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News about the domain name market.

January, 28, 2009 - Buyers optimistic after inauguration

After dismal 2008 year end reports from registrars and domain aftermarket businesses, things are looking back up for January. Adams Consulting has also been experiencing a renewed interest in domain names, coinciding with the presidential inauguration. December presented a dry spell as buyers were in a wait and see period about the new year, but they are certainly more optimistic since the inauguration, and sales and inquiries have gone up drastically.

December, 17, 2008 - ICANN states new policy to prevent Domain Tasting

Domain tasting is an abuse of the Add Grace Period policy, allowing registrars to "try out" domains for free. These "trial" domain registrations produce a lot of traffic on the Verisign servers, and the registrars don't have to pay for the tasting. Today, ICAAN announced their new policy that will curb abuse of the Add Grace Period. Effective March 31, 2009, registrars will not be allowed to delete more than 10% of their new registrations in a given month. This policy should put a stop to most domain tasting, which will make it easier for anyone who isn't a registrar to register a domain that is unowned. This will also prevent auction sites such as Namejet, Pool, and Enom from capturing as many domains as they can as they drop, in order to auction them off to the highest bidder. Now, these auction sites will most likely only catch domains that people have actually backordered.

October 15, 2008 - Prices go up again on domain registrations

Verisign, the company that controls the authoritative database for registering .COM and .NET domains, raised their prices again this year by the maximum 7% and 10% allowed by ICANN. Prices for .COM go from $6.42 to $6.86 per year, and .NET raises from $3.85 to $4.23. The trend is clear that Verisign will most likely raise the prices by the maximum allowed every year until their contract expires in 2010. If you have a large portfolio of domains, you may wish to start putting money aside for early and extended renewals before this year's price hike to save money. This year's price hike will most likely occur in October of 2009. Godaddy raised their price well beyond the new margin, and many registrars followed suit.

June 27, 2008 - Domain tasters to be penalized

During the Paris ICANN meeting, a resolution was passed to penalize domain tasters. Registrars will be charged a fee for domains that are refunded in the grab period that exceed 10% of their registrations.

We're most excited about this because it will block unscrupulous registrars from continuously dropping and re-adding domains while they taste them. We've seen domains tied up for months without the registrar ever having to pay for them because they simply keep dropping and re-adding them.

There is no implementation plan yet, and there is time for people to comment before the new regulations are implemented, but we're looking forward to the change.

January 03, 2008 - Moniker Acquired by Oversee.net

There is obviously a lot of money in domain parking, especially if you do it better than everyone else.  Oversee.net has recently acquired Moniker, one of the premiere domain registrars.  An enormous amount of premium domains are registered at Moniker.  Many domainers use Moniker's bulk accounts for registering, managing, and even parking, through Moniker's Traffic Club.  In addition, Moniker provides well reknowned escrow, auction, appraisal, and domain acquisition services.

What does this mean for you?  Oversee.net owns and controls DomainSponsor.com, the premiere domain parking and monitization service.  Oversee.net will add millions of premium domains to their network, drawing more money from advertisers, and passing some of it on to you if you park your domains with them.  Oversee.net will also be taking control of yet another of their competitors in the domain services market.

October 15, 2007 - Prices go up on domain registrations

Verisign, which controls the authoritative database for registering .COM and .NET domains, raised their prices 7% in an effort to raise more money.  This raises the base fee for .COM domains from $6 US to $6.42.  You would expect that bargain registrars like GoDaddy would have raised their domain prices by $.50, but they, and many other registrars have initiated a price hike of $1 or more.

What does this mean for you?  It's time to shop around for a registrar again.  I am amazed that, in general, registrars did not advertise the price hike to their customers to give the customers a chance to renew domains at the lower price.  This would, of course, demonstrate good customer service.  I have a large portfolio on multiple discount registrars, and I have to give credit to Fabulous.com for being the only registrar to notify me of the price hike at least two weeks in advance and give me a chance to register and renew early at a discounted rate.

July 19, 2007 - GreatDomains.com acquired by Sedo

Sedo recently acquired GreatDomains.com.  GreatDomains is THE place to list and find premium generic domain names like shrimp.com.  This is somewhat exciting news because Sedo is adding auctions of premium domains to the website's list of services.  Keep an eye on GreatDomains.com and you'll see how premium domains, especially one word, generic, domains, are becoming more and more rare.

Premium domains are moving from the speculators into the hands of businesses, as companies realize the value of a premium domain and the positive ROI that they are able to achieve even after sometimes paying millions of dollars.  It becomes the next amazon.com, myspace.com, or mulch.com.  Buy that premium domain that you wish you had before somebody else does.

May 31, 2007 - SnapNames to be acquired by Oversee.net

SnapNames just announced that they will be acquired by Oversee.net in June.  Who is Oversee.net, you may wonder?  They are one of the largest, if not the largest, online marketing companies.  If you have your domains parked at DomainSponsor.com, the most popular and successful domain monetization website, your monthly checks are being sent from Oversee.net.  SnapNames is the industry leader in domain backorders and auctions.  The companies are merging to, no doubt, be more successfull with each other's resources, though the official word is to provide more services to their customers.  Imagine being the most successful domain monetization company, and now you have the ability to acquire the best expiring domains for tasting.  We see this as a good move for both companies, as Enom was edging in on both of them.  My vote is for SnapNames and Oversee.net, who, in my opinion, have more ethical business practices than Enom.  Congratulations on the merger and good luck.

May 1, 2007 - .EU domains expiring

The .EU TLD debuted just over a year ago.  That means there are now many great .EU domain names expiring.  If you do business or expect to do business in the future in the European Union, now's the perfect time to have us help you capture a premium .EU domain. Don't wait until it's too late.

April 1, 2007 - .TEL new TLD

There has been a lot of confusion over the new TEL Top Level Domain.  TEL will not replace or compete with the MOBI Top Level Domain.  TEL will be used to dial a company or person by name instead of by number.  The TEL user will be connected to a standard voice system, VOIP, instant messenger, email, or various other systems.  MOBI is still the new, default Top Level Domain for mobile web pages.
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