The Birdie in the Domain Mines. Singing or Dying?

Morning Folks!!


My Business Model never included Google, Bing or PPC. Never had Facebook or Twitter to depend on. It was a nice perk along the path, but the model never included them because they did not exist so it is easier for me to brush off the current changes as a non event compared to those that are here BECAUSE of those companies etc.


Think about that one for a minute. See while all that was a pleasant and scenic detour, for me, it was the main path for most. Now there is some heavy duty scrambling going on. I know those spread sheets are going to be all over the place for everyone reading this. For me, I just pick up where I left off in 2001. Really!


I guess that can only lead to huge consolidation in the future. The first evidence of that will be late July? Why then? Because that is when all the .CO renewals come due and THAT is going to be a barometer of not only how .CO is doing but how the general population of domainers are doing.


This is a very visual test we are about to see in just over 60 days. We will find out about the viability of a new extension and at the same time see the financial strength of domainers and whether they will risk more $$$ if they have yet to see any real activity. From the outside and when I discuss the issue with others, it would seem that things have stalled. Fast out of the gate with milestones announced has given way to speculation about registrations.


I would say that maybe they did 600,000 in the first 60 days and another 150,000 thereafter. Just a guess for reason of example. So how many will be renewed? That is the $64 question. My guess is that it will be UGLY!


Just yesterday I learned I will be challenged with one of my .co domains. I hope to shove it up their ass as they got the trademark AFTER I registered the domain name.


Notice any companies disappearing? People disappearing? They don’t put up a billboard or make a big announcement. One day you just wonder what happened to so and so?


It would appear to me that a major shakeout is coming. Is already in the works. Is quite different than anything we have seen previously. At the same time new folks are coming in and they have no guidelines and really don’t care. Whatever it takes to make a buck.


Meanwhile while all this is going on internally, outside the industry they are making great strides to understanding why their domain name is so important to their futures. Why their domain name is the foundation of everything they do from this point forward. Why the domain name is like a diamond with many facets. It is your name, your address, it describes what you do in many cases and it is the lifeline that determines your future. Wind in your face or wind at your back. Fighting a blizzard or surfing with the waves.


.co, .xxx, .whatever are all likely to have the same end result with a few exceptions along the way. Sorry, but the facts are stronger than the hopes of the second coming. There are hundreds of extensions and soon to be thousands. A great success on .com does not make you wake up and get all of the others extensions. On the other hand, a great success on one of those thousands would likely create the appetite to want the .com version.


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

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22 thoughts on “The Birdie in the Domain Mines. Singing or Dying?

  1. Domain Lords

    In the past year out of the blue I dated 4 hot young .co’s, 18 to 22 year old COlombians. Hottttt blood they got. For sure.
    How can anyone be pushing .co for anything but spanish words bro?
    No ‘business’ with a real IT staff has invested in .co, only morons have.
    Show me one .co on page one of google for any significant high valued cpc term. THERE ARE NONE
    Why, it’s a lame ass cc tld, period, end of subject.
    Sure some ‘domainers’ made minor bucks in them, if you think 10K or 20K is ‘money’. Our group turns on new clients with heavy residual contracts all day long, END USERS saying yeah, show me the promised land. Make my phone ring. I’ll take 2500 to 25K a month from end users to create their lead generation site on the net for their company any day over 99.9% of .co
    Sure a few keywords are no brainers, worth reg fees so some dummy will fork over 10K or 25K for crap like sex.co
    But the only .co’s you will ever see on page one, are spanish terms if you are searching from a colombian IP address
    There’s 6 global level TLD’s really, that’s all that matter, these are the tld’s google will give keyword buyers discounts on with the right content since it helps QS
    While most look at google as the enemy, we don’t, we know what it is, a monopoly, end of subject
    And when you understand 80% of the population goes to google to search for what they need in major english speaking markets like USA
    Then you understand, ok, whatever I do, I got to be FIRST VIEW on google, keywords in 6 tld’s help me get breaks with google, so INVEST in them, they’re long term assets
    That’s the mindset our clients have, or they’re not clients
    So we educate them fast about the net, and in fact, we say, you want ‘long term’ seo work, ok, you invest in the right assets, we put you in the promised land LONG TERM and yeah, you will be in bed with google for a long time or any other SE that ends up being the dominant SE for local serps
    That all being said, anyone discussing .co as a long term ‘investment’ just has no clue as to why any .tld has long term value
    Why would anyone consider a cc .tld for a spanish 3rd world country, until .co was launched, I don’t think I ever dated a Colombian, usually puerto rican, mexican, brazilian, I like that dark look and in SFL that’s what you got, oh, and cubans.
    I swear, a year ago, these hot young COlombians all began to show up in cheetah and diamond dolls.
    That’s about the only COlombian products I made an investment in, and they’re cheap. Buy them for almost nothing. LOL
    So you go to google with a .co keyword and try to buy a 50 buck term, guess what they kill your QS if you try to advertise a .co outside of COlombia
    So you want to own something that will never see page one for any major term and cost you more to advertise expensive ppc with
    NO WAY BRO
    Dump every .co you have IMO
    DUMP .co

    Reply
  2. steve

    You mention ppc, I just got this email from Chitika
    They must have lost a lot of their user base.
    Emails like this make me cringe because it wastes my time and is a total gimmick.
    We are currently seeing a massive increase in demand from some of our top advertising partners. To help ramp up traffic to these advertisers, we are offering a $5 guaranteed CPM to select domains for the month of May.
    If you would like to be considered for this promotion:
    Head over to the Chitika Premier Services application and submit your domain for review.

    Reply
  3. Sully

    The more extensions that come out the more valuable .com will be, IMO. All these extensions are just cluttering the Internet. .com has always and will always be the ruling extension.

    Reply
  4. Kevin

    “Major shakeout is coming???” It’s been here since last year.
    The investors like you Rick who grabbed a bundle of the ultra huge type-in traffic domains will continue to do fine no matter what the market conditions. Those domains don’t need Google or anything else to do well. But for most others who have longer domains the marketplace has been slow. It takes way longer now to sell domains and it’s much more challenging to find high profit monetization programs. There are still a few ways to achieve decent revenue results, but the easy money days have definitely come and gone.
    Best ways going forward will be building businesses on top domains, leasing out domains, shifting towards lead generation pages, selling domains outside of the traditional domainer universe, selling top domains for high prices by offering creative long term financing.
    And Yes there are still some fantastic 6 & 7 figure domain sales happening. :)

    Reply
  5. Tom

    “At the same time new folks are coming in and they have no guidelines and really don’t care. Whatever it takes to make a buck.”
    Buy for a dollar, sell for two. Some businesses can make money at 100% mark-up and some can’t.
    Every company lives and dies based on profit, and on the whole the”new blood” in the domaining industry seems able to thrive on much smaller margins than the established players. They also seem to have a higher sense of urgency and motivation when it comes to domain monetization and squeezing every last cent out of their domains monthly.
    A lot of established old school players can’t be bothered with the work it takes to even optimize their domains, even on parked platforms, and wouldn’t even consider chasing down prospects for a couple of hundred bucks profit on a sale. And who can blame them when they are routinely turning down $XXX,XXX+ offers on a monthly basis? I certainly don’t.
    At the same time, the”new folks” are hungry and quite willing to gobble up the”crumbs” being left on the table and floor. Hand registering drops for $8 or picking up auctions on the cheap and selling for 5000% – 10,000% mark-up ($8 X 10,000% = $800) is still a hell of an appealing model if you’re unemployed, or have an unemployed spouse. $1000 extra a month can make all the difference. Ramp-up time is probably less for new entrants due to all of the quality information available and the increased proficiency of the general population when it comes to things like building a website, blogging, and using social media like facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. These people already have the skill-set to monetize their own domains without relying on 3rd party platforms.
    With the internet bubble burst and through 2000 – 2002 or so, technology professionals in droves turned to self-employment, consulting and other entrepreneurial ventures. Since domain investing has matured significantly and gained legitimately since 2001 I think it is safe to assume that unemployment and tough financial times are once again motivating large numbers of people to dip their toes in the domaining waters.
    I wish them the best of luck. Most will fail. Some will succeed. A few may change the industry.

    Reply
  6. LS Morgan

    I really don’t think .co is a symptom of anything meaningful, other than how well pig-in-a-poke, speculative extensions do amongst speculating domainers.
    Anyone with vision slightly better than Ray Charles could’ve seen the only aspect of the domain market that was sustainable going forward- from a resale standpoint- was quality, meaningful, definitive names. That people have been impulsively registering horseshit for a long time and calling themselves”domainers” is an entirely separate market from quality .com names that have meaning and are actually salable. Early domainers own a lot of these domains, successful latecomers might only own but a few- yet there are a lot of people who own hundreds, even thousands, of domains without a single one that falls into this category.
    It’s no different from what we saw in tech equities in the late 90s. Markets built on”hope” eventually get marked down to reality when the enthusiasm dies down and people start to question what constitutes credible value.
    Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds…

    Reply
  7. cm

    I like to use:
    google.co
    gmail.co
    can’t say that I want to go back to using the .com for those or many others

    Reply
  8. Jack

    “Notice any companies disappearing? People disappearing? They don’t put up a billboard or make a big announcement. One day you just wonder what happened to so and so?”
    Speaking of disappearing domainers, what happened to Sahar Sarid? The guy let his blog domain drop. Did his company fold under during these rough economic times?

    Reply
  9. Theo

    With the coming of all these new gTLD’s it might dawn on the new domainers that it is not a good idea to with the flavor of the month…
    .CO is a pure domainer TLD.
    When all those new gTLD’s are being released people (actually domainers) will fly to quallity and in this case .com and to a lesser extend to gTLD’s with a proven track record and ccTLD’s where domainers also make money.
    Joe six pack (to coin a phrase) has no clue anyways. Godaddy was not able to get joe to buy .CO, it’s that simple.
    Why do people use windows ? they know it and it works (in most cases) and supports most of the hardware that is out there.
    So for the USA they will stick to .com. Other countries will stick to their own ccTLD.
    And the new gTLD’s they will have to put in tons of cash to get it going..Registrars who get the feedback from the end users will only jump make the move if they feel that a new gTLD will make them money… And they want to make some momey. Driving the price down.
    A never endless spiral that is not gonna make much cash for the new gTLD’s
    Welcome to the circus i hope you willbe entertained.

    Reply
  10. UFO

    The great thing about these new tlds and cctlds is that they separate the flotsam from the real domainers… as they dive headlong into these nuggets of fools gold.
    The ONLY extension that think has”legs on it” is the .XXX simply because it does what it says on the tin.
    Develop a .XXX search engine and this dark alley could be a bumper pay day. Rather than google you could have Peepers.xxx or dragnet.xxx etc…

    Reply
  11. velly

    Yup you nailed it Rick, that’s why I like your blog (as opposed to other domainer blogs). You don’t spew BS and pump ridiculous ccTLD’s and the new gTLD’s. .COM is for professionals and is where 99% of the action is, where it has always been, and where it will remain. As soon as I see a .co, .jobs, etc. advertisement/banner or one of those new gTLD advertisements on a domain blog, or a blog post or article praising them, I stop reading immediately. There is no credibility there. I just don’t think they can be trusted to give honest and good advice. Keep up the good and honest work, .COM will always be the anchor.

    Reply
  12. RAYY

    I saw this blog from thedomains.com posted on May 11:
    “…Sedo.com 1Q Report: “Strong and Steady Growth Domain Sales, While .Co Becomes the Rising Star”
    .CO Becomes the Rising Star.
    Is this true or false?

    Reply
  13. Sideliner

    As Rick said, I think you will get your answer to the question”will .co become a Rising Star” as renewals hit around the end of July. My hunch is we will see a major bailout on this extension.

    Reply
  14. Joe

    Most domains registered by newbies will be dropped, just like it happens in any other extension, including .com. But this means nothing, what’s really important is that .CO keeps its sales volume (currently equal to .ES and .NL, as per Sedo’s report) and possibly increases it.

    Reply
  15. steve cheatham

    Amen Bro Rick…
    “Meanwhile while all this is going on internally, outside the industry they are making great strides to understanding why their domain name is so important to their futures. Why their domain name is the foundation of everything they do from this point forward. Why the domain name is like a diamond with many facets. It is your name, your address, it describes what you do in many cases and it is the lifeline that determines your future. Wind in your face or wind at your back. Fighting a blizzard or surfing with the waves.”
    I have been seeing this happen before the .co. That, imho, contributed to the big rush on .co names. I am still waiting to see if the .co flies. It might be a Spruce Goose.
    Lesson: If you put your efforts behind a third party and are relying on them for income you are helping them build a business (ggod) and when they need to cut back you are first to suffer. (bad)
    .com lives on :)

    Reply
  16. Mike

    @Kevin…..sales have been hotter than ever….if you only are looking at end user sales. I’ve been seeing that increase every year.
    Domainer to domainer sales have crashed and that is probably what you are seeing.
    I still sell many domains every week with a portfolio of about 1500 domains for sale. Most of my sales are in the $800 to $3000 range.

    Reply
  17. petrogold

    Rick, Hi
    What a level playing field you created! Nice & creative discussions that make sense to all. But one guy here said in this blog that ext. does not matter. Development & optimization with business models matters most to make good income. In that case why not .Co will survive? along with ccTLD. In my city I see ccTLD WS on the billboard. They do not care .com or other ext. while considering business models & selling goods & services over the net(OTN).
    Gratefully,

    Reply
  18. George

    “Anyone with vision slightly better than Ray Charles could’ve seen the only aspect of the domain”
    You are the only”blind” here that can not really see how to respect other person being physically challenged.

    Reply
  19. Danny Pryor

    Rick, the shakeouts have been happening since 2008. Actually, since about 2006, when everything was approaching a peak, in terms of the domain industry.
    Now we have the long, reticent withdrawal of so many of the Johnny-domain-lately types who can’t hang on. I was late the domain game, but I have been online a long time. Recently, around the middle of 2007, I put both feet back into the vast digital ocean, but I only pushed up to my limits, not over them.
    Those that speculated beyond their capacity, their ability to stay in the game, are washing out. That will eventually lead to another growth spurt, but this won’t happen for a while. I’m not sure when it will happen, but it will. The washouts will leave no vacuum; there will be new opportunities.
    The industry is enduring a metamorphosis, even a transfiguration, if you will. As that happens, and as the industry matures, its participants will find the various, successful methods for monetizing domains and acquiring domain investments. You said it, yourself, Rick: The people in this industry, the real ones, are”investors”. I believe you made that statement in Las Vegas, at the 2007 show.
    Keeping with that mantra, there are many reasons to invest, and speculators will also come with the investors. What this industry will come to discover, as the speculators manifest and evaporate, is who remains for the long term.
    These investments are not stocks, where one can get a quarterly ROI and then sell. Domains are property; they are contractually-bound assets that can be either leased, rented, sold, developed or held as vacant. The interesting thing about this industry, and the players in it, is each has a different perspective about how to proceed. In all of our discussions and business together, I have yet to believe each of us has all the answers.
    Each has a powerful message and extraordinary insight. Some have tremendous resources, while others must follow a different model. If I was to borrow from socioeconomic studies, one, the former, may be identified as a sort of”haute bourgeoisie”, the other a type of”petit bourgeoisie”, or small shop owner.
    What will determine the success in the long term will be vision, ability to manifest that vision, and raw, sometimes gut-wrenching tenacity. Partnerships will get strong, wane and then get strong again. But there is no question about who the real people are, when the moxie finally produces a business model or a monetization model that works well, and works consistently.
    In early 2008, on an email I sent you, I commented that development was the only way to go. You replied that development meant creating a business online. I am not sure I agreed with you at the time, but I certainly do now. I have been back in the game long enough to truly grasp my strengths, and to stay close to those who have gifts I do not possess. That mutually beneficial relationship makes for solid, long-term business arrangements that bring the potential for broader investment strategies, and that’s the kind of industry maturation that is happening today.
    And there will be greater changes ahead, some we can not foresee at this time. I assure you, getting to the topic of your original post, that having gone back to my own”online roots”, which are development for small business whilst developing my own online networks, the fundamentals will always be in play, with or without Facebook, Twitter and Google. I remember when Lycos was big. I remember when everyone used Yahoo. I still have a Yahoo email address.
    Even AOL has a chance to make a comeback, but in their case, change is needed. The business model of 1991 will not work for them now, 20 years later. But basic investment strategies, understanding the client and the consumer, will always work.
    People who are not afraid of work will appreciate that. Those who are speculators will enjoy a moment of sunshine with Facebook, Twitter and even some types of SEO. They will not be here next year. Some will be gone next week.
    With that said, I should have put this on my blog. But I believe more people may read it here. :)

    Reply

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