Where dost thou traffic come from Part 2

Where dost thou traffic come from Part 2

In part 1 of knowing where your traffic comes from I stated that I have one domain that was getting tons of direct traffic with no clicks at all.

That domain was parked & all the traffic was suddenly coming since end of February. Currently domains is something that is peaking the interest of tech writers. Some good, most bad because people who don’t own companies believe that everything can be accessed by search. I run search campaigns all day long & know for a fact that if Japanese people accessed sites directly a companies SEM cost would actually go down.

Anyhoot (I know it’s not a word) I discovered that a blogger used my domain as an IDN example in his post & that brought about many people accessing the domain.

So adding to knowing where your traffic comes from

Somebody wrote an article & used your domain as an example.
Now I believe I can pinpoint exactly where my traffic is coming from on my top 20 Japanese domains with traffic.

On another note I see one of my dot coms has gotten up to about 70 uniques a day.
Unbelievable but I count at least 5 sites, yes 5 (maybe more but I stopped looking) sites that named their site after my domain.
One of them named their site closely related to mine & is often referred to as my domain name by people who link to it.
The other 4 sites use my name exactly. Even though the url is completely different.
It’s mind boggling.

IDNTalk.com 100th post

This is the 100th post from IDNTalk.com

Even though I created the first IDN Forum I did not create the first IDN Blog. IDN Blog began in February 2006 while IDN Talk began in November 2006 (maybe a little earlier). IDN Forums actually had a blog I maintained since November 2005 & those posts have been added here too.

I wanted to do a best post wrappup but looking through this blog it just has too much good stuff you don’t see anywhere else.

Through out my time blogging about IDNs & the Japanese maket there are a few points that I keep repeating.

Develop – It’s been 5 years & more either I or others have been into IDN domains. Minisite creation was a suggestion by me so IDN Domain holders can get used to the process of development.  Development is a learning process. If you have experience & know what needs to be done you can create teams of multinationals for development. Starting now is basically pretty late.
Commercial Terms – Get commercial terms. If possible get terms that rely on the internet.
Extensions that make sense to the market – Only recently did Japanese domain services even offer IDNs in anything other than .jp, or .com. I have to update a previous posts but before those other extensions were not available generally in Japanese. Never would I advise anyone to get any extension for Japan except .jp, .com, or .net. I dropped other extensions I had.
Set a Budget – invest within your budget. Sell if you like not because you have to. If you are selling because you have too much people are only going to mainly want your best at their prices.

In the future I will be splitting my blogging time between here & my site International Sem

100 posts & almost 5 years later guys (gerls) control your investments. I don’t want to wait for folks to magically come to my domains & click something. It’s more rewarding to develop something that users want to go to & influence buying decisions. Think New School…

What can you do with my IDN Domains that I can’t?

I think of my IDN investments in terms of quality of the keyword, size of the market of the term, etc.
I personally think for those of us who invested around 2006 when it was a literal free for all we should not be selling these domains for pennies right now.

We have the knowledge to know that many of the domain investors who are selling for high figures now actually have been holding onto their portfolios for more than 10 years. So I looked at the investment in those terms. I don’t believe targeted consumers will automatically attach ” dot com” or “dot anything” to keywords. Browsers did though. This made parking page monitization easier.

Over the last year or two I have got offers through my whois, for some of my domains. Unfortunately it’s almost always offers for the exact same domains. I keep wondering, if I give you the top tier Japanese domains now, what will you do differently that I can’t do? Sit on it & wait another 5 years when the market is better & resell it? I can do that. I feel most of the offers have been really OK for today’s IDN market.

Anyway I want to take my investment steps further & not just limit it to a domain portfolio.
This all just personal thoughts.. Create your own future.

Geo Site #2 Launched LosAngeles.jp – ロサンゼルス.jp

Ok we seem to be meeting our self set deadlines.

The Japan Geo team has finished phase 1 of Our Los Angeles site.

ロサンゼルス.jp is live we kept the designs same for now, as our main focus is fixing technology to work well with IDNs. Then we can concentrate on making the sites a bit more unique. We also emphasize on what content we put in the site that appeals to our target users. We are also choosing destinations that interest ourselves so that we learn a little bit more about the cities we write the content for. Even being a Boston native when I do the Boston site I’m sure to get more familiar with the hometown I left.

Anyway on to the next travel destination. Great work Japan Geo Team.
It’s the team that makes the difference. We are trying to create long term ventures.
I hope that others following the blog take action too.

Japan Geo site 2

We are almost finished with the second site for the Japan Geo project. Actually I shouldn’t use the term finished but more of phase 1 of the site. Development should be continuous. Most of what takes so long is ignored by the average onlooker.

With Goldenweek coming up soon we should be finished this week to complete our goal of launching 1 Geo site per month. Even though we just started the simple data & A/B testing from making the second site already enhanced what we did for NewYorkCity.jp. For site number 3 I am going to incorporate some new technical solutions to see what are the results.

I’ll be quite happy when we are finished with phase 1 of 5 sites. Then we can bring them all to another phase of the project scope. The only setback will be the team has already started to develop other projects spurred by this synergy.

I’ll try to write somethings about development here but truthfully I think most of the stuff I’ve discovered should have been on the net by now. If you decide to sell your IDNs it is most useful if you can easily answer development issues to potential buyers. The Japan Geo network isn’t just a bunch of sites. It’s going to be an example for IDN development in a highly competitive industry. It’s also ongoing.

I have today & tomorrow to finish my part of JG2 (Japan Geo #2) before I start on #3.
We know the designs are too similar but that’s on purpose for now. We’ll change it later.

車選び.com puts their IDN in use

車選び.com puts their IDN domain in use finally.
After about a year of contacting them they finally got their domain up.
The site is branded with the Japanese characters & unfortunately when I started in IDNs I registered the IDN cause it came up in overture keyword tool.
Afterwards I realized if I dropped the domain they would never be able to use it.
So I kept conversating with ValueCommerce to put me in contact with someone there so I can give (YES GIVE) them the domain. All I wanted was for them to actively use it.

So right now it seems they have built a site around the IDN.
These are smart folks & 車選び.com has become an example for IDN Developers.

People that could make a difference for IDNs

Best posts I’ve read on a domain blog

I’ll start this post with a link.


I’ve wanted to write up that some of the measurements used by domaining is a bit flawed. Unfortunately I feel responsible because I too started the IDN Community using things like Overture International bids as a benchmark. These figures are only to be used in relation to see what the market is willing to pay for keywords. The CPC figures have no direct relation to what you will ever get if you park your domain or use adsense. Affiliate is something else, or direct advertising through banners if you create your own network.

I run PPC ads for clients throughout Asia. Those CPC rates that Google supplies or even Yahoo Search Marketing supplies are for companies advertising to see what they are going to spend on the search network. For the content network (now named the Google Display Network) neither Google or Yahoo provides any search data for estimates. It’s more like if you use the content network advertisers put in what they feel like putting in. Usually a starting CPC in most industries is about 50 cents. High CPC for the content network is about $1.

The Search listings is what makes companies money & conversions. The Content network on both Google & Yahoo are mainly for Branding. So 2000 was about traffic 2005 & on was about Conversions. So if you wonder what CPC you are entitled to for most industries except Finance the max CPC for content is generally around $1. So this is a post to explain to anyone wondering why is CPC looking so high but you get .20 cents.

Yahoo Japan feed is different. It actually pays out higher. I can’t explain how but many of my domains ran on Yahoo’s feed for more than a year. The payout was different. I’m sort of trying to work out something for someone with my peeps from Yahoo. Lets see if it pans out or not.

What I’d love to see in the IDN Community

I’m involved in many aspects of advertising where each of the areas are different. Take acting for instance. Before coming to Japan I was a union actor since the age of 10. When I came to Tokyo it was easy to get into the acting community & start getting work. One of the things that is important is a simple face. I love comedy, not because I’m in Japan but actually I just love doing comedy.  Most of the TV shows I’ve been on just let me adlib because TV producers & directors have seen me, know what I can do, who I worked with before & are confident in what I can do.

Now comes to the other side of advertising, SEM, SEO communities the ones online. SEO, Google put a face on one of the SEO team members for them Matt Cutts. Most of you guys know the guy & probably have seen his face. For those of us in digital advertising there are plenty of publications that always show who are the big guys & important players. With domains think about it who are the guys you trust a bit? Or actually know? Ron Jackson, Rick Schwartz, maybe even Frank Schilling (Frank’s Chilling’), you guys all know the faces & are more likely to listen to them, or what they have to say. I even remember when I owned IDNForums, members seem like they hated Rick Schwartz but the thing is you already know him, & he has no idea who people in the IDN Community are or what they are experts in.

More & more IDN related services are going to pop up. There is a vast variety of faces that are attached to IDNs. Multicultural variety that’s just hidden. I’m pretty open about who I am, what I do. As of now I write this blog for self documentation & for those who wish to read it. I wish there were faces. I think the concept of IDNs has been embraced. These domainers, guys who have blogs under their name, with profiles about who they are pix etc, they just seem more credible to the average person. I might be wrong… but these are my thoughts…

Google Japan Train ads with IDNs

This morning while taking the train I shot a quick video with the train ads with IDNs in the search results. Currently Google is doing a tie up with Hotpepper for the content & because of HotPepper there are thousands of restaurants using IDN.jps for their site listings. I’ll try to get a better version later (& long). For now here’s a quick look. The zooming up was not done by me it’s in the commercial. If you repost I’d appreciate if you credit my blog. Thank You


Google train video ads feature IDNs

I was riding the train when I noticed that video ads for Google for their Gourmet services commercial featured a lot of HotPepper’s IDN URLs in the results. I’ve searched & searched but I’m not able to find that video in the Google Youtube channel. I’ll try to take a video of it.

I guess I’ll have to make a new category for the blog “IDNs in Media” or something like that.

IDN Domains at Domain Name Roundtable

IDN Domains at Domain Name Roundtable
IDN Domains will be presented for discussion at the Domain Roundtable this year. It’s really a 360 degree turn from last year when IDN Domains were totally ignored on domain sites, & now it’s regarded as the next domain goldrush.

But what will it bring for us who already hold large portfolios? The Domain Roundtable is not for the domain spectator it’s specifically for those in the field with the cash to put out for high end investments. Will those investors & business’ hire teams to wipe out the rest of the domains we (IDN Forum members) didn’t register yet? Will they just go straight to the source & buy out portfolios of those members who own 500 to 4000 premium Domains in various languages?

I posed this question on the forum & would extend the invitation for you to discuss potential outcomes.

You can read the prewriteup on the Domain Roundtable by Ron Jackson on DNJournal.com
Domain Roundtable Preview on DNJournal

You can Discuss this with us at IDN Forums
IDN Domains at Domain Roundtable

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…