In the Christmas spirit for IDNs

Today I’m going to do an Elliot (Elliot’s Blog) & specifically talk about the traffic of a new domain. Recently I’ve been testing a lot with shopping product sites. As I’ve written before in a post I did get a new domain recently that just has massive amounts of traffic. I initially wanted to test the difference long term of an IDN Domain & an ASCII Domain.

I was a bit surprised by this myself & the test is already skewed because out of the gate the IDN got more traffic than I thought possible. So I’ve been optimizing the IDN a bit more.

I bought the domain “Christmas Present” in both ASCII characters & IDN version. Sorry no one can say they don’t have a chance to own both because to my surprise both were available & make a really good set. I registered both around November 27th this year. I wanted to see if I acquired both versions & developed them initially with the same amount of content which would get more traffic &/or sales.

If one is using Google’s tools for seasonal domains you really have to rethink your strategy. Google keyword tool will show you a monthly average which isn’t good. The actual traffic is usually 20 times or more during that keyword’s peak season. So Google’s tool would show “Christmas Present” may only get about 6,000 searches a month reality is more like around November the term will get 100,000 searches & in December it will get over a million searches. So those who missed it in the drop in November this is the reality of thinking about seasonal domains.

The ASCII version basically is trickling with traffic. Less than 30 uniques a day. Not bad for a domain that’s about 2 weeks old but the IDN version is up to over 450 unique visitors a day via PC & Mobile. About 40% of my traffic is from mobile & I have been optimizing for mobile versions of my sites. This pickup in traffic spurred me to spend some time recently going over & making a better mobile template & adding mobile adsense to it.

In the Christmas spirit I’m sharing the Google Analytics screenshot. Initially I didn’t want to put analytics on these two domains but the traffic was too good to not measure it more thoroughly. These developments was not a built in a day. I’ve been trying to build these sites & upgrading them from February of this year. Each site you have developed can give you insights to how to better build the next site.

Since the year is ending I believe I’ve accomplished

  • A good way to monetize my domains which are products/shopping category on PC & mobile
  • I’ve gotten good at ranking them for various keywords (well that’s one of my prior job function so I should know this).
  • I’ve built some pretty good mobile templates for regular Japanese mobile phones.

Next year I plan to

  • Build better solutions/templates for iPhone & iPad for my sites.
  • Build a solution to monetize my music category domains
  • Build a solution for my travel related portfolio on PC & mobile
  • Build a solid advertising network for my portfolio for PC (I may not be able to do this for mobile yet)

Here’s the screenshot. The traffic for this will keep rising until January. I am not a believer that I am loosing traffic to the dot com because I am ranking for many keywords not just the term Christmas present. Happy Holidays guys. Sorry I’m not writing revenue stats or linking to the domain in the post.

You can compare my stats for one week (less than a week) with the Epik sites

So far for 5 days of traffic I’d project this would compare to their top 10 sites for traffic. This is why I choose development.

PS. I’m sharing this only because I feel there is a serious lack of proof of what potential IDNs have especially compared to sites.

stats for Christmas Present IDN
Christmas Present IDN

IDNs with Google PageRank

I haven’t paid attention to the PageRank of any of my personal sites lately but I remembered yesterday that it used to be hard  to get Google PageRank attributed to your IDN Domain. It was issues like this that inspired me to concentrate on testing the development of IDN Domains. I guess the bulk of my testing in the past results are on IDN Forums. I remember making a hidden development forum & unfortunately I’m not logging into the site so I’ll try to look at this again here.

I looked over my developed IDNs & only one has PageRank (that I quickly saw). That’s my Bellydance site. http://ベリーダンス.com. For me this site was a measurement also to see if IDNs can be used & remembered by the average consumer in Japan. It only has a PR2 but plenty of Japanese ladies know & look for the site by name. Many who send event information link back to the site.

The site gets upwards of 300 unique visitors a day & truthfully I only profit from the site when I collaborate with the ladies & produce events. Then there is also the occasional payment for certain types of posts.

Anyway back to PageRank & tech issues, Google PageRank can be obtained on IDNs. I’ve started to put a little bit more money & time into development recently since my affiliate sites are doing well. The shopping sites are great for pure money but I also want to create sites that users come back to & link to.

Even my アニメ.com even though I’m in the middle of development, I’m rethinking what kind of site it should be. This could be better for the market.

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. 100th post

This is the 100th post from

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 – 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 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

What do Domains have for competition?

2010 is not the dot com bubble era. I wanted to show what are the areas where domains compete with other marketing tactics. Since I work in advertising I can see where the money is spent by companies. Ten years ago there was money spent on TV, Newspaper, banners, magazines, radio, affiliate, search ads, & outside advertising. 2010 is a new ballpark for advertising. With a lot of the traditional ad a domain would be used differently then than it would be used now.

In 2010 advertisings are going more & more digital: Search Engine Ads, Banner ads, retargeted campaigns, affiliate, social media marketing, blog marketing, online video marketing, analytics, SEO, LPO, and our favorite behavioral targeting.

With a lot of these new online technologies becoming available & needed the marketing people have to try out a lot of techniques to see what works for their company needs. The end result is always one thing Success. How you measure Success is different for every company but that is the goal.

With domains we must leverage what that company or industry needs to gain success. How big is that industry? How competitive is that market? How web savvy is that market?

Marketing budget needs to be looked at. Social Media does not rely a great domain. Your twitter account has a URL, so does facebook. These things impact the decision to buy domains at $500,000. I would be more willing to say it would be good to make a service using the domain & attach like 40,000 people interested in that theme. Or even more. I’m not a disbeliever in domains but I’d just like to open the door to let people see where the money is going. A million dollars can connect directly with many users directly using search & social media. If it’s a huge budget then yes buying a domain is a great option. As before it is not the “only” option. (If you quote me please remember I stated “only” option).

Anyway I with those who are investing in  IDNs to please stick with generic commercial terms. Domains where you can clearly see how they can be used. It7S a fight…

Steve Karnas of Wixi & Ed from Namedrive Interview in

My good friend Steve Karnas was interviewed on You can see the interview from the link below. Good to see the people in Japan who are active in domain being recognized. Congrats Steve…  We are always talking about ways to expand the market from years back, Wixi really helps & already is making strides.

You can go to Wixi’s Site at

A few of Olney’s Japanese IDN’s for Sale

Here a few Japanese IDNs for sale. As many of you know I don’t really list too many of my domains for sale. So if anyone reading my blog is interested. Feel free to email me or use the contact form here. These are a few domains that I really see that I won’t develop any time soon as they don’t fit in the batches I want to develop.

アイコラ.com $5,000 Idol Collage – high searched adult term referring to Japanese idols heads on nude bodies I might own the .jp too
胸チラ.com $5,000 – Nip Slips – high searched adult term
ブックマーク.com $5,000 – Bookmark actually has daily typein
ジュース.com $5,000 – Juice – main term for juice
ウーロン茶.com $2,000 – Oolong Tea – really popular tea for Japanese

顎.com $500 – Chin (I was thinking of plastic surgery when I registered this)

自動車趣味.com $500 – Automobile Hobby (Overture used to be super high)
スポーツ新聞.com $500 – Sports Newspaper (Overture was super high)
テレビ局.com $2,000 – TV station (High Overture probably still)

Message me from now till end of July. I might do a deal on a few but these are my base prices.
Also I don’t list anywhere except for my blog for right now for these. I can also look up the current Overture search queries for the terms.

Google Analytics fix for IDN Domains

I haven’t tested it myself yet but I would recommend IDN Domain developers to upgrade to the Google Analytics asynchronous code.
There were at least a few issues over the years with the old Google analytics code for both mobile & PC sites.

One of the main problems with IDNs & Google Analytics was

All IE versions were shown as IE6.
I resolved this last year but it’s better to just try the new code.

If you still want to use the old code then here’s the fix.
It’s pretty simple.

You have to change the code setDomain to “none”


originally it doesn’t have have none.

Anyway this is just one fix but the new code from Google may be a little bit better for you guys.
Just writing for those who want to control their domains.
It’ll be good if in the future I go through some sites & see my fixes..

After implementing this you will see that IDNs are not being viewed only on IE6

Wixi Japanese domain parking service get’s promoted on NameDrive’s site

NameDrive came out with an official post about Wixi. The very first domain parking program for Japan. This is something that we in Japan have needed for years. Let me get this straight though. There are domainers in Japan. Many have frustrations on having to use English interfaces to park their domains. Others simply don’t park.

Now that Wixi is here I know it will expand the market. There’s a team of really good guys behind Wixi. If you want to see who two of the team look like read this post. We hang out in Tokyo last month.

You can Get to Wixi from Here

Wixi Domain Parking

Why don’t domainers develop for mobile?

One of the topics I’ve been hesitant to write about is mobile developments. Unfortunately I find that domainers (Domain investors) especially the more well known individuals don’t develop for mobile or even have mobile as a part of their strategy.

Most of my sites that I’ve created are mobile compatible & they have been for years. Yes years. One of my IDN sites gets 10X more traffic via mobile compared to PC.

Some people’s impression of mobile is iPhone equals mobile. Just because iPhone users are able to view your site via full browser doesn’t make it mobile compatible. Actually you are loosing control of your traffic.

One example to explain this is if you search for a site using Google while on a mobile phone the site will render via Google’s mobile rendering technology. If the site is mobile compatible a mark will show that it’s a mobile site. Even if your site is viewed via Google’s mobile rendering it doesn’t guarantee users will see the most recent content, nor does it guarantee this data will show up in your analytics data.

Google Analytics for mobile is a beast itself & I’ve had to modify the code (with the help of bugging Google people) years ago. Hate to say it but it’s seems like by the time domainers get to develop for mobile even high school students will be developing mobile sites.

This is not a backlash but hopefully a wake up for IDN Domain owners & domainers. The surprising thing is of all the domain blogs, forums, & sites out there Rick Schwartz is the only domain blog that I’ve seen that has a mobile version.  There’s also one domainer I’ve found who’s site is mobile enhanced. I couldn’t really write this before as before the upgrade this was one of my few sites that wasn’t mobile compatible.