Yahoo Auction Japan and Japanese IDNs

Since I’ve been buying IDN domain names I’ve noticed that Yahoo Japan’s Yahoo auction has a decent amount amount of IDNs for sale already.

This is the only Japanese site I know of currently where users are selling off their Japanese IDN Domains. Since it only cost around $2 a month to get a Yahoo Auction account & you can put up as much items as you would like it’s a small investment for the rather steep prices that’s being asked for the available domains.

Unfortunately I don’t feel the auctioneers are seasoned domainers like their Western counterparts. I’m seeing domains with less than 20,000 searches a month from the Overture Japan tool absolutely no bids with an asking price of 5,000,000 yen (roughly $48,000). I believe the son of my not even yet conceived son will create a new writing system before that baby sells for close to 50 Grand.

It is good that at least Yahoo Japan has added a section for Japanese domainers. Currently I’m still not able to find a Japanese domain parking site, or other place to even sell domains in Japanese.

I’m glad at least that most of the members of the IDN forums because of the site has some potentially high value A quality IDN domain names. Maybe after we sell our XXX,XXX domains off we can buy a few of the high priced ones currently on Yahoo Auction…. or maybe not… Just joking I guess one day I’ll have to test the waters & put up a few really good domain names…

New Internet Business

Will IDN Domains prove to be new internet business? There is plenty of skepticism about whether or not IDN Domain names are even a necessity. I think all of us that have been working on internet related projects for at least a few years can remember something that we thought wouldn’t work & just shoved it off as a stupid idea.
My experience was the first time I heard someone telling me about selling web space I thought I was looking at a fool. I assumed everything on the net was free. Boy do I wish I started researching things on the net more back then.

Business always changes as technology advances. It may not affect the U.S. but the Domain Name Market in English is very saturated already. What does this leave for the average Japanese business owner or Japanese brand that actually might only be associated with the native Japanese kanji, hiragana, or katakana name? This seems like an option for season internet savvy business owners but the average company creating their first website would not be looking to spend $500 & up for domain name initially from someone.

The solution would be for Japan to turn to IDNs. After the release of the new Vista & Microsoft IE IDNs will be able to be resolved on PCs so there would be no drawbacks for Japan to use IDN domains. When I first started buying IDNs a few months ago I actually didn’t know that IE couldn’t resolve IDNs because I use a Mac. I’m actually glad I didn’t know because initially it might have thrown me off a bit, but after I started to do research on the matter I was able to land a good IDN Domain portfolio that has a very potential profit in a few years.

Now after the new IE is released & people upgrade this is only phase 2. Actually more like phase 2 or 3 because people have already bought IDNs years ago & now a few of the goods ones are being dropped. The next phase though is the general use of IDNs in Asia. I believe this will start next year. There already are web sites & domains in Japan that promote their site name & even business name as native Japanese characters & .com unfortunately not all of them own the IDN version of their site. When people see that they can type in native Japanese it will catch on. If you think it won’t then I’ll prove to you naturally why it will happen.

1. Native Japanese .com’s would be easier to remember for Japanese
2. The availability of good IDN domain names for the average users will be much more available compared to finding a short English .com
3. Japanese cannot read or pronounce everything in English but they can in Japanese.
4. Current English based domain names do not have any extra value for Japanese terms. Keyword domains like car.com or creditcard.com are good because they are easy to remember & also they can be added value in search engine rankings for keywords. A JAPANESE TERM IN ENGLISH HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EXTRA VALUE IN SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS. None at all. Japanese search with native Japanese kanji there is no way to associate it with a domain with English letters, IDNs would create another value in SEO because IDN Domain names can be used in search engine rankings results.

Basically I’m just priming you guys to do your research. After I thought about it. Investing in a small portfolio seemed like the right thing for me. Your portfolio doesn’t have to be Japanese, it could be French, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Greek, or Chinese. I think it will be about 2 years before I can sell off my stock but I’m going to try to hold on to them for 2 or 3 years.

How to appraise IDN Domains

How to appraise IDN Domains

From the time of writing this article I’ve been buying IDN Domains for about 3 months now. I’m not an expert at buying & selling an IDN but I’ll tell you I can vastly see the potential for the sale of an IDN more than most.

So with this guide I’m going to explain some things to look out for when you choose an IDN. As usually since all of my IDN domain names are Japanese I’m going to use my domains as examples.

1. Don’t believe normal domainers
I’m not writing this to disrespect other domainers but they are not looking at IDN as potential stock. 10 years ago most people that was in internet business’ didn’t look at URLs such as car.com or photo.com as anything special either. This is a potential necessity for other non English speaking nations. It’s extremely hard for the average Japanese business to find a clear easy to remember Roman based .com but with IDNs they can have an even easier to remember .com or .jp, etc. Most IDNs do not believe that IDNs are valuable or will have value.

2. Keywords
Targeting keywords that are short or category descriptions makes the IDN value raise. There’s a list of high value keywords floating around the net. See if you can get direct translations of those keywords. If not those words try to get words that mean the same. We own great category names like テレビゲーム.com (TV Game), パソコンゲーム.com (PC Game), アニメ.com (Anime). These simple keywords are also used in search engines as category names so you can see how important they are.

3. Search Engine Results
First off when you buy a Japanese IDN DO NOT base how many results you have from Google.com or Yahoo.com. Right now I know you are thinking the writer of this is absolutely insane but please let me explain. For Japanese site results use Google.co.jp or Yahoo.co.jp the results from these two are more accurate for Japan. I’ve personally seen some common terms get low results on Google.com & I knew they were terms that should get high results. After typing the term again in the native Japanese site I found out the results are not the same.

Use the results from the market that’s in the language of the IDN.

4. Yahoo Categories
If you buy a keyword IDN domain & you put the term into Yahoo Japan & it redirects to it’s internal directory, betch your bottom dollar that you just purchased a high profile IDN. If you notice that your IDN is the actual name of a second to fourth level category name Yahoo Japan also it’s a very good sign.

5. OVT tool
As with the search engine results I advise you to not use the normal English based OVT tool for an Asian language based IDN. There actually is a OVT Japan tool. You can find it at the top of our forum. This tool let’s you see search results based on searches done within Japan where it actually matters. I thought this was obvious but not everyone knows this.

These results varies tremendously. As with our IDN portfolio most of our domains average more than 200,000 searches a month for the terms. More than 10 get close to a million a month.

6. OVT stats with EXT
To be honest IDN domains with ext & OVT results are rare. I was on one forum & was told by one domainer that my パソコンゲーム.com (Computer Game) wasn’t worth much because it doesn’t show OVT results with an extension. Sorry but I decided to buy one with an extension (I’ll show you guys how to find them later) but there is no way that, that domain is worth more than my generic terms like Anime, TV Game, PC Game, or Hair. It’s just not possible.

7. Think as if it was the translation was an English .com
Most of my portfolio was bought with this in mind even though I am also fluent in Japanese. If I owned the translation of these terms would I be sitting on a goldmine or not. If I owned hair.com would I be able to sell it for a high profit? If I owned sale.com would I make a good profit for it? The answer for me is yes that’s why I own the Japanese translations.

My last & final point would be to use your common sense & be patient. I know that personally many new IDNers will develop & buy IDN domains because of the info that this site provides. Don’t hesitate others are waiting & researching domains. I’ve lost about 1 excellent one that I really wanted but the same day I did buy my best IDN. Others are watching & waiting to buy. After Microsoft launches Window’s Vista the IDN market & use will open up more. Invest before all the good one’s are gone…

IDN Domain names & Google Page Rank

IDN Domain names & Google Page Rank

Currently there is a massive surge of registrations of IDN domain names. Since there aren’t really many quality Parking Services for many are currently just floating in cyberspace & not connected to anyplace.

Since buying my collection of IDN domain names I started to wonder how far as the search engines like Google, Yahoo, & MSN gone along with development of the use of IDNs. I also started to notice one vital thing.

There aren’t any IDN domains that displays Google PR. Initially I started to think that perhaps it just hasn’t been figured into the whole PR scheme yet, but Google is usually ahead of the game. IDNs actually do show up already natively in search results we found out at IDN Forums.

After a few weeks of thinking about it I came to a conclusion. I believe that perhaps IDNs that are linked to each other produce PR. I threw a lot of backlinks to my テレビゲーム.com enough to get it at least a PR 4. After the Google update, not even a PR1. It stayed at PR0. Then I thought about another domain I had that was encoded shift-JIS (Japanese encode). The backlinks I gave it was almost all UTF-8 or regular English based encodes. It stayed without pagerank for years. Then I changed it over to UTF-8. It shot up to PR4 at the next update.

It’s only a theory because I can’t find an IDN domain with PR yet but I belive if IDN domains backlink to each other it will produce PR.

Disclaimer: I wrote an article like this on a popular SEO Forum & every poster misunderstood IDN to mean a foreign domain extension like .jp or .co.uk. Those are not IDNs. An IDN is a domain name that is displayed in another language like Japanese アニメ.com  ( Anime . com )

What are IDN Domains? (International Domain Names)

What are IDN Domains? (International Domain Names)

An IDN or International Domain name is a domain name that can be represented by a users native language. When most people think of internet domain names they automatically assume it should be an English based domain. The fact is that English based alphabet is not the easiest way to remember a web site’s URL for every potential user in every country.

This is where IDNs come into play. an IDN allows an individual to purchase a website name exactly the way they would write the name in their native language. Since my other language is Japanese I will use Japan mostly in my examples.

The average Japanese user has studied some English but it is not a given that they can look at a domain name in English & remember it, or figure out what it is supposed to be. When a non Japanese person studies a language like Japanese initially we are given a guide to pronounce the word with English text. Japanese have absolutely no use for writing Japanese words with English letters unless it may possibly be a place, city, or town. It’s a fact if you ask a Japanese person who can’t speak English to even spell their name with English letters it actually takes some time for them because they are only used to explaining the Japanese characters for their name.

With an IDN instead of having a domain name like:
geinokai.com (which is a translation for celebrities)
A use can just have 芸能界.com
One big advantage is the term geinokai can be written
geinokai or geinoukai with English letters & both are actually correct for nonJapanese who might write it after hearing the dot com name most Japanese are confused on how to write it with English letters.

Having the native Japanese characters (IDN domain) just simplifies everything for the Japanese user. Also it is absolutely simple for the average Japanese person to remember the IDN URL. People outside of Japan will think of these domain names as foreign domains but they will become the standard in Japan in a few years.