Blogs about the domain industry and the various players and companies within it.

Predicting Google's Quarterly Domainer Payout

Predicting Google's Quarterly Domainer Payout

About a month ago I wrote an article suggesting that with enough domain traffic data I could potentially predict a chunk of Google’s next quarterly earnings. After developing my financial model, I thought that I’d have a stab at Q3 2016.

The chart below reflects the quarter on quarter % change in payouts to domain owners (blue chart  - left axis) and also Google’s Traffic Acquisition Costs (Yellow line – right axis) for each quarter since Q1 2015. Since Google has not released the Q3 data yet the yellow line stops short and is replaced by my red predicted line.

Google predicted earnings

 

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Video - NamesCon Founder, Richard Lau

Video - NamesCon Founder, Richard Lau

In this video, Richard shares some of his background and how he became a domain investor. He then moves onto his passion for the Water School, a charity to helps save lives. He also discusses the beginnings of the first NamesCon and where the huge domain investor conference is headed into the future.

The video is full of personal experiences, adecdotes and insightful thoughts about the domain industry. Richard is one of those special individuals that is willing to take the time to help others in their life's journey.

I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I did in talking with Richard.

I should mention that there has been a correction to the NamesCon discount code mentioned in the video. It's actually "AlwaysThankful". This code provides $200 off the registration price and will expire midnight on November 11th.

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Why .CLUB Is So Successful

Why .CLUB Is So Successful

I’ve been reflecting on some of the great companies that are being built in the domain industry and I couldn’t go past .CLUB. When you consider the new gTLD have only been in the marketplace for a couple of years it’s remarkable what .CLUB has achieved. There are so many new extensions launched and yet everyone seems to hold .CLUB in high regard. So the question I have is why?

Every company is not built on an excellent team and I just want to highlight a number of the team members that I regularly catch-up with at all the different domain shows around the world. I think that their attitudes and focus really provide a valuable insight into the .CLUB success story.

Colin Campbell (CEO)
Colin CampbellThere are a number of things that strike me about Colin and the first is passion. He’s passionate about .CLUB and provides such a focused drive to see it succeed. That being said, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s conducted deals that are beneficial for both parties. He isn’t a scorched earth CEO that has a win at all costs mentality but rather a collaborative one that wants to see others be successful as well.

Dirk Bhagat (CTO)
Dirk BhagatThe first time I met Dirk we were sitting around a fire pit at a hotel somewhere (can’t remember where). Underneath his easy going exterior ticks an incredibly smart individual that, like Colin, has seen the ebbs and flows of the technology industry across many years.

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DomainFest Hong Kong Presentations

DomainFest Hong Kong Presentations

As promised, please find links below to the presentations that I lead attendees at DomainFest Hong Kong through. I hope that you find them valuable and please feel free to ask any questions.

Domain Monetisation 101
This is an introduction to monetising your domains and then focuses on the various metrics used in generating revenue from domain traffic. This also includes what we can influence on a parked page and setting keywords.

Domain Monetisation MasterClass
This dives into the data and first of all defines the benefits of a normalised RPM. From there the presentation takes through the difference between intelligently switching versus rotating traffic. How to run a traffic test is briefly covered and followed up by managing a portfolio for profit.

Domain Monetisation for Registrars and Registries
The first part of the presentation covers the opportunities that registrars have to monetise their traffic with ParkLogic. This is followed by a registry perspective and the unique symbiotic relationship between registries and registrars.

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DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

DomainFest.Asia Wrap Up

I’m on my way home…..yeah! Yes, DomainFest.Asia is finished and I’m writing this from the Qantas Club at Hong Kong airport. I’ve just finished a call to my ParkLogic business partner updating him on what a great event it was. The next call is to my very patient and wonderful wife who puts up with my travels…..

This is my second time to Asia for DomainFest and once again I’ve found that it has been eminently worthwhile. With each repeat visit I can see the Chinese market beginning to blossom into a land of opportunity as the newly formed relationships grow stronger with each meeting.

In fact, I half joked with one western domain investor that I should go and learn Mandarin! English may be the language of business but it’s clear that Mandarin is definitely the language of future opportunity. It was so frustrating going through an interpreter for a number of my discussions that I lamented the fact that I didn’t know even a little bit of the language. Thank goodness that the majority of the attendees also knew at least some English!

I must admit that one of the mildly annoying things about the conference was the fact that the conference was a thirty-minute bus ride from the hotel where many of the attendees were staying. So each morning and afternoon we had to climb aboard a bus for the journey to and from the conference venue at Cyberport…..I only have one thing to say, thank goodness for Uber!

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DomainFest Hong Kong

DomainFest Hong Kong

After a 48 hour turn around in Melbourne I jumped on a plane and headed to DomainFest in Hong Kong. The short flight of nine and a half hours was a welcome change from the twenty-six to Fort Lauderdale the previous week.

I've never been to Hong Kong (the previous conference was in Macau) and I'm really looking forward to meeting a whole new group of domain investors. After being dropped off at the wrong hotel by the taxi I finally managed to get to the right one and check-in. It wasn't long before I found a number of my friends that had flown in from around the world and we took off in the direction of a bar with a cool drink.

The next day, after the relatively short bus ride I'm now registered and sitting at DomainFest.Asia. I have a number of goals for the conference that relate to ParkLogic and monetising traffic but I'm also wanting to gauge the Chinese market to see what is happening with domain sales. Last year, I came away with an urgency to sell or a ChiP domains and it ended up being really profitable.....so maybe it's time to buy back in?

I'm speaking three times at the conference on the topics of:

  • Monetisation 101
  • Monetisation Masterclass
  • Monetisation for Registrars and Registries

Anyway.....I've got to race into the next meeting. I'll keep you posted!

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The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

The Domain Conference - It Was Awesome!

Just to let you know, I’m writing this blog from 30,000 feet. I’m about an hour from Melbourne airport after travelling for twenty-four hours from “The Domain Conference” in Fort Lauderdale. My body feels like it’s been put through the ringer and my brain feels a little mushy (see above picture - LOL!) so you’ll have to excuse me if it doesn’t contain any epiphanies.

For a start, the conference, as normal, was an outstanding success. It’s not as big as NamesCon but a lot of the right people were in attendance. I don’t mean to insult anyone but stupid people judge a conference by numbers of attendees……I judge a conference on the level of business conducted. I’ve returned with easily enough to keep me busy until the end of the year.

If you really want to accelerate your business growth, then taking the opportunity to attend every domaining event is mandatory. I often find the same people that say they will attend and then don’t are the same people that complain in the forums about the downturn in the domain industry. Go figure? You reap what you sow……make the effort to reach out to people at events and don’t be surprised if you suddenly start selling domains and finding other opportunities.

I met so many great people at “The Domain Conference”. From hedge fund managers (yep, they have heaps to invest) right through to registries who are doing some awesome deals. What I find the most beneficial is just hanging out with other entrepreneurs who are hungry to throw some ideas around.

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The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

The Domain Conference - Don't Miss It!

I’m leaving for The Domain Conference (TDC) in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow and twenty-four hours later I’ll arrive. There’s nothing like the expectations of a long-haul plane flight to force you to evaluate whether it’s a really good idea to make the journey or not. So why am I going?

One of the things I love the most about conferences is that most of the people in attendance are there because they want to improve their business. This could be to do deals, learn or mostly it's a combination of both. I must admit that I love sitting down with a group of fellow domain investors and hearing about what they are doing. It’s often refreshing and definitely invigorating!

I’m really looking forward to the privilege of sharing in one of the sessions on advanced monetisation. I plan on digging into the stats and techniques on how to get the most out of domain traffic….so watch out!

Of course I’m attending to get a chance to speak with domain investors about how ParkLogic can help them get the most from their domains. In fact, we’re previewing the new ParkLogic website now….it also has a number of videos about ParkLogic Next. We already have some clients on Next and the feedback has been outstanding.

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Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

Interview With Jackson Elsegood - Escrow.com

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Jackson Elsegood, the general manager of Escrow.com. During the interview we discuss all the latest news from Escrow.com of what they have been doing and what they plan on doing in the future.

Escrow services are a critical part of the domain ecosystem and Jackson expresses Escrow.com's ongoing committment to the domain space. I hope that you enjoy the relaxed interview and gain some new insights for your own domain business.

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A .XYZ Disaster Story

A .XYZ Disaster Story

A client recently purchased a .XYZ domain for an application that they were developing. Everything was working fine until today when suddenly the domain stopped resolving. It just so happens that in their infinite wisdom the .XYZ registry had decided to suspend the domain. So what actually happened?

When you sign-up for a .XYZ domain name you are coming under the terms and conditions of the registry. A part of the terms is they have the right to suspend a domain if they deem the domain is being used for inappropriate reasons. The stated goal is to keep the .XYZ namespace safe…..sounds interesting.

Here’s the problem. For the domain in question SpamHaus, Google Safebrowsing, SURBL, URIBL (all recommended by the registry) flagged the domain as safe. Virus Total has 68 sub-organisations that they relate to and one of these organisations flagged the domain for possible phishing reasons.

Why was this the case? It just so happens that at some time the domain had been sent to advertising networks and I’m guessing that one of these networks may have had a problem with a “spam advertiser”. This sometimes happens and the networks immediately kick these types of advertisers out. In the case of the .XYZ domain this resulted in it being banned.

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