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:
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:
Donuts Announces Platinum .NEWS Sales
Thriving News Sites Leverage SEO, Quality Content to
Soar in Organic Search Rankings
Seattle – July 12, 2018 – Donuts Inc., the global leader in high-quality, new top-level Internet domains, today announced recent the sales of science.news, food.news, health.news, medicine.news, pollution.news, cancer.news and climate.news. Exact terms of the sales were not disclosed, though the package was sold for a six-figure price. WebSeed Inc. acquired the names in late 2017 and launched the sites, starting in early 2018.
“In an age of ‘fake news’ and too much clutter, we want to offer readers high-quality, fact-based news content,” said Mike Texas, WebSeed founder and chief executive officer. “Use of the .news top-level domain supports our strategy of making our news sites easily discoverable, highly relevant and topically focused. This is only just the beginning for us.”
Due in part to the sites’ names matching popular organic search terms, most of the websites are now ranking on the first or second pages of the major search engines. Visitors are easily able to discover the websites in search engines by typing in the topics such as “science news” or “climate news”., as shown below:
Articles are thoroughly researched and include all cited sources. Comments and reader interaction are encouraged. Content is updated frequently, and quality and authenticity are top priorities. While there is advertising on the websites, it is limited and relevant to the sites’ content.
“We congratulate the WebSeed team for quickly establishing such outstanding businesses,” said Matt Overman, senior vice president of sales, Donuts Inc. “Their use of the .news domains that align with popular search terms, paired with high quality content, has enabled them to launch and scale in record time.”
Recent research affirms the growing importance of links that use real words. In a survey conducted by Sapio Research and commissioned by Donuts, respondents overwhelmingly opted for branded short links using real words, over links containing long strings of characters and / or legacy short links. Reasons for preferring branded short links using real words included: more meaningful information, clarity of content, identification with the brand, trust and greater simplicity. To learn more about this survey, click here.
Donuts simplifies and connects a fragmented online world with domain names and related technologies that allow people and businesses to build, market and own their digital identities. Donuts holds the world’s largest portfolio of new top-level domains, and offers a wide variety of clear and meaningful names for use as business identifiers (such as .ltd, .company), navigation (such as .careers, .support), in vertical markets (such as .photography, .cafe, or .builders) or in broad-based generics (such as .life, .world or .live). Donuts provides its registrar / reseller customers with innovative services for the discovery, registration, usage and monetization of high-quality domain names. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Donuts, the registrar Name.com is one of the most admired brands in the industry. In 2017, Donuts was named Number 1 in the Deloitte Fast 500. Donuts’ headquarters are in Kirkland, WA; it has offices in Denver, CO; Austin, Tx; Washington, DC; Dublin, Ireland and Beijing, China.
Webseed is a large, independent online content publisher with a focus on news for better living. The organization currently publishes over 300 unique websites on health, nutrition, technology, science, medicine, politics and culture.