FairWinds Tells Fortune 500 Clients To Pay Attention to Domain Hacks: Only 3 Out Of 500 Own Them

Brand Protection company Fairwinds in a blog post today,  told it big brands clients, the Fortune 500 companies they represent to pay attention to and try to acquire  domain hacks.

For those that don’t know a domain hack is a domain spelled out using the letters of a ccTLD and soon some new gTLD’s that form words.

Domain names like which is owned by Microsoft in support of its Bing search engine.

.Ng (Nigeria)) , .Ly (Libya) are two countries which has popular hack domains.

“Last week, as phablet fans in the United States awaited the arrival of Samsung’s Mega this Friday (it was first released in South Korea, Europe and Russia), an intrepid analyst here recently discovered that is not owned by the tech manufacturer. ”

“Instead, according to the WHOIS database, (which takes advantage of the ccTLD .ng of Nigeria) is registered to Howard Ku and resolves to a pay-per-click site that showcases links to the “latest Samsung phone,” and to “Samsung Galaxy apps”.

So do all brands overlook the last two letters of their name when capturing key Internet locations?”

“Of the top 100 brands we researched, only three companies have used ccTLDs to create clever and intuitive domain names: points to the Pepsi Pulse page, points to the Country locator for Nintendo, and points to the official Philips homepage”

“Other major companies do own domain names containing ccTLDs such as and, which match their brand names; however, the given domain names do not point to relevant official content.”

“We did find instances of domain names that contain both a brand name and, thanks to the dot placement, a ccTLD, that is used by either a different company or a third party who may be attempting to capitalize on the brand’s image. Here are some examples:

  • The site features a pay-per-click site with links to cellular providers and deals. This could be costly to MTV in the future, particularly if it hopes to build a stronger online presence. A WHOIS lookup confirms that the registrant is Tien Chau, not MTV.
  • The domain name points to a hosting site, which indicates that the given domain name is for sale for US $1,250,000.
  • points to a blank page, which alerts the viewer that he or she is  “Executing in an invalid environment for the supplied user,” and the registrant information is privacy protected on DomainTools.

And finally, the domain names of other brands in the Fortune 100 with ccTLD ‘endings’ are already registered by the corresponding Fortune 100 brand but do not resolve. It’s possible that the owners may not know the intrinsic value of these domain names – like,, and””

Its an interesting story and a rare time where a Big Brand protection company chats about domain hacks.

There will be some interesting opportunities coming up in the new gTLD space for domain hacks as well.


Google’s Matt Cutts: Not All ccTLD’s Are Created Equally In Generic Search Rankings

There is a very interesting video posted on from Matt Cutts of Google who answered the question about how ccTLD’s are viewed by Google especially when they are being used as domain hacks.

Here is the question:

“”We have a vanity domain ( that unfortunately isn’t one of the generic TLDs, which means we can’t set our geographic target in Webmaster Tools. Is there any way to still target our proper location?”

In the 2:30 minute video, Matt Cutts makes it clear that not all ccTLD’s are going to be treated the same by Google:

“As the domain space gets more exhaustive in .com, people are getting more creative using domain names like  which is owned by Matt Mullenweg of, which is a very cool domain,, but is the country code for Trinidad and Tobago.

Many others are using words that ends in .es, and we see a lot of startups that have been using  .Io (Indian Ocean).

When using these ccTLD as either domain hacks or just because they make a cool domain name or brand, Matt Cutts is saying you have to be VERY careful otherwise the domain is going to be treated as a ccTLD and thought by Google to be only targeting residents the country the ccTLD represents.

“You have to think hard, if its going to be thought of as an international domain or a country code.”

Matt calls out .Co specifically as one is which is treated as generic by Google and not as the ccTLD of Colombia.

“”In some sense it comes down to a little bit of a call when a domain becomes truly  generic, appropriate to the entire world.”

“So like .Co, which I think used to be for Colombia. has become a generic like another .com”

“But if you’re using an .es for a word that ends in .es or .li domain, which I understand is being used by a lot of businesses located in  Long Island, because it’s really a cool address, you have to be careful because in the case of .es we are going to think its related to Spain and in the case of  .Li we are going to associate it as targeting residents of Lichtenstein because 99% of the domain in use are related to those countries”.

“Otherwise everyone starts to use crazy random domain names and they lose the sense of what they were originally intended for and that could be a bad experience for everyone”.

A MUST see Video for anyone using or considering using ccTLD especially as  a domain hacks.


TRAFFIC Opens Up Submissions For The Live Domains Auction Including Pay For Submission Domains

According an email sent out by the organizers of the TRAFFIC conference they are formally opening up submission for the live domain name auction that will be held at the conference.

Like last year there are several ways to get you domain submitted into the auction.

Either have one of the most saleable domain based on reserve pricing or use the “Guaranteed Placement Program”

IN announcing the opening of submissions, Mr,. Schwartz made it clear the type of domains he was looking for the auction:

“I will tell you right now, that unless it is a truly PREMIUM domain, don’t submit a domain with a high reserve in 2012. The competition for the slots will eliminate you from the get go. Even “Guaranteed Placements” have to have reserves in line with current market conditions.”

“If you don’t need to sell, the auction format we have is NOT designed for you. ”

“This is basically a WHOLESALE auction, not RETAIL, as the bidders are primarily other domain investors. ”

“The market is soft and to be honest, it may be in your best interest to wait for the next pop. ”

“Nobody is forcing you to try and sell when things are not that good. However if you are really aggressive and want to turn some of your gems into cash, then that can happen because we have a focused and qualified audience and this is going to be an exciting auction.”

“My goal is to have a down and dirty auction that moves faster than most can keep up with. If there is no opening bid in the first 10 seconds. GAME OVER! NEXT Domain!”

“Your job as a seller is to have a better domain and a better price than the next guy. ”

As for bidding, it is either live in person or live over the phone or pre-bids or prearranged text. ”

“So we have multiple options for serious bidders. ”

“Until we can be assured that an online auction will run without flaws and 350 people in the room won’t have to wait and have things slowed down, this is the way we will handle it and nobody is  forcing anyone to participate if they don’t want to. ”

“You can send your entries to me starting TODAY.”

(To submit your domains you can email them by sending them to domainking at

“Do not send domains that you are advertising all over the place or you are not ready to commit to the auction. ”

“Not interested. ”

“Don’t send me a list of 1000 names. I won’t even look. Howard will be in touch and send you a contract once we decide. ”

“Because of the amount of submissions, you will only hear from us if we are considering placement to sign a contact. ”

“Reserves MUST be included.

“Domains will be judged against other submitted domains for quality and price. We reserve the right to reject a “Guaranteed Placement” on any domain name. If so any up-front money will be refunded.”

“Please don’t get mad at me if your domain is not selected. With a limited amount of slots and unlimited supply, my job is to be very choosey.”

“We charge 15% to auction a domain name.”

“Those that want to help with their own sale and marketing, and want a guaranteed placement in the auction, can pay a fee in advance and get a reduced commission rate if the domain sells. They can play an active role by using their own data to make contact with previous interested parties and end users to announce the place and time. of the auction and create a contest.”

“Commission rates as low as 6%

To see a chart of the various pay per submission fees click here for the pdf

Is Apple Going To Go With A Hack? Report Says Yes:

According to MacRumors“, Apple might use a domain hack for its new iTunes Ping program.

The story says that Apple which has has owned the domain name hack of the hack of,  since December 2006, when it was registered by Mark Monitor, could windup using its as a link shortener for its new Ping product links for Twitter. currently forwards to

If true this would mark the second top 5 tech companies that would go with a hack as a shortener.

In October Google announced it was going to use the hack,, as a shortener.

This might help the domain hack market, and you can find some great one on sale at