GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a privately owned, Internet-based company that provides a variety of services including domain name registration, web hosting and e-business software sales. The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, was founded by Bob Parsons. Parsons previously owned a financial services software company, which he sold in the mid-1990s upon retirement. He came out of retirement in 1997 to form Jomax Technologies, the predecessor to GoDaddy.

Since it’s inception, GoDaddy has risen to become the largest domain registrar in the world, with tens of million of domains registered to its clients. The company ranks as the world’s largest ICANN-accredited registrar; it’s approximately four times larger than its nearest competition. Recent corporate acquisitions include Outright, Locu, Afternic, and Media Temple.

GoDaddy has redefined Internet hosting services, and it has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades. Among these awards are the 2001 Arizona BBB award for Business Ethics and the 2011 SC Magazine award for Best Security Team. In 2011, it ranked number four in the Phoenix Business Magazine list of “Best Places to Work in the Valley” and it made the 2012 Forbes list of “Best 100 Companies to Work For.”

Known for its sometimes controversial commercials and interesting spokespersons, GoDaddy also sponsors a number of charitable causes in support of domestic violence and child abuse awareness, and sports events, including NASCAR and the Super Bowl. In 2013, the company shifted its advertising strategy to focus more on small to medium sized business owners (SMB). Reflecting this change, its commercials and advertising materials shifted from “sexy” to smart.

NameFind Premiums Forwarding to Afternic Inquiry Form

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Every once in a while, I check out the landing pages for various high value domain names owned by GoDaddy via its NameFind portfolio company. Because GoDaddy has one of the largest domain name portfolios and probably sells more aftermarket domain names than anyone else, I visit their landing pages to see if I can learn anything valuable to help me sell my domain names.

In June of last year, I noticed quite a few of their valuable one word .com domain names had a different domain for sale landing page. The company appeared to take many of them off of a parking PPC landing page and used a different style of landing page to make it clear that the domain name was for sale.

This morning, I noticed the landing page for some of the premium names changed again. The company is no longer using the landing page that had been used before, but is now forward the domain names to what I believe is the longstanding Afternic inquiry form:

Dispute.com Auction Winner Defaults

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Dispute.com sold at GoDaddy Auctions last week for $65,000. I learned that the winning bidder in this auction defaulted, and this news was confirmed to me by Paul Nicks, GM of the GoDaddy Aftermarket.

The way GoDaddy’s system works on default winning bids is that the next highest bidder would get the opportunity to buy the domain name for the next high bid as if the winning bidder did not participate. If that buyer opts to not purchase the domain name, the opportunity would go to the next high bidder. This continues until a bidder accepts the price and purchases the domain name.

The domain name was sold to the sixth highest bidder in the auction. Although GoDaddy does not disclose sale prices, the company made an exception in this case, and I was told the domain name

GoDaddy to Host Meetup at Cambridge HQ on 9/12

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GoDaddy will be hosting a meetup for domain investors and customers at its Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters. The meetup will be held on Wednesday, September 12th from 5pm – 8pm. Cambridge is a short drive or T ride (Kendall Square) from Boston. The GoDaddy office is located at 1 Main Street in Cambridge, at the end of the Longfellow Bridge.

There will be free food and drinks for people who come. There is no cost to attend the event. This is a good opportunity to meet some of the people who work on the Afternic side of the business selling domain names on behalf of investors.

Joe Styler, who is helping to organize the event, told me they

Reconstructed Website is Live

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When you visited DomainInvesting.com this morning, you may have noticed that the website looks a bit different. I relaunched a revamped website very early this morning, and while the look and feel is very similar to what it has been for several years, the back-end has been totally reconstructed.

Several years ago when I rebranded and redesigned DomainInvesting.com, the website’s heavily customized WordPress theme was overhauled. This allowed me to design the site the way I wanted, but it also made it more challenging to update WordPress and various plugins without causing problems.

In addition to the redesign and rebrand, I also migrated my hosting to GoDaddy. The website was set up on a server using one of the older WordPress hosting plans that is no longer offered by GoDaddy. As with most technological things (like an iPhone or laptop), it was great until the back end of my site essentially became obsolete.

For the past year or so, the site operated on a version of PHP that is no longer updated or supported. When something stopped working or broke, the team at GoDaddy (led by Spike) worked to patch it as best as they could. Because of the dated and heavily customized theme I had been using, it was not easy to make changes that didn’t impact or break other parts of the website. Additionally, some functions would not work on the newer versions of PHP. As you may have seen in July, when I updated an essential plugin, the site went down for almost a day and I needed to use a backup to restore the website. Despite the fact that my site has been operating a very outdated back-end, the site managed to have almost no downtime, which I credit to GoDaddy’s assistance.

With an outdated theme, several older plugins that couldn’t be updated, and an unsupported PHP version, it became necessary to totally reconstruct the back-end.

For this project, I engaged

GoDaddy Appraisal Influences Messaging at GoDaddy

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GoDaddy has the widest reach of all domain registrars, so many people list their domain names for sale via GoDaddy. Aftermarket domain names listed for sale show up in the GoDaddy purchase stream. A customer searching for a domain name to register will be shown the matching aftermarket sale listing if the domain name is listed via its marketplace.

It looks like GoDaddy is using its domain name appraisal tool to influence the sales pitch customers see when searching for a domain name. Depending on the buy it now price compared to the GoDaddy Appraisal, there will be a different graphic shown to prospective buyers to convince them to buy the domain name.

I will use two domain names in my inventory to illustrate how the pitch looks, depending on how the domain name is priced compared to the GoDaddy appraisal.

Domain Name from Company With $215m+ in Funding in Auction

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A big auction on GoDaddy Auctions caught my attention this morning. Lytro.com, which GoDaddy appraises at $18,765, is in auction with a high bid of $41,500. There are 20 bidders who have participated so far. It appears the domain name expired, based on the “Renew Now” message seen at the top of the landing page filled with pay per click advertising:

From my perspective, Lytro.com as a domain name doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning that I can see, so I was curious about what could be causing the substantial interest in the domain name.

Apparently, Lytro was a well-funded company at one point. Crunchbase reports the total funding for the company at $215.8 million. According to a 2015 Business Insider article discussing a pivot, “Lytro has raised $140 million since its 2011 founding from investors including Allen & Company, GSV Capital, Danhua Capital, K9 Ventures, Greylock Partners, North Bridge Growth Equity & Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Andreessen Horowitz.”

Despite its substantial funding, it would appear that things

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