General Domain Information

More Steps to Buying A Non-Sucky Domain Name

Stephen Spencer gives us “11 steps to buying a domain name that doesn’t suck” on the Cnet News blog yesterday. I agree that these are all important factors to consider when purchasing a domain name, and I would like to add a few additional factors that people should consider:

– Potential to Confuse Users – If you buy a domain name that has a number, some people might type in the actual number while others spell it out. Tickets4Less.com is an example. I bet some people type in TicketsForLess.com as a habit, so if you buy one you should buy the other.

Your Company Name – Although this is similar to one of the factors in Spencer’s article, the most relevant domain name to your business is the .com of your company’s name. If your business is Nashua Web Designers, you should first try to buy NashuaWebDesigners.com. Oftentimes generic domain names like this are already taken, but there is a good chance the name of your business is available, and that’s what your customers will want.

Shorter Version of your Company’s Name – With a company like Barnes & Noble, customers often refer to it as BN. The company was smart and owns both BN.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Generic .com Domain Names are like Diamonds…

Generic .com domain names are like diamonds. Sure you can buy a small or low quality diamond and your significant other with still love you, although she will know that you couldn’t afford better. You could also buy a synthetic or manufactured diamond that may pass for the real thing, and maybe she won’t notice (until she gets it appraised of course). However, if you want the most beautiful investment quality diamond, you need to spend the money and buy a beautiful, high-quality, real diamond.

With domain names, sure you can buy a low quality .com domain name with extra numerals, hyphens or other flaw, and people who know about your site will try to remember how to navigate there. You can also buy a non .com domain name such as .net or .info that may look good, but will certainly lose traffic to the better .com name. However, if you want to buy the most valuable, highest investment quality domain name, stick with generic .com names.

Domain Names – One of The Crown Jewels Of The Business

The Crown Jewels of The Business

Matt Kramer of The Bulletin, a local Philadelphia newspaper, discusses the 15 most valuable assets a business owns that many owners don’t understand. Among assets such as Customer List (#1), Building (#5) and Trademark (#8) is a company’s Domain Names (#9). According to Matt:

“A client of mine bought hundreds of domain names that would attract individuals looking for a mortgage. As the mortgage market declined, so did his business. One day, one of the biggest mortgage banks in the country came in and made him an offer of millions of dollars for all of his domain names. My client knows that the mortgage business is cyclical, but the amount that was offered allowed him to retire.” –Source: The Bulletin

This writer is on point. With targeted generic domain names becoming more valuable over time, sometimes a company’s domain name may be worth much more than a company realizes. There are many examples of companies using their domain names simply for email addresses and not having a website. This may be due to the owner’s reticence to spend the time and money developing an online business plan. Whatever the case may be, the company is almost certainly leaving money on the table. While a domain name may simply be an afterthought to some companies, others are willing and able to use the domain name as the centerpiece of their business. This is the root cause of a domain name being an overlooked source of value for a company, but in reality, it could be a large part of its net worth.

Registrant

Many thanks to Bob Conner who quarterbacked the creation of a Domain Registrant

Overcoming the Cybersquatting Label

http://www.ricksblog.com/my_weblog/2007/07/the-c-word-expo.html

No matter what you personally think of Rick Schwartz, he is on spot with this recent blog post. Domain owners and investors hold valuable pieces of virtual property, and some people who didn’t have the foresight to buy domain names while they were relatively cheap have been attempting to tarnish the image of generic domain owners by publicly labeling this group as “cybersquatters.” What has caused domain names to increase in value has also caused domain owners to be the target of what Rick refers to as “cyber bullies.” Fortunately, I believe domain owners are better equipped to protect our domain names than those who lost large land claims out west, but we need to be vigilant and support organizations such as the Internet Commerce Association. I have pledged to become a member as soon as they take Paypal or AmEx!

According to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, a law amended to the Lanham Act in 1999, cybersquatting

“is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.”

The term “cybersquatting” is clearly derived from the word “squatting,” which is loosely defined as people living in a property in which they have no right to live, frequently without the owner’s knowledge, and certainly without his approval. The owner in the case of cybersquatting is the trademark owner. When people refer to generic domain owners as cybersquatters, they are either slandering this group or they are ignorant about the topic they are addressing. Generic domain name owners pay for the right to use their domain name in any way they choose. If they want to develop their domain name into a huge brand like Hotels.com, they have every right to do so. If they wish to place relevant advertising links on their page, they have the right to do that, too! Just because a domain name isn’t developed, doesn’t mean someone else should have the rights to the name. It doesn’t work in the case of physical property, and it doesn’t work for cyber property either.

Domain names such as Devices.com are considered generic because a company can’t claim ownership of that particular word as there are far too many people who would conceivably have the rights to that term as well. Assuming the domain name is generic, nobody has the right to decide whether one particular company or person deserves to own that domain name over somebody with equal rights. “Cyber bullies” attempt to sully the image of generic domain name holders in a slanderous way, and whether it is intentional or just uninformed writing, ignorance is never a valid defense.

Kudos to Rick for writing his post, and kudos to Ron Jackson of DNJournal for including this in The Lowdown section of DNJournal.com.

Honesty in Negotiations

In my opinion, honesty is one of the most important qualities in negotiating a domain sale. Since a majority of the domain investment business is done online, the important handshake and face to face encounter is eliminated. If a potential buyer or seller catches you being dishonest, you can kiss your deal goodbye. You may be the most sincere and kindest person in

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