Geographic Domain Names

How I Evaluate GeoKeyword Domain Names

I own a fair amount of geographic keyword domain names. I don’t know how many I have right now, but I would guess the number is around 30+/-. I have only sold a few of them in the last few years, but I want to share some thoughts I consider before purchasing them (typically in auction or hand registrations).

Most of the geographic keyword domain names I own have the following attributes:

  • .com
  • Medium to large US city
  • Keyword is relevant to city
  • The keyword industry is large enough that there are many prospective buyers
  • Solid keyword sales history

One of the more important aspects is the relevance to the city. Buying snow related domain names might be good for northeastern US cities, but they would not be good for Florida cities. This is probably common sense, but it is something that needs to be considered at the outset.

When evaluating domain names,

BrandIT Marketing SanFrancisco.com and LosAngeles.com

 

 

 

I received an email earlier this week from BrandIT (formerly Igloo.com) announcing that they are brokering two exceptional California geographical domain names: SanFrancisco.com and LosAngeles.com. These two domain names have been owned by Boulevards, a company founded by Dan Pulcrano. Boulevards has owned a large portfolio of exceptional city .com domain names.

Curious about why Dan decided to sell these valuable geographic domain names, I spoke on the phone to get his perspective. Dan told me what many people have learned the hard way: developing a network of websites, especially local websites like the ones Boulevards focuses on, is very difficult and expensive. Dan told me his company is using this as an opportunity to raise funds for his other core websites.

Although Dan did not share the asking price for these domain names, I think it is safe to say that each has a low seven figure price tag. Dan referred to his last publicly announced sale of Denver.com in 2012 as a guideline. As I later reported in 2015, that purchase paid off for Peter Niederman and his real estate firm. In addition, the parent company of the LA Times acquired LA.com last year for $1.2 million. Should SanFrancisco.com sell in this price range, the irony is that the cost would be almost equivalent to the price of a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco!

Commenting to me about the listings, BrandIT’s Tessa Holcomb had this to say:

“Geo domains have always been a strong niche for us originating with the sale of several country domains, then shifting to major European, Asian and US cities. Few US cities, however, are better known than San Francisco and Los Angeles. These metropolis regions are not only synonymous with the tech and entertainment industries, but they also are important hubs for tourism, recruiting, and real estate. Being from California myself, I am very excited to market the SanFrancisco.com and LosAngeles.com domain names and look forward to seeing how these valuable properties evolve.”

There are many ways a buyer could use each of these domain names. Of course, tourism, local news, and real estate would likely be the most obvious uses. Perhaps a buyer will successfully do all three of this.

Prospective buyers who are interested in these two domain names should get in touch with BrandIT.

RhodeIsland.org Lost by Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.

A .org domain name came across my email this morning that caught my attention. RhodeIsland.org is listed as one of the most active pending delete backorders on NameJet. At the present time, there are 24 bids with a high bid of $101 on NameJet alone. Since most of the major drop catching platforms will likely try to catch this domain name, I presume there are many other bidders standing by ready to place bids on this domain name.

After seeing RhodeIsland.org on the most active pending delete list, l did a Historical Whois Search at DomainTools to see who previously owned the domain name before it went into the pending delete status. According to DomainTools, RhodeIsland.org was registered to Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation as recently as September 6, 2017. The Whois registrant email listed an @riedc.com email address. Very strangely, the registry expiry date is listed as June 24, 2018, so it doesn’t look expired despite its “pending Delete” status.

I looked at Archive.org, and it does not look like RhodeIsland.org was used as

Malibu Times Reports Malibu.com is for Sale

According to the Malibu Times (found at MalibuTimes.com), the Malibu.com domain name was listed for sale by its owner. This can be confirmed by visiting Malibu.com, where the domain name owner has set up a “for sale” landing page with information about submitting an offer.

I don’t believe this is the first time Malibu.com has been offered for sale. According to an article in DomainGang.com, the domain name was listed for sale via Ryan Colby’s Outcome Brokerage in 2014.

Since the domain name was likely listed for sale before, the most interesting aspect  of the Malibu Times’ report (in my opinion) is how much a Councilman for the City of Malibu is trying to get the council to approve to make an offer to buy Malibu.com. From the news report  mentioning that Malibu.com is for sale:

Saunders Touts its Domain Portfolio in NY Post Ad

It’s not every day that you see a company bragging about its domain name portfolio in a mainstream publication like Saunders & Associates did in today’s  New York Post:

Saunders NY Post

As you can see, Saunders is sharing that it owns over 2,000 street name domain names focused on the Hamptons. The paid advertisement was found on the inside cover of today’s (Saturday) New York Post, one of the largest newspapers by circulation in the US. I am unsure if this advertisement was found in all editions of the NY Post or the local edition. The NYPost has a circulation of over 720,000.

I visited several of the domain names listed in the advertisement, and it looks like they

Chicago.com Sold to Chicago Community Trust (Updated)

chicago-community-trustAccording to a tweet posted last night by Josh Metnick,  Chicago.com  was sold again. As you may recall, Josh Metnick is the former owner of the Chicago.com domain name. Based on the registrant email address, the owner of the domain name is The The Chicago Community Trust.  The current registrant of the domain name is listed as Chicago.com LLC.

Chicago.com was sold by Josh  to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2013, and the deal was confirmed at that time by Crain’s Chicago. I do not believe the sale price was ever disclosed.

I reached out to Daniel Ash, Chief Marketing Officer of The Chicago Community Trust, and he commented on the acquisition:

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