I’ve Become a ccTLD Investor

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been learning about ccTLDs. I received feedback from a number of people, some of whom gave advice about investing in ccTLDs, and some who told me to stick with .com domain names. A couple people even specifically advised me not to invest in .US domain names right now, because my money could be better spent elsewhere right now. I really do appreciate all the advice, as it has given me an idea of how I should proceed with the ccTLD market.

I just recently became a ccTLD investor with my first .US purchases (an investment rather than a protective measure as I did previously). While I don’t think Americans or American companies will begin using the .US extension very soon, I do think its a great way for American companies to target Europeans who are more inclined to use local ccTLDs.

Because of this, I decided to buy many second tier .US domain names for registration fee, where I would be very happy to pay a significant premium if it was .com. I might not be jumping in with a huge splash, I am slowly wading in to this and am being strategic about it. Once I think my acquisition phase is initially done, I will reveal what I have been buying, but I don’t want to say what they are yet, since there are a number of similar names I am considering πŸ™‚

These aren’t short term investments, and I will probably begin developing directories on a couple of them to see how Google ranks them and to do some experimenting with regards to traffic, return visits, time on the site, and other things that will help me evaluate whether consumers trust a .US and to see where visitors come from.

I will write a more comprehensive review of the TRAFFIC show on the return flight home on Sunday, but in short, the show was excellent, and it gave me the confidence to invest in something that wasn’t previously in my comfort area.

35 COMMENTS

  1. ccTLDs…….oh man! I just lost all respect for you Elliot! Just kidding with you.

    So, your not a purist anymore….welcome to the club. πŸ™‚

  2. Very wise to invest in .us. Not only is it your native ccTLD it has also been getting pretty hot lately. The Rick Latona auction and Bido.com auctions recently have spouted the potential for these names. I really really like .us domain names and IMO have seen them sell more frequent and for higher prices lately than some .org and .net names.

  3. Welcome to the club!

    We quickly learn that 3-word .coms have little appreciation value if you don’t develop.

    cctlds, on the other hand, especially .tv (globally recognized) and .us still have great 1 keyword names for [relatively] cheap And they have MUCH greater appreciation potential.

    I’d rather have bankruptcy.us than usbankruptyinfo.com

    cheers
    -M

  4. @dcmike77:
    Good analogy. I’d rather have bankruptcy.us than usbankruptyinfo.com, too. On the other hand, I’d rather hunt big game than squirrels. Seriously, there’s good money to be made in ccTLDs, but if I’m going to devote my time to this industry it’s because I wake up in the morning and read that Rick bagged $3,000,000.00 for Candy.com. That’s what fires me up.

  5. .us = sucks

    all of the available keyword domains that are up for grabs are domains that have been previously registered, and re-registered by somebody else and none of this domainers could ever sell them or make any sense of it.

    as for the recent .us sales — well, it is all between resellers

    …and who recommends the .us buy? those same resellers

    avoid!

    old newz πŸ™‚

  6. I rarely see any .us domains ranked in the SERP’s
    Anyone have an example of a solid search term with a top 5 ranking. No 4 word geo long tails please.

  7. Being in Canada, I like the .CA ccTLD and it’s doing well and there are still deals to be had, so presumably same thing for .US Best wishes Elliot in the .US ccTLD world.

    Well said DavidC! Although…some of us didn’t bag the BIG domains way back when so had to start somewhere & I think ccTLD is good option to add to portfolio. πŸ™‚

  8. p.s. – David C. – hey I can get pretty fired up after winning a .CA auction! πŸ˜› Ok, ok…not quite the same thing I know!

  9. Personally I think .NET is a far better choice than .US as it is far more widely recognized and more often you can backorder these for very reasonable prices because everyone is so focused on .COM.

    If you are going to develop fine but even then I believe the .US extension will hurt your traffic. Users aren’t as familiar with the extension and may view a .US site with skepticism.

  10. @Elliot – Yes, Shaun got jobs.ca at $600K. Also cv.ca sold for $53K last year.

    @DavidC – .CA has been slow this year. I’ve got a couple of great LL.ca’s thinking of selling to fund other projects, but may have to hold off to get price for now.

  11. @Leonard, with respect, I don’t agree. When I’m doing a direct type-in search I never think to put the .NET extension on the end. I go to the .COM and if I don’t find what I’m looking go for the ccTLD next. And, if looking for something specifically in the country, go directly to ccTLD first. I never warmed to .NET and would never be my choice if I didn’t own the .COM. I would go for the ccTLD. Can’t speak for .US but .CA is widely recognized and used in Canada.

  12. .US is excellent for development and investment. Congrats to Elliot for expanding the horizon a little. As I always have said, .com is great and no reason at all .com and .us can’t co-exist moving forward.

    Ron posted on DN Journal that Job.us went for $35k at the ccTLD auction. Would prefer the plural but certainly a nice keyword.

  13. Candy.us just dropped at pool 3 or 4 weeks back, it went for $1,372 , major difference from what the .com just went for eh ! ..Traffic is King by price is also nice πŸ™‚

    I thought Americans would have been pretty quick to embrace the .us as most of you are (in general) very patriotic…compared to the Brits

  14. I’ve enjoyed EVERYONE’s comments on .us names and look forward to others. Personally I like .us as much as .net because .us at least indicates something: that it is a U.S. business/organization. What does .net say/infer? It is on the Internet. Duh. : ) I understand that .net is worth more but I do think .us values WILL increase especially if ccTLDs increase. Personally, I’ve got a domaining ‘high’ from regging .us names such as: YogaApparel, PokerAccessories, PlayingGuitar, DebtCancellation etc.

  15. The problem with developing a .NET is that, it only feels like you didnt get the .COM

    Its not a nice feeling building a brand or business around .NET

    Just feels like you have settled for second best.

    Think that many people are looking for something more special which will end up being .TV, ccTLD or Something else.

  16. Interesting that you’ve caught the cctld “bug”, Elliot! And the good thing is because so much more is available at affordable prices, it’s much easier to effectively create “networks” of related domain names, which could be mass-developed productively on a grand scale. Rick Silver’s discussion of how they’re building n49.ca and all the vertical sites that hang off it was particularly enlightening in that respect.

  17. Mike,

    99% of .com sales are more than lickely between resellers also,

    plenty good sale go unmentined/reported that would make .us that little bit more “investible” if reported.

    Most are end user sales.

    why are they not reporrted to the masses ? i have no idea.

    and job.us sold for $32,750 or there abouts. so not a total waste of money is it ?

  18. Elliot,

    Good move in getting into ccTLD names. We’ve been hand reg’ing various ccTLD names for a while – lot’s a great words and phrases left, even now.

    Has anyone here developed any .US names and ranked them in google.com?

    Let’s hear about them!

  19. I have a few .US and lot’s of .NET premiums I just can’t sell at the moment, the market is really poor so I may pull them all back and wait for the wave to get stronger – HOPEFULLY next year. I’m a full time web developer, I’m not really into chasing end users as I just don’t have the time or the patience πŸ™‚

    I have Planet.us, Ministries.us, AffiliateNetwork.us, ProGambling.us and a few others if anyone’s interested in trading for traffic domains. More here:
    http://www.dnforum.com/f525/premium-generic-category-killer-domains-sale-thread-365611.html

  20. ccTLDs are great for many reasons but unlike say .co.uk, .ca, .de, I don’t see any dot us sites ranking well in Google – make no mistake that this is intentional on Google’s part as they see the default ccTLDs for the USA as com/net/org. This may change, but until it does, dot us has an uphill battle IMO.

  21. Elliot,

    I think it’s great you are expanding. Even though I am 95% .com, the other 5% I am .tv such as Spain.tv, Europe.tv, Religion.tv, Espanol.tv, Moscow.tv, Bahamas.tv, Actor.tv, and many other .tv. It’s risk=reward and let’s see what happens.

    I really like the .de extension but I really don’t have time or knowledge about the go after the top keywords. I believe if you are going after CCtld than you got to try to get the best one-word top keyword names.

    David, has a great point about .com. However, for me to get Spain.com it would of cost me probally about 2-3Million so instead I got Spain.tv for $12,500 and $1,000 yearly renewal. It’s all about ROI and nothing for sure but I will take my chances.

    Thanks, Jim

  22. In my opinion .US (and some of the other major and popular ccTLDs) are the only extensions that are going to be able to stand their ground once all the new TLDs are released. All other extensions will probably be overshadowed by the new TLDs to one extent or the other.

    Email me at (TLDpromotions at gmail dot com) if interested in some β€œBig Game” .US domains. πŸ™‚

  23. I hate to say it,

    but when all these “new” extensions come out, i’m sure .us / .tv will fit in just perfectly,

    .us
    .tv
    .news
    .hotel
    .inc
    .llc
    etc
    etc
    etc…

    they all make there selves very very clear as to what they mean.

    cant say that about many others unfortunetly,

    so i dont think it’s as bad for .us as it is for .com when these come out, (still a bad idea for them to come out, but what can i do or say to make any differance)

    .com is default, but what do most people think it means ? they have 2 choices, company / commercial . they dont think about what it means.

    .com – emm, the normal extension
    .us – ohh, americas extensions

    πŸ™‚

    whereas .us is as simple as it gets for americans.

    put it simply, .us is officially americas doamin extension, no if’s/but’s/and’s about it.

    will americans finally realize they have there own extension ?

    hopefully they will.

  24. @jj

    You’ve got that right, after a fast look I didn’t see many .us names ranking in the top 3 of an niches either.

    But we acquired a few .us names recently and we’re going to run some test with proper content, link building, social media etc and see if we can beat those .com names in google.com

    I’ll post details in a few months once our test is complete.

  25. What people like about ccTLDs is that they mean relevance to them.
    Yes, this is about my part of the world and is more likely to be useful. As a guide to currency of a ccTLD it’s good to check out the main media in that country and see what extension they use for their website and promotions. Their ability to give a ccTLD constant repetition and subsequent increase its profile is important. .

  26. I’m really interested and curious in the dot us domains you’ve invested in. I have several pretty good ones myself that I plan to hold onto for some time! I got in when it was quite reasonable still around 2009 and don’t have any regrets. I think it’s more exciting getting in on the ground floor… reseller prices are not too bad and I’ve received a few offers almost immediately from resellers for more. It’s fun just holding onto them and deciding how to develop them in the future.

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