Afternic Domain Sales by Category – January 2012

As a regular newsletter feature we are again sharing category-based sales information from Afternic. Given that we have only had a few weeks worth of data so far for 2012, we will compare Jan 2012 MTD to 2011 as a whole.

This first graph reflects data from 1/1/11 – 12/31/11:

The number of domains sold that were categorized as Business and Shopping led the pack at 12% each of all Afternic sales last year. Computers and recreation also represented a large portion of sales at 11% and 9% respectively.

This graph represents data 1/1/12-1/18/12:

So far this month, the computer category is still leading the pack with 13% of all domains sold, up 2 percentage points from last year.  Recreation is up 3 percentage points at 12%, while shopping and business are both lagging with a 2 percentage point drop to 10% each.

Top 10 Secrets to Smart Domain Investing

Investing in domains is like investing in anything else in that it requires strategy and knowledge of best practices to be successful. Use these tips from our domain experts to build your portfolio in the smartest way.

1)      Familiarize yourself with the domain industry, including various blogs and conferences. What categories of names are other domain investors acquiring? What are experienced domainers talking about? What has sold recently, and for how much?

2)      Pay attention to emerging trends. 2011 was the year for cloud computing, and was valued by Citrix (the company that purchased at $18 million. You can use tools like Google Insights for Search to view historical and current interest in any topic and Twitter Trending Topics to view what is hot right now.

3)      Use keyword tools like the free Google Adwords tool to estimate search volume for a given term.  Domain buyers are often interested in domains including keywords for their SEO benefit.

4)      Focus on investing in .coms, at least to begin with. These domains are the most valuable and are likely to remain as such. They are universally recognized and receive a substantially larger amount of direct traffic than any other top level domain.

5)      Keep up to date with domain law. If you are outside the US, you should become familiar with your own country’s laws.

6)      Include your own interests in your domain portfolio. Chances are you have will already have a leg up on what is “up and coming” in these areas and can find corresponding domains quickly to add to your portfolio.

7)      Subscribe to the Afternic blog, Domainer’s Advantage, where you can view domain sales by category each month and see a breakdown of sales each week.

8)      Order a professional domain appraisal. Afternic’s proprietary Domain Name Index Scoring & Valuation System includes both a numerical score and a monetary valuation based on criteria like search volume, comparable sales, and current trends. This appraisal will make sure your domain is priced appropriately.

9)      Park your domains with Afternic to earn revenue while you are deciding whether to develop or sell the name.  List the domains you decide to sell with Afternic.  What better way to get a feel for what buyers are looking for than to list your names for sale with the leading domain marketplace.

10)   Finally, review your portfolio each year to see which domains to keep since maintaining registration for hundreds of domains can add up.  You also want to check your Afternic account to make sure that all of your domains listed for sale are actually *for sale* to keep the domain sales process running smoothly.

Speak to the most experienced domain consulting team in the industry today.  Call 866-829-9361 (Toll Free) or 339-222-5145 (Worldwide).

Weekly AfternicDLS Sales January 2 – January 8

Weekly Domains Sales Breakdown and Sample

Domain sales for the week of 1/2/12 – 1/8/12

Chart-toppers for the week included: $  50,000.00 $  11,050.00 $  10,000.00 $    7,288.00

Total domain sales for the week, including confidential and sales under $1000 totaled  $1.15 million.

Sample of reportable sales:

Weekly AfternicDLS Sales December 26 – January 1

Weekly Domains Sales Breakdown and Sample

Domain sales for the week of 12/26/11 – 1/1/12

Chart-toppers for the week included: $ 15,600.00 $ 15,000.00 $ 12,500.00 $ 10,500.00

Total domain sales for the week, including confidential and sales under $1000 totaled  $1.28 million.

Sample of reportable sales: $ 15,600.00 $ 15,000.00 $ 12,500.00 $ 10,500.00

ICANN Urged to “Phase In” New TLDs

Since ICANN approved the creation of new top level domains back in June 2011, almost everyone has had an opinion on how the new “.anything” domain extensions will play out. Will these new TLDs hurt brands or help them? ICANN has been advised to take it slow and use the first round of applications as an opportunity to learn exactly how companies intend to use these new domain extensions.

New TLD Background

Last June ICANN announced the approval of a new gTLD program that would allow any company to apply for a domain name extension and operate a registry. ICANN said it would limit the first round of application for these new top level domains to 500 applications, which would be accepted between 1/12/12 and 4/12/2012. The gTLD Applicant Guidebook says that in addition to a $5,000 deposit, “a payment of the remaining $180,000 (is to be) submitted with the full application.” Remember, this fee is just for the application process.

Companies and Organizations Against the New gTLDs

Many companies and groups have come out against these new TLDs because it is unclear whether the new extensions pose an (expensive) opportunity or a threat.  According to Business Week:  “General Electric Co., Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola Co. are among more than 40 companies that have joined with the Association of National Advertisers to oppose the expansion, saying it will increase costs for companies, confuse customers and create new risks of Internet fraud.”

ICANN Urged to “Phase In” New TLDs

A little over a week before ICANN was due to start accepting applications for the new TLDs, Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, wrote a letter to ICANN Chairman Stephen Crocker outlining concerns about the new program as follows:

“…in meetings we have held with industry over the past weeks, we have learned that there is tremendous concern about the specifics of the program that may lead to a number of unintended and unforeseen consequences and could jeopardize its success. Accordingly, as ICANN moves forward, I urge you to consider implementing measures: (i) to minimize the perceived need for defensive registrations; (ii) to implement promptly ICANN’s existing commitments for law enforcement and consumer protection; and (iii) to ensure better education of stakeholders.”

Strickling’s letter suggests that ICANN take steps before the application window (1/12/12 – 4/12/12) closes to make sure that a large number of companies aren’t applying just as a defensive measure with no plan for operating a registry.

He also says that after the application window closes and more is known about the pool of applicants, ICANN should “assess whether there is a need to phase in the introduction of new gTLDs.”