One of the top news stories the past several weeks is the Coronavirus outbreak that has been making people sick throughout the world. Officially known as COVID-19, the novel coronavirus has sickened over 80,000 people and killed nearly 3,000 people. The continuing spread of the coronavirus is a scary situation that seems to be getting worse each day. It has also caused concern for people around the world who are searching online to learn about coronavirus and want to protect themselves from becoming infected.
I was curious to see who owns Coronavirus.com. I can see the domain name is registered to an entity called NameFind Cayman Islands LTD. As mentioned in an article yesterday, this company is associated with GoDaddy, so effectively, GoDaddy owns Coronavirus.com.
GoDaddy did not acquire the domain name to capitalize on search traffic or anything related to this illness. The domain name had been owned by Frank Schilling’s portfolio company, Name Administration, and GoDaddy acquired it when it acquired Uniregistry assets in a deal announced earlier this month. Name Administration has owned Coronavirus.com since at least 2007 (according to DomainTools), long before the current or recent outbreaks.
For quite some time, Coronavirus.com was parked with advertising links related to illnesses. There was also a banner across the top of the landing page announcing that the domain name is available for sale. That has now changed.
Within the last day or so, Coronavirus.com began forwarding to a page within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website. Anyone who types in Coronavirus.com will land on one of the most authoritative websites with information about the virus, details about protection from the virus, and travel advice. I couldn’t guess how much traffic this domain name receives, but I am sure it is quite a bit. Instead of monetizing the domain name, GoDaddy is utilizing it for the greater good.
There is nothing wrong with owning, monetizing, or selling a generic domain name like Coronavirus.com. In fact, I think Coronavirus.com is quite valuable. Kudos to GoDaddy for using this asset to help others who are looking for information about this coronavirus outbreak. It is a valuable domain name being used to provide invaluable information to visitors.