This panel included SEO
experts Bill Hartzer, John Andrews, Joe Laratro
(Tandem Interactive) and Matt Robson (Carat.com).
This group provided enough helpful tips to fill a book. Hartzer
suggested that expired domains (aside from the obvious ones that
have great keywords and high traffic) could be the industry's best
kept value secret, noting that includes some with what would
traditionally be regarded as poor quality terms. If they have been
previously developed they can be a source of traffic and have SEO
value that can easily be monetized. Just having them to redirect to
another domain can add value to the name you send traffic to.
|This session was followed by the
show's final seminar that asked the question How Much
Is Your Traffic Really Worth? That topic was tackled
by Owen Frager (Frager Factor), Michael Gilmour (WhizzbangsBlog.com),
Jonathan Boswell (LeaseThis.com), Leland Hardy (NewYork.com),
Dr. Christopher Hartnett and Sahar Sarid (Recall
What your traffic is really worth
is a tough question to answer because it is a moving number.
Rick Schwartz has often talked about how traffic income can
be multiplied many times over simply be finding the right
sponsor for that traffic. Sarid pointed out that the value
of traffic can also go up (or down) even if you don't move
it to a different sponsor. Due to changes in the perceived
value of the keyword in one his domains he said it soared to
a point where it was making over $1 million a year
undeveloped. Looking to the future Sarid predicted lead
generation will become a huge factor in producing top dollar
for your traffic.
One of the most interesting new people I met at this
edition of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. was NewYork.com owner Leland
Hardy who served on this panel. Hardy has such an
interesting personal story (Wharton graduate, a
former boxer and foreign language translator for Muhammad
Ali to name just a few things) that we decided to
do a separate story on him next month.
During lunch Friday I
was asked to give a short talk on trends in the domain aftermarket.
In running numbers from our sales database for that talk I found
that domain sales were continuing to experience powerful upward
momentum. The dollar volume of sales reported to DN Journal in the
3rd quarter of this year (just over $35 million) was up
296% from the dollar volume reported in the same quarter last
year. I realized that sales powerhouse BuyDomains did not
start reporting their sales figures to us until the 4th quarter of
last year, but even when I subtracted their sales from 3Q - 2007 so
I could compare results from the same vendors year over year, it was
still a 235% increase since 2006. That is a healthy market by
Pinky Brand, the
Director of New Markets for .mobi took the podium next and
gave everyone an update on the extension for mobile devices. Brand,
who was already cheerful about .mobi's prospects would have reason
to be even happier later in the day when some premium .mobi domains in
Moniker's live auction would sell for eye-popping six-figure
Schubert took out a LousyInsurance.com policy to
help the ICA
|The auction has become analogous to boxing's main
event at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. and this one was no different.
It got underway at a little after 2:30pm with an odd entry
first up on the block. That was LousyInsurance.com, a
domain that was unregistered the day before. I know that
because the name came up in the Taken or Available
game played at lunch Thursday. It turned out to be available
so while the game was still underway audience member Alexander
Schubert of CyberInvest registered it, then
donated it to the auction with all proceeds going to the Internet
Commerce Association. Schubert threw in a dinner for two
on South Beach to sweeten the deal. The domain wound up
going for $1,000 that certainly helped the ICA cause.
In another example of that kind of generosity and
support, Bob Connor (who writes our
Domey column) sold Hospitals.us during
the auction for $8,000 and donated 10% of the
proceeds ($800) to the ICA. That is the kind of
grassroots support the ICA needs to continue its mission and
I have heard of several other examples of this kind of
backing in recent days. It is a very encouraging development
Back at the auction, as
you have probably heard by now (we posted the auction results in our
Lowdown section last
week), Monte Cahn's crew at Moniker ran a live event that piled up $8.1
million when the dust had cleared four hours later. A silent
auction continued until Oct. 18 and when those proceeds were added
in the total auction take was $9.8 milllion, second only to
the record $12 million generated at the New York City
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. auction in June.
from the Moniker Live Auction Oct. 12, 2007
The top sellers in the
live auction were Computer.com ($2.2 million), Investment.com
($900,000), SportingGoods.com ($450,000), Table.com
($260,000) and CrosswordPuzzles.com ($210,000). You can
see the complete list of results here.
In a widely publicized
hiccup at this auction, the Dallas Cowboys bid $275,000
for Cowboys.com, then asked to withdraw their bid the
next day because they thought they were bidding $275!
Moniker then moved the domain into the ongoing silent auction where it
was promptly snapped up by an investment group for $370,000.
It was a huge goof for the NFL team and one day they
will realize just how big a mistake they made.
Joel Langbaum (left) called the action as Moniker CEO Monte
Cahn looks on
It has been fascinating to watch the live
auction blossom from an interesting conference side attraction into
one of the most important aftermarket platforms in the industry.
Moniker has created a whole new avenue for selling high end domain
The auction ran right up to the start of
the annual T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Auction Celebration and Awards
Dinner at 7. Award winners were chosen in balloting
among T.R.A.F.F.I.C. registrants who also chose the list of
nominees. This year's winners were:
of the Year: Traffic Z.com
(Award accepted by COO Ammar Kubba)
of the Year: Kevin Ham
Overall Domain Solution: Moniker.com
(accepted by CEO Monte Cahn)
New Click Program: Skenzo
(accepted by President Divyank Turakhia)
Get It Award: Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine)
and Russian Standard Vodka
Steve Forbes accepts for Forbes Magazine
Hall of Fame: Frank Schilling and Sahar Sarid
In photo at left above Schilling is seen with
T.R.A.F.F.I.C.'s Ray Neu (Frank at right)
In photo at right above, Sahar Sarid accepts Hall of
(Hall of Fame balloting began last
year when Rick Schwartz and Ron Jackson were
inducted. Two new members are elected by T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
attendees each year)
After the awards were
handed out, Schwartz and Neu delivered their farewell comments to an
enthusiastic thumbs up from the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007
conference closed the following morning with a breakfast for those
still in town and a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Board of Advisors meeting. The
big news from the Board meeting was Schwartz and Neu's announcement
that they had licensed Fabulous.com to stage the first
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference outside the U.S. That event is
scheduled for November 2008 near the Fabulous headquarters in Brisbane,
Australia. Prior to that event, T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2008
is scheduled for Las Vegas Feb. 18-21, 2008 and a relocated
Florida show will go to Orlando for the first time May
20-24, 2008. A return to New York City is also planned
for the fall of 2008. Information on upcoming shows is
available at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
website. Hope to see you at one of those events
in the months ahead!
times during show week we took a stroll through the Exhibit area
to see what kind of wares the leading companies in the domain
industry were showing off to their customers. Below are some photos
from that active wing of the conference hall.
of Klickerz.com, Rebel.com, Sedo.com, DomainSponsor.com and
Washington VC booths courtesy of Barbara Neu)
Photos? Good! Because the
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007 Photo Gallery is Available Here.
Check it Out!
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