrome you should - it is lightening fast, even compared to FireFox.  Chrome is another threat to type-in domains because of how it resolves search terms typed into the address bar.  In some past browsers you were taken to a dotcom domain when you enter a term in the search bar.  This is less and less the case. but only with Chrome you are automatically given a Google search when you enter a word of phrase into the address bar.  Essentially the address bar and the search bar have been merged.  Chrome users are rewarded for typing search terms in the address bar.  Over time the habit of adding a ".com" to a search term will diminish even more.

 The King of BP Type-ins

Rick Schwartz has provided evidence that you can still hand register type-in domains that get traffic.  See this post at RicksBlog.  Aside from the moral issues of profiting from a natural disaster, and the TM issues of using the BP trademark in a domain, what lessons can be learned here?  People use the Internet to search for information about natural disasters.  A few people, presumably those who are not internet-savvy, will add a ".com" to the end of terms that describe a natural disaster.  When presented with a page full of paid links, some of these people will click on a link.  Will this click lead to a sale?  Not very likely in my mind.

Rick does have a point.  If you want to build a portfolio based on disaster keyword domains you may make money, at least in the short run.  Just be prepared to dump the domains when the crisis is over.  I wonder how all those tsunami domains are doing?

If you do take advantage of this strategy of buying domains based on news stories, you will want to quickly park them the way that Rick did.  If you find one or two getting especially large amounts of traffic, then you may want to quasi-develop those at somewhere like WhyPark

According to Rick

Out of 16 domains I registered on April 29, 11 already are making $$ and the others are just a bit premature. So for the know nothings.....you still know nothing! But go right ahead and make a fool of yourself.

bpspill.com 255 visitors $12.55 earnings
oilspillingulf.com 132 visitors $11.80 earnings
gulfspill.com 165 and $14.95
bpoilspill.org 76 and $1.17
gulfoilleak.com 70 and $2.08
bpspill.com 244 and $12.55
bpspill.org 17 and .48
bpoilslick.com 1035 and $14.39
gulfcoastoilcleanup.com 15 and $3.99
gulfoilcleanup.com 40 and $6.33
gulfoilleak.com 72 and 2.08

Time to Renew Your Domain Names

Verisign has announced a domain price increase effective July 1 - and your registrar is also increasing its prices. The registration, renewal and transfer fee for .COM domains will increase from $6.86 to $7.34 and the .NET annual fees will be increased from $4.23 to $4.65 If you can afford it, renew as many your domains now.  

As an example, here are eNom's planned increases:

               OLD Pricing   New Pricing
PREMIER           $7.95        $8.50
VOLUME            $8.95        $9.50
BASIC               $9.95       $10.50
ALTERNATIVE    $10.95       $11.50

GoDaddy announced a 7% price increase for .com and a 10% increase for .net.  Their current retail price for .com is $10.69,  so a 7% increase means you will probably be paying $11.44.