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Summary:

Every so often, you run into some entrepreneur and that one thing he (its mostly he) who laments about: lack of available domain names. Which means people use dyslexic spellings of popular words, or even translate words from other languages and then Valleywag gets a chance […]

Every so often, you run into some entrepreneur and that one thing he (its mostly he) who laments about: lack of available domain names. Which means people use dyslexic spellings of popular words, or even translate words from other languages and then Valleywag gets a chance to make fun of them. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly obvious: its easier to find one great true love in New York City than it is to find one great true love. (Oh, if you go by the money spent by the likes of Sphere, Dabble, and Flock on their domains, the “love ain’t cheap” theory ports well to domains as well.)

The domains are so hot that domain squatters are making more profits than some of them real estate speculators. About 2.2 million new domains are being snapped up every month in the US alone, according to some estimates. Marchex, a Seattle-based public startup which has built up a massive portfolio of domain names claimed in a Business 2.0 article that it was nearly 10 percent of the global paid search market, about $9 billion or so. Another proof, Donald Trump is no money-genius.

The madness is going global it seems. IPWalk says that new .eu domain, when opened to all European Union residents last week (aka Landrush) has zoomed past the .biz domain and will lap .info in about four months. EURid, the registry of .eu, received 346.218 applications, in comparison with approximately 800.000 applications within the first 24 hours. Today there are 1.454.128 active .eu domain names, a number that surpasses 1.352.984 active .biz domain names.

Given the frenzy, looks like GoDaddy, the domain registrar with enough power to unleash major swings in web-server market share might begoing public. Wow… the company most known for its steamy commercials, hasn’t filed any documents with SEC, but boy, it could be an interesting read. Folks over at Techdirt think that a known name like GoDaddy could be the trigger to get IPO-lemmings out of the door as well.

Just a few things I gathered about GoDaddy.com from IPWalk. The company uses three name servers for its domains, WildWestDomains, Jomax.net and of course Godaddy.com. The only name server, WWD is going up, while the other two are trending down. WWD is the #1 host in the US. GoDaddy has a total of 6.66 million domains registered to it. At a very rough average of about $10 a year for registration, that would work out to about $66 million in annual sales just form domain sales/renewals. Warning: This is a very very very rough estimate.

By Om Malik

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  1. What happens when domains become truly exhausted? Do we just keep rolling out additional tld’s that become pounced on by the same domain name holders? Eventually, we’ll need to introduce a new system where you’re somehow just able to find the company or site you’re looking for without using an exact literal domain name. Of course, this will be resisted by anyone who has marketed their business as a dot com.

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  2. Eventually, we’ll need to introduce a new system where you’re somehow just able to find the company or site you’re looking for without using an exact literal domain name.

    Its already here, its called google.

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  3. As the guy to blame for starting and running EveryDNS [ ;-) ] I can tell you that IPWalk is not very accurate; not quite as bad as Alexa though… that’s a whole different story…

    http://www.ipwalk.com/index.php?module=default&action=static&page=graph.php&name=webhosttotaldomainseverydns.net3comnetorginfobizedu_2006-03-01.png

    Best,
    David

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  4. There should be a HUUUUGE tax on sale of domain from a third party so it gets harder and harder to buy from third parties (other than registrars). This will ensure that third party who typically just buy all domain to resell them later, stop doing that and free up a lot of domain. Lately while looking for a domain I was frustrated not cos nothing was available but that everything was back up for sale for $7000 …when it should not cost more than $10

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  5. Essentially make the domail resale business unviable!!!

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  6. This is definitely a big business. GoDaddy is kicking ass and they really are good – we have used them for a while and their service rules. WWD is well-executed and the whole domains business really is one of the best examples of reseller/affiliate success, which makes is scale constantly as GoDaddy and others don’t have to depend on their own marketing for that next 3% growth. I am surprised there haven’t been any really new ideas in this space.

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  7. make the domain resale business unviable

    The last time i checked this is still a free country…Seriously for any free trade system you need speculators for smooth functioning.

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  8. Ipwalk’s methodology is limited in that it only counts the number of com/net/org/biz/info/edu domains on a particular nameserver. A registrar will have domains that are registered through it but not actually hosted on the registrar’s nameservers. Neither does Ipwalk include ccTLD domains. But critically the methodology does not distinguish between active domains and domains that merely point to those nameservers.

    This limited nameserver-only view of a registrar or hoster gives, what is essentially, the retail market view. The higher profit margin shared hosting, dedicated/colo services and other services are not included in the nameserver view. Getting an accurate estimate of a hoster’s financial health is really only possible with a copy of their financial accounts in front of you.

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  9. I collect domain names as a hobby of sorts. I don’t have very many and I’m not a profiteer — I do plan on using them eventually.

    It’s a fun sport because it’s quite hard and requires creativity. One of my recent bags: SoSaySo.com — sounds like a good opinion site, eh?

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  10. If you want more accurate numbers regarding the registrar market use webhosting.info they will give you a much more accurate picture of registrar rankings and trends. (the parent company that runs the site DirectI (based in India… cool guys) is also a registrar and knows how to count the market properly.

    GoDaddy, Wildwest Domains and Blue Razor are more than just nameservers controled by GoDaddy, but rather ICANN accredited “tags” (aka accreditations) which have become a commodity as well as the domains that they can register. I wish Bob luck if he IPO’s, I’d love to see some of his data as a shareholder ;-) Being a former competitor who ran the domains business for Tucows.

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