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Missed Opportunity: Subdirectory Direct Navigation

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Owners of generic domain names know the value of direct navigation traffic, but a quick review of some popular websites leads me to believe they aren’t considering subdirectory direct navigation on their websites. Briefly, a subdirectory is the word or phrase that follows a backslash after the extension on a domain name. In the following example, Boston.com/RedSox, “RedSox” would be the subdirectory.

I frequently navigate to a subdirectory hoping to avoid the front page. In my Red Sox example, I often directly navigate to the Boston Globe’s Red Sox page to save time. If I do this on the Globe’s website, I am sure there are other people who do the same thing on other websites. Oftentimes, a 404 Error page is displayed when directly navigating to subdirectories, proving that many website owners aren’t considering this type-in traffic. Below are a few examples of websites that take subdirectory traffic into consideration:

CNN.com/Sports (forwards to Sports Illustrated)
ESPN.com/Soccer (forwards to ESPNsoccernet.com)
Google.com/Mail (forwards to Gmail)
Yahoo.com/Finance (forwards to Yahoo Finance)

However, there are plenty of ecommerce websites that don’t take this into consideration, possibly to their detriment.
BestBuy.com/Speakers (404 Error)
CircuitCity.com/Speakers (The page requested was not found)
Ebay.com/Speakers (Page Not Found)

Just as some people directly navigate to specific domain names, I believe there are some people who directly navigate to the subdirectories. Although these browsers may not leave the website if they encounter a 404 error page, I think it would be an easy fix to give browsers what they are looking for if they do directly navigate to a subdirectory. It seems that many news websites anticipate this direct navigation, so I think ecommerce websites should consider this traffic as well.

NFLatino.com – The NFL es Muy Inteligente

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I just saw a neat advertisement from the National Football League targeting Latino football fans celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The advertisement is in Spanish with English subtitles, and it directs viewers to NFLatino.com. Knowing that some people may accidentally navigate to NFLLatino.com, the NFL owns the typo of their domain name, and it forwards to the correct website. Its’ a small thing like this that ensures there is no leakage in direct navigation traffic.

FCC.com: Another Frivolous UDRP

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FCC.com UDRP Decision

Not only was the Complainant’s transfer request denied, the company was found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.    It’s good to see cases like this go in favor of the Respondent, as we have seen too many generics lost recently (MBF.com, Aspire.com, and Aman.com are just a few examples in my opinion).    

Unfortunately, because of the way the system was set-up, some people are almost encouraged to file a UDRP for $1,500 rather than attempt to buy the name for much more than this. The most recent sale price for FCC.com was $60,000 (from the decision), so it probably would have taken well over $100,000 for the owner to sell – although he develops his names.    It’s harmful that the company was able to take a chance at receiving control of this great name for a mere $1,500 filing fee.    

The Respondent had to spend quite a bit of money defending his rights to the domain name, but was smart in choosing John Berryhill to represent his rights. It’s too bad he can’t file a claim to recover his expenses for this Reverse Domain Name Hijacking attempt.

Recent Acquisition: AsianVacations.com

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I believe I just acquired a gem of a domain name in the aftermarket – AsianVacations.com. After seeing CaribbeanVacations.com sell for $130,000 and EuropeanVacations.com sell for $85,000 at yesterday’s TRAFFIC auction, I decided to buy AsianVacations.com. While the Caribbean and Europe are more popular vacation destinations than Asia, I still believe AsianVacations.com can become a great travel website.

If you or anyone you know specializes in Asian vacation planning, please get in touch with me. Perhaps we can work together!

.Mobi Steals the Show

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When Rick Schwartz paid $200,000 for Flowers.mobi, there were three general reactions from the public; he was crazy for spending that kind of money, he rolled the dice on the .mobi extension, or the bid was rigged.    After yesterday’s live TRAFFIC auction where .Mobi names fetched huge sums, I think it has become clear that Schwartz certainly made a calculated gamble, and the price of Flowers.mobi doesn’t seem as crazy.    According to Moniker, below are the .mobi sales in the auction along with their prices:

poker.mobi $150,000
ringtones.mobi $145,000
news.mobi $110,000
shopping.mobi $55,000
email.mobi        $50,000
scores.mobi $33,000
buy.mobi $32,500
podcast.mobi $25,000
cab.mobi $17,500
cash.mobi $12,500
pda.mobi $8,000
zipcodes.mobi $8,000
bill.mobi $3,000

I only own two or three .mobi names, and I can’t even remember what they are without logging into my Godaddy account.    I believe .mobi names are something to keep an eye on, moreso than .info and .net, but I am still sitting on the sidelines for the most part.    I’ve seen evidence that traffic continues to build for owners of .mobi names, and I’ve even tried to use the .mobi extension from my Blackberry on occasion (I wish Jet Blue owned JetBlue.mobi!)    

With some major corporations beginning to use .mobi, including Bank of America (who is using and advertising it), consumers may slowly begin to directly navigate to the .mobi extension when using their handheld devices.    As this happens, look for the value of .mobi names to increase.

Like the rising stock price of a hot IPO I am unfamiliar with, I will continue to watch the .mobi market and possibly invest when I think the time is right.    I still believe .mobi names are highly speculative, but the more companies that adopt the .mobi as their online connection, the more valuable these names will become, and the smarter Rick Schwartz will look to us all.

Listen to the Moniker TRAFFIC Live Domain Auction

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I’ve been told that the October Moniker TRAFFIC Live Domain Auction will be broadcast live over the Internet on Webmaster Radio beginning at 2pm EST. Some top domain names included in this auction include, StockQuotes.com, Computer.com, WallStreet.com, Taxes.com…etc. and many more high value domain names. This auction has the potential to be the highest grossing domain auction.

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