It’s Domaining 6.0 & It’s Is All About Branding

I promised I would be writing a few post this week about the new gTLD’s, the current state of the domain industry where its has been and where it’s going.

As far as I can see we are now in the age of Domaining 6.0

Before trying to figure out where we are going, lets do a quick recap of where we have been.

Domaining 1.0

This goes way back, before ICANN, before Google, back to the day when domain names were free.

It wasn’t until 1995 that Network Solutions was allowed to charge to register or renew a domain name and the charge was $100 for two years.

After a lawsuit, the fee was dropped to $70 for two years in 1997.

So until 1995 the entire universe of domains were available; Yes all ending in .com, and they didn’t cost a penny to register or renew.

There were just a handful of people who even knew what the internet was, even less what a domain name was , or even how to register one.

Those who knew what the internet was, what a domain name wand how to register one,  had a once in a generation opportunity to own the internet yet not many registered more than a few free domains.

There was no way to monetize any traffic to the extent the was any.

Domaining 2.0

The late 1990’s some people woke up to the fact that domain names were virtual estate.

In 1999 Network Solutions monopoly over domain internet registrations ended, other registrars came online and the domain world changed when our friends at Tucows lowered the price of a domain name registration/renewal to $10 only one year required,  in January 2000.

People saw how business were built using just a great vanity phone number like 1-800-flowers, and realized that a whole business success could hinge on a great domain.

The fact that an exact match domain could create a tremendous business opportunity fueled a growing number of domainers who sort to register and buy domain names for resale.

Monetization of domain names was very limited except for adult domains, which monetized like crazy.

Domaining 3.0

This was the period of the dot com crash of early 2001/ to mid 2003 in the domain world and in the financial world, the perceived value of the internet as a business model and therefore .com domain names as well greatly diminished by not only  domainers, but by investors, the stock market and the general public.

Company’s invested and lost hundreds of millions, billions of dollars in the .com bubble.

Although domain names could be had for $10 a year renewal fee the vast portion of domains especially the older domains were still at Network Solutions and still $70 for 2 years.

Domains started dropping like flies.

Some really smart domainers who had the guts to against the entire market, sweep in and bought everything they on drops and privately believing that the  trend would reverse and that domain name would not only be invaluable for a presence on the web.

Monetization of domain names was very limited except for adult domains

Domaining 4.0

The monetization era started with and got acquired by Overture in 2001,  and then Overture got acquired by Yahoo in 2003

Google acquired Applied Semantics  in April 2003 shortly thereafter that is when the true era of monetization occurred and the subsequent boom in domains values and sales occurred.

For some 6 years, a fortune of money poured into the domainer channel from parking and sales.

Monetization of domains led to sales, not only for the great “bang on category killers” domains but for typo traffic domain as well.

Parking revenue drove domain sales and domain sales drove more domain purchases.

Live Domain Auctions were measured in the tens of millions, just millions.

Domaining 5.0

Monetization started to decline and then fell off the cliff.

We can dedicate a whole series of posts to the cause for the decline in Monetization but for sake of keeping it short lets cite a few factors including, Google’s Smart Pricing, Yahoo Quality Score combined with Google squeezing the domain channel getting the same traffic while reducing payouts to domainers, and Yahoo’s failure to stay competitive in market as well as the overall recession.

.Brands started enforcing their trademark rights and UDRP’s and lawsuit’s followed taking away a lot of the typo traffic market, which in turn took more money out of the sales channel.

Domainers and end users were still buying a lot of domains for six and seven figures.

SEO guys jumped in knowing that a keyword rich domain, even non-com’s could get you ranked in the search engines. The aftermarket for .net and .org’s rocked and we saw six figure sales for such domains in the aftermarket.

Domaining 6.0

So here we are in 2012 and things have changed again.

Google algorithms change like the wind leaving SEO guys trying to figure out how to game the system keyword rich domains are selling but at a much lower rate and’s at a much lower prices.

Sales are brisk but the average prices have come down.

Look at the year to date sales chart.

I mean really go check it out now and come back.

I’ll wait.

So we are half way through the year and you will see just one domain selling for seven figures in 2012, and that was at $1,000,000 even.

Only one other domain name has sold for $500K – $1M and that one was at an even $500K.

Only 4 domains have sold between $200K-$499K

Now go look for 2011

3 sales of $1M or more.

9 of $500k or more.

18 were between $200K-$500K

Now look for 2010,

7 sales of $1M or more and two for over $5 Million.

There were 8 Sales between $500K-$825K.

12 between $300K- $450K

16 between $200K -$300K

You get the idea.

Its not that the resale market is dead.

So far in 2012,  there are over 25 sales between $100K- $325K

There are a lot of sales between $20k-$100K and actually it still takes $42,500 to make the top 100 list for 2012.

So stuff is selling and the  resale market is far from dead, but the top of the market has dried up to a large extent.

Look at the weekly report or the report in general, we publish it every week.

You will see a steady weekly $2.5 million in combined domain name sales but over 90% of the transactions priced $3,000 or under.

That’s what the state of the resale market is for the vast majority of domainers.

Lets look at Sedo figures for 2011:

“47% of traded domain names during 2011 were sold at prices at or under $500.”

Only 6% of sales were $10K or more.

So where do we go from here?

We know that we are facing a world with 500-1,500 new gTLD extensions in the next few years, from the 22 we currently have.

Choices for consumers are going to increase for some verticals exponentially, will all domain prices hold steady?

Will a New York Personal Injury Lawyer that might pay $10K for in 2012, still pay that much when he could register for $50-$100 anyone of a number of new possibilities like NewYorkPersonalInjury.Law, NewYorkPersonalInjury.Lawyer,  NewYorkPersonalInjury.Attorney,  NewYorkPersonalInjury.Esq or NewYorkPersonalInjury.Legal or even PersonalinjuryLawyer.NYC?

We can and have argued for now a couple of years what the effect of these new gTLD’s will have on the value of existing domains and extensions.

The truth is as we have said from day one of the announcement that these new gTLD’s might be coming, is that NO ONE Knows what will happen when the market expands from 22 TLD’s to 522 or 1,022.

But there are some hints out there.

The biggest domainer of all applied for 54 new gTLD’s committing $60 million towards the process.

Google applied for over 100 new gTLD’s

What Happens if Google gives away domain name for free in 2014.

Yup just about 20 years to the date, we maybe back to where it all started, with free domains.

What happens to the $10K domain when someone can register NewYorkPersonalInjuryLawyer.Web for free?

In the world of 1,000 new gTLD and what we have already started to see is for domainers is going to be all about branding.

It’s not about the domains or the extension but about brandable domains which would give an end user an memorable internet presence.

If you read regularly you will see a lot of companies being funded by big VC firms in extensions like .Me, .Tv,  .Ly, .It .Es and among others.

As more and more brandable and intuitive extensions come on board, its going to be even more about brand potential.

Look at this week’s top sale on

Last week’s

The week before,

All highly brandable intuitive domain names.

When 500, 1,000 1,500 or more new gTLD’s are on the market sometime in the next few years, the internet will become what was a one trick pony of .com to one of infinite choices and possibilities.

Highly brandable intuitive domains will continue to be in huge demand.

When seeing hundreds of new extensions all hitting the market, Internet users won’t just be confused, there heads will be spinning like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

More the reason that end users will want and need a brandable, memorable domain.

The domain name space and the Internet is all about branding, standing out from the crowd, making a memorable mark regardless of extension.

On a personal note,  some have accused me of being biased towards the new gTLD’s because of my involvement in which was founded in just 2011, although I own some 75,000 domain names, none of which end in a new gTLD.

I feel like I need to address this.

Personally I was perfectly happy if my domaining life continued like it did in 2004, 2005, 2006, etc when parking revenue was measured into the six figures every month, live domain name actions were measured in the tens of millions, not the one’s of millions.

I worked less and made more.

I could have done that forever and I would have been quite happy.

But the numbers are the numbers.

So you can either live in the past or try to make a proper assessment of what the future will hold.

Part of being a good businessman is being fluid; to assess news and developments, not only in the industry you’re are in, but in the economy and world in general and adjust your thoughts and plans as events warrant.

People change their positions based in change of facts and circumstances.

The world is consistently changing and blinding holding on to positions based on facts no  longer in existence is a fairytale.

Of course, many people will interpret the same facts differently and that is as they say that makes the horse race.

I remember when one of the hottest businesses in the US was pay telephones.

You paid to put a phone in a location or bought an existing location, and you would never have to worry because people would have to always make phone calls and a location that did $100 a day would always do $100 a day.

Well that didn’t exactly work out that way did it?

Throughout  the history of the world, those who have,  usually opposed change.

Its human nature to hold on to what we have, especially if what we have is valuable

However the only consistent in the history of the world is that the world keeps changing.

So now we are at the time where our  world of 22 TLD is about to expand to 522 or 1,022 or 2,022 in a few years.

It could be 2014 or 2015 or 2016 but it’s coming.

It’s not my decision.

I didn’t get a vote on it, but i saw it was coming in 2010 and decided I couldn’t afford to ignore the disruptive influence that the new gTLD could bring.

Although I had no idea how what my involvement would be in the new gTLD’s there was no doubt I was going to be involved.

Now as you see I wasn’t the only domainer checking out the new gTLD space.

Those domainers who are now trying to move into the registry business came to the same conclusion.

For them its an evolution rather an abandonment of being a domainer.

The biggest of new gTLD’s advocates wouldn’t suggest that .com’s will be replaced in total number of registrations by any new extension.

I have talked to almost every new gTLD applicant and I will tell you no one expects to see .com dethroned in their lifetime by a new gTLD, even all the new gTLD’s put together.

Yet that doesn’t have to happen for the domaining world to change.

However with 500, 1,000 or more new gTLD’s coming into the market backed by new companies, with new money, with different pricing options,  including possibly free domains, when you see people who used to be the biggest buyers of .com’s becoming registry operators, it’s just naive to expect business to continue as usual.

We have already gone through many versions of domaining as outline above and we will go through several more in just my lifetime and I’m an old-timer in this business.

It’s Domaining 6.0 and its all about branding; be it a .Com., .Me, .TV, .NYC, .Law, .Music, .Miami, .Poker, .Berlin. .Inc., or hundreds of other extensions.

If a domain is its intuitive and brandable it’s a winner, if not your running uphill against an avalanche of endless domain combinations.


  1. says

    @ MHB

    Great historical perspective, but you left out Domaining 0.0 when at the very beginning .net was the king and everyone ignored .com, off course they switched places soon afterwards once people realized the commercial value of the Internet. Nevertheless there is no guaranty as to which gTLDs are going to get to the top. We will only know that after it is done.

  2. Dean says

    P.S. great comprehensive and informative overview of the history of domains. Really enjoyed reading the article.

  3. Back in the real World says

    MHB –

    This is a great article, thanks.

    I also think that you have an ‘agenda’ but you know what everyone has an agenda and this is your blog and you can write about anything you want. Its not as if youre editing the WSJ and promoting products on the sly, youve been upfront about ROTD and youre just expressing your views.

    Once again great article.

  4. Anon says

    “Direct navigation and ppc income is the way to go. Or Url forwarding.
    Some of us are proud to pure domainers
    Development this, develop that. Over rated!”

    Yes. All those ‘suckers’ who develop… Haha.
    Keep babbling that bullshit. I hope everyone believes you.

    Enjoy the ‘domainer model’ of turning millions into thousands, while those with a clue of how the internet works turn thousands into millions.

  5. Michael H. Berkens says


    On the Europe issue I just want to be clear that although I find the time difference difficult for working, I do love Europe and the lifestyle I have for many years and hope to experience again many times in my life.

    As far as this post it was written over several days and in my head for about a week.

  6. Anon says

    Haha, I love guys like you.

    All evidence demonstrates the exact opposite of what you just said, but there’s always going to be some delusional Pollyanna to cheerlead the ‘believers’.

    If you want to chant dogmas, go be a monk. In business, that’s a losing strategy.

  7. Dean says

    One thing I was noting yesterday and that has been a huge learning curve for most of us, is how .Co was a huge sham (scam?). The tactics they used in it’s introduction and promotion where clever, stuff right out of marketing 101 textbooks. I think it has made domain investors much wiser and less apt to fall for the hype that will accompany the introduction of every new gTLD introduced. The HUGE SALE ploy, that follows the introduction of a new extension, you know-the one where they announce with much fanfare, how someone just purchased so and so domain in a particular new extension for some exorbitant amount. It’s a marketing tactic that usually whips the novice investors into a registration frenzy and is probably good for a few hundred thousand worthless registrations. After a year or two and thousands spent on renewals, as is what is starting to happen now with .Co’s, people much to their chagrin start to realize that sadly it was not the second coming of .Com. What will happen to all these marginal .Co’s once this flood of new gTLD’s is released? Call me a pragmatist, but I will stick to the tried and true .Com’s till the dust settles.

  8. Michael H. Berkens says


    I’m writing for anyone that cares to read.

    As far as my audience for the blog, we get far more traffic from the search engines that we do from or the direct domain channel, so I’m not going to assume what position anyone reading the blog is and what they are financial ability or unable to do.

    As far as a class divide as you call it , it always exists so if you are talking about any investment opportunity which requires capital, whether it is buying a great .com’s or a new gTLD’s registry or new gTLD domain names or shares of Apple or bars of gold, no two people are exactly situated a like.

    For example I’m not in the financial situation to apply for 60 new gTLD’s like Frank.

    As for just so we are clear about it, any work we are doing is all contingency based.

    If our clients make money on their new gTLD’s registries we make money.

    If they don’t make money we don’t make money.

    Enormous sums will only to be made, if the strings we work on are enormously successful.

    Obviously since none of the new gTLD’s have launched we haven’t made a dime.

    Almost all of the client’s we are working with at this point have TLD’s that have more than one applicant, so our clients may not win any of the strings they are going for.

    So we may never make a dime.

    Such is life, such is business.

    When the time comes and the strings are awarded and we are working on them at ROTD we will be transparent about it.

    At this point we are guaranteed nothing.

    Frank is guaranteed nothing.

    We may wind up losing a lot of time effort and money and so may Frank

    Not every article on the new gTLD’s you will read here will be glowingly positive as there are huge risks, crappy extensions, and there will be some failures.

    I’m actually I’m working on another post which like this one which is being written over several days that looks more in depth at the business model.

    Now for your statement:

    New gTLD’s are “”solely in the name progress or good of the internet.””

    When did I say that?

  9. Michael H. Berkens says


    As for your latest comment on “.Co being a scam” I think the problem is domainers think they are too important in the ecosystem of a domain registry.

    When Verisign was reporting the stats they were showing 7-10% of all .com/.net domains were held by domainers, meaning that 90%-93% were not.

    .Co still has over 1.3 million registrations

  10. Kevin says

    @ Emma

    “I want someone to tell me the reason why .jobs, .travel, .aero, museum, .coop never made it.”

    I bet if you went on the street and asked 10,000 people to name one website on any of those extensions not a single person would be able to do so. I’m in the business and can’t even think of any myself.

    So it’s the same reason anything fails on the Internet. Without marketing, advertising, branding or a really innovative concept that gets traction by viral means, no one knows about it.

    It’ll be the same reason 99% of the new gTLD’s will fail also. Unless these gTLD adventurers pour massive amounts of capital into building great websites and then creating awareness of their extension no one will ever know about them.

    I think most of the gTLD entrepreneurs must be clueless when it comes to the tens of millions it will take to brand their TLD successfully. If they’re thinking a few press releases will do the job their nuts.

  11. BrianWick says

    Michael’s “Domaining 6.0” registries will make out well and deserve their own historical classification.

    However – into my 14th year I have been fortunate enough to have saved my dough and then bought correctly into sharply down stock markets – especially in 2002-2003 and 2008-2009. And during those times made some very decent sales.

    Point is – forget the 1 out of 1000 cherry picking geniuses. A grounded .COM business model needs to follow the expectations of the stock market and economy in general – not the latest hype or “Domaining Classification”.

  12. Dean says

    Just because your (I) am paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you, Lol. I come from a generation where I was indoctrinated with the phrase “Question Authority.” I approach everything with a healthy skepticism. I try to hold the prism to the light and examine every facet and color. Sham/Scam is kind of harsh, but I believe everyone from hucksters on Wall Street to Domain Street should be held with the same contempt. I doubt Juan is loosing any sleep over fools who lost thousands in registration mining for domain gold. Yes, ultimately it was the registrants choice, but the way it was presented (and I hold bloggers accountable as well) just seemed predatory, ill intention-ed and scammy. You make of it what you will, that is my take on it.

  13. Tom says

    If .travel wasn’t introduced early on, it would have been cherry picked for the new batch, it has not shown any promise, is this a sign of things to come.

    It is hard to gauge what to believe everyone has their own self interests involved whether it be consultants, or direct investment, Anything that is going to be given away free will be hoarded, and rules against selling etc, maybe implied. I don’t think you will see the domainers support this as they have with many of the other launches.

    It is a sucker bet, and the house always wins.

  14. says

    Generally, I agree with this article as marketing and branding of a domain that is inclusive of it’s extension creates the 6.0 premium domain. I also really liked the comment about the importance of web development as creating distinguished web businesses is a critical component towards determining an extensions success and appeal with the general public. I think .Me has been able to attract some real tangible business to that extension. (I hope .pro will be able to follow that model of quality development.)

    Again, relevant combinations of words is what should carry a premium value as I’m not sure just purely having good keywords in alternate extensions will carry as much weight. Google seems to be able to sort through a domain pretty well with its search for relevant information. I think the overall combination of the complete url will continue to play into that result along with the developed website.

  15. Anon says

    It’s funny, how (dumb) people ignore the massive influence of ego on the process of making decisions…

    Some folks are totally consumed by ego (you can spot them by their wristwatches), others not so much but ultimately, the desire to ‘inflate the opinions other people have of you’ is a huge basis for a lot of decisions made in both business and life.

    In business, it’s an essential component of developing trust.
    In life, it gets you laid.

    If you decouple this phenomenon from domain names and operate on academia alone, then there really is no difference between a .net and a .com… but the real world shows us that isn’t true. How you’re perceived is a very, very big deal and there is no limit to what people are willing to pay for something that implies a higher order of status.

    You want to forecast how this next phase goes and position yourself accordingly, bone up on your phenomenology. This game has just taken its next step up, leaving all the used car salesman and “serial entrepreneurs” behind.

  16. says

    “I want someone to tell me the reason why .jobs, .travel, .aero, museum, .coop never made it.”

    @ Emma

    They were silently rolled out and I believe were closed to domain investors, but the fact that not too many people have heard of them can actually work in their favor since they can now remarket themselves as if they were just launched and can benefit from all the attention that is being given to the New gTLDs.

    I see great potential for .Jobs and .Travel in the near future if the people who are running them start taking advantage of the New gTLD wave.

    (just my opinion)

  17. Anon says

    Yes, “me and my ego” whatever that means.

    ‘Yore’ an idiot… but keep on talking that book about the “POWER OF TYPE-IN TRAFFIC!!” while simultaneously having no idea of how that traffic actually relates to an entity who purchases it.

  18. says

    @ Emma

    Added: although .Job and .Travel are not gTLDs but they can still be bunched up with the New gTLDs as far as marketing gos.

  19. says

    type in traffic going up. we will crush your sites dude

    “Angels don’t just sing at Christmastime. For most Americans, they’re a year-round presence. A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 77 percent of adults believe these ethereal beings are real…”

  20. says

    I don’t think Anon’s an idiot by any means. Truly great point that “perception is king for an extension”. Investors will gravitate toward and want a brand that exceptional and of quality. An extension may never get to .com level of registrants by any means but it’s value could far exceed expectations dependent on the public perception of quality. Again, I think .pro and .me are prime for that and hopefully with the introduction of new extensions this will be a prime time for existing extensions to reinvent themselves and ramp up.

  21. me says

    why did i not see 1mm sale on list or for $450k and a few others or did i miss something?

  22. btw says

    Great article, great review of the historical facts of the past and transition to the possible future.
    I have difficulty with the supply vs. demand when all these extensions are out.

    Im at or or or which btw never took off. Too many choices and with the examples, well suffice to say branding is importnat and short and memorable too but seems like options are well open right of the dot as well as left of the dot and as such whats the point if free or close to free? With confusion too people would put it in the url maybe but then a .com auto generated or manually by them.
    I do see some to work but I think it was KEVIN above who said it best. Marketing dollars is what and why people buy and remember. Without the marketing dollars I cant see it being very big…a money maker, sure but national or worldwide presence no. More extensions the worse off too. You are basically looking at a scenario of more (chiefs) option to one entity then there are enitites out there.
    Wish everyone good luck, supply will definately bring down the potential for investors on extensions that HAVE NOT YET DONE THE JOB IN PROMOTING ITS BRAND, THAT SHIP HAS SAILED FOR VALUE…

  23. says


    Very interesting article but two things need to be factored in before any comparisons re year on year domain sales.

    1.The 2012 Reported sales reflect just half of the year to date (or so) compared to full years as in 2011 / 2010

    2. As a domain broker I can only speak for our own trends but we have brokered 4 sales in the mid to high $xx,xxx range in recent weeks and all have been subject to N.D.A’s

    Of course N.D.A’s have been around for a long time but we are definitely noticing that many more buyers and / or sellers are increasingly requesting them.

    I believe this massive increase in N.D.A requests massively distorts year on year comparisons.


    I swear to god, the people who are getting into new GTLDS business are clueless. We all know that in general a domain name is just a web address, and we have 3 types of domain names: Brandable domains, premium/popular keyword domains and popularity-deficient keyword domains. Brandable domains don’t suggest a product/service or business idea, so you need to spend a lot of money and time so people can familiarize with your brand and your business concept. If it is a good concept you will be successful, if not you fail. Unlike brandable domains, premium/highly popular keyword domains suggest a product/service or business idea. You don’t necessarily need money to start making money. All you need is very sophisticated/technically-able website, development/refining of the business idea, time devotion and competitiveness to start making money. popularity-deficient keyword domains may suggest a product/service or a business idea but the demand for the product/service they may suggest is very very low or the business of such product or service may be not practical on internet. Even if you spend money for the development and marketing of this kind of web addresses you will never make money. Now listen carefully! Did I talk about domain extensions so far?? No, and Why? because everything about internet addressing system will come down to a business idea/concept, a presentable/sophisticated website and your degree of competitiveness. But one thing that is very very important that we have to bear in mind is that the reality shows us that almost all business ideas/concepts that one can think of that are practicable on the internet have been tried/applied already and they have been tried/applied with .COM, .NET, .ORG and cctlds such as .CO.UK, . DE, .FR and .BR. Cctlds because of patriotism/pride for the country one belongs to, and .COM, .NET, .ORG because they were the first extensions that came out. Because online business is very very competitive, not so easy, some online businesses have succeeded and other failed, just like in any business using physical store. They succeeded with the above mentioned extensions and they failed with the above mentioned extensions. And people have been trying to repackage business ideas/concepts to see if they can bee successful and they have been doing that always with .COM, .NET and all other tlds I above mentioned.
    Now this is my question to the people who are getting into new gtlds business: Is it that the new gtlds, in terms of product or service quality/innovations/inventions economically, will bring a rain of business ideas/concepts that never existed before and that will be used with the new gtlds??? Why am I asking this? I am asking this because they are hundred of thousands, if not millions of premium domain names in different extensions and they are not being used. The reason why they are not being used is not a mystery. It is because, as I above said, almost all business ideas/concepts that you can think of that people can do online have already been applied/tried, and they have been applied/tried with .com, .net, .org and some cctlds. Some have been successful and other failed. What people have been doing is repackaging business ideas/concepts, and is this really the reason why they are introducing new tlds?? People should know better that it is much more difficult to come up with a successful business idea/concept than to buy or create a premium/popular keyword domain. The world does not find itself in a domain extension crisis or deficit. Domain names outnumber business ideas/concepts in a way you can’t even imagine. Almost all people would like to make money by starting a business but only very few people are able to make it, the far majority who try fail, because it is very very difficult to come up with a smart and successful idea than to create or buy a premium domain name, and this explains why there still are millions of unused premium/popular keyword domain names. So the questions I above asked and which I will ask again bellow must be answered so people can know whether or not the people who are getting into new gtlds are clueless nor not:
    Is it that the new tlds will cause people to start having millions of workable/successful business ideas/concepts at a rate /pace that would outnumber the quantity of domain extensions that are still available to create or buy? And what is the reason why .jobs, .travel, .museum, .coop. .aero failed??? and why would new gtlds not fail????


    Is it that the new tlds will cause people to start having millions of workable/successful business ideas/concepts at a rate /pace that would outnumber the quantity of domain names in different tlds that are still available to create or buy? And what is the reason why .jobs, .travel, .museum, .coop. .aero failed??? and why would new gtlds not fail????

  26. says

    @Emma – excellent! You’ve hit the nail on the head there.

    Unfortunately the best people to sell to are sales people, as they are easily taken in, and then they try take others in, etc. etc.

    gTLDs are only good for THREE things:

    1. .brand – Corporates that need to own and manage and protect their brand. (Although I strongly disagree with .book being a brand).
    2. .bank – Banks and companies etc. that need a higher level of control and security to operate on the internet. If you can afford one for your own intranet, why not – it has nothing to do with domaining.
    3. Communities or cities etc. I am not sure it makes sense for traditional .org type charities to waste so much donated money on a gTLD and its management.

    That’s it – the rest, like Emma says, has already been done many times over.

    If we thought the Facebook IPO was a fiasco… watch this gTLD space…

  27. Anon says

    “Brandable domains don’t suggest a product/service or business idea, so you need to spend a lot of money and time so people can familiarize with your brand and your business concept.”

    You just typed an awful lot of words for someone who apparently has the ‘domain name intelligence’ of your typical Namepros denizen.

    Pray tell, Einstein, of your little ‘categories’, where would you put a name like “”?
    How about

    Nevermind. The less chimps chasing after those, the better. Keep fighting over and hoping it means something to a Chinaman.

  28. says

    .CO is meaningful and memorable.
    .CO is available.
    .CO is global.
    .CO is shorter than .com.
    And .CO is one of the biggest end user alternate domain acceptance/success stories of EVER!
    I never told you to buy it- I told you that it wasn’t a domain investors play as I did with dotTV twice in history, dotMOBI and 3D. Go back and read seven what advice did Frank give?

    What domains do the really successful domain investors buy? dotCOM. But startups are buying .co. Law firms are buying .co

    (last Friday I was at an estate lawyer and wanted to see what I could trade for their pricey services- so I asked for a business card which had a cryptic domain and then whois’d the three initials plus .co and it was buy now for $900- I asked them what a clear simple domain with their partners initials worth to them- they said we looked into it but couldn’t afford it- I said would it be worth 160 hours of your time to advise on this matter? They said of course. I then asked them to fill out the form on sedo and buy it. They were amazed. To them .co = company because their business is incorporating businesses.). I never been a domain flipped, but this is the second “reverse fliP” I’ve made, booth to .co. I bet I could start cold calling law firms and sell plenty. In fact, at my next meeting at .co hq I was going to suggest they engage me to do that.

    If you continue to call it a scam- this law firm would be first in line to take the suit from .co, subpoena your ip from Mike and sue you for slander.

  29. Michael H. Berkens says


    So if I don’t answer you I’m being evasive and if I do answer you if being paranoid.

    Not much of a choice

  30. says

    Very interesting article Mike!

    Look at it this way… An important Monet, Picasso or Van Gogh masterpiece is only and always limited to one owner, therefore it’s remarkable value. An important piece of antiquity works pretty much the same way. You’re quite right eluding to the fact anyone can potentially brand for instance, however there are still serious barriers to entry to achieve meaningful brandability against a dot com. You will notice as in your reference to .ly , actually now mostly use as their main point of reference for very obvious reasons, quite so? Must have cost them a lot to buy the dot com.

    So even if you owned , you had better have very deep pockets to compete with Now assuming you owned as an un-developed domain name, the value of your dot com just went up ten fold, assuming actually do have very deep pockets and are loosing out to your dot com one way or the other!

    So my point is, if you are going to buy all these gltd’s , that’s fine as long as you fully understand the inherent risks and extreme asset dilution. My experience tells me and can both co-exist as leading brands in the genre of law, but only if have very very deep pockets, and we are talking many millions to scale the brand! However if simply wishes to create a small niche brand with new & existing clients, then it should be worth it.

    Bottom line is, most buyers of gltd’s are very likely to lose a lot of money, which ever way you look at it. Did you guy’s know there are now over 644 million websites out there according to ? go check! These are live websites!! So with the introduction of over 1000 new gltd’s, these will cost a lot of money to bring to market in terms of traffic. One last thing… did you know Google already has plans to limit the number of “organic” blue link results form 10 results to may be just the one! ?? See the potential problem?

    Here’s one last one to think about… did you also know the hype around “Native Apps” are more likely to become dinosaur apps when HTML5 really takes off within the next 3 years? The Financial times dumped Apple’s native app for html5 and it works perfect! So, go back to my very first paragraph as therein may lie the answer to what “original” or first level tld domains are really worth. Works for period property, art, even stocks and i’ll bet it’ll end up being the same for good old domains. Cheers!

  31. BillW says

    Maybe worth just a small mention in Domaining 6.0, but this is where domains go truly global. In addition to the English .anything gtlds, Verisign takes their clout to bring the .com brandto 8 major languages as foreign language transliterals of .com and .net in the following languages:

    “Verisign applied for IDN transliterations of .com in the following nine non-Latin based scripts: Arabic, Cyrillic, Devanagari (Indian), Hangul (Korean), Hebrew, Hiragana and Katakana (Japanese), Simplified Chinese, Thai and Traditional Chinese. Verisign also applied for IDN transliterations of .net in Devanagari, Hangul and Simplified Chinese scripts.

    “Internationalized Domain Names will make the Internet more personal to end users around the world by allowing them to identify themselves using their native language scripts,” said Pat Kane, senior vice president and general manager of Naming Services at Verisign. “These non-Latin-based transliterations of .com and .net should provide new opportunities and more choices for global Internet users.”

  32. BFitz says

    “the fact that not too many people have heard of them can actually work in their favor”

    That has to be about the least intelligent business statement ever written. Yea, had they sold 10 million registrations they would be worse off. If Frank Schilling is calling a high water mark in .com, what is the good news for these extensions now that they have even more competition coming and are unknown?

  33. gtld cop says

    Yawn. I am so board of frivoloud pillow blog talk about domains that dont yet exist.

    Wake me up when its over and .COM is the only game in town.


  34. Dean says

    the part about being paranoid was said in jest and more self referential than directed at you. I just wrote a long winded reply to various issues that were addressed and not addressed in your replies, but aborted it. I will save it for the next installment.


  35. says

    Hello ALL Commetators!

    WE know that all of this talk is good because unrealized Challenges never get solved !

    By the way I have a hell of a time formatting the text comments on this Blog, not complaining just stating an observation.

    Back to point : The single MOST IMPOTANT POINT .We think should be looked at is this!

    Right now in our Nascent SECONDARY MARKET there are countless thousands of screaming values in the .COM Channel , and many of them will have future valuation multiples that will skyrocket.

    This is not hype it is the fact of how all Nascent marketplaces have rolled out in past history.
    Your odds in the .Com Channel Secondary Market Place are overwhelmpngly in your favor.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  36. JamesD says

    So the (.com) domain market is in a slump? All markets experience peaks and troughs once they have some maturity.

    Every market has seen a fluctuation at some point over the last 2 to 4 years. For those with the cash, the lows mean ‘start buying’.

    Given the current uncertainty and lack of agreed direction regarding new gTLDs, I’d say the domain market is holding up exceptionally well. Dot com will continue to grow in value compared to all other extensions.

    And it doesn’t matter how many lawyers pick up’s and .law, .legal or .whatever….they’ll all WANT the .com

  37. says

    I think that .com will take a bit of a beating, in some areas, when
    “.anything” gets going.

    The marketing world is currently going through a revolution in
    many ways, and it is crying out for new ideas and meanings that
    can make consumers sit up and take notice.

    In terms of domain IP, that means web identities such as ICANN’s
    “.anything” offering, or indeed domain name “hacks”.

  38. Michael H. Berkens says


    I think that is a very good point, IDN’s are going to have a big roll in the new gTLD program and Verisign by applying as you point out for the IDN equivalent of .com in different language has the potential to be a big play.

    Being upfront about it I’m not an IDN investor its outside my scope of knowledge but one issue I keep hearing is that IDN’s don’t work consistently.

    For example I hear that you can’t use them for email as they are not understood by most mail servers.

  39. says

    ” “the fact that not too many people have heard of them can actually work in their favor”

    That has to be about the least intelligent business statement ever written.”


    @ BFitz

    You need to give that statement a little more though before putting it down like that,

    If .Jobs and .Travel had over a million registrations then obviously they wouldn’t need to relaunch and remarket themselves, they would be in pretty good shape at least as far as the registries were concerned.

    Imagine if there were not going to be a New gTLD program and that there was nothing on the news about them, then .Jobs and .Travel would probably have to continue to limp along forever as obscure extensions, but now that there is so much attention given to the New gTLDs it gives .Jobs and .Travel a second chance to make themselves known to the people that they want to target, and even though they are not gTLDs but they can still benefit from all the publicity that the New gTLDs are getting.

    Think about it, if .Jobs and .Travel had not already been launched as sTLDs (Sponsored Top Level domains), they would probably be on top of the list of the New gTLDs.

    (just my opinion)

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