Geographic Domain Names

Evaluating the Geo Domain Auction


I was just checking out Moniker’s tentative Geo Domain auction list on Mike’s Blog, and I think there are a few good domain names for sale at reasonable prices. Chances are good that I’ll be bidding on one or more of these domain names, but I wanted to post what I believe are the best values in the auction. $25,001 – $50,000 $50,001 – $100,000 $25,001 – $50,000 $250,001 – $500,000 $50,001 – $100,000 $1 – $5,000 $50,001 – $100,000
My best piece of advice for anyone who is thinking about bidding is to do your due diligence and research prior to the auction. Don’t just focus on the domain name, but research the actual geographic area. Try to envision what you would build on the domain name should you win it, and determine if you will be able to turn a profit. As most geodomain owners will tell you, a geodomain needs to be developed to unlock its full value. Have a plan, and be ready to implement it if you are going to bid.
I may be bidding on one of these names, but it really depends on whether or not I think I will be able to manage another project at the moment. Once I return from my honeymoon, I will begin selling ad space in Lowell and Burbank.

Sharing Information & Knowledge


Although this has changed in the last couple of years, the domain industry has been a fairly secretive industry. People have been reluctant to give advice, and while that might have benefited individuals and companies, I don’t think it was necessarily in the best interest of the industry. The crux of this was that everyone was essentially a competitor, and it doesn’t make sense to give away a competitive advantage.
One reason why I particularly like the geodomain industry is that people interact and share more than in any other niche in the domain industry in which I have been involved. Instead of treating each other like competitors, most geo domain owners are very happy to give advice and share their knowledge, helping others grow their geo websites. People like David and Michael Castello, Dan Pulcrano, Jess Bookstaff, Rob Grant, and others I am forgetting about at the moment have given me great advice to help me with and
When I meet with geodomainers, our business conversations are centered around how we can improve our websites and marketing strategies to maximize our revenue. I’ve found that business conversations with people outside the geodomain industry tend to revolve more around making deals, which isn’t a bad thing, but from a learning perspective, geodomain conversations are usually more fruitful. For some people who might not have the time to devote to a geodomain, it doesn’t make sense to jump into this part of the industry. However, for those looking for a rewarding business, it might be something worth considering (BTW, Rick Latona is selling, which I think is a great name and growing city right outside of Manhattan).
In a sense, .com city, state, regional and other geodomain owners aren’t competitors of each other. Each of us has a different market and strategy, and it makes sense to share and learn with each other. In my limited experience, I’ve done things good and bad, and I am happy to help others so they don’t make similar mistakes, and I am eager to learn from others as well. Typically newspapers and tourism departments are our largest competitors (and not happy about it), as they didn’t buy these important names before we did.
In this vein, if you are going to the Geo Domain Expo next Thursday in Chicago and we haven’t made plans to meet yet, please get in touch with me. If you are new to the industry, I am happy to introduce you to the people I’ve come to know over the past several months, and I know they will be happy to share with you. This is going to be a great learning experience, and I know it’s going to be fun.   I am still hearing rumors about a Michael Seven concert…

Geo Domain Expo Award Semi Finalists


The semi finalists for the 2008 Geo Domain Expo Awards have been announced, and voting is now open. Voting can be done directly on the Associated Cities website. It’s great to see the leaders of this rapidly growing industry being rewarded for their hard work. When the industry has evolved 5 and 10 years from now, these people will still be at the forefront – they have the best domain names. It’s hard (or impossible) for newspapers and other publications to even compete with these names.
Best Monetized GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is generating the most advertising and/or commission revenue relative to the size of its Geo market?
Most Economic Impact
Which site do you feel has generated the greatest positive economic impact on the local businesses in its Geo market?
Most Influential GeoDomain
Which site would you say had the most influence on how you have monetized and/or developed your GeoDomain?
Best GeoDomain Technology
Which site do you feel has taken GeoDomain technology to the next level?
Best US City GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best US City GeoDomain?
Best US State GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best US State GeoDomain?

Best US Destination GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best destination-oriented GeoDomain?
Best International City GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best International City GeoDomain?
Best Country GeoDomain
Which site do you feel is the best Country GeoDomain?
GeoDomain Hall of Fame
Person you believe has done most to promote the Geodomain Industry!

Jessica Bookstaff
Castello Brothers
Patrick Carleton
Skip Hoagland
Dan Pulcrano

Patrick Carleton Interview


I’ve been out of town the last couple of days, but I just read Patrick Carleton’s interview about the 2008 Geo Domain Expo. A number of people have asked me about the Expo, and I think this interview will shed more light onto why I am attending. If you are considering whether or not to attend, I think you should take a couple of minutes and read the interview.

Associated Cities Membership & GeoDomain Expo Growth


What a great day today! Not only did I book my flight to Chicago for next month’s GeoDomain Expo, I also just heard from Patrick Carlton (Executive Director of Associated Cities), and was approved to become a member of Associated Cities. This is exciting news, and I look forward to contributing to that organization and learning from the members who have experience in developing and making money from their geodomain names.
I also had a conversation with David Castello who informed me that ticket sales for the 2008 GeoDomain Expo are 200% higher than last year. This is also great news because it means I can learn from and share with more likeminded people. I don’t know the exact number of people who are attending, but I hope they don’t run out of space! Knowing the Castello Brothers, Dan Pulcrano, Jess Bookstaff and many others in the geo space, I don’t think I am going to get much sleep during the conference.
If you haven’t had a chance to register for the GeoDomain Expo, I recommend that you do it ASAP. The cost of flying to Chicago is rising, so it’s in your best interest to book soon.   The cost of attending the show is $695, which is less than most domain conferences, and the convention hotel is less than $250.

Responding to Geodomain Discussion


I was going to write this response to Sahar on his blog, but I decided to just post it here since it encompasses more than one post. I have a great deal of respect for Sahar and some of the things he has done in the domain industry. Seeing Sahar build some of his domain names into business has helped spark my interest in development, and I believe he has been instrumental in getting domain investors to begin to develop their valuable domain names. However, I disagree and am a bit confused by some of the things he has recently said.
Before I begin, I want to define what I am referencing when I speak of geodomains that are worth a considerable amount of money, and what I blog about (unless previously specified).

1) .com only
2) City with 100,000 population, a large tourism industry, a center of business activity, or a US state
3) Domain name must be the exact spelling of the city

There are plenty of other geodomains, but these are generally what I consider geodomains when I talk about the industry in general.A few weeks ago, Sahar provocatively wrote a blog post entitled “Are Geo Domains Overrated?” He evaluated his thoughts on what to do with geodomains other than PPC, and the answer is either development or resale. The gist of the discussion on development is that it is very difficult (and I agree), and regarding resale, Sahar said, “To me looking for end users is an extremely tough proposition. I would not consider that a viable option.” Ultimately, Sahar’s concludes, “It is my personal opinion that while today Geo domains aren’t an attractive proposition (and we do own a few), in the near future, possibly 2-5 years, they may be.
To address this topic, I agree that geodomains should be developed to yield their full value. They are expensive to acquire, and if the owner wants to generate revenue, development is the way to go. I do disagree that looking to sell the domain name is difficult, as I have received significant offers on – which I have rejected in favor of development. I know it wouldn’t be difficult to sell this name or, based on the response I’ve received in the Lowell area when speaking about the domain name and website.
A few days ago, Sahar wrote another post about geodomains titled, “The Other Side of Geo.” Sahar cites my blog and Rick Latona’s newsletter as sources of geodomain discussion, in addition to Associated Cities and Castello Cities press. Sahar believes, “majority of the people who promote Geo domains are doing so not because Geo is doing great but because they are invested in Geo.
I am a bit insulted by this in respect to the reference to my blog. I talk about geodomains because I happen to be developing two of them, not because I need to increase their value or increase recognition. If anything, I would like the value to decrease so I can buy more of them – as I have tried with my $100k offer for a large east coast city .com domain name. I paid what I was comfortable with paying, and I would pay the same price in a heartbeat without so much as a second to contemplate it – as I am sure many others would agree. Also, geodomains are hot and in demand because supply is very limited for decent ones – because most good geo domain owners won’t sell it.
Additionally, Sahar wrote what most people would agree, “In terms of cashflow performance, in comparison to other domain categories, Geo domains are extremely over rated.” Yes, I agree that would only make $2-3/day in Adsense revenue, but I am making more in hotel/job revenue, and the traffic and revenues continues to grow. When I finish with, that will make even more money in hotel revenue, as that is more of a business/tourist center than Lowell, Massachusetts.
Today, Sahar followed all of this up by concluding, “Truth is, after thinking more about it, Geo domains, in term of Domaining, are extremely overrated.” Although I don’t own any parked geodomains to offer a factual assessment, I do agree that geodomains aren’t a great investment vehicle if you plan to only use a PPC model on them. However, saying   that they are overrated in terms of domaining is like saying that undeveloped oceanfront property on A1A in Palm Beach, Florida is overrated.
For those who know the area, this is some of the most exclusive property in the country, and there is barely any undeveloped property on A1A in Palm Beach. The property that is undeveloped is generally not for sale or may be for sale at astronomical prices.   This property is also some of the most resilient property in all of Palm Beach county, and it hasn’t taken much of a hit when other areas of Palm Beach County has.
So in terms of domaining and simply buying a geodomain name for PPC, yes, they may be overrated, but I think most domain sales would be considered overrated if you just looked at them based on the PPC value (numerics,, .mobi….etc). However, I would certainly be willing to pay overrated prices for geodomains.   Hopefully when Bido launches, they will be able to offer some great geodomains for sale 🙂

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