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My experiences from DomainX 2017, New Delhi

Myself with Manmeet Pal Singh (left) and Gaurav Kohli (right) at DomainX 2017

The DomainX 2017, held at New Delhi on August 05, 2017 featured plenty of standard fare, from keynotes by industry leaders and deep dives into hot topics, to interactive panels with professionals from both inside and outside the domain industry.

For me it was a very engaging experience because of these 3 facts:

1. This was the first time ever that I attended an Exclusive Domaining event that happened in India.

2. Since 1999, I had been doing this all alone – Searching Domains, Registering Domains, Putting them on Sale, Checking Sales of others, reading Blogs and Tips from fellow domainers (mostly based out of India). This was first time I had a first hand interaction with Domainers from India and I bet their experience and knowledge is No Less than any other Domainers based out of India.

3. Well, this one came as a complete surprise to me when they announced my name on the stage – I won an award for the “DomainX .in evangelist of the year 2016-2017“. Its an awesome feeling, to get recognized for your hard work. As for me, I am working and will keep working for the betterment of community.

We all know that Buying domains is easy but selling the right domain at the right price to the perfect buyer is an art. This year’s DomainX was focused upon Selling of Domains, adhering with the copyright/trademark issues, developing domains into great web properties and many more interesting and productive topics.

Every one was really impressed with the variety of the schedule and the incorporation of considerable content.

I did not attend the DomainX 2016, but I had heard DomainX 2016 delivered more than it had promised, because it did so by utilizing the energy of its founder, Manmeet Pal Singh, and his team of hard working people. This year too, they lived upto the expectation and even more. The show was hosted by Gaurav Kohli, who is a very good speaker and also the president of DNOAI (Domain Name Owners Association of India).

Following are a few highlights of the conference as per my experience after attending the DomainX 2017:

1. Established New Connections with extremely talented, young(er) people, in the Indian Domain Name Industry. Learnt from them, interacted and started networking with the Indian Domaining Industry’s who’s who.

2. Met the Legends. Indian Domaining does not Only cover the .in ccTLD, infact most of the Indian Domainers are into .com and other general TLDs. As they themselves say, there is no better opportunity than this for budding domain name owners, investors and entrepreneurs to connect and learn from experts.

3. Learnt from the suggestions, recommendations, feedback and criticism even, from people whose minds think differently than I do. It’s important to expand one’s vision, to accept as much knowledge as possible in order to improve oneself.

4. Met my Domainer Friends. This was the most important point of attending DomainX for me. I have interacted through Phone Calls and WhatsApp, with almost all the top-notch people in Indian Domaining, living inside and outside India. Interestingly, I had not met any of them earlier. It was now at DomainX 2017 when I actually met most of them, shook hands and talked with them in real time.

5. Witnessed people’s excitement over simple interactions, from quick conversations to analysis of business practices. I was able to share some facts from my experiences to feel useful and appreciated at the same time.

6. Assimilated the wide variety of ideas, plans, projects, and actions in an industry that came together to communicate, exchange and co-inspire.

Last but not least, what started as a passion for Manmeet Pal Singh (founder of DomainX) is now spreading awareness and exposure through his efforts towards uniting the whole Domaining community in India. That covers domain name investors, domain name registrars, ICANN officials, and domain name enthusiasts who are always trying to broaden their knowledge and learn latest skills and technologies.

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Are .net domains still any good ?

Are .net domains still any good ?

We all know .net TLD stands for Network.

We also know that when we learn about Domain Names and TLDs in particular, the second TLD that comes right after the .com is, .net followed by the .org.

.com stands for Commercial or Company to some, so when you try to brand your business is that really the full form of these Extensions that matter to you or other factors like price, availability, etc.

There are certainly some instances where .net as an extension makes more sense but where the .com extension is still a better branding decision.

Choosing .com as an extension offers the advantage of being the default assumption for web surfers. If someone tells their friend about this awesome service called “Facebook,” they are more likely to try facebook.com rather than facebook.net.

Having said that, there are still many brands using .net as their choice of company identity rather than a .com (Yes, even if the .com is available!).

According to market research by VeriSign, .net is still considered the most “trustworthy” of all domain endings.

In terms of SEO, your domain name extension makes no difference what so ever, its really the Uniqueness of your content and how rich your content is, is what really matters. We should also try to have the domain name match the keyword search phrase if doing SEO, it is a good practice anyway. .net from what I have seen is second best to a .com.

Also, .net domains seem to be a wise option if the .com is taken or is listed as a premium domain for several thousands of dollars.

Recently, there was a .net Promotion running on from some domain name registrars and following are a few .net I registered for myself:

TalkingCar.net

TalkingRobot.net

Well, I think what I registered is “the future“, in .net!

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What is better – Domain Expiry or Domain Auctions ?

What is better - Domain Expiry or Domain Auctions ?

Domainers only care about what happens to expired domains when they want to buy them.

But we don’t think about What the Registrar will do with our domain name if we don’t renew it.

Perhaps expired domains should be the spoils for a registrar’s hard work getting customers to register domains in the first place.

If they let it simply expire, the expired domains would go to whoever has the best drop catching technology.

But most expired domains are auctioned off through exclusive relationships, sending money back to the domain registrar.

Is one of these more fair than the other? In the first model the registrars get nothing, in the second they get a cut. Someone has to have an advantage getting expired domains. Who should it be?

We also have some registrars that keep domains for themselves. But that creates a conflict of interest with customers.

A registrar may not push a customer for renewal because it wants to keep or sell the domain itself. When a registrar gains a LOT more from a customer’s domain expiring than they do from a renewal it puts way too much temptation to lose or forget to help customers renew their domains. It’s as simple as that — the registrar can do whatever they want without breaking any rules. They are the ones in control and can do as they please. Business is business. They will tap into all avenues in hopes of generating a few bucks here and there.

ICANN should delegate a company to do the job of selling the dropped domains with an auctioning system, and keep the money that could benefit to develop some parts of Internet.

But in this case, the registrars would certainly heavily promote a system to prevent the domain expiration by suggesting the domain owner to sell instead of letting expire.

Thus, the registrar are certainly in a strong position.

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Why some Domain Name Auctions are Under-Sold

Why some Domain Name Auctions are Under-Sold

Sometimes we hear news about a Domain Name being sold in an online auction, for what we consider is less than its minimum deserving price. Is it really a Fixed/Fake Auction or there could be any other genuine reason for it too…?

I would like to make case-study of a domain sale here, which happened in 2009.

The Domain was – Toys.com

Toys.com earlier sold for $1,250,000 in 2009, as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding, and again sold for $5,100,000 after a re-auction was ordered by the bankruptcy court.

So, what does that say about the value of domains or domain auctions?

How does a domain at auction sell one week for $1.25 million and the next week for over $5 Million ?

Simple.

The first auction only a few people knew about or participated in, causing the end price to be below market value.

The re-auction had other participants who did not have knowledge of the first auction, like National A-1 and Toys R Us.

Domain values and auction selling prices depend on how well publicized the auction is, who is involved in the auction, and how desirable the domain is.

I would like to quote Owen Frager here, who once said – The irony is that the domain business is all about advertising yet no one wants to invest in advertising their domains.

We all know one thing – If you have the right domain and the right bidders you will have a sale.

But if you have bidders but not the right kind of bidders you will have a sale, but the sale will be at a fraction of the price it could be if you had the right kind of bidders.

I had also read somewhere that Frank Schilling was in until $2.9million.

It is all about reaching out to the right buyers. In this case, it was just two who bidded up and went at it for over an hour from $3m – $5m.

Many were confident that Toys R Us would pick up this domain in the re-auction because they already have toys.co.uk and just bought the other week eToys.com which they were already including in press releases.

But End user perception, need and valuation are having very little to do with metrics.

For example, Pizza.com would have gone higher if Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Johns knew about the sale.

Educating and informing end users go hand in hand. It is our responsibility as domainers to do our part if we want to see this industry move forward.

There has been enough constructive advice written for years to work with, and we can now add the power of social networking to reach our goals.

We need to think creatively and find ways to come out of semi-closed circles.

Awareness and Exposure, not only by the Seller But by all of us who know about the auctions happening is essential. If we all work together we can boost up domain prices and exposure.

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Why you should be attending the DomainX 2017

DomainX Delhi 2017

If you are in India, OR any where around it, OR you are willing to travel to India around August 2017 – well, you have an excuse apart from visiting the Taj Mahal – DomainX 2017 Domaining Conference.

I first heard about DomainX in October 2016. But DomainX is much older than that. It started in 2014 with its first event at Hyderabad, India on September 7th, 2014.

We all have heard and most of us have attended popular domain name industry conferences like TRAFFIC, NamesCon and DomainFest but DomainX is a first timer for a country like India and it sounds very interesting. India’s very own domain name conference!

DomainX started as the First dedicated domain name conference to network, bring awareness and educate people about the domain name industry in India.

The idea behind DomainX conference was to bring industry leading International Domain Name and Internet Marketing experts to interact with fellow domain name investors and web startup community to showcase their proven products and services.

DomainX is the brainchild of a domainer named Manmeet Pal Singh, belonging to Amritsar in Punjab, India.

Some of Manmeet Pal’s achievements in the domain name industry: Sold 143.com for six figures, also some noteable sales like CreateResume.org, Tuly.com, LasVegasArena.com, VisitHimalayas.com to name a few.

Manmeet Pal is said to be owning a grand portfolio of domain names himself, around 10,000+ domain names in various TLDs and categories.

Apart from DomainX, BlogX is another popular event organized by Manmeet Pal Singh. BlogX focuses at connecting the SEO, blogging & content creation community. It was when I visited BlogX 2017 on February 11 2017, that I met and came to know about him.

I have not attended of the earlier DomainX events that happened in India. I hope to be going and attending the DomainX 2017 conference thats happening in August 2017 at New Delhi, India. Also Hoping to be meeting some popular fellow domainers from around the country.

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Why I decided not to own “AirTel.com”

Why I decided not to own AirTel.com

Domaining is a process of earning money through buying, selling and monetizing domain names for a profit but at the same time as E.L. James says – ‘There’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.’ Same way, you have to be very cautious as you don’t know when you will be slipping onto the other side of the coin.

On our one side is always pure Domaining and on the other side is Cyber Squatting. I remember preparing my own scripts to find the high traffic domain names way back in 2008. It used to search for high traffic .com domain names which were about to expire and then give me a list of the top ones which I will place on Back Order in bulk at various websites.

This process was pretty automated, and I would had upto hundred such domain names in my list every day. Sometimes even more than a 100 too. Then I used to check the next day which ones of my back ordered domain names, I was able to secure or which ones are put in an auction.

Once such domain name attracted my attraction and that was no other than – AirTel.com

Airtel is an Indian global telecommunications services company based in New Delhi, India. It operates in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa.

If you haven’t heard about it, ask about it from any of the 1500 million mobile phone users in India (estimated through Wikipedia), and there is hardly any Indian who uses a mobile phone or landline, and doesn’t know about AirTel.

As I remember, the time was some day of February 2010, around 7 years ago (from the date I am writing this article).

I just opened my Inbox and I found an email which said you are in an action for a domain name called AirTel.com

I simply looked over the spellings again and yes, it was AirTel! At first moment I saw it I was happy, and at the very second moment itself I became afraid that how come I or someone else can acquire a domain name of such a famous Indian company.

It was clear to me in the very second moment that I don’t want to own this domain name. I am a Domainer not a Cyber Squatter.

I had Three options:

1. Try to get out of this auction (which the site owner would not let me do, or the back ordering company will suspend my account with them forever)

2. Buy the domain and gift for free to Bharti Airtel, the parent company which owns AirTel trademarks and copyrights (they may give me some appreciation on press media, I won’t ask for any money ofcourse)

3. Wait and watch till what price this Auction ends up (I was not alone in that Auction ofcourse and I have back ordered this domain without proper checking of Trademarks, so I thought this is the best way to recover from my mistake – don’t bid at this domain name again for any further upgraded bid amount)

So like any other wise man, who wants to play clean, I selected Option 3.

The bid went on for some days, and I remember the last amount I saw was some high five figures in USD$ and the username of the person who bought was hidden and later the auction went on to become a Private Auction and I could not see the ending details of this Auction.

I researched further on AirTel.com and I saw that before 2010, when anyone would type Airtel.com, you will be directed to www.vodafone.es. Now Vodafone is another major competitor of Airtel in India.

So was Airtel.com hijacked by Vodafone.es before it became free in the open market for anyone to fetch it ? Or did Vodafone not want to hand over the domain name easily and directly to AirTel and rather opted to not renew it and let it release in open market so Airtel can get it if it wants. I found on Google that this is because Vodafone bought out Airtel’s Spain operations. Airtel had won a license to operate in Spain. I don’t know any further information but if you want to know more details, I think you can further search on Google about these details. By the mid-end of 2010 I could easily see, Airtel.com becoming the main primary website for Airtel company, earlier it was Airtel.in. So I was happy as a domainer, that the Airtel company got its own cyber asset that Only Airtel deserved and nobody else.

One thing I learnt from this Auction of AirTel.com – don’t place backorder on a domain name without researching at its legal presence globally. You can get good Stats and Figures, but the actual name itself is something the Bots are not able to annalyze, atleast for Copyrights in All the countries in the World.

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What makes a “Domain King”

Rick Schwartz - The Domain King

You might have over 100,000 domain names in your portfolio but thats a Domain Stockist and not a Domain King. Domaining is about Quality, not Quantity. That is what the Domain King proves to us.

Today we discuss what makes Rick Schwartz the Real Domain Name King for last Two decades, Now and Forever.

Sense of Quality Domaining is a skill that is used passively and it reveals some information on sight and may reveal more information as you carry the skill around. Since it is used passively and trains your perception, it is an excellent skill to learn early in the domaining game.

Look at these names:

Widgets.com

Men.com

Property.com

Candy.com

Moreover, look at these:

ExtraCash.com

PersonalAds.com

HelicopterCharters.com

Rick Schwartz purchased his first domain name in December 1995 when he paid $100 for LipService.com. Eight years later to the month he sold one, Men.com, for $1.32 million in a deal that was reported worldwide.

He was one of the very first people to see that domains had the same potential in cyberspace that real estate had in the real world.

He started his domain name business with a total investment of $1,800 and earned around $20 million over the next 8 years, thats one of the reasons why he is the Domain King.

Can we even think about registering or owning such names, in today’s world ? Probably Not. But this guy is Inspirational. I have been reading at domainking.com/ricksblog.com for the last 10 years, and all I gain from him and his lifestyle is – Inspiration.

Some of Rick’s milestone sales:

Meet.me

eCruise.com

235.com

Men.com

Property.com/Properties.com

OnlineCasinos.com

Acquiring a One Word domain name is inspirational, but knowing about its Sales story is more fascinating than any thing else.

Quoting from the Rick’s blog: Domains would go up faster in value than any commodity or asset ever know to mankind.” No stock, no land, no gold, no jewel has ever gone up faster and further in value. Since that sale Rick has sold Candy.com for $3 Million plus royalty and retians 10% ownership, Property.com for $4 Million with an equity stake and ebet.com for $1.35 Million cash.

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Yahoo! Geocities – The First Website

Yahoo! Geocities

How many of us can recall the first website we ever made or a blog we published Online ?

First impression might not be the Last impression, in case of your first website.

The first website is rather the Motivational factor. You learn from your mistakes, you tend to make things better the next time you make a new website or upgrade your existing first website.

My first website ever Online was on Geocities.com. The year was 1997 when I first published a website Online. The Domain Names could be registered at $35 per year, or as a great discount for $34.95 🙂 at Register.com or NetworkSolutions.com or MelbourneIT.com.

Bob Parsons with GoDaddy.com Super Bowl Commericals Team

Bob Parsons with GoDaddy.com Super Bowl Commericals Team

It was way before Bob Parsons started directly promoting GoDaddy.com and the GoDaddy.com girls started impressing on TV commercials.

$.99* .COM Domain! Get going with GoDaddy!

Bob Parsons with GoDaddy girls

Bob Parsons with GoDaddy.com Girls

Well its not due to the Godaddy Girls, Godaddy.com grew by being quicker, cheaper, offering 24/7 customer support, and creating an upsell system that offered services to significantly increase revenue.

Geocities was Free Website, Free Hosting, No Domain Name, but a good web presence with the Best SEO results, remember the Search Engine was also Yahoo! at that time, not Google.

Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999, near the peak of the dotcom bubble, in a stock deal valued at roughly $4.6 billion. But the rise of alternative services quickly spelled the end of GeoCities’ prominence.

Geocities had tools and many assisting plugins available and they were pretty decent if we compare to what we have even today.

A posting on a Yahoo Help page for GeoCities on April 2009 said the service was no longer accepting new customers and that it will be closing later this year, with more details about how individuals can save their data coming this summer.

In a statement Yahoo had said:

“We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways,” Yahoo said in a statement.

“As part of Yahoo’s ongoing effort to build products and services that deliver the best possible experiences for consumers and results for advertisers, we are increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others.”

Add this to the deal Yahoo made with Mark Cuban to buy Broadcast.com, also in the late 1990’s, and that equals about $10 Billion that Yahoo gave away.

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Top Reasons to Start Flipping Domains

Top Reasons to Start Flipping Domains

Flipping in common terms is buying/registering a domain name and selling it for a profit.

Let us try to understand this in a better real world situation.

We can compare Domain Flipping to House Flipping as the two concepts are very similar just taking place in different worlds – the physical vs. the digital.

Many Domainers seem to think that Domain Flipping is the process of buying a domain name and selling it as quickly as possible for a profit. This is <strong>nothing </strong>like House Flipping. Could you imagine if a House Flipper bought a house in need of repair – did nothing to it, and then tried to sell it for a profit – Good Luck! Instead a House Flipper researches the neighborhood their target home is in, determine what the average selling price of similar homes is. The House Flipper then takes a variable amount of time – could be one month, could be one year – and completely transforms the home into a masterpiece. It is through this process – the upgrading of the house both inside and out and dramatically increases the price of the home and give the House Flipper their profit.

The exact same is true of Domain Flipping. When you flip a domain you do your research and determine the popularity of your keywords, analyze similar sales, understand the market you are in and potential growth factors. Once you find the right domain you then begin the upgrade process by putting a high-quality, niche content-driven website on the domain with information your target audience is looking for. You turn a domain name that was getting 1-2 visitors a day into an investment that is making $100/month and receiving thousands of visitors.

This is Domain Flipping and it takes a different amount of time for each domain name.

Our average time for a flip is around three to six months. This is the amount of time we feel it takes for most of our domains to begin generating consistent monthly revenue and strong organic traffic.

When thinking of Domain Flipping it is essential that people understand that you need to take time, do your research, and develop a destination on your domain name that will bring with it traffic and revenue.

Like I said earlier, a House Flipper wouldn’t buy a long-pending to-be-sold house and try to sell it without completely transforming the house inside and out so that it is attractive to buyers.

A Domain Flipper should have a good investment insight and if possible, also have a good team that can provide the skills necessary to grow your investment. When finished your domain should be a brand-new entity, and an asset that will pay itself back better.

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Why a “Not So Good” Domain Name Can Shut your Business Before its Started

Why a Bad Domain Name Can Shut your Business

None of us would ever buy a bad domain name willingly, but quite a lot of companies and individuals new to the Web are unaware of why some names are worse than others. Many have sadly learned that if you choose poorly your dreams for online business success can be over before they’ve begun. So what is a bad domain name, and how can you avoid getting trapped into buying one.

Few Tips for choosing the right Domain Names for your Domain Name Portfolio:

1. Long and confusing domain names like: www.thecheapestsellingwebcams.com

These kind of domain names are:

– not easy to remember,

– can be easily mis-spelled, and

– are a pain to communicate over the phone.

But on the other hand, if your organization name is long and a little confusing, means you have a genuine problem – I would say your problems would rather double with such domain name!

2. Domain names with hyphens like: www.the-cheapest-web-cam-store.com

It is tough to remember and communicate a domain name with hyphens and other forms of punctuation, not to mention you can’t really make it your logo or brand.

Yes, URL Shortener sites are all the rage, but people get lazy after a while and stop bookmarking. Chances of correctly typing in a bad domain name like this one purely from memory is less than none.

You will never live names like these down, so it is worthwhile to give all aspects of a name a good, long thought before registering it.

3. Scammed Re-Registered domain names: Much as you would like to think that there is nobody out there to scam you on your domain name, this is actually quite far from the truth.

Monitoring of traffic screenshots and mis-representing revenue earned on the site or resources required to run it are common ways of persuading you not only to buy a domain name, but to buy it at an inflated price. When buying a premium domain name make sure you do your research.

Here are the reasons why bad domain names are bad news for your website:

1) Having a bad domain name is one way of declaring to the world that you Missed your Desired domain name, and could not do any better. Definitely not good for a first impression.

2) Bad domain names mean a lot of Business Lost due to Mistypes and Misspellings.

3) A bad domain name is usually Not Brandable, which means you would have difficulty promoting your website offline.

If you do a lot of research on your business and how it should be portrayed online, think long and hard before registering or purchasing a domain name. It should tell people what you are all about, but also be easy to remember and brandable.