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!
“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.
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
Although there are several things I consider when selecting a domain name to target for acquisition, I believe the most important thing is the generic nature of the name. I believe that owning a generic, industry descriptive domain name is the most important thing someone can do to build their online business. It is even more important to own a generic domain name in a smaller niche industry, especially if an industry leader does not exist.
In my opinion, if you are entering a market without a dominant industry leader, the greatest thing you can do for yourself and your business is to purchase a generic name that describes the industry in the shortest way possible. To illustrate my point, let’s take an industry that is well established with many industry leaders. For example, let’s say you want to check out the score of the Red Sox game. Chances are good that you wouldn’t go to BaseballScores.com, but instead, you would either hit up ESPN.com or RedSox.com knowing that you will find the score of the game, box score, and maybe even a summary. Sites like these are dominant industry leaders, so although a generic domain name is good, it would still be difficult for your company to thrive with huge competition already fully developed and well known by web users.
However, let’s say you are interested in buying a flag for Independence Day. If you were to directly navigate to a website, chances are good that you might go to AmericanFlags.com, as there isn’t a well-known industry leader in the flag business (to my knowledge). AmericanFlags.com surely receives a good amount of type in traffic from patriotic Americans (and probably from anti-American people as well). This traffic is inherent with the domain name, and the company doesn’t need to expend advertising dollars to attract these highly motivated visitors who want to buy American flags. There is nothing better than when a customer knows exactly what he wants, and he finds himself on a website that can provide the product for him.
The other distinct advantage of building a business around a great generic domain name is that it is easier for a business with a generic domain name to get higher search engine placement than a company with an unrelated “brandable name.” To continue using the example from above, AmericanFlags.com has top placement in Google for “American Flags.” This is a HUGE advantage for an online company like this because consumers who choose to use a search engine instead of direct navigation will see the company right at the top of the unpaid search results, and many will trust this company, without knowing anything else about it. There is a good deal of comfort in a consumer’s mind knowing that they are clicking through to a company that is built around the term they are searching.
Could the people from AmericanFlags.com be successful without this domain name? The answer is probably yes because they have a great leader and team, however, it would have been more difficult and much more expensive.
There are a couple of people I want to thank for their help in putting my website and blog together.
I’d like to thank my friend Kevin for developing my website https://domaininvesting.com and for building this blog. He and his team were able to put it together in a short period of time, and I think the work speaks for itself. I asked for several specific things for my site and blog, and I was very surprised with the amount of support Kevin was able to give. As an aside, Kevin has a deep rolodex, so if you are looking to sell a premium name or two to corporate America, Kevin may be able to help you out. If you want to get in touch with Kevin, shoot me an email and I’ll send him your details. A sincere thanks to him for his help.
Secondly, I want to thank Tasha Kidd for her help designing my logo found on https://domaininvesting.com . It was Tasha who was one of the first people to reach out to me when I was learning about the business, and she put me in touch with many members of the domain community less than a couple of years ago. It is crazy to think that I was learning about domain investing on my own from various articles found online, but up until February of 2006, I didn’t even know DN Forum (or any of the other forums) even existed! I certainly would not be where I am at without Tasha’s advice and assistance. She has some great ideas, and she is one of the nicest people you will meet in this business. If you would like to be put in touch with Tasha, please contact me and I will send her your details.