Domain Trading Post now has no reserve auctions listed here, the names are all geos or generic one worders, most are .net.au or hyphenated .com.au’s which makes them less likely to have type in traffic, but I think they are all worth more than reg fee and could be a bargain for the right buyer.
I made a last minute decision to attend the domain function held on Tuesday night in Melbourne. I’m glad I did, it was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones too.
The event was very well organised and attendance was around 50 people, including domainers, registrars, bankers, registry, and lawyers. For what is a small local indsutry, it was impressive to see so many people attend.
The night started with socialising, followed by Ehud Gavron’s presentation on wild carding, after which the socialising resumed and the party continued as a group of us went out for dinner afterwards.
Special thanks to Erhan from Cooper Mills for his hospitality.
One of my favourite blogs is RickLatona.com, Rick is a very successful domainer and internet marketer. Today Rick made a post titled “I wish I had taken ccTLDs and IDNs more seriously“, although he uses .es in his example, the exact same is true for .au
I’m watching the Olympics as I write this post, after yet another ad break, in between all the promos for Channel Seven’s new shows a few ads stood out for me.
First up, HowDoYouLikeYourVegemite.com.au, what on earth were they thinking when they chose this domain? The campaign itself is ridiculous but that’s another post for another day.
The likelihood of users actually being able to remember and correctly type that domain is slim, the amount of ad spend going down the drain would easily be 6 figures. Given they are calling it the Vegemite Census it would have been so much better to just use vegemite.com.au/census, or I’m sure vegemitecensus.com.au would’ve been a better option too. Whois shows the domain was registered by the ad agency jwt.com.au, they managed to get themselves a nice LLL, shame they couldn’t get something decent for their client. I will give them some credit though, they were clever enough to pick up the .com equivalent. I think this just makes things worse though, they kind of understand domains, yet at the same time they have no idea.
Next up, HappyTalkHomeLoans.com.au, just marginally better than the vegemite mess, but still unnecessarily long, happyloans.com.au is available and would’ve served the same purpose, they could still call the product happy talk home loans, just have a much easier domain for users to type in. If you are spending big money to have your domain shown during the Olympics, at least make it easy for people to remember and spell. They also remembered to get the .com domain, they just decided not to turn it on, so there’s some more wasted traffic.
Last but not least, Harvey Norman is promoting their new site Nearly50Years.com.au, the domain is shorter than the other two examples but its the worst website of the three, there is no link to their main site HarveryNorman.com.au, which by the way only works with the www, and no attempt to sell products or gain user information such as email address, nor do they even list their store locations, specials etc. How many people do they really think want to look at old scanned copies of black and white Harvey Norman catalogues from 50 years ago? In my opinion they would have been better off promoting their main website, although even their main website is just a catalogue of their offline stores, you can not actually buy anything from their online store.
Slightly off topic, but based on these examples it looks like the trend of major AU corporations using Melbourne IT continues, $140 for 2 years and a very average control panel, just another sign that they don’t get it, or I guess when the marketing budget is so big whats an extra $100. No wonder Melbourne IT has never dropped their prices, I’m envious of their business model!
The main .au sales sites have been talking up the amount of domains they each have listed, however, in my opinion quality is far more important than quantity. If anything all the low quality listings just make it more difficult to find the good ones.
I’ve recently spent some time reviewing the main sites and seeing what they have to offer…
Domainshed has guide.com.au with a minimum bid of $20k, I think its worth around the $20k mark, but that fact $20k is the minimum bid suggests the seller may want far more than $20k.
Domain Trading Post have a few good ones for sale such as units.com.au, watches.com.au and concerts.com.au, however unfortunately none of them have prices attached, at the right price those 3 names would all be great acquisitions.
Net Fleet has mail.com.au and business.com.au, with asking prices of $1million each, great names, but in my opinion the market has not yet reached a point where either of these names would sell for 7 figures. At the opposite end of the spectrum they also have Hockey.com.au listed for $6000 and all offers considered which I think is very reasonably priced. As a side note, mail.com.au is also listed here for only $125k which is much more reasonable.
Sedo has recently listed herbal.com.au for sale without a price.
Name Seek seems to have a lot more domains listed recently, although the quality seems to have gone down hill in my opinion, and only being able to see 10 domains per page makes it difficult to quickly review their full list.
Holiday Stays looks to have the same list as before, but they have added a new generic domains page here the downside is the majority of these names are .net.au, but names such as airfare.net.au and cinema.net.au are only $880 each, which in my opinion are better quality than the .net.au domains Pacific Octane is trying to sell as part of their case study.
One of the blogs I regularly check is Whizzbangsblog which is run by Melbourne domainer Michael Gilmour.
Michael posted today about the launch of his new aftermarket sales system, the domains listed are broken down into categories mostly based on extension, the .au sales page already has over 350 .au domains for sale, most of the names so far are not highly desirable but its a good list for the first day, it will be interesting to watch the list evolve.
For those of you who’ve been domaining a while you would no doubt be familiar with the old Overture tool, if not I will give you a quick run down.
Overture which is now owned by Yahoo, is a pay per click search engine, and they use to offer a free tool where you could see the monthly search volume for any keyword across their search network, they also had a separate version of the tool for Australia. Over a year ago they stopped supplying new monthly data and a few months ago they took the tool offline.
As an example something like realestate.com.au would return a result around 85,000, where as something like juice.com.au was getting about a 10, the minimum score was 5, if it had less than 5 Overture considered it the same as 0.
This information was particularly important for domainers as you could enter in domainname.com.au and if the results came back with a score you could be pretty sure the domain would have typein traffic, the theory was if someone is typing a domain name into yahoo there is also someone probably typing it into their browser.
The tool was good for finding, comparing, and valuing domains, but because the results were specific to Australia they revealed some other interesting data.
What I use to find most interesting was the number of searches for domainname.com instead of domainname.com.au, for the big ones like realestate.com you would still see 5-10% of the search volume for the .com.au equivalent.
This indicates that a lot of Australian internet users are so use to typing in .com they often forget to add .com.au, to a lesser degree this also works in reverse, popular .com sites with no local presence had reasonable .com.au scores in Overture.
This is one of the few downsides of the .au name space in my opinion, other countries such as China and France have .cn and .fr we’re stuck with having .com before the country code, much like .co.uk. auDA had an open discussion on introducing .au last year and it was rejected. In my opinion .au would be better than .com.au but its too late to change now.
The other issue causing confusion is Australian companies using .com domains in their Australian advertising rather than .com.au and in some cases not even bothering to register the .com.au equivalent.
Last year DNJournal.com reported that CarSales.com was sold for $400k, it was bought by CarSales.com.au, this was a great buy for them, overnight they would have seen an increase in traffic of 5-10% or more, and the majority of that traffic would be users who were looking for their site and just typing it incorrectly.
A domain like carsales.com would have received minimal natural typein traffic, if carsales.com.au didnt exist the domain probably would have only sold for $40k or less.
If we were to look at realestate.com as another example it would receive a lot of natural typein traffic from a global audience and therefore would not have as much benefit if it were acquired by realestate.com.au to simply redirect the traffic. It would be more advantageous to approach realestate.com and negotiate a deal to enable a geo ip redirect for all Australian traffic.
Another site that had a large .com Overture score was adultmatchmaker.com.au, in the last 1-2 years they have acquired adultmatchmaker.com, and seek.com.au has acquired seek.com, I’m sure there are other examples as well.
On the other hand another major Australian job site mycareer.com.au has not picked up mycareer.com, mycareer.com.au is owned by Fairfax, they own sites such as rsvp.com.au, cracker.com.au, fairfax.com.au, smh.com.au and many others, they dont own the .com equivalent of any, the only exception is afr.com
One that always surprised me was afl.com, its always had a parking page on it, and if the AFL ever needed a bit of a wake up call the NRL own nrl.com
Just to reinforce my opinion that jobsjobsjobs.com.au doesn’t understand domains, they don’t own jobsjobsjobs.com, which would have been a cheap pick up before they launched their site.
Registering the .com of your .com.au site is not crucial to your websites success and sometimes its completely impossible, but if you can get it cheap before you launch your site its much better than waiting till later when it could be much more expensive. Without the equivalent .com you will lose some traffic, and if you are doing offline marketing or word of mouth, then you will lose even more.
As reported last month, creditcard.com.au was for sale and bidding reached over $100k, then the auction was restarted due to possible fraudulent bids, and now as reported on Ecommerce Report the auction has been closed.
Its a shame this domain did not sell as it was potentially going to be the highest public price paid for a .au domain, hopefully in a few months when the market has evolved it might come up for sale again.
Last night while I was watching the news an ad for JobsJobsJobs.com.au came on, with the voice over repeatedly saying jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs in different tones.
Aside from the ad being rather annoying I thought to myself what a terrible domain to advertise on TV, I also recall the last time I was in Melbourne there was a tram skinned with an ad for the same website and while I was at the MCG one of the scoreboards was also sponsored by jobsjobsjobs.com.au
Clearly their marketing budget is huge and it would have to be if you want to compete with the likes of seek or mycareer. With such a large budget its a shame they did not invest in a better domain.
Not only would their domain be mistaken as jobs.com.au (if you’ve seen the ad you’d know how this is possible), but due to its length and repetition the likelihood of typos is much higher than it would be for jobs.com.au. For example jobjobjob.com.au has already been registered.
A short generic domain is desirable for most businesses, but if your business is going to be promoted in the mass media, it becomes critical. You are relying on users to remember the name and then correctly type it into their browser, each extra letter only makes that task more difficult and any similar domains to yours will benefit from this lost traffic.
If you are only marketing your site online, the domain becomes slightly less important, you can achieve success with a good domain rather than requiring a great domain.
Alexa rank for jobsjobsjobs.com.au 98,630 and jobs.com.au is 130,174, of course Alexa is inaccurate, but it can be a useful comparison tool between two sites. Google’s new Ad Planner tool says jobsjobjobs.com.au receives 76,000 uniques per month and jobs.com.au receives 36,000, again, these figures would also be inaccurate, but it helps put things in perspective.
Jobs.com.au probably receives around half as much traffic as jobsjobsjobs.com.au and as far as I can tell jobs.com.au does not advertise anywhere, it relies on a combination of type in traffic, some link trades, and seo.
Speaking of seo, jobs.com.au is the number one result on google.com.au for the term “jobs”, on the other hand, jobsjobs.com.au is no where to be seen, I gave up after the 5th page, although they were showing up near the top of the ad words results.
Clearly their strategy is to buy their way to the top, but their domain is making an already challenging task even more difficult. Job classifieds is big business, but the competition is fierce, to compete you need a competetive advantage such as a great domain.
In my opinion if jobsjobsjobs.com.au had acquired jobs.com.au or another high quality domain they would be receiving a lot more traffic from their marketing efforts. Even if they used a lower quality domain like cooljobs.com.au or greatjobs.com.au I think the response rate would be better.
Ultimately a great domain does not guarantee success, if your product is weak you will still fail, but a domain with typein traffic and strong seo potential you have unlimited tries, the traffic will still be there tomorrow and it isn’t costing you anything more than your renewal fees.
On the other hand if you are buying the majority of your traffic, you need a sensational product that goes viral fast, otherwise when the ad money runs out the traffic will disappear.
There is an article in today Financial Review about .au domains, you can read part of the article here, to read the rest you will have to be a member or by the paper version.
Although the first paragraph is fairly negative, the rest of the article is a slightly more upbeat, with a few interesting details, including that 500 domain names were sold in June and 350 in July, with the figures coming directly from auDA.
The majority of these sales have obviously been kept private, but in my opinion 850 sales in 2 months is a great result.
The article goes on to reference 2 domains currently listed at Domain Trading Post, novels.com.au for $180k and safeway.com.au for $500k. Its a little disappointing these 2 names were printed over others, novels.com.au would have limited appeal and is in my opinion worth $10k or less, as for safeway.com.au the article says “In a move sure to raise the eyebrows at Woolworths..”, and I agree, at $500k its clearly been priced with the hope of selling it to Woolsworths.
I’m glad to see .au is getting some press coverage, hopefully the next article is more positive.