IDN Domain Names

IDN Domain Registration Contest Ends Tomorrow at 9am

The IDN domain name registration contest sponsored by IDN Tools and will end tomorrow, Thursday, March 25th promptly at 9am EST. All entries must be posted in the comment section of the blog by then, or they will not count.

The newly registered domain name with the highest footprint will win $150. The second place winner will receive $100, and the third place winner will receive $50. Full contest details can be found on the contest article page.

There have been a number of submissions for the contest, and I believe a number of submissions will be made in the closing hours of the contest. Don’t wait until the last moment, as I can not be responsible for slow server time, disconnects, or other site errors that could cause issues with last minute submissions! If you do suspect your post is being spam filtered, email me : DomainNames at gmail.

Good luck to all!!

IDN Domain Contest

Domain Registration Contest: Win $150!

IDN Domain Contest

IDN Tools and are co-sponsoring a IDN domain contest beginning today and ending in two weeks from today. All you have to do to win is register the IDN domain name with the highest footprint (explained below) and you will win $150. The second place winner will receive $100, and the third place winner will receive $50.

The domain’s footprint = average CPC x Google exact match search term (as determined by Google Adwords Keyword Tool as of 9 a.m. on the contest end date). Here is an example of how the highest footprint will be determined: ฟรี.com ( in Thai).   The broad global monthly search volume is 7,480,000; and the exact global monthly search volume is 2,900 x $0.43 (CPC) = 1,247 (footprint).

Here are the contest rules:

  • All submissions are FREE
  • Submissions must be made in the comments section of this post announcing the contest
  • Dot com submissions only
  • IDN name submissions only (must have a real punycode equivalent)
  • Fresh hand registered submissions only (no use of Snapnames or a drop catcher, handreg must have been made during the contest period)
  • Contest ends at 9 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, March 25th – All submissions must be time stamped by this time or they will not count.
  • No trademark names

*Rules subject to interpretation by consensus of Me (Elliot) and the IDNTools team (Gary Males and Aaron Krawitz).   The top 3 domain names with the highest footprint will be the winners. Although someone can submit as many entries as they would like, a person is only eligible for one prize. In the event of a tie, the prize will be split between the co-winners.

To determine the CPC, visit the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and use the dropdown “Choose Columns to Display” you can display CPC easily without having an Adwords account.   You can also see the Google Exact Match Global search volume by using the Keyword Tool.

IDN Series Questions & Answers

A couple of weeks ago,   Aaron Krawitz and Gary Males wrote three guest posts on my blog about IDN domain names and investing in IDN domain names: Diversify Your Domain Portfolio: How IDNs are Registered in Punycode, Translating Domain Names, and Our Story: Aliasing and Times Square.

I followed these articles up with questions that I have about investing in IDNs, and Aaron and Gary have been kind enough to supply the answers. If you have additional questions, feel free to add them to the comment section, and I am sure they will be answered soon enough.

– What is the best way to monetize IDN domain names, and do you find the RPC to be in the same vicinity as non-IDN domain names?

Buying and flipping IDNs is the fastest way to make the most money off of IDNs, and the same can be said for ASCII/Latin domains.

As for parking, the IDN parking industry is not yet that mature, and as such there is plenty of room for improvement, innovation and increased competition.   But it is a big misconception that parking IDNs isn’t profitable at all.   As previously noted here, depending on the keyword and whether the underlying country is wealthy, there are payouts to be had of $5 to $7 per click.

As such, most people park their IDNs.   Namedrive has particularly good landing pages as they not only serve native language ads but also translate the entire landing page, which includes categories and menu options. There are also many affiliate programs out there that cater to foreign niches but I don’t see them used that often.

– Which will be more valuable the or the IDN.ccTLD?

It’s too early to call this one. But the answer no doubt will differ between markets and between ccTLDs.
In some countries, dot com is widely accepted and the ccTLD shunned, in other languages it is the opposite.
The questions is like predicting whether the dynamic will be closer to [English].com vs [English].us or [German].com vs [German].de, and it is too early to tell.
Personally, I have always advocated betting on both horses, and if your bets are hedged you can’t go wrong.

– What’s the best way to sell IDN domain names?

The majority of domainer to domainer sales occur at IDNForums.

I’ve personally been involved in brokering to non-domainer investors as well, which does not differ from selling ASCII/Latin domains.

We launched to bring some confidence to the process of buying IDNs, as we certify the translation of an IDN by using native speakers we work closely with.

I’m not aware of any mass brokering exercises in contacting native end users, but no doubt it is happening.   I think most people are waiting for awarenes of IDNs to peak.

– Do you know of any domain investors who have successfully developed IDN domain names, and can you share a few examples?

The most public example of a successfully developed IDN is a Thai language domain, you can read an in-depth case study here that explains how this site generated 68 million page views:

– Is there a website that tracks IDN domain sales, what are the top tier IDN names selling for these days?

We try to manually track the publicly announced IDN sales here.

Of late a lot of top sales have been dominated by German language IDNs, those Germans certainly love their IDNs!

– How much are the best IDN domain names selling for, and are most of the bigger sales end user sales or domainer to domainer?

Whether you’re looking at DNJournal sale prices or emailing the owners of top IDNs, the best names are selling for six figures.   From my experience, the bigger sales are domainer to non-domainer investor. This makes sense in today’s economic climate where there is a lot of money on the sidelines looking for alternative investments (other than stocks or real estate).

– When you receive an inquiry on a IDN domain name in a different language, how do you overcome the language barrier?

It always helps if you have native speaking contacts to assist you of course, but in the absence of that I simply use Google Translate, and I suspect so does the other party.

Tools such as Google Translate are just fine for translating non-English to English paragraphs, and you will more often than not get a clear idea as to what is being said.

I am also often surprised how many non-English speakers can read English decently, but can’t speak or write it.

– What needs to happen to make IDN domain names more of a mainstream investment vehicle?

The short answer is “more traffic”.

The longer solution has always been a 3 part answer.

1) Compatible browsers.   The last mainstream browser (Internet Explorer) became IDN compatible when IE7 released in 2007 – so to a large extent this is a non-issue.

2) IDN.IDN (or full IDN as it’s come to be known). ICANNs efforts on IDNing the part to the right of the dot are moving at high speed, although it should be noted that there are procedural hurdles ahead, and speed is all relative

3) Awareness. The launch of new IDN ccTLDs and the publicity that will be generated locally on the ground should correct this.

– Do domain investors need to rely on domainer to domainer sales to make money with IDN domain names?

In the short term, until the above issues 2 and 3 are resolved, the answer for most people will be yes.

Aaron Krawitz of IDNBlog and Gary Males of IDNDemystified, are guest authors of this IDN series on ElliotsBlog.   Aaron and Gary co-own   IDNDroplist, IDNTools and IDNNewsletter.

Our Story: Aliasing and Times Square

Starting backwards, you’d be stupid to put your name on a company and in a global press release if you didn’t believe in the concept.   When we took out an IDNTools ad on the iconic Reuters billboard in Times Square it was a sign of our confidence in what is to come.   Similarly, when we issued an international press release (link here) briefly explaining why IDNs will be the next big opportunity, we did so proudly with facts to back up our assertions.

So what are the facts?   IDNs are any Internationalized Domain Names that require the use of foreign characters, such as 溧阳.com.   The billion plus population in China actually prefers to speak Chinese, type Chinese and read Chinese. Now that they can register Chinese domain names, aka IDNs, they have been taking advantage of the opportunity and will continue to do so.   The same is true for Japan, Russia, and many other countries.   Unfortunately, IDNs became available after the domain rush was well underway, and as such many domainers and businesses still don’t realize that’s can be registered.

But why would you want to register a URL that starts in one language and ends in English (i.e. 溧阳.com)?   This is certainly not fluid to jump from one language to another.   The retort is twofold.   First, Chuck Gomes of Verisign announced that will essentially be “aliased” to   IDN.IDN.   This means that the owner of (Chinese).com will also be the owner of (Chinese).(com-in-Chinese).   There is much value in having an IDN on both sides of the dot.

Even in the interim, before aliasing, domains are precious.   After all, .com is a worldwide brand and it is easy for natives to switch between a native language (for the IDN domain) and English (for the .com extension).   In addition, the search volume for an IDN, as measured by the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, is many multiples of the traffic can be bought for a similarly priced ASCII (aka English .com) domain.   For instance, in IDN can likely be bought for the price of (insert adjective) in ASCII (English .com), and the IDN would be a wiser purchase in terms of having higher search volume and less competition.

If you wonder, why others aren’t buying yet?   They are.   The volume of public weekly sales on IDNForums continues to increase exponentially, and if you keep a close watch on the whois, you’ll see many top tier terms have changed ownership over the last few months, indicating stealth acquisitions. Interest in dropping domains is also taking off as highlighted by the steep increase in subscribers to our IDNDroplist.

No doubt this is a complex niche, and a new reader must have many questions.   So ask them.   Ask them in the comments, email us or Elliot, and we’ll address them in the next post.

Next post: IDN Q&A

Aaron Krawitz of IDNBlog and Gary Males of IDNDemystified, are guest authors of this IDN series on ElliotsBlog.   Aaron and Gary co-own   IDNDroplist, IDNTools and IDNNewsletter.

Translating Domain Names

Using Google Translate to translate English to [another language] is the # 1 mistake that all newcomers make. This is a telltale sign of one’s lack of experience. If you crawl back through 5 years of IDNForums threads, you’ll see this mistake time and time again when new members post an appraisal. Mainstream machine translators are often junk for individual words, and a high % of the time they are wrong. Autotranslators are really only good for translating sentences/paragraphs so that you get the rough idea of the context. So avoid machine translations, though they are simple and tempting. Just don’t do it, especially if you are a newbie and don’t yet appreciate the odds that the translation is wrong.

So what is the best way to get a translation? The best way to verify names is to start with a list of foreign terms that you believe to be the correct translation. Then either use a native colleague or use a foreign dictionary. Many foreign dictionaries are free, online, and are just as easy to use as autotranslators. You just need to know where to find them.

To get you started, the gold standard for Japanese online dictionaries is Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC dictionary. The beauty of this tool is that it reveals the part of speech (i.e. noun, adjective, verb), and whether the word is Kanji or Katakana (which is a transliteration, and sometimes not the prime translation). My rule of thumb is that when a domain I want to buy is selling for $400+ I will contact a native translation agency to verify the translation for me, as the extra $10-$20 is worth it for a substantial purchase. Alternatively there are many native speaking members at IDNForums who will often assist. Networking pays dividends in the IDN community.

Next post: Our Story: Aliasing and Times Square

Previois Post: Diversify Your Domain Portfolio: How IDNs are Registered in Punycode

Aaron Krawitz of IDNBlog and Gary Males of IDNDemystified, are guest authors of this IDN series on ElliotsBlog.   Aaron and Gary co-own   IDNDroplist, IDNTools and IDNNewsletter.

Diversify Your Domain Portfolio: How IDNs are Registered in Punycode

You might have heard that people in other countries like to type, search, and create content in their native languages.   Investing in Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) is a way to capitalize on that trend, and for anyone who wants to diversify a domain portfolio, buying a number of IDNs is a must.

I am not fluent in any foreign languages, (though I come close with Hebrew).   How can I register IDNs in large countries such as China, which has more people than any other country in the world?   Is it a problem than I am not a native speaker and that I do not have Chinese characters on my keyboard?

It is actually fairly simple.   All you need is a good, free online dictionary and a punycode converter.

Step 1: Translation
If you use a reliable foreign dictionary and translate “Liyang”, the Chinese city,   from English to Chinese you will get 溧阳.com

Step 2: Punycode Conversion
Then if you want to register this name, many registrars require you to register it using the punycode representation of these characters.   If you copy and paste 溧阳.com into the IDNTools punycode converter, you can just press the convert button and you will get the punycode representation of this word

Step 3: Registration
Then go register   As a result, if someone types in 溧阳.com into a browser, you would own that page and can develop it like any other.   Even better is that IDN keywords are not as competitive so if one were to do SEO, you would be in a great position for the valuable keyword “溧阳”.

Step 4: Bulk Registration
Now that you understand the basics, you can still hand register some great IDNs, and the best way to check for availability is in bulk.   Pull together a few hundred English keywords.   Translate. Punycode convert.   And availability check.

A few hurdles still exist, though they can be leapt over.   First, you are bound to make some translation mistakes as some dictionaries aren’t always accurate.   We’ll show you in the next post how to use the best dictionaries, and when to use natives to minimize mistakes.   We’ll also explain that the question “why would anyone register a foreign name, then dot an English extension?” is resolved by .com being aliased to foreign extensions.

Next post: Translating Domain Names

Aaron Krawitz of IDNBlog and Gary Males of IDNDemystified, are guest authors of this IDN series on ElliotsBlog.   Aaron and Gary co-own   IDNDroplist, IDNTools and IDNNewsletter.

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