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.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Ok..maybe I’m missing something. On the one hand it should be “Google exact match search term” but the global monthly search volume is not 7,480,000 is more like 2900 searches.

  2. This is kind of obvious, specially if we are talking IDN domains, but here it goes for those new to foreign languages domaining: 🙂

    Bear in mind that on Google Adwords Keyword Tool using different search results tailored for different Contry + Language combinations will, of course, give you different footprint values. (So, USA+English may not be the best result).

    Kind regards from Mexico City.

  3. This is fun! Okay, here it is:


    Portugese for “dynamic.”

    Footprint, according to Elliot’s example calculation, above, is:
    dinâmicas 1 – 3 $0.27 91 135,000

    = 0.27 X 135,000 = 36,450

    It was fun . . . I expect to be trumped – go to it! 🙂

  4. @Jeff – I’ll leave that to you in the comments 🙂

    @Steve M – No, but if your “footprint” beats the Thai example posted, there is a good chance that many people at IDNForums or IDNNewsletter (myself included) will be clamoring to buy it from you.

  5. @ Aaron, you’re welcome, I’ll post a link on my blog as well.

    Elliot corrected specs from “broad” GAKT to “Exact.”

    The broad global monthly search volume is 135,000; and the exact global monthly search volume is 8,100 x $0.27 (CPC) = 2,187 (footprint). Beat the Thai example! That leaves it wide open, if Louise can find a site which beats “free” in Thai, there’s terms out there smaller than, “free,” which also do the trick! Just please keep it clean, folks – thanx!

  6. @Louise “…keep it clean…”

    Agree, subtle use of masking any adult terms with * etc should be used when replying to this post…

    .. but remember, that some of the highest searched terms are in the adult niche (no surprise there) – but their ave CPC is usually very low.. which will bring the footprint down. Likewise there will be many unregistered long tail financial terms with low exact search but with ave CPC in the 10’s of dollars.

    Should be interesting to see what people dig up.

  7. I’m sure people are saving their digs for the last day, but we do need to keep this thing going.

    Anyway, here’s today’s dig for me.

    Means actor in Swedish
    2,400 exact searches @ $2.00 = 4,800 footprint.

    [I haven’t had this much fun since the IDN traffic tsunami that hit back in 2007. Whaaat?]

  8. @ epsilon, Wow! Congratulations on beating me – thought I my entry might be hard to follow since it beats “free” in Thai! Great blog linked to on your entry:

    Right now, you and I are in the #1 and #2 positions, respectively! If noone else enters, you win $150; I win $100 – not bad for a fun contest!

  9. Here is my first submission (btw can we submit more than one?)

    gadż “gadgets” polish
    gadżety avg cpc=0.57 exact search=22200

    @Jeff its very tough to find a .com with a large footprint.

    btw a great resource to find names 🙂

  10. @ Louise, I’m pretty sure someone will come up with a Japanese reg that will blow both our entries off the chart 😉

    Moonies (short for IDN investors) can be a sneaky and frugal bunch. Most will wait until the end to post their finds for these two reasons.

    a) Be the last with the highest footprint, and
    b) Be within the grace deletion time-frame of the domain.

    Watch this space…

  11. found one that shows available at IDNTools availability check w/ a 420,000 footprint, then when i checked it at 101domain it said unavailable … 🙁

    nice contest

    @Aaron Krawitz, when you said, “No, but if your “footprint” beats the Thai example posted, there is a good chance that many people at IDNForums or IDNNewsletter (myself included) will be clamoring to buy it from you.”

    … did you mean based on the original example using broad match or the revised example using exact match? i’m feeling like there would not be any clamor over a 1,247 footprint …

  12. @Elliot awesome exposure for IDNs thanks. Your blog is always a great read!

    @Mike most likely a variant block. Here is way to check to see if the variant is blocked this dictionary gives you both simplified and traditional chinese. Plug in both and see if you get “no match for domain” — variant block)

    If you don’t have heart problems check
    投資 (Investment in Japanese/Trad Chinese @ IDNtools, it shows as available. I believe they are checking the whois info, no registrant –> so it shows as available, but the Chinese variant is taken 投资)
    check the whois for 投資.com and it will show “No match for domain “XN–ORU425G.COM”.

  13. thanks Tim that is likely the problem. did not get a ‘no match for domain’ error anywhere though. i checked the word in the dictionary you referenced, then took both the simplified and traditional variant and entered them in to 101domain bulk check, both showed taken. then entered both into IDNTools and both showed available. did not get that specific error message though…

  14. @ Aaron, I wrote a blurb about IDN on my blog – would you check?

    Okay, I have to up the ante! This is an expensive game! Or maybe I’m becoming an IDN investor!


    digitální fotoaparáty 1 – 3 $0.53 49,500

    Footprint = 49,500 X 0.53 = 26,235

  15. @Louise way to go! 🙂

    @Mike try a different registrar such as dynadot or moniker
    you would get the “no match for domain” when checking the whois of a variant that is blocked.

  16. @Mike – If you want to sell your IDN after you handreg it, to clarify, I think that almost any one word .com with a broad search over 500,000 and with a “footprint” above the Thai example that is in Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Thai or Hebrew would be clamored for 🙂

    @Louise – Thanks for blogging about the contest.

  17. Aaron, thanx for posting reply on my blog! Can IDN be JUST to the right of the dot? IDN’s now refer mostly to the LEFT of the dot, with a generic or country code extension to the right. But IDN’s will become available to the right . . . could one have an English word to the left of the dot, with an IDN to the RIGHT of the dot? That would be considered IDN, still.

    BTW, I registered café It’s French for espresso – couldn’t resist! But it gets only 1848 footprint, but it’s cute, so I registered it!

  18. @Louise – It looks like you’re doing pretty well for yourself. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you’re already an IDNForums member 🙂

    re: our IDN.IDN ccTLD Fast Track discussion –

    The dot IDN ccTLDs that are being introduced as part of the IDN ccTLD fast track process have not yet been officially approved, so while some countries such as Russia already said that “English.РФ” domains will not exist, nothing is official yet.

  19. @ Louise, that last Hebrew reg means “Ministry of Education” (or literally “office of the educator) so its no surprise that the footprint is high. Are there any TM issues?

  20. You know what? Throw it out, if you don’t like it! My conscience says there’s no trademark issue. If you bring up names with certain provinces or companies, they will MAKE an issue, because they think they could use that name themselves! . . . My little portfolio is clean, with no trademark infringements. My policy is to turn over the domain name, if there is a dispute! I’ll contact the Ministry of Education in Israel, and offer it no charge . . . How come the CPC is 64 cents, then there’s no Adwords ads when the term is entered into Google?

  21. Hi, Just sent the Ministrer of Education in Israel – Gideon Sa`ar – an email, offering משרדהחינוך.com an no charge!

    How come you didn’t announce the contest on the front page of your site? This post is slipping down, so people may not find it easily . . . Feel bad if I win too easily, the prize is alot of $$!!

  22. Great idea. Thank you for the fun. I haven’t done any hand-regging in months and I am amazed at how much value is still available.

    Will you be going by the Global Exact Search volume only? I have a few where the Local Exact Search Volume is greater than the Global. This makes no sense but that is what Google is reporting.

  23. Clotho : Global Volume is the monthly average while Local is the approx. volume of the last month, geotargeted. If you have Local > Global it just means that your geo volume of last month exceeded the general monthly average.

    My submission for the contest

    interpretaciondesueñ [interpretation of dreams]
    footprint around 99K

  24. @ Clotho, interesting question. I, too, am curious to hear the answer!

    @ Squirrel – Congrats! That is a great domain name. Do you think you’d have any problems selling it? Not likely, with a footrprint like that!

    Right now, I am in 2nd place with 26,235 for digitálnífotoapará and Tim is in 3rd. But it’s not over!

  25. Thanx for contest – I feel rich, not from a prize, but I learned about the world around me! It’s moving, I almost feel like crying! I got to know the cultures – what people search for! is available in some languages, but not Korean, Chinese, and Japanese, for instance.

    In Greece, people aren’t online researching the weather before they go out. But our Hungarian mankind brethren are glued to the computer, and won’t go out unless they check the weather forecast first.

    That is why, időjárás előrejelzés Hungarian for, “weather forecast,” is a popular search, leaving a 96480 footprint.
    időjáráselőrejelzé , my last entry to the contest.

    Thanx for contest! Laters! 😀

  26. My entries are:

    企业邮箱申请.com Mail application in Simplified Chinese.

    翻訳英語.com which means translate English in Japanese. Search 翻訳 英語

    自動車保険ランキング.com which means Car insurance ranking in Japanese. Search 自動車保険 ランキング

    転職相談.com Outplacement counseling in Japanese

    わきが治療.com Odor treatment in Japanese

    自己破産相談.com Bankruptcy counseling in Japanese. Search 自己破産 相談

    Thanks for the fun!

  27. Jose, unfortunately in Chinese no one would search for ‘美容整形男性’.

    The more correct way of saying it would be 男性美容整形

    Google adwords for Chinese is pretty flawed. Baidu Index shows no searches.

  28. Mistake in above post. Meant Japanese in the above post. Grammatically would be the same 男性美容整形 is the correct version.

    男性美容整形 gets Overture, 美容整形男性 does not. Adwords tool is wrong.

  29. Hancock, 美容整形男性 does have a historical ovt score of 270.

    I agree that Google’s keyword tool is flawed. But then, so is OVT. I always check both to be careful.

    The problem of Google’s keyword tool is that it often gives same score for phrase A B and B A where both A and B are words.

  30. BTW, I don’t know if grammatically correct domains always have higher search volumes. I am a native Japanese speaker and I’d not be surprised if 美容整形男性 has more search volume than 男性美容整形 as Google indicates.

    Likewise, Clotho’s 翻訳英語 looks odd to me, as in Japanese, verb (and noun that stems from verb) should follow noun. But it doesn’t mean Japanese people don’t put 翻訳 英語 in the search bar and press enter at all.

  31. Congrats Jose & Clotho nice names 🙂

    here is one, but its not the stratosphere you guys posted.
    flüge wien Vienna flights

  32. I get 16.82 for 結婚相談所 大阪.

    Ryu, I agree that 翻訳英語 seemed a bit odd. I would expect 英語 翻訳 to be more popular and indeed it returns a higher local search volume at 74,000. This is why I put down translate English instead of English Translation in the description.

    I am still surprised at how many great names are still waiting to be claimed. There are still gold nuggets lying on the ground. A large footprint isn’t the only indication of a great name. I just registered フローリスト.com which means Florist. Without doubt 花屋 (Flower Shop) is the preferred search term but フローリスト.com is still pretty decent. フローリスト.jp was registered by a Japanese native in 2001 and 花屋.jp was registered by a Japanese native in 2007.

    フローリスト.com isn’t going to win anything in this contest but this one is pretty decent. I am pretty sure it is correct as well. 男性整形.com is my latest entry.

  33. @ Ruy, What is the url of the GAKT? Could it be the US site is not quite synchronized with other sites? I see the photo Google is Portugese. On the English Google which serves the US, the average CPC for Osaka Marriage Agency is: $6.33 – great domain, in any case!

  34. @Louise

    If you look at the top he has the Keyword tool set to Japanese and Japan which would be correct for a Japanese term like [結婚相談所 大阪] Osaka Marriage Agency.

  35. Okay – I get it! *blushing* IDN’s are valuable, based on what footprint applies to the country . . . That makes my first entry, dinâmicas,com, more valuable, though the footprint is similar. The list of exact matches scrolls down halfway for Brazil!

    digitálnífotoapará has 49,500 exact keyword matches in Czech Republic, but no [0] ads – is it worth nothing? Maybe it’s worth something, because people search on it . . . but no Czech developers purchase those keyword ads . . . In the US, the CPC is 53 cents.

    This should have been spelled out in the rules – I’m a newbie!

  36. Elliot’s example: 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).

    bases CPC on the United States – which is it?

    Thank you.

  37. We are still verified the winners, so please be patient, but after a quick initial review it looks like the winners are as follows:

    1. Jose 美容整形男性.com
    2. Clotho 男性整形.com
    3. Ruy 結婚相談所 大阪.com

    Nice job guys, and to all participants.

  38. Hi Louise

    I see the dilemma. The Keyword tool returns similar results for CPC most of the time whether the language and country is set or not. In the case of 結婚相談所 大阪.com The difference is dramatic but this was not specified in the rules.

    This contest was meant to be fun and build awareness so they tried to keep it simple I think. Some good points have been made about data mining IDN’s and the steps you should take to make sure you have a good name. Normally when working with the keyword tool I would suggest setting the language and country appropriately. Also as Ryu mentioned it is a good idea further verify the term against other databases such as Overture or Baidu depending on what is appropriate. Other steps I personally take are to put the term in “” and see how many results are returned in the appropriate search engine. I would use for Chinese names and for Japanese ones for example. Also at the same time you can check the images tag to see if the images displayed match the domain.

    Your dinâmicas domain returns 1,430,000 in quotes in Google so i think you have a real winner there. I think in a couple years time I would prefer to be the owner of in Portuguese than most of the junk I see on the English domain forums today.

    I get 60,500 local searches at .56 for digitální fotoaparáty so you may want to consider that one. I think it is still very good. Images of cameras and 2.350,000 returned results in Google too. Even if it didn’t have any CPC sometimes a name is still good to get. We are still a bit ahead of the curve so the advertising will increase over time. Many names I registered 4 years ago had no CPC and are now over $1.00

  39. @Louise
    I get several ads for digitální fotoaparáty on &

    none on go with the local search engine.

    and it was meant to be fun although everyone wants to win (:
    congrats again Jose

  40. Hello

    For the record I didn’t use any automation or script to find the winning domain name. It was never a drop, it was never searched on

    I soon realized this was all about CPC, since finding domains with more than 100k exact monthly searches is almost impossible now-a-days. So, I ordered my Japanese IDN domains by CPC, and entered the top ones on the Google tool. Terms like データ復旧, クレジット, 終身保険 or 整形美容. From this last one, I found the winner. Took me 15 min. I think I got lucky, that’s all.

    Thanks all.

  41. Congrats, Jose, Clotho, and Ruy!

    @ Clotho, I agree – we all won!

    Every domain entered was fun for me to check:

    dinâmicas – Portugese

    US Footprint: 2187
    Brazil Footprint: 2754

    [skådespelare] actor – Swedish

    Footprint: 5760

    gadzety gadgets – Polish

    Footprint: 11,888

    Digital Partner – Chinese

    Footprint: 9,599

    digitální fotoaparáty – Czech

    Footprint Czech – no cpc
    Footprint: 26,253

    café expresso – French

    Footprint: 1,848

    携帯電話価格 – Phone Prices – Japanese

    Footprint: 15,556
    Japan Footprint: 13,575

    Interpretation of Dreams – interpretacion de sueños – Spanish

    Footprint: 95,700
    Spain Footprint: 92,400
    Argentina: 104,500
    Venezuela: 111,100
    Puerto Rico: 84,700
    Peru: 59,400
    Mexico: 100,100
    Columbia: 80,300
    Chili: 70,400
    Canada: 96,800
    Brazil: 86,900
    Portugal: 102,300

    Jose Augusto
    Male Chinese Plastic Surgery – Chinese

    Footprint: 878,460

    Mail Application – Simplified Chinese

    Footprint: 392,700

    Translate English in Japanese – Japanese

    Footprint: 153,065

    Car Insurance Ranking – Japanese

    Footprint: 53,262

    Outplacement Counseling – Japanese

    Footprint 44,022

    Odor Treatment – Japanese

    Footprint 36,960

    Bankruptcy Counseling – Japanese

    Footprint 24,408

    flüge wien – German

    Footprint: 116,160

    Ruy Redin
    Osaka Marriage Agency

    Footprint: 93,644
    Japan Footprint: 192,104

    – this is better than school! Thanx for feedback everyone, I saved the page to my desktop.

  42. Nice work Louise!

    It didn’t take you very long to get the hang of this. With the tools we have today it is pretty easy to find great IDNs even if you don’t speak the language. As you can see there is still much value waiting to be discovered.

    I like the café domain too.

    Do you have an account at If not you should stop by sometime.

  43. @ Clotho, thanx – do you moderate there? If I want to just sign up one time, what do I sign up for? Already I posted on the new blog, but that doesn’t require a sign-in. If I sign up for the forum, does the newsletter come automatic?

  44. @Louise – Signing up for is really essential as it is a great place to share ideas. is separately run but the signup is quick and painless and should take under a minute.

    Thanks again for the enthusiasm and spirit of learning that you brought to this contest. I look forward to seeing you involved in the other IDN sites as well.

  45. @Louise

    I am not a moderator. I am just a domainer like yourself. I did buy my first IDN in 2000 so I do have a a few years of experience with them.

  46. Okay, I signed up . . . thought IDN Forum is the same company! Is it?

    Unless it has a punycode, it’s not IDN? Just registered:

    Definitely German language dot com, but there’s no punycode . . .

    Thank you for honorable mention in your email, Aaron – I received it! It was nice way to start day . . . 😀

  47. @Louise – You definitely deserved that honorable mention email 🙂

    As for your questions: – IDNForums is separately owned and run.

    -If there’s no punycode equivalent and no special characters, it is not an IDN.

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