Has the Domain Game Really Changed Since it Began?

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Yes and No, When the domain market first began direct navigation provided great traffic and high pay per click to the early domainers. Parking was a easy way to make money, and the domain holder really did not have to do anything. Once and a while end users might have come along, and bought the name for branding and also the direct navigation visitors that came along with them. Development was not the norm it was the exception.

In recent year parking revenues have taken a hit for many, which has forced other to look for new streams of revenue. Now you cannot go out and register names with thousands of direct visitors that will make a killing parking, and buying a name with that kind of traffic might not be the best move for a new domainer. The first domainers were smart and got some great names, but I think that the game really has not changed. It is still about visitors; just now they come via search engines not direct navigation.

Parking has just been switched with development, to potential end users it is still about the traffic and the potential leads and customers a domain and website can bring. I know there is a large branding value involved with a killer domain name, but a company is still going to pay to buy a large established website even if it has a bad domain name.

Look at some of the new most popular websites, they are not build around killer domain names; they are built around a huge base users and potential customers for businesses.

For the new domainer on a limited budget, I believe there are still huge opportunities in the domain space. There are so many new tools and people available to develop domain and build them into businesses. A great domain is the perfect place to start a amazing brand online. Even though the best domain names have been taken there are still trend and future domain names available to hand register. Daily domain drops provide great domain once and a while after you week through lots of name but there are tools to help with that. For new domainers with a little capital, many premium domain are for sale you just need to be able to determine the right price to pay.

No one will ever again hand register tons of domain worth millions, but with development the game has shifted but I do not think it has changed. It is still about eyes on a domain and in the end money in advertisers and your own pocket.

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4 Responses to “Has the Domain Game Really Changed Since it Began?”

  1. Leonard Britt
    January 4th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

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    Actually when FSchilling & RSchwartz et al first started registering domains there were no parking systems, affiliate programs, Google Adsense or domain aftermarkets. They were buying what they believed would make for a great brand. Yes, the default extension for type-in traffic goes to the .COM domain but type-in traffic is only a small percentage of the search volume related to any particular search phrase. I believe type-in is actually in a decline as people are accustomed to disappointing parking pages when they use direct navigation. So instead they type in what they want into Google. Ask yourself when you are looking for info on a topic how often you type the search phrase into the browser bar. Now, a developed site can potentially garner traffic not only for the primary search phrase but also rank for long-tail terms and for non-competitive terms when the site has info on that topic. Thus I believe there is an opportunity for highly-brandable (with meaningful GAKT phrase search volume) names which aren’t necessarily .COM. I have one site which doesn’t even rank on page one of Google where the exact search volume is 2900 but my site (not a .COM) recently was getting 2000 visitors/month because of long-tail search traffic. Another non-.COM geo site gets hundreds of monthly visitors from search phrases related to content on the site as the site ranks for local parks & shopping-related searches. But it is true a non-.COM domain isn’t going to make you money in parking.

  2. Michael Castello
    January 4th, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

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    True, not alot has changed for us for developed sites since 1995. Direct traffic has somewhat declined but the numbers are still great. Those that do not have a great domain name can still generate traffic with search with great content that is updated daily. Some great examples are Nashvill.com/music and Daycare.com/forum

    Much of the traffic to those sections are from search but what gives the content credibility are the brand names. In a ever expanding saturated market, web creed is a longterm must.

  3. Paul
    January 4th, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

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    I just did a statistically significant survey of myself…

    I visit:


    I do not visit:


    or ANY other generic.tld

    Except maybe:

    apple.com :-)

  4. Mike Sullivan
    January 5th, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

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    Speaking of development, your Spy Pens site is looking great.

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