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Is Domaining a declining marketplace / industry

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by shags38, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. shags38

    shags38 Membership: Community

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    Hi all,

    there will always be "bull at a gate" types like me (however I suppose everyone "matures" sooner or later) who will think they can make a bunch of money through registering really clever names HOWEVER in a general sense do you feel that the market place is smarter now by comparison to a few years ago?

    Here is what I think ....... like many things, as the market, whatever market that may be, becomes more edumucated the potential to continue to sell a product or service that the potentials in that market have become smarter about becomes much more difficult. The examples are many.

    The thing that has created the market for domainers is also the thing that will increasingly limit the potenial market for marketing domain names. How so? Through education. Prime example - 8 months ago I had trouble turning my computer on let alone be able to make it do what I wanted. Through making lots of mistakes and assumptions I have had to educate myself ....... (about time some would say) ........ and the internet is the best source of knowlege ever.

    I can now not only find a website to find information I can now make a website ...... big deal !! I have been able to get 4 (four) websites in the top 60 search results (all within first 5 pages) of Google for the same search term .... "best 3d tv" ...... and these sites rank well for many other queries terms.

    Trumpet blowing ...... nope ........ making a point ....... I was an internet and domaining ignoramus 8 months ago ....... I thought SEO meant Sell Everything Outside ...... but the internet, and forums, has edumucated me to know enough about website rankings to know that the name of a website, its URL, its domain name counts for very little when it comes to page ranking. It carries some weight of course, but very little in most cases. Most of the busiest sites on the net do not have the subject matter of the topic of the site in their domain name (when Yahoo, then Google came into being people were scratching their heads as to what these "sites" were about :).

    In the cases I mentioned above in my sites I have proven what I have read / learned to myself - using a name in a url that is not the term used for a key search term but that site ranks better than a similar site that does have the search term in the domain name.

    I take a while to get to the point but I'm nearly there :D

    So here is my assertion .... the new breed of people entering business, starting businesses - those in need of a website - these new breed will be / are already becoming smarter about SEO. "EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEO IS ON THE NET" .... if you are prepared to put in the time and effort you can learn enough about SEO not to need to go running to a so called SEO expert - IN THE EARLY STAGES of website development (afterwards, maybe). Obtaining a domain name falls into this EARLY period obviously. These younger smarter people are going to know what we all know ....... the name of a domain means zilch, zippo, nothing, nyet, etcetera without good SEO ... and WITH GOOD SEO you can have any old name you like - good examples are the many, many SEO / web development companies that have names like red fox, blue disk, wally widget and so on ...... absolutely nothing in the domain name to indicate what the business is about.

    I for one used to think it was the very first thing that was required to be successful in internet business (retail and services) - as did many others.

    The demand for existing names will continually decline over time - there is no such thing as supply and demand in domain names - over 30,000 names listed on Netfleet - hunders are dropped every day in Oz - thousands daily Globally - Sedo has about 3 million names listed and are lucky to sell 1000 per month - there is certainly supply but no demand per se. (dot co hasn't come into existence because of a shortage of dot com names - it is purely a revenue generating marketing exercise using fear and greed in the main - large corporations dare not take the risk of doing nothing and some speculators (domainers) see a pot of gold.

    Many will continue to make some money from domaining, no doubt about it however opportunities will become scarcer exponentially as the market becomes smarter - I perceive a rapid change as generation Y+ start getting into starting their own businesses.

    Is this type of assertion new? I doubt it and I certainly hope not !! Hopefully those professional domainers out there will be very cognisant of this developing situation.

    So I have made my comment - lets see what others think.

    cheers,
    Mike

    please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors - it is late and I am tired :)
     
  2. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Broadly speaking the domain market has been in decline for about 3 years. I think .com.au has fared better due to deregulation, falling costs, stronger economy. Though in .com.au I still don't see a lot of money being made from actual domaining. So shags I'd have to agree with the title of your post, generally speaking the domain industry is in a far worse position than in the past.

    Will this trend reverse I don't know, I do feel the opportunities are a lot more limited now that in the past. There isn't money being left on the table like it was previously in my view.

    Just as an examples of how things have changed, take the domainfest auction today, which netted about $450k, even that was a probably good result compared to some others recently, eg Traffic Dublin, $110,000 in sales. In times gone by a good auction would be seeing sales up to $8million, certainly under a couple of million was rare for a major event.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  3. Timmy

    Timmy Banned

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    Hi Shags,

    If I sold "xyz" for a living would it not help my business to own "xyz".com.au?

    There's more important things to life than search engine traffic.

    You want to be brandable, memorable, have credibility as the industry leader of your product or service (not your seo skills). You'll notice that people still advertise on other mediums too??? A short, product/industry related generic will always be remembered on a sign, bumper sticker, radio ad, television commercial.

    I haven't heard many people say that a premium.com.au is a ticket to #1 on Google - it certainly helps though.

    I spent a fortune on SEO for one of my projects - over $20,000 in the year for one domain name. I then spent $8k on a single name, rebranded + 301 and was on front page within 2 weeks in one of Australia's most competitive topics. The keyword + domain age probably main factors here.

    My business name previously was funny and sentimental to me but confused my prospects... Now when I say where I am from, they instantly identify my product during the introduction which saves time and has increased sales across the board.

    Regarding "opportunities becoming scarcer" and "the smart gen y kids taking over the world" I think the answer is simple - continue to evolve and invest in a handful of premium names rather than a thousand pieces of shit.

    I mean, you would have been the coolest kid in the street with your penny farthing, now you're a domainer knocking up websites like the best of `em.

    I guess your topic might be true in a sense, but my 2 main observations are that experienced domainers seem to be decreasing the number of names in their portfolios and only keeping the good gear. As the general public is educated on the advantages of having a decent domain name, and that they can puchase them from Netfleet etc, then the number of end-users will continue to increase.

    As for the hundreds of names dropped every day - most are shit.

    Timmah.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  4. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    Well I sure hope not because I'm pretty new to the game.

    Granted I'm only involved with .com.au domains and my aim is and always has been to pick up decent domains develop them into reasonable websites with reasonable amounts of traffic and then sell them to businesses that can produce more value out of them than I can.

    So I don't know if I fit into the "domainer" category.
     
  5. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    In my view that is because overall industry profitability has declined, the marginal names are no longer worth keeping which is why people are selling/dropping and names (generally) aren't going up in value so why keep the stuff that mainly appeals to domainers (as opposed to names having potential as a business which still have an ok market outside of domainer circles).
     
  6. Vicstar

    Vicstar Membership: Community

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    How 'new' is new? when did you start developing sites & have you made any sales in that time?

    Hey, nice to see you around Mike! Great Post.......
     
  7. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    Just having a exact match domain is not going to do much if you have competitors who are expert link builders, have excellent site design, copy writers who are trained for SEO and killer CMS's optimized highly for SEO.

    I mean looking at your 3D sites I see a few of areas from a SEO view point which need attention...like hierarchy tags, www resolve, meta description length, capital letters in URLs ....and the list goes on...

    Its pretty easy to know the basics of SEO I mean the top level shit, but to be a good SEO you need to know Development, You need to know Social Media inside out, you need to know how to structure content and MOST of all you need to be a EXPERT link builder.
     
  8. WG2010

    WG2010 Archived Member

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    The sky is falling, the sky is falling... that's all I'm reading. Perhaps there is not as much money to be made from domain names at the moment but there are more and more opportunities to make money online.

    Go take a look at Flippa. People are paying hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands for all manner of shit.

    Ones inability to make money online with domains != there is no money to be made online with domains.
     
  9. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I've been developing sites for over 5 years now, but never based on having a keyword based domain.

    I've been making a full time living from online ventures for nearly 5 years (and more recently some consulting). So I'm not new in terms of website development, SEO, PPC, CRO etc - I'm new to the world of owning a domain portfolio.

    I bought my first keyword based AU domain probably 12 - 18 months ago now. And I have bought many more since then. And no I haven't sold any sites or domains yet. I've had a few offers though - but I think my price expectations were too high and so those deals feel through...

    :p

    Lucky for us Australian domain holders/developers then that most Australian companies are still working out what SEO is and why their PPC bills are so large.

    I'm still seeing lots of low hanging fruit from a niche development perspective even with simple SEO and no budget.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  10. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Domaining in Australia is going from strength to strength. There's no question in my mind at least.

    Domain Values. Are definitely on the up. Anyone who has watched the drops (which is probably the only area with enough volume to call a trend) over the last few years would have noticed a big increase in prices.

    Domain Trading. Well it didn;t didn't exist 2.5 years ago but ever since prohibition was lifted there have been ever increasing sales. We've seen it at Netfleet and through both NF and Drops aftermarket auctions but for the full picture check out http://www.ausregistry.com.au/reports/reports.php

    Domaining Participation. Netfleet have more members than ever and rate of new membership is increasing. I'm sure it's the same for Drop. And as for our very own DNTrade which is probably a pretty accurate barometer for 'domainer' activity - [​IMG]

    So prices and up, trading volumes are up, activity and participation are up. It 'aint declining (in Australia at least) don't you worry.

    Re SEO - SEO is something that will help domaining big time - not hurt it by rendering domain names less useful

    The value of an (exact match esp) KW rich domain is SOOO under rated, especially by SEO-ers and web designers. Once they get a realisation that it's a massive factor, that will give another boost to the industry.

    It's the domain name that's got webdesigners.com.au, cocktailrecipes.com.au, photographers.com.au, creditcheck.com.au, boxing.com.au etc etc to the top (or thereabouts in Google)

    I guess it is likely to plateau at some stage or even decline at some stage. But then again perhaps population growth, NBN rollout etc will keep values & trading steadily upwards as seems to be the case with property in Australia.

    Domaining in the gTLD world is another matter entirely. For example just this week, only 6 .com's made the top 20 leaderboard on DNJournal - the lowest since records bgan 7 years ago.

    http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm

    So, in summary:

    Com/Net/Org domaining is in real decline and has been for a while
    ccTLD domaining is experiencing strong growth.

    come in......Snoopy!
     
  11. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    I would highly disagree, depends on what vertical you are working on...In the high paying niches Aussie companies have been very very aware of SEO in the .com.au market for the last 12 years+!!!

    Possibly in some of the lower competition niches people are still catching on...and yes I do agree their is plenty of low hanging fruit but you have to make a definition between the good fruit and the bad ones..
     
  12. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I'd call myself an SEO/Web Developer - and this SEO effect is the sole reason I'm now in the domaining industry.

    I knew about the exact match effect years ago, but I only connected the dots 18 months ago that their is good money in taking advantage of it with my own web development skills and some SEO. The penny dropped when doing some consulting for a business whom I realised it might be to their advantage to invest in exact match domains and set up a secondary site to achieve additional rankings more cost effectively.

    Just like I did, I'm sure more and more businesses will have their SEOs recommending that securing exact match domains in their industries could provide competitive advantages over the longer term.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    I'm here!

    I still don't see a lot of money be made in cctlds aside from the majors (.co.uk and .de).

    With regards .com.au the market has started at $0 (because selling was prohibited) so there is going to be growth, but it is another to show actual examples of significant numbers of people making money from something. Even here it seems most haven't sold .com.au's in any significant numbers yet and I would bet the numbers of people who have actually made a profit from .com.au domaining is very low.

    http://www.dntrade.com.au/many-domain-sales-have-you-t1813.html?t=1813

    Personally I've had plenty of 3 figure offers, but typically they wouldn't even cover holding costs. Is see .com.au is a good extension for development but not a good extension for speculation.
     
  14. Vicstar

    Vicstar Membership: Community

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Awesome! Sounds like you have a great amount of skills already & combined with your domain knowledge, lookout!! You've brought some interesting Qs to the forum lately so I'm interested in what you're asking/your results etc. Good luck!
     
  15. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    Any extension is good if you have the right domain...

    I hand regged a .net domain for $8 - 3 years ago, got a offer $1,600 USD yesterday...found out the .org with the same generic term sold for $2,500 a few weeks ago...declined the offer...
     
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Quite possibly the same buyer. Would probably try for a deal around the same price or a bit more.
     
  17. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I'll keep you guys posted if my methods or theories start yielding results.

    Speculation is always zero sum game in the long run. Things can't go up in value due to market asymmetries for ever because eventually the market wises up.

    And lets be honest the Australian market is and always has been a few years behind the international markets be it domains, web design, SEO or PPC. So there might be a couple of good years left in Australian domaining, but ultimately Australian domain prices too will reach a point where domainers can't justify investing in domains without price growth which will from them to extract additional revenues from their investment which forces them to develop their domains.

    So the "easy" money in regards to pure domaining might be in the past, but that doesn't mean there isn't lots of money to be made with domain development.

    :D
     
  18. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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  19. DnEbook

    DnEbook Membership: VIP

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    the membership of this forum keeps growing which suggests there is an ongoing interest in this industry as a whole
     
  20. Shane

    Shane Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    I think pure-domaining is certainly declining, but the development side has more than made up for it.

    Many years ago I used to hand reg domains and sell them on ebay the next day for 200-500% profit. Any good ones I would park with Sedo or throw a basic site on there, and even they would make money.

    These days it's a lot more difficult to find decent domains for reasonable prices (or hand reg) so development is a lot more important.