What's Going On At ICU?

Kevin Kopas and Lars Jensen from .ICU

In June I wrote an article on the new gTLD ICU and I believed that it would be successful not necessarily because of the extension but because two of the founders, Kevin Kopas and Lars Jensen. I thought it was time that I checked in on their efforts and to see if my belief in the both of them was warranted….

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For a start, I don’t think anyone has clocked up as many frequent flyer miles as either Kevin or Lars....and that's saying something coming from an Australian like me. In their efforts to promote ICU I think they’ve attended just about every conference imaginable around the world.

If you ever bump into them (and you will) then just ask them what time zone they were in last week. I wouldn’t be surprised if you receive a confused expression, followed by silence and then a reply of which one do you mean? I sometimes wonder whether ICU will be successful simply because of their brute force effort.

Putting aside all of the anecdotes, what are the numbers telling us? I hopped into ntldstats (great site btw) and checked out whether the dynamic duo have managed to get things moving forward. The first thing I noticed is that ICU has cracked the top 50 most popular extensions in just under 3 months….not a mean feat in itself.

ICU regsitrations

As can be seen from the chart there was clearly an initial surge in early registrations and then a constantly increasing number since June. In fact, you could say the graph is getting slightly steeper as time goes by. My guess is this is the result of more registrars taking on ICU and exposing it to a wider market.

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Saturday Musings - Dealing With Stress

Stress can be incredibley debilitating.

This past week has been pretty difficult for me. Business has been going incredibly well but a personal problem arose with an external social organisation that I needed to work through (not family or anything like that…they’re all awesome!).

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Due to the emotions of the encounter with a number of individuals I found myself really stressed out and not getting to sleep until 4am each night for most of the week….which is a rare occurrence for me. I thought that I’d share with you how I dealt with the stress and what I did to get through to the other side of the problem.

The first night was a shocker. My mind seemed to swirl back and forth trying to wrestle with all the issues at hand. I found my brain replaying events on it's internal DVR over the previous 24 hours over and over again. Each time I would think of a witty riposte to a comment made and then the loop replayed again and again.

I must admit that I fell in the trap of PLOM’s disease. For those of you that don’t know, PLOMs is Poor Little Old Me…..it’s an absolutely pointless state of mind that doesn’t solve anything. If you stay in this mode of thinking then you’ll end up severely depressed (get some help if you are)….I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let that happen.

The second night was a lot more proactive as I did a brain dump of about six pages of notes about the situation. What I was trying to do was array the facts and leave the emotion out of things. This really helped calm the internal dialogue down and provided me with the necessary information for my mind to go searching for solutions.

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OzDomainer
Hey Michael, I have been in that very same place and it is very unpleasant indeed! I recommend watching this episode of my Busi... Read More
08 September 2018
mgilmour
Hi there - many thanks for the link. I hope this helps other peopel with handling stress in their life.
09 September 2018
mgilmour
As always, thank you for your kind words Robin. It was a rough week but I'm find that when a plan is put in place for moving forwa... Read More
10 September 2018
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Why is Domain Traffic Still So Valuable?

Domain Traffic is like gold.

For many years people have been making proclamations that the domain monetisation industry is dead and yet….it’s still with us. There is a really simple reason why a number of individuals have been so successful in the domain monetisation industry. Domain traffic is valuable because it converts like no other source of traffic available to advertisers.

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Yes, it’s that simple. Quality direct navigation is like 24 caret gold for advertisers that care to investigate what traffic sources are actually generating their profits.

When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious. If a person goes to beds.com guess what? They want to buy a bed! This gold standard of traffic is what also contributes to driving up the price of high end premium domains.

Many years ago, I read a report released by Google that outlined how domain traffic converted better than search traffic. Not surprisingly, the report quickly vanished…. Everything comes back to advertisers…..and guess what, they want this traffic and they want it bad!

Given domain traffic is so valuable, why is it that many domain investors have been experiencing a decline in their traffic revenues? Once again the answer is simple…..if you depend 100% upon Google to provide you with your revenue then don’t be surprised if they reduce payouts.

I’ve seen domain investors get all upset about their revenue declining but do nothing about it. Go figure? The domain traffic IS valuable but someone else is just taking your lion’s share. What’s the point in getting angry with Google and then doing nothing?

The Google domain management team is doing EXACTLY what they should be doing….maximising Google’s profits. They are not interested in maximising your profits. In fact, if any of them weren’t putting Google first then they would be fired…..

So the question I would like to leave you with is also simple, “Given domain traffic is so valuable shouldn’t you take charge of your own profit line?”

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Why Big Deals Suck!

I’m going to say something pretty controversial, you can’t build a business off big deals. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big deal but to build a business off them is next to impossible.

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I’ve talked to so many entrepreneurs that espouse the next big deal that’s just about to land. In fact, just the other day I was speaking to a person not in the domain industry that told me they had a million dollar deal they were about to get commission on. The problem was they’d been working on the deal for the past two years….

Whenever I hear someone talk to me about a big deal I immediately give it about a 1% chance coming off. Big deals are like that. They take a huge amount of time and resources and have a slim to no chance of actually coming through.

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Defining Traffic Quality

In a number of past articles, I’ve spoken about the fact that traffic quality is entirely dependent upon the advertiser. If the traffic works for them then it’s high quality, otherwise it’s low. This has always seemed to make sense to me until I began digging a little further…..and now I think I could have been wrong...

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Over the last couple of years ParkLogic has been experimenting with how to best define traffic quality. We’ve tried quite a number of third party services that are used by advertisers and what we’ve found is there seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors bundled with some hefty fees.

The problem is that many advertisers rely upon these services to determine whether traffic they are purchasing is of a high quality or not. It’s the very sophisticated e-commerce website that attributes a traffic source id to a click and then tracks it right through to a purchase.

For those advertisers that wave the flag of Google Analytics then think again. If you think about it, Google is essentially in conflict with itself by wanting search traffic to provide awesome results so that the advertiser will purchase more traffic.

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joezepy
Looking forward to seeing more about this. I think you are on to something that we all have known for years here but has been obs... Read More
25 August 2018
mgilmour
Thanks for that. I believe domain traffic is incredibly valuable and we have been tossing it towards large advertising networks as... Read More
25 August 2018
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