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The history of Verisign’s Internet Official contest winners

April 17, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Verisign contest hits its goal in first round.

Verisign Internet Official

Verisign’s first five winners fit its message perfectly.

Verisign has announced the first five winners in its Internet Official contest, a promotion designed to show that good .com domain names are still available. The domain names selected have interesting histories.

The first five winners, who will each pick up $5,000, are:

1. ChooseYourTattoo.com: Registered by Tom H. of Niles, Mich.
2. ElectricMotorcycleClub.com: Registered by Adam Y. H. of Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
3. PerfectHairstylist.com: Registered by Zvi A. of Rego Park, N.Y.
4. SecretSnitch.com: Registered by Nancy K. of Port Charlotte, Fla.
5. StressDetector.com: Registered by Jeffrey H. of Baton Rouge, La.

The winners are picked by a panel of judges, including fellow blogger Michael Berkens.

Verisign has really pulled this one off. In addition to showing that good .com domains are still available, they’ve managed to get two in the first batch that “match” new top level domain names: .tattoo and .club. “See, internet! You don’t need new TLDs. Your first choice is available in .com.”

These five domains (well, several of them) are pretty good. As you can imagine, this isn’t the first time they’ve been registered, either. Here’s a look at the history of these five domain names:

  • ChooseYourTattoo.com – originally registered in 2006, expired at the end of 2014 and re-registered in January 2015
  • ElectricMotorcycleClub.com – registered in 2010, expired the next year, and then sat unregistered until February 2015
  • PerfectHairstylist.com – DomainTools doesn’t have any registration records prior to the current owner, who registered the domain on February 2.
  • SecretSnitch.com – I’m scratching my head on this one, but it’s been registered a few times. Once from 2003-2007, then again from 2009-2012, then another owner picked it up for about a year at the end of 2012.
  • StressDetector.com – One owner had this from 2006-2009, then HugeDomains picked it up. Believe it or not, they let it drop last year and the winner registered it in February.


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Judge denies motion to strike UDRP cases from MySchool.com pleadings

April 17, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Plaintiff asked judge to forbid information about its two UDRP losses over the same domain to be used in pleadings.

United States Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson has denied a motion to strike prior UDRPs from pleadings in a cybersquatting lawsuit filed over MySchool.com.

Joseph Carpenter has lost two UDRPs against the domain name MySchool.com. After the second loss, he filed an in rem cybersquatting lawsuit against the domain name MySchool.com.

The current owner of the domain, Original Web Ventures, responded to the suit and made its own counterclaims. Original Web Ventures is asking for the plaintiff’s trademark to be cancelled and $100,000 for reverse domain name hijacking. The response mentioned the two failed UDRPs, and pointed out that one of them was filed against Original Web Ventures. This, it claimed, shows that some of Carpenter’s assertions in his original suit are false.

Carpenter, represented by Steven Rinehart, asked the court (pdf) to strike portions of Original Web Ventures’ pleadings related to the UDRPs. The motion to strike stated:

…portions of Registrant’s Answer and Counterclaims relating to the UDRP process are scandalous, immaterial, impertinent, redundant, submitted as character evidence, and alternatively constitute unnecessary evidentiary detail.

Original Web Ventures, represented by Wiley Rein, argued (pdf) that the UDRP cases are highly relevant to its charges of reverse domain name hijacking.

Judge Anderson denied (pdf) Joseph Carpenter’s motion to strike, writing:

There is nothing scandalous or derogatory about the filing of a UDRP proceeding or having an adverse decision rendered in aUDRP proceeding. Several of the references to the UDRP proceedings are made in response to allegations made by the plaintiff in the complaint and explain the reason for the denial of those allegations. The fact that decisions in UDRP proceedings are not binding on a court and are not afforded deference by a district court does not make those decisions or the proceedings immaterial or impertinent to issues that may arise in an action. This is particularly so in this case since it involves not only claims under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act concerning allegations of bad faith by each party but also claims that plaintiff’s trademark is not valid.



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Google nixing domain names in mobile search

April 17, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Search results replace domain name with site name.

Google is making sweeping changes to its search rankings on mobile devices next week, but the search giant just introduced another pretty big change.

Starting yesterday, Google began replacing the URL in search results with the site’s name and breadcrumb. The site-name-instead-of-domain is rolling out in the U.S. only for now. Breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide.

Here’s an example:

google-mobile-name

In this example, domaining.com has been replaced by “Domaining” and DomainSherpa.com has been replaced with “DomainSherpa”. I’ve noticed that Google hasn’t picked up the site name, or sees the site name as a full domain, on some sites (see DomainIncite.com).

This move devalues domain names and puts more emphasis on whatever someone wants to call their site. I hope that Google has a good way to prevent people from spoofing names; I ultimately put a lot of trust in a search result based on the specific domain name it’s pointing to.



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WaterCoolers.com sells for $25.2k, and other expired domain name sales

April 16, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

A look back at the past week in expired domain name sales.

The gossip at the water cooler this week might be WaterCoolers.com itself, which was NameJet’s top expired domain auction, selling for $25.2k. Not too far behind (at $15.1k) is the German word for “style”: STIL.com. Or is it? Perhaps it’s an acronym for people in Illinois. Or a creative misspelling of the English word “still”. Then again, if the buyer is Chinese (as buyers so often are these days), it could be an arbitrary sequence of characters. My hunch is German; but until the buyer’s identity is revealed, we can’t know for sure. In any case, in any domain auction, multiple interpretations bid against one another. Value (and sometimes price) are a reflection of all possible meanings.

AlRajhi.com ($11.2k), however, seems to have 1 prevailing meaning – that of the world’s largest Islamic bank, based in Saudi Arabia. Presumably bidders were competing for the privilege of reselling that domain to that bank specifically. In contrast, Slips.com encompasses lingerie, boat docks, and banana peels. So that auction could very well have been a boxing match between scantily clad fashion models and yachts.

Even seeing Lumbar.com ($7k) makes me correct my posture. Quite a good medical domain, as anyone with a bad lower back can attest. If you’re aching at the moment, maybe a Knapsack.com ($7.4k) would help distribute the load more symmetrically. People in some regions use this term interchangeably with “backpack”.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $
WaterCoolers.com 25200 STIL.com 15100
AlRajhi.com 11200 Slips.com 9901
Knapsack.com 7350 Lumbar.com 7000
HINZ.com 6133 CMSB.com 5055
05555.com 4930 CCup.com 4533
MoneyTrade.com 4100 LCBC.com 3460
HotFun.com 3400 BrandSearch.com 3100
U5.net 2600 DrugTreatment
Center.com
2433
Abcon.com 2207 YummyFood.com 2200
Nantucket
Properties.com
2088 ItsYourLife.com 2011
Q4.net 2000 Illuminata.com 1955
CAGY.com 1950 Innovate.org 1722
A2G.com 1621 MyBarber.com 1618
Shed.org 1610 CleanMachine.com 1588
SGPC.com 1500 Prome.com 1412
TheMessiah.com 1377 RYLY.com 1300
TheIceHouse.com 1225 E-1.com 1214
CirclePlus.com 1200 Bitcoinvestor.com 1109
QuickSEO.com 1100 PaperClub.com 1000
PaddockClub.com 990 Lucci.com 972
DigitalThink.com 890 NewsForce.com 887
DNGO.com 875 InternetFree.com 840
SnowNews.com 832 Gosch.com 812
TheKitchenTable.com 810 Continental.net 810
EstatePlanning.net 795 FBAI.com 790
SecretZone.com 760 Guitare.net 751
QuoteShop.com 710 RootLevel.com 703
DRSE.com 700 SDTB.com 645
JMCP.com 622 UT3.com 619
UltraMarketing.com 610 UpwardMobility.com 607
USImports.com 565 JRBX.com 560
Danbury.net 560 TUNL.com 550
GreenThings.com 530 SoftwareMart.com 528
KHFC.com 519 NannyFinders.com 511
Cosgrave.com 510 wwwBusiness.com 510
59556.com 509 MeatPackaging.com 508
AnimalsMatter.org 499 CelticFire.com 488
TeacherExchange.com 450 LanguageFactory.com 440
68265.com 440 MCGT.com 431
RuiHuang.com 419 RedCrossSTL.org 400
CoverClub.com 391 PPOT.com 379
Ecocean.org 355 8Q1.com 352
SRCG.com 350 NCShakes.org 349
MeetingFacilities.com 347 NYCFlorists.com 343
52615.com 340 39579.com 339
Addiction
Programs.com
331 AmericanTourist.com 324
SavientPharma.com 324 ABA
International.com
319
WMXB.com 310 ZWFJ.com 310
PlumbingProblem.com 307 L3Y.com 305
FGFQ.com 300 Q1P.com 300
Illus.com 293 NSBH.com 280
DKHH.com 279 Fidic.com 279
0NP.com 272 PortableLifts.com 266
LastOrders.com 260 UnionDeBloggers
Hispanos.com
251
DailyVietnam
News.net
250 ChappellGallery.com 250
Peakaboo.com 242 BelfastDaily.com 237
66430.com 230 WIEO.com 225
PixelSlot.com 222 PDFE.com 221
Leptospirosis.org 221 14655.com 210
Couponat.com 210 ExpertGym.com 198
EddieDaniels
Clarinet.com
180 WhoisOnline.net 175
Youth2000NY.com 175 PensionReform.com 170
StudenTalk.com [sic] 169 PPCLeads.com 166
ElectraCash.com 160 MexicanPacific.com 158
HDGraphics.com 152 MISBTDC.net 151
BasicGuru.com 143 CharlotteBikes.org 135
PlaceDog.com 126 PuraVidaTapas.com 112
Chilled.org 111 AMCVB.com 111
ParentHotline.net 110 T2AH.com 100
Glumpy.com 99 TheLeftHand.com 95
CivilWar
PhotoGallery.com
91 DallasMetroCare.com 90
SanteFeLawyers.com 89 RentalTruck
Quotes.com
89
Excrypto.com 80 EasyQuick
Money.com
79
HLTCentral.org 79 Cambrosia.com 79
Sunlo.com 79 VisitThe
CaymanIslands.com
69
Moonex.com 69 SummitColorado.com 69
Blokin.com 69 MovingTruck
RentalQuotes.com
69

Too much to talk about. With Uniregistry / DomainNameSales based in the Caymans, I fully expected Frank Schilling or one of his employees to pick up VisitTheCaymanIslands.com for more than $69. Without competition from those folks (who do frequently bid up quite high at NameJet), someone got quite the deal!

USImports.com summarizes a big commercial topic for a mere $565. In a different way, so does PensionReform.com ($170). Both good buys. As you might have guessed, the 2 highest of 3 “club” domains to sell in .COM – PaperClub.com ($1k) + PaddockClub.com ($1k) –match .CLUB domains held by the registry. CoverClub.com ($390) has a .CLUB registered to someone else, whereas 2 “gallery” items above have left .GALLERY domains unregistered. TheLeftHand.com ($95) doesn’t know what the right side is up to.

CC.net domains performed well, with U5.net ($2.6k) followed by Q4.net ($2k). Slightly different is E-1.com, which fetched $1.2k. I count 5 CCC.com’s between $272 and $1621. To me it’s not clear why A2G.com is worth more than 5 times as much as Q1P.com and L3Y.com.

Among the LLLLs, HINZ.com ($6.1k) is a surname … and might also have been regarded as a typo of Heinz.com. CMSB.com ($5k) corresponds to the ticker for CMS Bancorp, Inc., which could add a second bank to our weekly roster. Hopefully CCUP.com ($4.5k) is not meant as an acronym, since the association with brassieres is inescapable. LCBC.com ($3.4k) would shorten the name of this church’s website. Some of these LLLLs are cagey and don’t give up their secrets without some interrogation – SGPC.com ($1.5k), for instance. CAGY.com ($1.9k) may be used as an acronym for Canada or California, but it resembles an English word closely enough to stand on its own as a brandable. Shed.org ($1.6k) is an actual word for storage or weight loss. RYLY.com ($1.3k) is both a CVCV and a unisex proper name (although oddly spelled) . DNGO.com ($875) is just shy of an Australian wild dog – not a bad fit for the domain name industry either.

Innovate.org ($1.7k) skyrocketed in an overtime bid war. Other .ORGs and .NETs (apart from Shed.org, U5.net, and Q4.net) ended in the hundreds. That includes high $xxx for a 2-word .NET such as EstatePlanning.net ($795). Retail could go higher, given the money at stake in that niche.

HotFun.com ($3.4k) might wind up on a tropical beach or as adult entertainment. TheMessiah.com ($1.4k) may be devoted to that most English of German musical works, Händel’s famous oratorio, which is frequently performed (with singalongs) at Christmas; or the domain may be devoted to what “The Messiah” is about – Jesus. Of course, from a Jewish perspective, the messiah wouldn’t be Jesus at all. So there are several possibilities there.

Since so many domainers dabble in bitcoins and bitcoin-related domains, I should point out Bitcoinvestor.com ($1.1k). That along with Cambrosia.com ($70) and arguably Ecocean.com ($355) are good examples of elision, as opposed to StudenTalk.com ($169). Peakaboo.com ($242) isn’t a bad pun, but it does require spelling out in conversation.

The Spanish domain, UnionDeBloggersHispanos.com ($251), makes for quite a long title. One would think so many bloggers could (between them) devise a shorter alternative. And perhaps they did, allowing this domain to expire. But it’s nowhere near as bad as MISBTDC.net ($151).

Jazz fans (of the non-basketball variety) may have seen this guy in concert: EddieDanielsClarinet.com ($180).



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20 End User Domain Name Sales

April 16, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Here are 20 end user domain name sales that took place over the past week.

Sedo handled 593 domain name transactions last week for a total of $1.2 million in sales. End user buyers include a webhosting company that created a shorter domain with .ch, an air conditioning company in Arizona, and a bail bond seller.

A whopping 57% of domains that sold at Sedo last week had “buy now” prices.

(You can view previous lists like this here. If you’d like to learn how to sell your domain names like these on Sedo, download this report.)

CMT.co.uk £4,888 – CMT Equipment Ltd in the United Kingdom

Carework.co.uk £1,999 – City and County Healthcare Group Ltd, which uses the domain name CandChealthcare.co.uk.

Mercer.co.za €749 – Human resources company Mercer bought this South Africa country code domain name.

Sandwi.ch €750 – webhosting company Sandwich.net bought this shorter URL.

ATSTechnology.com $877 – ATS Technology develops software for financial services.

misResultados.com $3,000 – The buyer misResultados performs lab tests, as best I can tell. This domain is shorter than its existing misResultadospr.com domain name.

BreakthruCredit.com $1,680 – payment processing company Vesta.

kjustfab.com $799 – CitizenHawk bought this domain name on behalf of IntelligentBeauty, Inc, which runs the shoes and accessories site JustFab.com.

OnTimeAir.com $5,000 – On Time Enterprises LLC, which owns On Time Air Conditioning and Heating in Arizona. It has been using the domain name OnTimeAirAZ.com.

Harotec.com €1,190 – Harotec GmbH, maker of hair appliances such as blowdryers. It owns the matching .de domain name.

AmericanFlyers.com $10,000 – American Flyers in Texas, which owns the domain name AF.tv.

HudsonTV.com $1,650 – Hudson County TV, which provides new coverage for Hudson County in New Jersey. It uses the domain name HudsonCountyTV.com.

MedRepublic.com $2,500 – medical tourism company MedToGo.

LycaGroup.com $1,200 – mobile phone company Lycatel Services.

PhiladelphiaBailBonds.com $4,888 – ABC Bail Bonds, which is actually based in Trenton, New Jersey.

MetHotels.com $800 – Habtoor Hotels, owner of a number of hotels in the Middle East.

Notate.me €1,000 – Neuratron, maker of the NotateMe music handwriting app.

Crystalina.com $3,999 – Endurance International Group, owner of Domain.com, bought this domain. Is it for a new brand?

Wall-Art.us €1,000 – Wall decor company KundL Wall Art GmbH, which owns the matching .de domain name.

Manvia.com €1,400 – MANVIA, SA, a facilities manager and contsruction operations company that owns the matching .pt domain name.



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Donuts’ new TLD renewal rates range from 55% to 72%

April 16, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Company releases updated figures for renewal rates.

New top level domain name company Donuts has released updated renewal rates for the first 25 top level domain names it launched. Rates range from about 55% to 72%, well under the company’s predicted 80% renewal rate. (The company now says it expects rates to trend toward 80% later in the year.)

The highest renewal rate belongs to .technology at 71.7%. The lowest is .directory at just 54.7%.

.Guru, which received more first year registrations than any other Donuts domain, has a renewal rate of 57.5%. The company believes there were “a disproportionate number of speculative buyers” in .guru.

So what does this mean for other top level domain names that are approaching renewal? It’s hard to say with certainty. There are a lot of variables at play here, including price.

What will happen with .club, which has a large number of registration (over 200,000)? Lots of registrations means the marginal quality of the most recent domains are perhaps lower than ones in smaller domains. At the same time, .Club is priced lower than Donuts’ domains.

The best indicator might be usage, as Donuts suggests in its blog post.

One thing is for sure: it’s not easy predicting renewal rates.



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Sneeze.com: great brand with an interesting history

April 15, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

A chain of allergy doctors uses a fantastic domain name.

Sneeze.com

Great brand for an allergist.

The other day I got out of my car at a retail center and noticed this great domain name on the building next to me: Sneeze.com.

This is a fantastic name for an allergy doctor!

I looked up the company and found that they have multiple allergy centers in Central Texas as well as one in the Los Angeles area.

The domain name has a bit of history, too. Remember Gazoontite.com, the .com company that filed for bankruptcy when the bubble burst? I recall ready that the company bought a bunch of variations of its domain name because it’s hard to spell. Apparently it also owned Sneeze.com, which is frankly a much better name than Gazoontite.com.

I personally see an allergist in Austin. While researching allergists many years ago, I found that they all had similar names…Austin Allergy this, Austin Allergy that… Sneeze.com is a great differentiator.



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Verisign: China is trending

April 15, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Chinese terms dominate trending words in .com registrations last month.

Much of .com’s growth has been fueled by Asia recently, and the top trending keywords in .com and .net from last month bare this out. Verisign released numbers on March yesterday:

verisign-march-trending

It appears that 7 of the top 10 trending terms in .com are in Chinese or related to China.

Verisign creates this list by looking at the fastest growing terms from one month to the next. This prevents the list from being full of terms that are always popular, such as “online”.



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Which new TLDs are performing best on the resale market

April 15, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

.Club is a top seller.

NameBio, a domain sales data site, published details this morning about which new top level domain names are selling best on the aftermarket.

Here are the top 5 based on publicly-reported sales, ranked by dollar volume:

top-newtlds

You can see the full chart here.

NameBio’s Michael Sumner provides a number of caveats, and I think it’s worth reviewing them.

A key one: NameBio’s database only includes public sales it gathers from Sedo, NameJet, Flippa and other marketplaces.

I’d note that, because Afternic isn’t reporting sales right now, we’re potentially missing a big part of the market.

.Club is certainly doing well, and its exclusive deal with Sedo means its sales get more exposure. .Club’s numbers should go up a lot when the $150,000 wine.club sale closes, too.

You should also consider that many registry-sold domains are at premium prices, and arguably could be included in TLD’s total sales as a sign of a TLD’s overall value. I believe many of the .Club sales reported on Sedo were actually sold by the registry, so NameBio’s number don’t necessarily reflect domainer flips.



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Google’s mobile deadline one week away

April 14, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Search results on mobile devices to change one week from today.

Most people in the United States are making a last minute push to complete taxes, but another deadline is quickly approaching for website owners.

April 21 — just one week from now — is the date that Google will change its search results on mobile devices. The “significant” change will promote mobile-friendly content over content designed only for full browser screens.

Given the growth on mobile search and browsing, this is a big deal for most site operators.

You can easily check if a page is mobile friendly using this Google tool. If you have your site in Webmaster Tools, you’ve probably received a warning if your site is not mobile-friendly.



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