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Domain Names

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My Internal SEO Checklist

I compiled a list of everything I know of that you can do internally (on your own webpage) to improve your SEO and rankings. I have broken it down into categories: header, content, navigation, graphic/image, and other. The header stuff is inside <head> tag. Content is about your actual text content. Navigation is structural/linking. Graphic/Image is about <IMG> and when to use it. Other is everything else.

This checklist does not tell you exactly how to resolve your specific seo issues. It is designed as a reminder about all the things you can do to try and improve your rankings.

Feel free to add anything you feel is missing for internal SEO and I would be happy to add it.

Header Related

  • Title Tags – Proper <title> tags with relevant keyword on each page.
  • Meta Description – Describe content of the page briefly (155 chars according to seomoz).

Network Solutions Certified Offer Service: Does it Favor Buyers?

I had my first sale through Network Solutions Certified Offer service a few
months ago. I was a little bit surprised to see someone paying upfront to
have an automated service email my whois address. However, it made me
curious. I had to understand how the system works and if I wanted to respond.

The Structure of the Certified Offer System

There are a maximum of four steps in the process:

  1. Initial Offer (Buyer)
  2. Accept/Decline/Counter Offer (Seller)
  3. Accept/Decline/Counter Offer (Buyer)
  4. Accept/Decline (Seller)

The first thing to recognize is that it is a structured negotiation system.
You are given a limited set of choices and the amount of negotiation is also

Game Theory Analysis

Let's run through a sample negotiation to see how one would expect these
negotiations to play out.

Starting Situation:
Seller = Owner of the domain name, he or she gets contacted by Certified
Buyer = Party interested in purchasing the domain name from Seller

Pb = Maximum price Buyer is willing to pay for domain name
Ps = Minimum price Seller is willing to accept for domain name

Step 1.
Seller makes initial offer (O1).
O1 is either greater than Ps or less than Ps.

At this point Ps may not actually be determined. Some Sellers may have a firm
minimum price already in mind, but many probably do not. This is where what
is known as 'price anchoring' comes into play.

Price Anchoring is a fairly well studied phenomenon and the results may surprise
you as a negotiator.

Remember the drop back in early 2000's? A look back at the stats with analysis

Posted in

I dug up some old drop chasing data from my personal logs. The data is from May 19, 2004-May 31 2004. I chased/monitored 198 expiring names. Since these are my personal drop chasing logs, I am disproportionately represented, I was never anywhere near as big a player as most of the others on the list. It's selection bias that I show up at all.

First up, which companies actually won domains?

If I recall correctly, Pool was relatively new and kicking ass. BuyDomains and NameAdmin had personal registrars for chasing and left almost everyone else in the dust.

So who was winning all the domains?

Frank Schilling (NameAdmin), Mike Mann (BuyDomains) and Yun Ye (Ult Search) were clearly dominating the market. Anyone who ever bid on drops hated seeing names like benfranklin and competing with these guys. A few other big companies/individuals were sniping very specific names, but nobody competed on the scale of those three.

I was surprised that Vertical Axis (Kevin Ham) didn't show up. I don't know/recall when he got very active, but he didn't show up once during this ~2 week period.

What about the traffic?

I ran the names through January 2007 Overture data to get overture numbers for each domain. Then I counted the cumulative overture score of domains owned by a company. The second graph looks at current whois and makes assumptions that they were purchased by the company originally but my winner data was incomplete.

The most shocking part of looking at traffic is, UltSearch dominated BuyDomains and NameAdmin. UltSEarch only won 16% of the names but took home 37% of the traffic. NameAdmin and BuyDomains get approximately their expected percentage.

Notable Stats

  • Frank Schilling (NameAdmin) has sold only 1 name ( out of the 43 he won during this period.
  • BuyDomains has sold 24 of 41 (58.5%) domains picked up during this period.
  • Only 3 domains out of 198 (1.5%) expired again.
  • I didn't sell any of the names I bought during this period :(
  • The quality of drops was exceptional compared to today.

I am attaching the list of names, I bolded a few of my favorites. You can see some killer brandable names, pronouncable CVCV.coms, premium generics (, a ton of solid 2 word .coms, geo, geo services, and names. for Sale

Posted in

I noticed for sale today at Flippa. The reserve appears to be 3 million with a buy it now of 14 million.

It's targeted at university services right now, but what would the value be as a domain registrar?

List Manipulator - Tool for Manipulating Lists of Data

I just wanted to introduce my latest tool, List Manipulator.
Basically, it allows you to quickly edit and format lists.

The basic functions:
filtering (alpha, alphanumeric, domain names)
matching (only contains X or does not contain X)
replacing (find X replace with Y)
prefix/suffix adding to all items

Why did I build this?

I find myself often working with lists of data:
keyword lists, domain name lists, HTML lists, repetitive code, etc.

I always do it manually or write a script each time to fix my current problem.
This time, I decided to build a tool to solve most of the general problems I
run into when formatting and filtering the data. Hopefully it saves me (and others!)
some time in the future.

If you have any feature requests, bugs or suggestions please contact me or comment!

Exploring Three Letter Domain Name Values

What makes 3 letter domain names valuable?

  • Demand - lots of company acronyms are 3 letters eg. IBM, BBC, ATT. (Fun Fact: 35 of the first 100 .com domain names registered were 3 letters long)
  • Scarcity - Only 17,576 combinations.
  • Tokenization/Liquidity - The domainer market has tracked values and created a minimum price

Why is interesting?

Three Letter .com prices could be a proxy for the overall secondary market for domain names.
That is a hypothesis and if anyone wants to help test that with data (monthly average sale price,
monthly sales total, something else?) please feel free to contact me / comment.

Three letter prices are the most well tracked and easiest to compare over a long period of time (thanks!)

What is the goal of this post?

There is no goal, it is simply exploratory. I had no idea what I would find when I looked at the data,
but a lot of things jump out at me when looking at the graphs and statistics.

3 Letter Price Timeseries (All Extensions)

The first thing that stands out is .COM is huge compared to the rest. You also notice the huge crash after
July 2008. It dropped $1650 in one month. (The data is actually incorrect from 3character, the
declined started at least at the end of June 2008 and perhaps was steeper, sold for 5550 on July 17, 2008,
3character didn't go below that until September).

Why did that happen? I am not certain, but my guess is a combination of bubble bursting and PPC profits declining.
Any other theories please comment.

3 Letter Timeseries (NO .COM)

.NET declines at the same time as .COM and starts to rebound at the same time.
For some reason it then crashes again in early 2010 and completely diverges from .COM.

.ORG and .MOBI also follow similar declines as .COM/.NET.

.BIZ and .INFO are on a slow decline but you wouldn't even realize the other TLDs crashed just looking at those two.
They seem unaffected by market crashing for everything else.

.US actually rises slightly when everything else is going down.

3 Letter Timeseries (NO .COM/.NET/.ORG)

Closer view of the lesser TLDs. Nothing really new, you do realize .MOBI never recovers from the crash.
They sit at reg fee currently.

.MOBI looks like a case study in hype and pump+dump. It soars far above more established TLDs and crashes
to worthlessness. I wish I had older timeseries data for other TLD launches and some sort of price index.
It would be fascinating to graph them all starting from launch.

If anyone has some data that would fit this contact me / post in comments.

3 Letter Timeseries + DJIA

I threw in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for fun. What does the domain market look like compared to the stock market?
It seems a similar crash but they don't happen at the same time. Perhaps domain investors aren't that connected
to the stock market? Did the money exit the stock market and go into domains for safety?

Either way, DJIA and 3 letter domains bottom out around the same time. Domains were slower to decline, but started
recovering at the same point.

Log 3 Letter Timeseries + DJIA

Everything at logarithmic scale so you can see DJIA all the way down to .BIZ and .MOBI. No new information,
just a visualization of everything at once at relative scale.

3 Letter Timeseries .COM, DJIA, Home Prices (time shifted to match peak with .com)

This one was just for fun, what does the DJIA, .COM and Median Housing Price look like together.
I shifted the peak of housing bubble to match the peak of .COM. It was to look at the shape of the curves.
I think more could be done, but there is a striking resemblance of bubble bursting. Housing price data came
from here. It's in quarters, not months. Again, this was for SHAPE ONLY.

Interesting Facts:

.COM and .NET prices have an adjusted R^2 of .513 (they seem to diverge mid 2007)
The adjusted R^2 if we cut off at mid 2007, is .967! They are almost perfectly correlated Pre-June 2007

Graph: log .COM prices with adjusted (matched starting points) log .NET prices.

Why do .COM and .NET prices stop correlating mid 2007?
By early 2010, they are going opposite directions in terms of value.

Do we have a 'loser' TLD in the making (demand dropping because of hype/artificial value)?
Is it a market correction that will level off at some point and correlate again?
Massive dumping pushing prices down?
.NET lacks a clear brand/purpose unlike .COM and .ORG?
Any other explanations?

Future Values?

The biggest question is what will the shape of these curves be in the long run?
.COM looks like it's on the rise again, but at a much less steep and not always upwards curve.
.NET is declining, hard to predict if it's temporary or long term, a lot of vested interests in the TLD, if it is dying, it will be a VERY slow decline.
.ORG is on a VERY slow rise again, I suspect this is because .ORG has a clear brand which .NET lack.
.INFO looks to be dying a slow death.
.BIZ looks to be dying a slow death.
.US is odd, it declines and goes up, but it's at such a small scale.
It's currently moving up, but it's so slight that I wouldn't expect it to hold indefinitely unless demand is increased in the US.
.MOBI looks dead.

What are your thoughts?

Project 5 - News Aggregator

Yesterday I built the beginnings of a news aggregator.

What it does:

  • Aggregates RSS feeds to database
  • Each feed has customizable title, image (forced size 100x100)
  • Displays RSS items sorted by date (newest first)
  • Almost MVC - design and content are relatively separate but not fully. I didn't use a PHP Templating Engine, it's hard coded with functions that do output some HTML
  • Sitewide variables done via static PHP include.
  • Shows Comments (Disqus)
  • Allows Commenting on article (Disqus)

What it doesn't do (yet):

  • Pagination - only showing 10 items, no way to scroll back further
  • Search - no search implemented yet
  • Channels - view all items posted by a certain blog
  • Admin Interface - Adding new sites, editing is all done directly via MySQL.
  • Magic Tricks - Illusion Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money... or candy.

Project 2 - Update 2 - Finished

Video Game Music is done. The only part missing was a header.

I used a contest on DigitalPoint to get it done for $20.

The winner was Zealot Designs with this logo:

Not bad for $20 and got to look at a lot of potential options and choose the one I liked most.

Tip: you can view any image on your live site using Firebug and inspect the image you want to change and edit the URL to any other image.

Project 4 - - Because Delicious is Being Sold?Shut Down?

Bookmarking Options

The site is complete.

Data was collected about the providers I saw most mentioned across social media platforms. Important features were categorized and researched.

Instructions on how to backup/save bookmarks.

Project 3 - Buzz Scanner - Done(ish)

Buzz Scanner

What does Buzz Scanner do?

Buzz Scaner monitors 20 of the biggest brands (10 Tech, 10 Automotive) on Twitter and tracks their sentiment over time. 1 Hour and 24 Hour time frames are available.

It is a personally satisfying proof of concept that I wanted to build. I've played with the idea of Brand Monitoring for over a year and finally wanted to just build something in the space. A first step.

There is no monetization right now. But there are a few options if I decided to take it further in the future like creating a SaaS platform like all the rest. I think there is some consumer potential as well if you are monitoring content. Finding the *right* information is so valuable.

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