The Full Spectrum of the Domain Business

From Dubai to Chicago, telecom companies are introducing new area codes to meet the demand of new telephone numbers businesses. If only this was possible for Internet domain names – the .com addresses, like business.com,auto.com and phones.com– that are the invaluable gold mine of the Digital Age. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of .com domain names, and due to the demand supply ration which is out of whack, corporates are squabbling with one another to secure the right domains.

Let’s face it, image is exceptionally critical to any online business and domain names have their own brand image. Short domains, one word names with the dot com after them are in extreme demand. A domain name must be memorable and easy to remember because a domain name must be able to stand alone for any corporate to have its own online identity. Customer’s today type in the most used domain names simply from memory. A great domain name means search engines simply aren’t necessary.

Who are domainers?

Domainers are the professionals who deal in domain names. Domainers buy, sell, and develop domain names in a manner similar to real estate investors. Domainers generate revenue via domain parking, web-site development, and resale of domain names. Domainers are also sometimes referred to as domain investors, web site developers, domain registrants and commercial registrants.

As of December 2006 there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 individuals globally who make buying and selling domain names a part of their business. USA Today reported that many Domainers prefer to remain anonymous due to the highly competitive nature of their business[1]

2. What is pay per click advertising?

Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising technique used on websites, advertising networks, and search engines.

Advertisers bid on “keywords” that they believe their target market (people they think would be interested in their offer) would type in the search bar when they are looking for their type of product or service. For example, if an advertiser sells red widgets, he/she would bid on the keyword “red widgets”, hoping a user would type those words in the search bar, see their ad, click on it and buy.

These ads are called “sponsored links” or “sponsored ads” and appear next to and sometimes above the natural or organic results on the page. The advertiser pays only when the user clicks on the ad.

While many companies exist in this space, Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing, which was formerly Overture, are the largest network operators as of 2006. In the spring of 2006, MSN started beta testing their own in-house service, MSN adCenter. Arguably this advertising model may be open to abuse through click fraud, although recently Google and other search engines have implemented automated systems to guard against this.

3. What is direct navigation?

Direct navigation describes the method individuals use to navigate the Internet in order to arrive at specific websites. Direct navigation is a new, loosely defined term, which is generally understood to include type-in traffic and bookmarked traffic. This involves an internet user navigating to a website directly through the website address bar, bypassing any online search engines and navigating directly to the domain.

WebSideStory has recently published a report illustrating that direct navigation traffic, converts into sales for advertisers at a rate twice that of search engines.[1] Specifically, the Q4 2005 study of internet traffic, revealed that direct navigation traffic such as browser type-in traffic, bookmarks of existing sites and visits to existing, known website domain names converts into sales for advertisers at 4.23% of total visits compared to 2.3% for product and service related searches performed via the search box at search engines such as Google and Yahoo.[1]

Do you have skills predicting future trends? What names might be big in the next few years if a woman or a black man were elected president, if an issue other than terrorism begins to creep into the world psyche? If green becomes in or America revamps its health care system what will be the key domain names that will represent the future? What names today represent a great business opportunities for you tomorrow?

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