Alternative to Domain Parking for your Domain Names

Alternative to Domain Parking for your Domain Names

Alternatives to domain parking does exist. Recently I removed all of my domains from domain parking. Here’s what I did with about 150 domains that I own.

This year I started to think more about what to do with my domain portfolio. I started to research what are alternatives to domain parking. I’m not against domain parking but I just thought that perhaps it’s time to try something new.

These were some of my thoughts Continue reading “Alternative to Domain Parking for your Domain Names”

Japanese domains that sold in January 2014

Dot JPHere’s a list of sales in Japan of Japanese domains from the registrars.

I’ve decided to keep track for all of you that’s interested in how much transactions are going on. Each most the domain services put up all the domain drops they’ve caught.

The big winner is which most likely was a mistaken drop & sold for over a million yen.
* All of these domain sales were through public auctions & not person to person sales. Currently there isn’t a way to identify person to person private sales in Japan.

Continue reading “Japanese domains that sold in January 2014”

Google may have killed drop catching

I haven’t really paid attention to domaining recently. I’m not a promoter at all of buying domains just for investments. I do think you should purchase quality domains within your budget for projects you want to develop still.

I still actually register domains. Almost all of them are domains I want to develop.

Something that I noticed lately on registering an expired domain that didn’t resolve to a web site is that Google had made links to that site nonexistant. On Bing the backlinks were there. On Yahoo, still there, on Googkle backlinks zero. I looked at other domains too that were expired, not resolving to a site & obviously had backlinks. All of them we couldn’t see any of the backlinks from Google.

If Google devalues all existing backlinks to a domain after it expires, it will crush the domain drop catching market. Currently this is the case & situation that’s happening with expired .jp (Japanese market). I don’t like to just assume so I’m currently testing with a new domain purchase. Will the prior backlinks become visable again? Will Google only show new backlinks I acquire for that domain? I spoke with the SEO experts here who noticed this the same time I did as I discussed my new domain domain purchase.

I don’t think drop catching services would publicize this if it’s true. I’m still doing testing & it will take a few months to get the site reindexed & backlinks showing. I’m also investing on ads to make sure it had legitimate content & users who come back to the site.

I’m not downing domaining at all. I just don’t subscribe to it’s the best thing to invest in just because I want to sell domains. I want any of the readers of this blog to be presented with new ideas, or information as accurate as possible. These backlinks might show back up later, that’s why I strongly suggest you to test on your own also. Since the site didn’t resolve the links to the site may not have resolved. When the domain appears back in Google will the backlinks to that domain reappear? That’s what needs to be tested.

*I’m believe in the past I saw links to expired domains after I purchased them.

Why is $3,000 to $5,000 the sweet spot for domains?

I’ve missed a few sales last year always doing research on what I want for domains. On the contrast most buyers reaching out to me offer what they expect to pay for a domain. I began everything on the web as a developer so it was really common for me to register domains that I thought I could develop for my clients. Also back in 1999 ~ 2001 I didn’t know the value of domains I just registered what I really had in mind to develop.

These domains are starting to get request since last year. I’ve sold a few even a dot net or two to my surprise. The thing I’ve learned is people want to pay under $5,000. I had a much easier time selling the domains I just agreed to $3,000 to $5,000. Even for some good terms since I still have technology & finance related domains I’m starting to wonder should I just price them at those rates & sell on Flippa?

I also used this site to look at sale history while back & really confirms lots of sales happen at that $3,000 to $5,000 price point.

Facebook advertising tips

I’ve been pretty successful with Facebook advertising & wanted to share some tips with the few that read this blog.

When creating a Facebook page to get a custom URL for the page you need 25 people to like the page
If you don’t have friends to like the page use FaceBook marketplace ads.
Update content on the page for at least about a week or two then run ads.
At the end place a call to action like “Like us now!!” in Japanese it’s 「いいねして下さい』.
As you get more clicks & the click through rate goes up your CPC actually goes down.
Usually if you target the right people to your page you can get those 25 likes for less than $10. Yep that’s right I just ran some ads for a Boston based project & wanted to get the custom URL. It cost me $8.50.

Before you change the custom URL please think about it carefully. Once you decide on it IT CANNOT BE CHANGED. Capitalization periods everything. I just applied for the US trademark for this project so I want to make sure I get all the URLs. This time it wasn’t an IDN but sometimes with IDN projects we are competing with for that name.

For example you own katakana in Japanese. Getting just “travel” is long gone but also even getting TravelCom you have to compete with the English site for the URL. One might get TravelCom the other might use TravelDotCom. One of my IDN sites I had to put Dot in the middle.

I know a lot of old people might swear off FaceBook but you are missing the new generation of internet users by not catering to it. I’ve been developing web sites since 1997 & we have so much more ways to market than ever before. If someone downs a way for you to increase your revenue simply ask if they can provide you alternative “NEW” ways.

Congrats J-Seed for New Japanese incubator Venture Generation

Last night I went to the launch party for J-Seed’s new incubator Venture Generation in Ginza.

Tokyo, Japan, February 8, 2012 – (JCN Newswire) – J-Seed Ventures, Inc. announced plans to support the entrepreneurial community in Tokyo with the March launch of “Venture Generation,” a start-up incubator targeting early-stage Japanese ventures and foreign companies entering the Japanese market.  Located in central Tokyo near Tokyo Station, Venture Generation was specifically designed to support entrepreneurs in Japan by offering a platform from which these companies can achieve their growth goals much faster than they would on their own.
First, Venture Generation is a co-working office environment, providing space at low monthly cost for companies that do not yet have significant cash flow or which are trying to minimize their start-up costs.  The facility has dedicated, furnished workstations, meeting rooms, Wi-Fi, and office equipment.  The central location will allow companies convenient access to Tokyo’s main business districts.  Companies within the Venture Generation incubator also have the advantage that they can scale flexibly since seating spaces can increase incrementally while they are growing.  This flexibility and the short-term contracts enable members to concentrate on building and driving their business.
It was a good crowd & I even ran into someone who based some of his company development off of my previous work. That’s really inspirational.
I also caught up with the WIXI gang & had a few with them, they always have quite a few new things coming up as they expand the market.
Congrats Jeff, Yoneyama  San & of course my Kohai Ryo. Keep expanding the venture market of Japan. I came from a J-Seed company so I’ll always support what J-Seed does.
Here’s a few pix from last night.
Here’s a few of the pix from last night

WordPress Tips & IDNs

I’ve been having good results on developing & wanted to share some tips on wordpress.

I’ve used so many CMS systems since 1999 I can’t count. Currently I primarily use wordpress even the first version of IDN Forums had a wordpress blog in 2005. At the time there were only a few domain bloggers. My other sites at the time ran on Drupal, Mambo, or even on phpbb at the time. Anyhoot with the latest buzz on WordPress like it’s something new I’d like to share a few tips to ease you from plenty of frustration.

1. Buy a membership to a Theme site like Studio Press or Elegant Themes or even Graph Paper Press. One Price & get all their themes will save you in the long run. I used Studio Press since the month it originally came out. Truthfully I’ve made my money back tenfold. The Genesis themes are not as easy to modify as non Framework themes but they have really great support.

2. Custom Post Types – These things suck. Really they do. There are regular posts & Custom Post Types. Before all plugins attached themselves to regular post. Now Plugin makers want their plugins to be attached to Custom Post Types. The problem with that is that you have to modify every aspect of your site to get the Custom Post Type to act like a regular post. Custom Post Type Plugins don’t always show up on the front page of your site or even are selectable in lots of style options you want to make. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.

3. Keep your installation up to date. I actually do it for several other blogs but the IDN readership is low so I haven’t exactly kept up with the Jones here. Keeping it up to date will have a benefit to search as Google does look at version numbers in their algorithm it seems.

4. Don’t use the same plugins you used 3 years ago. Test out new plugins. You might surprise yourself that some new plugin developer has made a better SEO or Analytics Plugin. Test Test Test.

5. Buy Good Plugins. Go to a site like CodeCanyon & but plugins. If you use those is sites to dominate non English markets you can pretty much create some great sites. Also try to test out Free versions that have an upsell you might find a few great plugins that way.

6. Blogging is about being social. Another thing I don’t really stick to on this blog but do for others. Give credit to others & they will write about you. One of my sites I’ve pretty much has a over 80% rate of having Japanese give me a link back.

7. IDN compatible plugins. There used to be like 2, then about 3, 2 to 3 years ago. There’s about 10 plugins on WordPress that enhance IDN Compatibility.

A little bit busy this week, still the beginning of the year, but wanted to feed yall with knowledge. (Hopefully) I’ll post one of the sites after I create about 4 of them.

IDN Development Ramblings (also 200th post)

I’ve been doing this blog I feel like forever. This is my 200th post & well it’s just going to be new 2012 development ramblings.

1. Traffic from shortening services is displayed in Google Analytics as Direct traffic even though it isn’t. You have to make a plan to anylize referers seperatedly.
2. BITLY shortners have an issue with IDNs this needs to be fixed. Only one person so far has contacted support about it. Support notices are public & people vote on it. If you use the API it’s no problem but if you paste in an IDN punycode or not it doesn’t go to the link.
3.  Traffic from Social Facebook & Twitter mobile devices. I was surprised to find that one of my sites the bounce rate from links on Social Media are an incredible 7%. Yeah no mistype. I’ve never had a segment of referrals anywhere near that low.
4. I spoke to one of my former coworkers who heads a major ad technology in Tokyo. He told me currently it’s good to revisit Adsense. I’ve taken adsense off my sites but he told me that the quality of inventory matching has improved since years back. He also accredited to introduction of remarketing by Google. I’m not advising anyone to create cheap looking sites at all. I do recommend starting small at first & growing your site. Try to create quality.
5. Buying traffic. A lot of people believe buying advertisements is just trying to buy clicks to ads. It’s not. For example later I’ll launch a Facebook campaign for one of my domains. I will pay for users to join the Facebook page. The reason being is that I want to grow the audience. That page is updated with content from the site. If I pay $3 to capture that user to my page & they frequent that site for a year or more, share the info with their friends etc. Isn’t this worth it? Advertising for publishers is about expanding your user base.
6. Ads are not just Clicks.
Seems like many forget with advertising you don’t just get paid per click. There’s also CPM( Cost per Impression) . I’m trying to hire 2 writers by April on a weekly basis. Increase the content, increase revenue even if no one clicks.
7. Dot Com in katakana
Lately I’ve had a few referrals come to my site with searches with dot com in katakana. As some are reading this I know you are thinking “We told You”. I want to explain to you WHY this is happening. I started testing strong Twitter marketing. Twitter doesn’t allow you to put .com in your username. As a result with strong Twitter marketing I’ve started to get Japanese users searching for the name I put on the Twitter account. I’ve ONLY gotten search referrals like that AFTER I started Twitter marketing. My point is users will search for dot com in native languages for existing sites. Especially for sites that has been branded that way.
8. Traffic Origins
Some may say that I’m wrong about where traffic comes from or basically about anything I would say in general. I’m making assumptions based on doing testing of the traffic. If I’m wrong about redirects, traffic being mostly mobile, etc do the research to prove it invalid. I’m not doing the testing to be right. I do the research because I hope others would too so we can have accurate information about IDN domains. If you truly believe that the average educated Chinese, or Arabic parked domain user gets to the site because they append dot com to any keyword they are search for, & will do so for dot com in their language in the future do proper research & display the results. Even if you loose revenue for a week place your parking page in an iframe & put Google Analytics in the code. This will give you 100% insights to exactly where your traffic is coming from. Imagine if we had at least a sample of 5 domains from each language that would do this test. We don’t need exact traffic numbers just the percentages.

In ending I’ll make it firm that I like developing with IDN Domains. If they are not selling why not invest in developing your property.  Times are hard I realize many people have invested in IDNs because of something I created in 2005. We would all be stunned if Apple’s Safari browser changes that redirect. Other browsers have.

Adam Dicker and DNForum are on fire!!

I’ve been looking more and more over what Adam Dicker is doing over at DNF as a forum owner and businessman. He’s implemented a lot of things that I personally believe are needed for the growth of a large community. Over the holiday he even had a great discount on upgrading memberships for DNF unfortunately I missed it but will be looking over going to exclusive this year.
Some of the things I really respect his progression on are:

1 Trying to get rid of the make me an offer.
I might have been the first forum owner to do this. It’s a waste of time if the seller is looking for how much my domain is worth. If you want offers put in a range that you find acceptable. Don’t waste people’s time.
2. Development is key
If you are not selling domains at least try to increase your revenue on your portfolio. Even little by little is good. He not only encourages conversation on development, he really knows it well and offers some services to help you.
3. Publication
Looks like DNF will start a publication with writers. I’m actually a bit interested in this myself. Not to really talk about IDNs but more so about marketing advertising from an ad agency workers perspective.
4. Expansion and keeping it fresh
Adam and his team has kept expanding DNF and although some of the designs weren’t the best the site looks great and has kept up with the Jones.
5. Mobile and technology in general
I haven’t used it myself but I know that they released an iPhone app. I’ve been learning app development all last year and have lots of respect for him for this.
6. Social Media
I wrote before that it sucks that no forum owns their twitter account or even tweets. A while afterwards they launch their Facebook page and twitter account. Connecting with your community is NOT just on your site anymore. it’s about the message and if it’s strong enough it will be shared. That’s the power of Social.
7. Credibility
I’ve wrote about using Linkedin for domainers. He’s recently made the move to just use his real name instead of Dot Com God. Before I started working at Ad Agency level and initially went from web designer to SEO there are so many people who will post really inaccurate information about marketing what clients want etc. If you are not an expert yourself you can save time and frustration if you knew a little something about the people you put your trust in.
For myself even though everyone inaccurately thinks my job is SEO for Japanese clients, people still make the association that I’m an ad agency professional that deals with clients. This is needed if you think you represent your community.

I’ve wanted to write about Adam for a while he’s really grown his community well and shows he cares about his member’s investments.

We have an opportunity to take technology made in English and apply it to category killer domains in a variety of languages still. Even if it’s one site in English follow some of the tips he gives then apply it to your portfolio.

Please don’t take my post as any reference to any other domain communities.

Not a lot of great auctions to begin the year

In Tokyo there are a few different auction platforms. Most have been active for over a year. The four main ones are Humeia, Rat, Onamae and WIXI. The first two were really behind closed doors until recently.

At the end of the month in December when the jp drop happened I have a feeling things went a bit too automated. No one was around to check which drops were caught. All of the systems catch .jps and immediately put them up for auction. There wasn’t a lot of great terms to catch to begin with. Also if the auctions just go until the 5th no one is really into business mode until the 5 or so.

I’m making these assumptions because I hand registered at about 1pm on New Years day. Usually I don’t comment about auctions while they are happening but this month doesn’t have a ton of great selections. that’s a fabulous domain but doesn’t seem to be in the auctions yet. I think that will be the money maker.

Happy New Year.