DomainBits – The Interview By Domain Magnate

April 30, 2008

I recently did an interview with Michael of Domain Magnate. You can read it here.

Thanks a lot! And make sure to add Domain Magnate to your feed reader.

Sabotaging Websites – A New Way To Do It

April 24, 2008

There are many ways to sabotage a website, but today I found out that one of my websites was sabotaged in a way that I had never seen before.

A few months ago, I started a new, content-rich website. It included about 100 articles. Like I often do with a new website, I got a few backlinks to the site, then left it to age a few months before seriously promoting it.

Today I returned to that website to find it had some serious ranking and indexing problems in Google. I tried to figure out what was going on and found that someone had used a very creative way of sabotaging the website.

What this person had done was take almost every single article from my website, and submitted them to many article directories. However, the articles were submitted with his byline and with a link to his websites! Since then, many other websites had syndicated these articles from the article banks – and all of these syndicated articles were linking to his websites.

Now, it looks to Google like my website is simply a copy of free articles available in article directories, with little original content. In short – little original content = not worth indexing or ranking. What’s more, this person’s website is getting credit for all of these articles, as most of the copies on the web are linking to his website.

Normally, I don’t care much if someone copies from my websites. I think Google is pretty smart about it, and as long as your content is cached first, you should be alright most of the time. However, in this case, with so many copies of most of the articles from my website, and all of them attributing authorship to someone else, it’s a big problem. It’s an even bigger problem for brand new websites (like mine) as these sites will not yet have earned much trust or authority in Google.

I can’t think of what I can do about this other than start from scratch, which is very disheartening (and expensive). If anyone has any thoughts about how to deal with this, I’d appreciate the input. And of course, in the future, I will be more vigilant about checking for people copying my websites.

IDNs Prevent Death

April 22, 2008

I’ve said before that IDNs are going to do well simply because even if people know English fluently as a second language, they prefer to use their native tongue when using the internet. Now an extreme example of the importance of IDNs has just surfaced – because IDNs weren’t available, two people died and three people are in jail.

The story reads like something from the twilight zone. A couple in Turkey split up and the wife had moved back in with her family. The couple were text messaging each other. The wife’s cell phone didn’t have IDN capabilities – and could not read or write the closed i or “?”. So, the letter i showed in place of the closed i.

As the article states:

The use of “i” resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word “s?k?s?nca” it looked like he wrote “sikisince.” Ramazan wanted to write “You change the topic every time you run out of arguments” (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, “You change the topic every time they are fucking you” (sounds familiar too.)

Wife then shows father the message, father accuses husband of treating wife as a prostitute, husband show’s up at father’s house to apologize, is greeted by the father and several family members wielding knives, husband is stabbed and seriously injured (later kills himself), husband takes knife that stabbed him and uses it to stab his wife, dad and two family members are now in jail.

Not only do IDNs save lives, IDNs are what people want and need. Buy ’em while they’re still affordable.

Sedo Auctions Phishing Domains

April 22, 2008

I do recommend investing in IDNs – but only when appropriate. Appropriate means good commercial and similar terms in languages that use more than just English’s 26 letters of the alphabet. However, domains that are simply English words, replacing a vowel such as an “i” with an “” are worthless. Their only possible value is for phishing.

Yesterday while browsing Sedo, the auction of Office.net caught my attention. I wanted to place a bid, but because the bidding was so low for what is such a great domain, I hesitated. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

Upon further investigation, I found out that the domain on auction was actually offce.net. What’s the difference? Look closely – it’s an “” rather than an “i” in office. I wonder if the winning bidder noticed that and whether the transaction will actually close. There is absolutely nothing on the auction to alert a person that this is an IDN – Sedo should surely have also written something like: in punycode, this is xn--offce-vsa.net.

Come on Sedo – how hard is it to alert people to deceptive practices like this? You are supposed to be providing a much safer and more sophisticated domain platform than places like eBay.

Canadian Domain Auction Landscape Changes

April 22, 2008

There have been some notable changes over the last few days in the Canadian domain auction landscape.

Sibername has introduced changes in their TBR system. First, they have raised the minimum bid from $15 to $25. While I’m sure domainers will complain about the increase in price (after all, who wants to pay more?), I believe that this is a good step. My guess is that Sibername was wasting a lot of resources trying to catch dropping domains that would only sell for $15, when these resources could have been reallocated to catching higher value domains. For $15, they are better off selling new registrations than TBR domains.

[Read more]

Domain Registrar Secrets Revealed!

April 20, 2008

Have you ever bothered to read the fine print in the agreement you entered into with your registrar? Chances are you haven’t, and quite honestly, until now, nor have I. Well, for some weekend fun, I decided to do this. Here’s what I found that my registrar was guaranteeing:

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Special Domain Deal For Canadians – 0b.ca For Sale

April 17, 2008

I’m offering a top NL.ca for sale – 0b.ca. NL.ca are obviously very rare – there are only 260 of them.

0b has overture of 113. There are 8,590,000 Google results for 0b. It makes a good acronym.

Here are some recent comparable sales (all in 2008):

A7.ca – $1,580
3W.ca – $1,500
X2.ca – $1,495
6X.ca – $1,250

There have also been several five-figure LL.ca sales in 2008. Some of them are:

RR.ca – $15,811
VV.ca – $10,000
BU.ca – $13,500

Prices of .ca domains are rising fast – it has been a record breaking year for .ca domains. Prices will continue to rise, now that we are at the one million .ca mark.

0b.ca will be on auction at the MyID Premium .ca Auction, which starts May 22, 2008. The reserve price is $1,000 (Canadian) and the BIN price is $2,000.

Free Domaining Resources at DotSauce

April 16, 2008

One of my favorite domaining blogs is DotSauce, written by Mark Fulton. One of the things that makes his website special is the premium content section. In this section, he offers additional tools, bookmarks, coupon codes and articles. Normally, he charges a mere $10 per month for this – a real bargain. Now, for a limited time only, you can get free access to the premium content. Well worth signing up and taking a look around at what he offers.

Estibot Adds A New Tool

April 14, 2008

My favorite set of domaining tools is at Estibot. The main tool available is a domain appraisal tool. This tool provides an automatic appraisal of a domain name based on a wide variety of data, including keyword frequency in Google, keyword frequency in urls and titles in Google, backlinks, pagerank, alexa rank, number of ppc ads for the keywords, maximum bids on ppc ads for the keywords, and Overture and Wordtracker data. The tool is also integrated somewhat with NameBio and pulls up similar sales to the domain you are getting appraised.

What’s useful about the tool is not so much the final number that is produced (in fact, you’d be very foolish to rely on this), but the fact that it provides you with pretty much all the publicly available pieces of data that you can get about a domain. That way, you can quickly and easily analyze a domain and come to your own conclusion about the data.

There is also a bulk appraisal tool that allows you to appraise up to 100 domains at a time. I find this very helpful for going through long lists of domains that are available (for instance, a list of domains that are dropping or in pre-release) and whittling it down to ones that have value and are worth investigating further.

Estibot has now just released a new tool known as the “long term search tool.” What this tool essentially does is provide up to 10,000 related search terms for a term that you input. This is not only handy for keyword research for SEO, but you can also drill down that list quickly and find out what keywords terms have been registered and what ones are still available. Essentially, it provides a quick and easy way of finding available domain names. I’ve long been waiting for such a tool, as it works well with my previously discussed profiting from new domain registrations post. It both speeds up the process and allows a deeper look into long tail search terms.

There are a wide variety of other tools available as well. Another personal favorite is the instant Overture tool that allows you to find the Overture of keywords quickly rather than relying on the actual slow and often out of service Overture tool.

Anyone who has dealt with these sorts of tools before knows that they are very resource intensive. Although most of the tools are available for free, I recommend getting a membership (available for only $19.95 per month) both to get access to the full suite of tools that Estibot offers, and also to support the continuing development efforts of Esa, the site owner.

Funniest Forum Thread of the Year

April 14, 2008

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink. You can see this principle in action at an ongoing thread at Domainstate. A chap going by the handle “Ace Brawler” is looking for an appraisal of the term AceBrawler.com. He’s told very politely that it’s worthless and why. Instead of learning from this, he decides to prove he’s worthy of the name “Ace Brawler.” Read the ensuing hilarity here. I do hope that the moderators at DomainState don’t edit this thread so that in the future, people can learn from this.

On a more serious note, if you ever wonder why no one bothers to give an appraisal in a forum, it’s often because they have been burned by this sort of “Ace Brawling” many times before and are tired of it. Kudos to anyone who has the patience to take the time to provide a domain appraisal and give reasons to back it up.

Don’t Drink The “Develop Your Domains” Kool-Aid

April 12, 2008

The biggest theme in the domainersphere in the last few days has been about development of domains. Many people are saying that this is the way forward for domainers and the best way to profit from domains. Elliot talks about his ideal portfolio. If you look at the direction he is heading in, he is basically reducing the number of domains he holds in order to concentrate on developing a few successful websites. Lord Brar talks about how he makes money from domains – essentially he develops them before reselling. Over and over we hear about how “pure” domaining is dying, and domainers need to hop on the development bandwagon.

[Read more]

ICANN Story Misreported

April 9, 2008

Recently, I called attention to a news article in Gulf News that claimed Paul Twomey, president and CEO of ICANN, made some very negative statements about domaining.

I have since been contacted by Jason Keenan, who works at ICANN media relations. His statement is as follows:

[Read more]

Network Solutions Makes Another Evil Move

April 8, 2008

Not content with the profits it makes from front running, Network Solutions has decided to scam people in another way: it is now hijacking unassigned sub-domains.

A subdomain is basically a domain built on a domain – so, for instance, some sites might add a blog at blog.domain.com. An unassigned subdomain is a subdomain that hasn’t been set up and there will be an infinite number of them – e.g. NetworkSolutionsSucks.DomainBits.com, EvilNetworkSolutions.DomainBits.com, etc. What Network Solutions is doing is presenting a parking page any time someone goes to a nonexistent subdomain of a website hosted with them.

If these pages ended up getting indexed in Google or any of the other major search engines, it could cause some serious trouble for the website owners. Even if they don’t get indexed – how would you like your host to be adding pages to your website, without letting you know?

Network Solutions Sucks – avoid them like the plague!

ICANN Says: Domaining is Bad

April 7, 2008

Paul Twomey is the president and CEO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the big kahunas who run the domain system. So, their view of domaining is obviously somewhat important.

Now we hear from Mr Twomey that domaining is bad. In fact, it’s not only bad, it’s as bad as cybersquatting and typosquatting.

[Read more]

Indian Domaining – A Great Investment Opportunity

April 3, 2008

INForumI’m proud to announce that I’ve recently acquired the leading domain forum for Indian domains – INForum.

INForum is the place on the internet to discuss Indian domains, their future and their development. You can get your Indian domains appraised, and there is also a marketplace where you can buy and sell your Indian domains. You can also discuss anything related to India’s technology revolution or the internet in India. The forum also has a blog, on which I’ll post news relating to these topics.

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IdiotU.com – My Great New Domain

April 1, 2008

Just acquired a great new domain for my collection – IdiotU.com. Best of all, I didn’t even need to pay anything for it. That’s right, no cash at all. All I had to do was give this sucker one of my kidneys. Well, I needed to lose weight anyhow, and what a fast way to do it! Can’t wait to see how much traffic IdiotU.com gets!

13 Things Domainers Should Know About Domain Law

April 1, 2008

There has been a lot of news lately about domains that involve legal issues. The law regarding domains can be very complex, and often domainers don’t understand the consequences of this. To help you deal with these issues, here are 13 things domainers should know about domain law.

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