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Yahoo Buys Me.Me for MeMe.Yahoo.com


According to a press release that hit the wires this morning, Yahoo has acquired the domain name Me.me from the country of Montenegro’s .me ccTLD domain registry. The terms of the sale weren’t disclosed, but Sedo handled the transaction through its domain broker Jeff Gabriel.

Yahoo plans to use Me.me to enhance the brand and brand recognition of its social networking site meme.yahoo.com. Yahoo has been making a bit of news in the domain space of late, with some recent sales of domain names like MusicVideos.com, LookUp.com, and FreeComputers.com. In addition, Yahoo also sold Contests.com at a domain auction several months ago.

Yahoo does not own the domain name Meme.com, a domain name owned by a software company called The Meme Factory. Only time will tell if Yahoo decides to rebrand as Me.me instead of meme.yahoo.com, which could then make the Meme.com domain name all the more valuable. That would also seem to be good news for domain owners who have invested in good .me domain names (disclaimer: my companies do not own any .me domain names).

Yahoo does seem to have a tendency to use its primary Yahoo.com domain name for its projects like Kickstart, Shine, HotJobs, and others that all redirect to their own Yahoo subdomains.

It’s You! No, it’s Not Yahoo – it’s My Friend, Gregg Ostrick


ItsYou.comTechcrunch is reporting today that Yahoo is going to spend a whopping $100,000,000 on a new marketing campaign centered around the catchphrase, “It’s You!” In typical Yahoo fashion, they did not spend any of the $100 MILLION to acquire the rights to the domain name ItsYou.com, which is owned by my friend Gregg Ostrick (and has been registered since 2002 – back when Yahoo was… well… you know).

Now Yahoo is heavily promoting, “it’s you” to millions of people around the world in a variety of different channels. Of course, they are still directing people to Yahoo.com, but people tend to add .com to everything, and I would expect “it’s you” to be no different than any others. Well, the difference is that Yahoo will be spending millions and millions of dollars on the catchphrase it’s you, and they didn’t even buy this domain name – just in case.

Yahoo is another company whose stock I am very glad to have sold.

Yahoo Sells MusicVideos.com, LookUp.com, and FreeComputers.com to True Magic

Yahoo!In a $250,000 deal that took place on Sedo last week, Yahoo sold the domain name MusicVideos.com to Merlin Kauffman’s True Magic, LLC. According to some analytics that I have seen, MusicVideos.com gets considerable traffic – nearly 1,000 unique visitors a day according to Compete, despite the fact that it hasn’t been promoted in quite some time. In the week since acquiring the domain name, Kauffman’s company already completed another deal and re-sold it.

True Magic also recently bought LookUp.com from Yahoo for $17,500 and FreeComputers.com for $13,500. His company plans to develop LookUp.com into a resource for reverse phone lookups, people lookups, background checks, etc. This is the perfect domain for these plans. According to Kauffman, his company is “always on the lookout for opportunities to buy and broker premium domain names.”

From what I have heard through the grapevine, Yahoo is looking to sell other domain names as well. It’s a bit surprising that the publicly traded company (YHOO on Nasdaq) is selling great domain names like these, but I suppose if they have no plans for the domain names, they might as well raise some capital.   Sedo acted as the domain brokerage for these deals.

As you may recall, Yahoo also sold Contests.com for $380,000 at the Domain Roundtable conference auction in June of 2009. That domain name was acquired by National A-1 Advertising.

All of these names were registered to a company called DNStination, Inc at the time of sale. However, as the Whois history tool shows, Yahoo was the registrant – MusicVideos.com, Lookup.com, and FreeComputers.com. As an FYI, Oddpost.com is a domain name that was registered to Yahoo and then switched to DNStination, Inc at around the same time as the others, despite the fact that Yahoo bought the company.

Google & Yahoo Appeal for More Online Drug Advertising

Executives from Google, Yahoo, and dozens of pharmaceutical companies are in Washington DC today appealing to the Food and Drug Administration to expand online drug advertising. Although drug companies spend huge sums of money on marketing and advertising in media outlets such as television and print, they hardly spend money online.

According to a Yahoo Finance article where this news was reported, pharmaceutical companies “spent more than $4.3 billion on patient-targeted advertisements last year, though online marketing represented about 3 percent of that amount.”

If their budgets for online marketing grew to the same percentage as most other advertisers, this would be a boon to web publishers who would be able to display drug-related advertisements with their Adsense accounts, and parked domain names could have more competitive PPC bids.

Don’t get your hopes up yet though. According to experts, the FDA isn’t expected to make policy changes until 2011.

Microsoft / Yahoo Deal Increases Value of Generic Domain Names

MicroHooThe Yahoo and Microsoft on-again off-again partnership/buyout discussions have been all over the financial and Internet news for a while, so I don’t need to chronicle those here. Yesterday afternoon, news broke that Yahoo and Microsoft were not only talking once again, but a deal was imminent. This morning it was announced that a deal between the two companies had been completed – finally.

According to Reuters, the upshot of the deal is that Microsoft’s Bing search engine will handle search duties on all Yahoo-owned websites, and Yahoo will be responsible for selling the premium search ads. This means that Bing will now be the search engine for nearly 30% of all searches, up from 8% in June according to a report from Comscore. This is big news for owners of generic domain names.

A few weeks ago, I posted an article stating that Microsoft’s Bing search engine seems to love developed generic domain names. I listed a small sample of search results for generic domain names on Google and on Bing, and they clearly ranked much better on Bing. While I was doing my small sample, noted domain investor Edwin Hayward was doing the same comparison with similar results, and the white paper he wrote shares his results.I didn’t report Yahoo’s search results, but they were somewhere between Bing and Google for the most part.

This is very good news for domain investors, because it means if a company has a generic domain name, it should rank higher for almost 30% of web searches rather than just 8%, making these domain names more desired and valuable. I won’t speculate about what will happen with PPC payouts because domain parking is a very small % of 1% of my total revenue, so I will let other experts provide commentary on that side of things.

I believe this is good news for owners of generic domain names.

Bing’s Gain on Google Good for Domainers

Microsoft BingI’ve been reading many articles about Microsoft’s $80-$100 million marketing campaign and about how Bing’s search market share continues to grow. If this trend continues even when the marketing campaign ends, this could be very good news for generic .com domain investors.

Based on a small sampling of searches I tested, it seems that Bing gives generic domain names higher rankings than Google or Yahoo. It’s the case with my websites, Burbank.com, Lowell.com, Newburyport.com, and Torah.com. It’s also the case with a number of other generic .com domain names that I checked in both search engines.

Bing’s market share is still very low, so the impact is minor. In fact, I highly, highly doubt Bing will overtake Google in the near future. However, if Bing does grow and eats into Google’s share, and/or if Microsoft buys Yahoo’s search business and the generic domain name rankings of Bing transfers to Yahoo, we could see more companies valuing generic domain names for their SERP value.

Here’s a comparison of the rankings of a small number of websites with generic domain names in Google and Bing:

Casino.com: – Google: 6 – Bing: 1 for Casino
Burbank.com: – Google: 5 – Bing: 2 for Burbank
Lowell.com: – Google: 10 – Bing: 2 for Lowell
Newburyport.com: – Google: 8 – Bing: 2 for Newburyport
Mortgage.com: – Google: 9 – Bing: 1 for Mortgage
Soccer.com: – Google: 1 – Bing: 1 for Soccer
DogSupplies.com: – Google: 3 – Bing: 1 for Dog Supplies
Airfare.com: – Google: 7 – Bing: 1 for Airfare
Fly.com: – Google: 7 – Bing: 2 for Fly
Chairs.com: – Google: NR – Bing: 3 for Chairs
Torah.com: – Google: 20 – Bing: 8 for Torah
HomeFashions.com: – Google: 7 – Bing: 2 for Home Fashions

One thing that is especially good is that most of the websites above wouldn’t be recognized by consumers as the brand leader. In the Lowell market for example, most people would probably consider the Sun newspaper to be the market leader. Likewise, in the pet marketplace, people would probably choose Pet Smart or Pet Co as the market leader.

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