GoDaddy Acquires Afternic – Primes Domain Aftermarket For New TLDs

Move Also Delivers Improved Service, Selection & Speed to More Aftermarket Customers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 19, 2013) – GoDaddy, the world’s leading domain name provider, has acquired Afternic, one of the industry’s leading domain name aftermarket companies based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The move creates an unprecedented level of domain name aftermarket inventory from one source and a frictionless marketplace – enabling buyers to purchase registered domain names offered for sale quickly and easily.

The move also bolsters ICANN’s upcoming Top Level Domains (TLD) program by fueling a more diverse aftermarket. Afternic’s Domain Listing Service (DLS) displays domain names at more than 100 different registrars – including 18 of the top-20. This gives new TLDs registries and resellers the best chance and easiest way to showcase their aftermarket domain names. As an example, instead of choosing a single registrar to sell an already registered name like Pizza.NYC – the name can be offered across the entire DLS network – giving the seller the most exposure and customers the best experience.

“Having the right domain name is vital, no matter your venture,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “GoDaddy is working to bring the ‘domain aftermarket’ together with new registrations and make both super-simple to access. Our customers need an easy way to buy the name they want, regardless of whether it’s new or has been registered previously. This acquisition forms a registrar-led process that creates faster and more trusted transactions across the board.”

DLS gives buyers a more diverse range of results and affords sellers more exposure to customers searching for domain names. A domain name can be listed at a single registrar and also displayed across the registrar network – without any more work from the domain owner. GoDaddy plans to incorporate the DLS into its domain search results and add its aftermarket domain name inventory to the DLS in the coming months.

“The success of the new TLDs and the aftermarket relies on a tight-knit group of diverse registrars and Afternic has done tremendous work to bring everyone together,” said GoDaddy Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin.

Industry partners Web.com, operator of Network Solutions and Register.com, and Tucows.com fully support GoDaddy’s new registrar-led model. “This is a terrific move by GoDaddy and a real milestone for the domain industry,” said Tucows CEO Elliot Noss. “Making it easier for customers to find, buy and manage aftermarket domain names is important. That is why GoDaddy, Tucows and other large registrars are working together for the industry and for customers.”

Afternic’s Fast Transfer network completes the transaction instantly, and will leverage the full security of GoDaddy’s world-class architecture, without requiring days for a domain name to transfer or having to negotiate confusing industry regulations.

“GoDaddy’s adoption and endorsement of Afternic as the standard for Fast Transfer will accelerate the growth of the domain aftermarket across the entire industry,” said Afternic SVP of Business Development Bob Mountain – who will remain Afternic’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Registrars around the world are realizing that the aftermarket presents a significant opportunity for revenue growth. GoDaddy’s acquisition and investment in Afternic is a win for registrars, domain owners, and customers, and will provide the necessary scale to grow the aftermarket for years to come.”

“Afternic and GoDaddy share a vision for creating a unified domain aftermarket,” said Kelly Conlin, the Chairman and CEO of NameMedia, Afternic’s parent company. “By operating Afternic with the interests of the registrars and their customers first and foremost, this transaction not only fulfills this vision, but reinforces that registrars are the very best place to find all available domain names.”

GoDaddy plans to keep the Afternic staff in the Boston area.  GoDaddy is also acquiring SmartName, a domain parking service, as well as NameFind, a new service for helping entrepreneurs brainstorm a brand name for their business. NameMedia will continue to operate its BuyDomains.com marketplace of proprietary domain names and its website development group. Conlin will remain Name Media’s Chairman and CEO, while also becoming a strategic advisor to the Afternic management team following the acquisition.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

To see Afternic’s inventory – visit Afternic.com.
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About GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL certificate provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. GoDaddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and isthe #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey.  To learn more about the company, visit GoDaddy.com/PR.

About Afternic
Afternic is the world’s premiere domain marketplace, listing more than five million premium domain names available for sale and receiving more than 75 million domain searches each month—more than any other domain marketplace. Founded in 1999, Afternic launched the first website where domain owners could list their domain for sale, and prospective domain buyers could review available inventory—connecting buyers and sellers of domain names for the first time and creating the industry’s first domain marketplace. Since the company’s founding, Afternic has been continuously expanding and innovating, introducing new technologies like Fast Transfer that allow a domain buyer to have immediate control of a purchased domain, and building a distribution network that now includes more than 100 partners that market Afternic’s domain listings the world over. To learn more about the company visit Afternic.com.

GoDaddy’s Acquisition of Afternic FAQs

logo_afternic_pantone

Q:   What led to today’s announcement of GoDaddy’s acquisition of Afternic?

A:   Both Afternic and GoDaddy share a vision for a unified domain aftermarket that allows any registrar anywhere in the world to offer for sale all of the available secondary market domains with the same confidence that exists in the primary market. Afternic is the premier domain aftermarket, founded in 1999. GoDaddy is the world’s largest registrar, founded in 1997. Both of the companies appreciate that success on the Internet is built around connectivity. In the case of the domain aftermarket, this means that a standard needs to exist for registrars to connect to a trusted source of aftermarket domains. Afternic has built that connectivity platform—called Fast Transfer—and GoDaddy will not only join the platform, but will commit to investing in enhancements that will benefit the entire domain industry.

Q:   What does this mean to me as an Afternic reseller? 

A:   First and foremast, it continues to position the registrar as the place to get a name, whether primary, secondary or new gTLD.  It also means more inventory, more advanced features, and more revenue.  First, GoDaddy will fully join Afternic as a Fast Transfer partner and add nearly one million Fast Transfer domains to Afternic; therefore, your customers will have an expanded inventory of high quality domains from which to choose.  Second, GoDaddy’s ownership brings significantly more resources to bear on developing cutting edge aftermarket technology – things like the ability for a customer to list directly from the registrar control panel. Finally, we expect this new inventory and these new features will result in incremental revenue for all registrars that are part of Afternic as it becomes a standard for Fast Transfer that helps drive inventory validation and sales velocity.

Q:   Does this mean that Afternic will be absorbed into GoDaddy?  How will Afternic be operated going forward?

A:   GoDaddy plans to operate Afternic as a utility for the industry, helping drive standardization. Afternic will continue to operate under the Afternic brand, and the same customer service, sales and business development team members whom you know and work with today will continue to support your business. Additionally, GoDaddy plans to join the Afternic network as a full losing-gaining registrar, adding >900k listings.  Most importantly, existing reseller agreements (and economics) will remain in place for at least 12 months.

Q:   Why is the domain aftermarket so important to GoDaddy?

A:   GoDaddy believes that the domain aftermarket has tremendous growth opportunities for all registrars and that a highly functioning aftermarket will continue to position registrars as the place to get a name, whether primary, secondary or new gTLD. When compared to other market categories, like automobiles, the percentage of the market represented by the aftermarket has been very low in the domain industry. This is attributed to many factors, including the awareness of registrants to the opportunities in the aftermarket, the validity of the inventory that’s in the aftermarket, and the presentation of aftermarket inventory on reseller sites. In short, every efficient market has a clearing platform that enables supply to connect with demand, and GoDaddy believes that every stakeholder in the domain industry will benefit from a unified platform: domain owners can opt-in to the aftermarket directly from their registrar control panel, domain buyers can see the most comprehensive supply of validated inventory when searching for a domain name with the same purchase experience as buying a domain on the primary market. It’s a level playing field: Afternic is the interchange network that connects the aftermarket, and GoDaddy participates as any other reseller, supplying its registrants’ inventory for sale across the entire network and providing all of the available inventory for sale on its website.

Q:   How does this impact my agreement with NameMedia?

A:   All aspects of your NameMedia agreement will remain in effect including commissions on BuyDomains inventory and other services. BuyDomains will continue to be operated by NameMedia and is not part of this transaction.  However, we are asking for your consent to assign your agreement to GoDaddy.  This is important to ensure there is no disruption to your revenue stream upon closing.

Q:   What technical innovations should we expect?

A:   We anticipate delivering a wide range of technical innovations – like listings from the registrar control panel – as we supplement the Afternic team with GoDaddy’s formidable resources.  We anticipate receiving significant registrar input on the features that would be most valuable for them.

Q:   Will GoDaddy continue to support Standard Transfer?

A:   Standard Transfer will continue to be supported.  Some TLDs do not support Fast Transfer so we expect Standard Transfer will be part of the aftermarket for years to come.  We do believe though that the registrar-centric Fast Transfer approach is the future growth of the aftermarket.

Q:   How does this impact the NameMedia sales team who’s been selling my portfolio?

A:   The Afternic sales team will remain in place and will be available to support you.

GoDaddy Acquisition FAQ for Afternic Members

logo_afternic_pantone

Q:  What led to today’s announcement of GoDaddy’s acquisition of Afternic?

A:   Both Afternic and GoDaddy share a vision for a unified domain aftermarket that allows any registrar anywhere in the world to offer for sale all of the available secondary market domains with the same confidence that exists in the primary market. Afternic is the premier domain aftermarket, founded in 1999. GoDaddy is the world’s largest registrar, founded in 1997. Both of the companies appreciate that success on the Internet is built around connectivity. In the case of the domain aftermarket, this means that a standard needs to exist for registrars to connect to a trusted source of aftermarket domains. Afternic has built that connectivity platform—called Fast Transfer—and GoDaddy will not only join the platform, but will commit to investing in enhancements that will benefit the entire domain industry.

Q:   How does this affect my Afternic account?

A:   Afternic will continue to operate as a stand-alone site and Afternic customers can manage their portfolios there for parking, listing, appraisals, escrow and other services directly at the Afternic.com control panel as they always have.

Q:   Does this mean that Afternic will be absorbed into GoDaddy?  How will Afternic be operated going forward?

A:   GoDaddy plans to operate Afternic as a utility for the industry, helping drive standardization. Afternic will continue to operate under the Afternic brand, and the same customer service, sales and business development team members whom you know and work with today will continue to support your business.

Q:   How will this benefit me as an Afternic customer? 

A:   First and foremost the largest registrar in the world is committed to joining the Afternic reseller network so your sales velocity should increase when your Afternic-listed domains are available on GoDaddy.com as Fast Transfer.  Second, GoDaddy’s ownership brings more resources for developing cutting edge aftermarket technology.  As a result your registrar will soon be able to provide Afternic opt-in services from their control panel, saving you the time and effort of managing your portfolio in multiple places.  Lastly, the Afternic network will continue to accelerate its growth giving you more places to sell your domains.  Afternic added nine new registrars last quarter and we expect to increase the pace of growth going forward.

Q:   Why is the domain aftermarket so important to GoDaddy?

A:   GoDaddy believes that the domain aftermarket has tremendous growth opportunities for all registrars and that a highly functioning aftermarket will continue to position registrars as the place to get a name, whether primary, secondary or new gTLD. When compared to other market categories, like automobiles, the percentage of the market represented by the aftermarket has been very low in the domain industry. This is attributed to many factors, including the awareness of registrants to the opportunities in the aftermarket, the validity of the inventory that’s in the aftermarket, and the presentation of aftermarket inventory on reseller sites. In short, every efficient market has a clearing platform that enables supply to connect with demand, and GoDaddy believes that every stakeholder in the domain industry will benefit from a unified platform: domain owners can opt-in to the aftermarket directly from their registrar control panel, domain buyers can see the most comprehensive supply of validated inventory when searching for a domain name with the same purchase experience as buying a domain on the primary market. It’s a level playing field: Afternic is the interchange network that connects the aftermarket, and GoDaddy participates as any other reseller, supplying its registrants’ inventory for sale across the entire network and providing all of the available inventory for sale on its website.

Q:   Will GoDaddy continue to support Standard Transfer?

A:   Standard Transfer will continue to be supported.  Some TLDs do not support Fast Transfer so we expect Standard Transfer will be part of the aftermarket for years to come.  We do believe though that the registrar-centric Fast Transfer approach is the future growth of the aftermarket.

Q:   How does this impact the sales team who’s been selling my portfolio?

A:   The Afternic sales team will remain in place and will be available to support you.  Your account manager will remain the same and Afternic will continue to support you with their fully integrated CRM system and world-class sales operations.

Q.   Is Go Daddy also purchasing the BuyDomains portfolio or marketplace?

A:   No, BuyDomains will continue to be operated independently by NameMedia.

 

How to Reach Out to a Non-Domainer

Know your audience when trying to seal the deal.

When preparing to reach out to a domain owner to determine their interest in selling, it’s important to keep in mind that owning a domain name doesn’t automatically make you a domainer. Many individuals invest in domain names for business purposes only and have not considered selling them for a profit later.  For this reason, you’ll want to approach the owner with an open mind and be prepared to appropriately cater your offer to the domain owner.

Do Your Research

Just like any other consumer, there’s a fair amount of background research you can conduct before making a purchasing decision or proceeding into a negotiation. This is particularly crucial if you’re trying to convince someone to sell their domain. Before making any contact you’ll want to gather the facts, such as how much longer the domain has before it expires, and how many other domains the owner has. In many situations, this information will be beneficial in your outreach attempts.

Be Aware of Your Tone

Whether you are a domaining expert or a novice yourself, it’s essential that you communicate with a domain owner on their level. While educating them throughout the process might be welcomed by some owners, it’s important that you don’t give off a condescending tone or you may risk losing the sale. Even if a domain owner is not a domainer, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of doing their own research and understanding what their domain is worth and how the selling process works.

Be Patient

If you are someone who has bought and sold hundreds of domain names the selling process comes to you quite naturally by now. You are confident in your domain valuation skills and can maneuver through the escrow process with ease, but that doesn’t mean that the seller is as comfortable. So instead of rushing them through the transfer process, offer a helping hand or simply give them the time they need to catch up on what’s happening.

3 Rules for Domain Development

Make the most of your domain investment with the right development tactics.

When developing a domain, every individual has their own technique. Whether your goal is to flip your domain, develop a website, or something else, it is important that you approach the development of your domain with an agenda in mind.

Find the Right Balance Between SEO and PPC

When it comes to promoting your domain through SEO or PPC, it is easy to become caught up in one approach over the other. You may feel more comfortable pursuing a PPC campaign because you have more control and can monitor the success of your campaign, causing your SEO efforts to fall behind. However, even if your confidence in PPC is stronger, it’s important to incorporate both approaches in your domain development until you find a balance that works most effectively for your domain.

Pay Attention to Multiple Search Engines

With Google being the powerhouse of search engines today, many consumers and businesses tend to overlook the other search engines available. However, just because the majority of the internet population prefers one search engine does not mean you can simply forget about the others, such as Bing and Yahoo.

In Bing’s recent Bing It On campaign, consumers were challenged to search keywords and compare the results of Bing and Google. Surprisingly, many individuals chose the Bing results over Google, favoring the layout and the quality of the results that Bing represented. So while Google might be the most popular search engine at the moment, there is still potential for traffic to come from other search sources.

Don’t Be Misled by Well Ranking Domains

Before purchasing a domain, you should conduct a background check on your prospective selection. While your initial reaction may be that the name sounds good and you think that the keyword is one that draws traffic, it’s crucial that you determine the actual facts about the domain. If you search for the keyword and it happens to place #1 in search results, that’s great, but that will only be beneficial if that keyword has a high search volume.

Afternic Weekly Sales: July 15, 2013 – July 21, 2013

Weekly Domain Sales Breakdown
Domain Sales for the week of July 15, 2013 to July 21, 2013

Afternic’s sales totaled $1,037,702.

The top public sale for the past week was LightArt.com, which sold for $32,000.

The Specials category came in first, accounting for 12.0% of all domains sold in the past week, followed by Society at 11.8%.

Below please find the list of highlighted public domain sales.

Weekly Sales Image

Want to see your names on this list? Join Afternic today.

How to Think Like a Domainer

Four ways to use your domains effectively.

After growing your domain portfolio you might be wondering what’s next for your plethora of new domain assets. While you can plan to flip each domain, hoping to make a quick and profitable sale shortly after your purchase, there are plenty of other viable options for your domains’ use.

Website Development

One of the most obvious uses for a domain is website development. With the right tools and proper development, a relevant domain name can help catapult your businesses presence online. However, with the amount of resources and time that it takes to development a website, this option will only be beneficial if you have a business, blog, or idea worth promoting through an entire website.

Vanity URLs

At any given time a domainer often has a significant portfolio of names, which allows them to take advantage of a multiple domain strategy. While your plethora of domains might all have different statuses, some developed, some parked, and the occasional one leased, you also have the opportunity to benefit from using a domain as a vanity URL. If, for example, you are trying to determine the amount of traffic that is derived from a particular advertisement or social campaign, a vanity URL provides an efficient way to do this.

Parking

You might not know exactly what you’d like to do with a particular domain at this very moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from it while you’re still deciding. Instead of sitting on the name, letting it remain vacant and unused, parking can provide a nice opportunity to earn revenue. Parking your domain will also increase your domains visibility and allow potential buyers to see both the domain and your contact information if they’re interested in purchasing.

Leasing

When it comes to selling your domain, you might be more prepared to sell then the market is to buy. You can wait for a buyer to acquire the appropriate funds needed to purchase your domain, but the option of domain leasing serves as a great compromise between both the selling and buying parties. With the proper agreement, a domain leasing deal can be a win-win, providing revenue to the seller and the use of the domain to the buyer.

Why Aren’t Your Domains Selling?

How to avoid these common domain selling mistakes.

Whether your domain has been on the market for one day or one year, the anticipation of a sale is always lingering. Once you’ve made the determination that you are ready to sell, you want that instant gratification of a profit, but unfortunately it’s not always that easy. Instead of continuing to wonder about why your domains aren’t selling, you should be more focused on reevaluating your selling strategy.

You Have a Non-Negotiable Attitude

As a seller you know how much you purchased the domain for, how much you would like to sell it for, and how much of a profit you would like to make, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be open to a negotiation. Unless you are lucky enough to receive an offer over your asking price, chances are you need to offer some flexibility. You don’t have to completely lose sight of your ideal number, but listening to the buyer and better understanding their perspective will certainly be more productive.

It’s Not The Right Time

A common oversight when selling domains is the fact that you must conduct research before deciding to market your domain for sale. While you might be ready to sell a domain to earn a profit, it is necessary that you determine whether there is a demand for your domain. If there is no one interested in purchasing your domain at that time, it most likely won’t have a large appeal to any audience.

You’re Not Being Proactive

Determining that you want to sell your domain is a great starting point, but actually entering into the selling process is a whole other task.  Instead of announcing that your domain is for sale to whomever might be listening, it’s crucial that you work to increase the visibility of your domain. Whether you announce it on your blog, list it on a domain marketplace, or search for a buyer on your own, you must be actively searching out your buyer.