New gTLD

.ForSale Domain Names Bought for Political Reasons

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There’s an interesting Associated Press article published by the New York Times this morning discussing the purchase of .ForSale domain names for political purposes. “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee acknowledged to the AP that it had quietly purchased the addresses, which use a new internet suffix “forsale,” in March for at least 27 incumbent senators facing re-election this fall and in 2020, without telling the senators,” wrote the AP.

According to the article, the implication was going to be made that some US Senators were “for sale.” Now that these domain registrations have been revealed publicly in advance of launching websites, I would imagine it will be unlikely that we will see these domain names used, marketed, or publicized – unless someone else picks up the torch somewhere.

As I carefully navigate the often murky territory of discussing politics on my

Donuts Announces 6 Figure .News Deal

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In a press release published this morning, Donuts announced a six figure sale involving a package of .News domain names. The health and environmental domain names were acquired in late 2017 by a company called WebSeed, Inc., which launched websites on them earlier this year. The domain names that were sold in this package deal are:

  • Science.News
  • Food.News
  • Health.News
  • Medicine.News
  • Pollution.News
  • Cancer.News
  • Climate.News

Donuts did not share the individual sale prices for these domain names, nor did they comment on the price of the package beyond saying it was “a six-figure price.”

I think deals like this benefit the registry for two reasons. Not only does Donuts get revenue from the sale, but perhaps more importantly, it controls who is buying the domain names. This allows the company to understand how the domain names will be used, and the usage could provide benefits to the extension once they gain awareness. The registry can choose who gets to buy its “Platinum” (registry-reserved) domain names, which can be based on factors of its own choosing.

According to the press release, these sites are ranking well in search engines “[D]ue in part to the sites’ names matching popular organic search terms.” It’s an interesting observation in light of Google’s downplaying of the importance of keyword domain names, as discussed in this SEOBook article. I still think keywords help play a role in rankings, especially when it comes to fully developed websites.

Here’s the press release I was sent:

Largest ICO Uses a New gTLD Domain Name

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To date, the largest ICO (initial coin offering) in terms of funding raised is a company that operates on a new gTLD domain name. A company called Block.One, which utilizes a .One domain name, raised over $4 billion in its ICO, according to an article in CNBC:

The $4 billion that was raised outpaces every stock exchange IPO (initial public offering) and other ICOs.

.XYZ Special Offers to Mark 4 Year Anniversary

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The .XYZ Registry will be celebrating its fourth anniversary by offering two deals on renewals and registrations of .XYZ domain names. The offers will run from May 30 – June 30, 2018. I was told that 30 domain registrars have signed up to offer special promotions to customers, and the Registry is anticipating that other registrars will sign up shortly. Some of the participating domain registrars include Name.com, Namecheap, Uniregistry, Alibaba, and Chengdu West.

Here are the two special offers (suggested by the registry but may differ at each registrar):

  • $6.99 for 1-year .xyz renewals
  • $6.99 for 2-year registrations (total cost)

In addition to these deals, the .XYZ Registry will be making a $1 charitable donation for each purchase using one of these special offers at a participating registrar. Here’s what the Registry said about this:

Compound (.Finance) Raises $8.2 Million

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A startup using a .Finance domain name has raised an $8.2 million round of funding from some of the leading venture capital firms, according to TechCrunch. Compound Labs, which can be found by visiting Compound.Finance, was founded in 2017. The VC firms that reportedly invested in Compound include Coinbase’s venture fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and Bain Capital Ventures. .Finance is a new gTLD domain name extension operated by Donuts.

I think this news is notable for two reasons.

The lack of a .com domain name did not stop the company from getting this large funding round. It would seem that owning the matching Compound.com domain name was not deemed critical to its launch. Assuming a deal to acquire the domain name has not been reached, it would seem that the startup is cool with proceeding sans the matching .com domain name. Having a major funding round publicly announced can make the matching .com domain name more expensive. For what its worth, DomainIQ values it at $156,000.

The company is branded as

No Preferential Treatment for .App Domain Names

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Google has repeatedly stated that new gTLD domain names do not receive any type of boost over .com domain names or domain names with other extensions. In a 2016 Google Hangout that Barry Schwartz hosted with Google’s John Mueller, it was stated that the keywords in the new domain extensions do not count for ranking purposes (Google supposedly ignores them).

Despite Google’s repeated reminders of this, people still seem to speculate that the opposite could be true, and that the new gTLD extensions could have a positive impact in search.

Google recently launched the .App domain name extension to much fanfare. As of yesterday, the company has sold over 210,000 .App domain names, as reported by Google engineer Ben McIlwain on Twitter last night. Without a doubt, this is one of the most successful launches for a new domain name extension.

Since the launch, I have seen

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