News and Updates

Don’t respond to “Good luck with that”

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-01-14 17:53

It’s just a waste of your time.

Have you ever received this response when you quote a price for one of your domain names?

“Good luck with that.”

It’s a bit of an insult. Like someone is calling you crazy.

It could be tempting to respond to the person and tell them why you aren’t crazy but I don’t think it’s worth it 99% of the time.

For example, this weekend I received an inquiry on I looked up the inquirer and saw that it was a really small business in a really small town. I almost didn’t respond because it didn’t seem qualified. But you never know, so I quoted $35,000.

I got the “good luck with that” response.

I could huff and puff and tell them why I’m not crazy and educate them on the value of domain names…but why? It would be a waste of my time and their time. It’s better to just move on.

The exception would be if someone comes out with a decent starting point offer. For example, if someone who seemed qualified offered $10k for the name but said “good luck with that” to $35k, it might be worth discussing domain value to see if we can close the gap.

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Categories: News and Updates

Sedo makes expired list downloadable, changes happy hour

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-01-14 16:59

Download lists to look for good domains, and you now have longer to buy discounted domains at

Sedo’s expired domain lists are now downlodable.

A couple of quick news items for you on this Monday morning…

Sedo made its expired domain name inventory list downloadable. The marketplace auctions off expiring domain names from registrar 1&1 which is part of the same company as Sedo. But sorting through the list to find good domains is difficult. Now you can download the list and run it through services like Estibot to find the best domains. I also hope this means that expired domain data sites like start to provide data on these domains.

Also, has ended its Happy Hour sale concept in favor of monthly specials. The Happy Hour was a special promo (usually on one top level domain) that ran for a short time on Thursday afternoons. It’s a lot of effort to schedule time to register a domain to save a few bucks. Now, has a week-long sale each month. The kicker is you need to go to the sale page and get the discount code to get the discount. You’ll pay more if you try to register one of the sale domains and don’t use the discount code.

This month’s sale includes 30 new top level domains, most from Donuts’ portfolio. Donuts owns

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Categories: News and Updates

WordPress Plugins + 2 more predictions – DNW Podcast #219

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-01-14 16:30

How to avoid bad WordPress plugins.

This week on the DNW podcast meet Mika Epstein, a WordPress engineer at DreamHost. She explains what to look for in WordPress plugins to make sure you aren’t opening up a backdoor to your website. We also hear predictions from Natasa Djukanovic and Braden Pollock.

Plus: NameSilo acquisition, much ado about, .homes, domain hijacking, hosting merger, NameBio and more.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play above or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

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  3. NamesCon recap with 15 interviews – DNW Podcast #172
Categories: News and Updates

Newspack could solve one of WordPress’ problems

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-01-14 14:21

WordPress-for-newsrooms could help small publishers avoid the IT guy.

There’s a problem with WordPress: it’s too complicated for the typical small business owner. It’s also too complicated for the typical small news publisher.

So it’s exciting to hear that Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Lenfest Institute for Journalism, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Civil Media are all contributing financially to an effort by WordPress creator Automattic to create Newspack. Google calls it “a fast, secure, low-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of small newsrooms”.

This sums it up nicely:

Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems. Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them. So while Newspack publishers will have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the core product is not trying to be all things to all publishers. It is trying to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions that may divert scarce resources. We like to call it “an opinionated CMS:” it knows the right thing to do, even when you don’t.

It will be exciting to see the finished product. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come: easy-to-use installments of WordPress.

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Categories: News and Updates

Why ".brands" Domains Make Sense

Domain industry news - Mon, 2019-01-14 13:30

I receive spam on a daily basis from various Banks… as well as mine. None are legitimate but actually, that is not what is catching my attention receiving spam. There is something else and it deals with stealing information from me.

Creating a personalized ".brand" domain name extension allows avoiding all that.

Bank Emails

Many are familiar with receiving spam through phishing attempts to have you answering an email and providing personal information such as login and passwords: most of the time receivers know that they should not answer emails from any Banks since most offer to communicate with them from their online portal. This one is easy to avoid.

Another standard is to receive an email asking you to click on a link. Such spams are also standard phishing attempts trying to steal login and password from you on a fake website looking like the one from your Bank.

Answering the email to a person using a personalized domain name extension such as the one from your Bank CANNOT be faked.

When answering the email, the domain name extension to appear in the "To" field" cannot be faked using a homoglyph or a letter looking similar to a standard domain name extension such as a country code top-level domain or a generic one. The reason for this is simple:

  1. the owner of the domain name extension decides about his domain name extension and this one will be unique: most of the time the final domain name extension is his Trademark. On the opposite side, anyone can create a domain name using your Trademark and ending in ".com".
  2. the owner controls who creates domain names so when the email a clients answers to does not have the name of the ".brand" in the end, it means that he won't answer to the right person.

Emails ending with a ".brand" are seals, certifying that the answer will go to the right initial sender. When using a country code extension of a generic one such as a ".com", anyone can create what comes before the extension and, for example, change a letter from one to another: do you think that is very different from Who will notice when answering an email ending in

Bank surveys

Banks surveys are a new problem that I have identified. These are often legitimate and my Bank sends me surveys to check if I am satisfied with their service. The problem with such surveys is that they use the email and domain name from another service provider, asking me to answer questions on a website using either a ".com" or a ".fr" domain name which is not the one from my Bank. That is where I see a problem: how to ensure that these are legitimate? By trusting the person who sends the email? By trusting that website asking me questions? No way.

A personalized domain name extension offers this new opportunity to drastically increase the level of trust:

  1. Asking a client to answer a survey on a third party website implies that the sender of the email is trusted (not the case with my Bank, using a ".fr"): when the email is sent from the personalized ".brand" domain name, the level of trust is increased since it guarantees that the Bank is sending the email.
  2. Answering the survey on the subdomain of a third party website sends several wrong messages:
    1. "Our Bank is not able to create a form for our clients to answer us directly";
    2. "Your answers will be read by another company and we do not control the use they will have of your answers";
    3. "That link you click onto to answer our questions will probably offer our service provider to send you commercial emails in the future but we don't care about this";
    4. "We don't have the time to do the job for you, someone else does".

If it remains the job of specific companies to create the right surveys for Banks, having them hosted on a Bank's website operating its own personalized domain name extension is an easy thing to do: if this can be done on sub-domains, then it can easily be hosted on a ".brand" domain name. Companies offering survey services are probably already offering such services… but not in France apparently. Note that in these cases, external survey companies will deal with your data anyway but if hosted behind a ".brand" extension, it won't look like.

Size matters

The debate is a funny one when discussing "what a good domain name is”, and most of the time, you will hear that "the shorter, the better".

I strongly disagree with this for ".brand" domain name extensions since a Trademark wants to be noticed and when it comes to infringements, a Trademark wants to ensure that a client is talking to the right person when answering an email: the longer its domain extension will be, the higher the possibility will be to notice the name is different from a ".com". That is also what ".brand" domain name extensions offer: the possibility to highly notice a sign when offering a client to visit a website. Look at : such website just cannot be a fake one, and neither is receiving an email from them. The longer, the better.

The future is worth

Homographic attacks are an increasing risk for Banks and other Trademarks: these attacks increase unfortunately and they are harder to detect by final consumers (those to receive bank emails). To make it simple, a letter used in the domain name will look similar to the one used in a standard ASCII alphabet: can you make the difference between this "a" and this "ɑ"? Well, there is one and you probably won't check this when answering an email or navigating to a website using such letters.

The risk is very high here since the use of these letters exists in various domain name extensions offered to the general public. When using a ".brand" domain name extension, the risk to visit another website or answer an email to the wrong person ceases to exist since the ".brand" extension is the seal: you cannot create or add a different letter to a domain name extension… unless you have the patience to wait for the next round of ICANN applications to new gTLDs, and $185000.

An alternative for Banks

I see two alternatives for Banks who won't be interested in creating their ".brand" new gTLD:

  1. The price to acquire a personalized ".brand" domain name extension is high so an alternative for to use a domain name ending in ".Bank". The registry offering these domain names says that only banks can acquire one.
  2. Online brand protection offers to keep watching what's happening on social networks, rogue websites, marketplaces, fake boutiques, webstores, app stores, domain name registration websites (registrars), Google adwords and even… the DarkNet, to minimize the potential for fraudsters to profit from client's banks and brands. It does not cost much and some of these specialists not only do the monitoring for you but they also offer to take down infringers and recover your domains. I particularly like the new offers monitoring the DarkNet.Of course, you know what the DarkNet is right?

Just in case I forget...when choosing a domain name extension, don't forget to check if the extension is not similar to another one.

Written by Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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More under: Cybersecurity, Domain Names, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates Report on Their 2018 Sales Reveals Previously Unseen Activity at High End of Market

DN Journal - Fri, 2019-01-11 23:33
We got an advance look at a Premium Domain Sales Observation Report for 2018 that provides some interesting insight into high end sales.
Categories: News and Updates

Global DNS Record Manipulation, Hijacking Campaign at Massive Scale Linked to Iran

Domain industry news - Fri, 2019-01-11 18:24

A wave of DNS hijacking is reported to have affected dozens of domains belonging to government, telecommunications and internet infrastructure entities across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America. The attack has targeted victims across the globe on an almost unprecedented scale, with a high degree of success, says cybersecurity firm FireEye. "While we do not currently link this activity to any tracked group, initial research suggests the actor or actors responsible have a nexus to Iran. ... While this campaign employs some traditional tactics, it is differentiated from other Iranian activity we have seen by leveraging DNS hijacking at scale. The attacker uses this technique for their initial foothold, which can then be exploited in a variety of ways."

The precise mechanism by which the DNS records were changed is unknown, says FireEye but believes at least some records were changed by compromising a victim's domain registrar account.

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More under: Cyberattack, Cybersecurity, DNS, DNS Security, Domain Names

Categories: News and Updates

Dozens of U.S. Government Websites Rendered Either Insecure or Inaccessible Amid Government Shutdown

Domain industry news - Fri, 2019-01-11 17:02

Dozens of U.S. government websites have become insecure or inaccessible during the ongoing U.S. federal shutdown. "These sites include sensitive government payment portals and remote access services, affecting the likes of NASA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Court of Appeals," reports Netcraft. "With around 400,000 federal employees currently furloughed, more than 80 TLS certificates used by .gov websites have so far expired without being renewed. To compound the situation, some of these abandoned websites can no longer be accessed due to strict security measures that were implemented long before the shutdown started."

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Categories: News and Updates

Understanding SPF, DKIM and DMARC for email

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2019-01-11 15:54

A primer on email authentication.

Domain names are necessarily intertwined with email. The domain name connected with an email address is a signal for email services about the sender’s reputation, assisting the mailbox provider (MBP) and ISP when it determines what’s legitimate and what’s junk.

There are a few authentication mechanisms that domain owners can put in place to reduce the chances of phishers and spammers from spoofing their domains. In this post I’ll run through these at a high level; in later posts I’ll go more in-depth and explain how to set these up.

There are three main authentication mechanisms that domain owners can put in place.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Think of SPF as a way to whitelist certain IP addresses that are validated to send email on behalf of your domain. You can tell email providers that only mail from a certain IP address or range of IPs is valid. Email from other IP addresses might be spoofed.

SPF is a way to reduce the chances that phishing and other emails that appear to be from your domain (but really aren’t) make it to the inbox. If you have a domain that you don’t use for email but people continually spoof it, you can add an SPF record that states that no mail should be sent from the domain.

Implementing SPF at its most basic level is quite easy. It requires adding a TXT record to the DNS.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is more complicated than SPF and allows the sender to digitally sign certain components of the email.

With DKIM, the domain owner publishes a key in the public DNS. The outgoing email server signs the message. The recipient mail server uses the public key to check the signature and make sure it is valid. If so, then it shows that the signed fields have not been altered in route and passes DKIM.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC)

DMARC is a way for email senders to tell mailbox providers what action to take if an email fails authentication under SPF or DKIM and provides a reporting channel from mailbox providers back to senders.

A sender can tell the email recipient server what to do if a message fails authentication: let it pass through, quarantine it in the junk folder or reject the message.

Implementing DMARC is a journey, with companies typically publishing a DMARC policy with a ‘none’ policy setting to take inventory of mailstreams coming off their domain and gather reporting back from the participating mailbox providers. Once organizations have a clear understanding of legitimate vs. illegitimate mail coming off their domain, they can take action with their DMARC policy setting by selecting either a ‘quarantine’ or ‘reject’ policy.

Even if a company uses DMARC but tells the recipient server to take no action against mail that fails SPF or DKIM (policy=none), it will still benefit by using DMARC. That’s because email services will begin providing reports to the sender about the email it processes. This data includes IP addresses, rDNS, sending domain and other information helping senders track down either incomplete SPF or DKIM records or sources trying to spoof the company’s domain.

Like SPF and DKIM, DMARC involves a DNS record.

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Cuba Censors SMS Messages … for Now

Domain industry news - Fri, 2019-01-11 15:10

What could the Cuban government do with Russia-style access to Facebook data? What sorts of fake news could they create and circulate on YouTube and Pinterest? What can be done to control the dark side of the Cuban Internet?

Cuba is about to hold a referendum on a proposed constitution that the government supports and Eduardo Sanchez posted a test showing that SMS messages with anti-referendum terms like #YoVotoNo, #YoNoVoto or abstención are being blocked.

This form of censorship is not new. In 2016, 14Ymedio posted a story documenting the blocking of SMS messages containing terms like "human rights" or the names of certain dissidents.

While this blocking appears to occur only on SMS messages, as opposed to Internet texting, one can imagine similar screening of Internet traffic. The 3G mobile connectivity that Cuba began deploying last month appears to have significantly increased Internet activity, making this rudimentary censorship more significant.

But screening texts for keywords could be just a start. As shown here, Cubans are already users of Facebook, YouTube and other social media services.

Cuban social media market shares, January 2018-19 (source)

I have long advocated improved Internet access in Cuba — most recently suggesting several reasons for making 3G mobile access free as soon as capacity would allow, but what might the Cuban government do with Russia-style access to Facebook data? What sorts of fake news could they create and circulate on YouTube or Pinterest?

In the early days of the Internet, we naively saw it a force for Good, but China, which came online in 1993, showed us (& Cuba) the dark side. Like China in the 1990s, Cuba is a near "green field." What can be done to control the dark side of the Cuban Internet?

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Censorship, Internet Governance, Mobile Internet, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

Registry to relaunch .Homes top level domain

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-10 18:41

Company changes its strategy to make it easier (and less expensive) to register .homes domains.

Dominion Registries is relaunching .homes with lower prices, no eligibility requirements and more registrars.

Dominion Registries is relaunching the .homes top level domain next week with a new strategy.

The registry for .homes (and also .autos, .boats, .yachts, and .motorcycles) originally launched its domains with restrictions and pricing that turned off both registrants and registrars.

Dominion Enterprises (parent of Dominion Registries) is a publishing company that owns,, and many other sites. Its original goal was to control the registrations of domains at the second level and sell them to their existing clients.

Onerous registrar requirements meant that few registrars carried the TLDs at launch. Also, registrants had to show a connection to the industry and verification could take 1-2 weeks before they were able to use .homes domains. (Listen to a podcast with Dominion’s Jim Schrand that was recorded when the restrictions were in place.)

As a result, the domain hasn’t taken off. .Homes has just a few hundred domains in the zone.

Last year the company removed restrictions on .boats and tried to re-engage with the registrar channel.

Now it’s doing the same with .homes and it seems to be having success getting registrars on board. Notably, GoDaddy will carry .homes domains.

Promotional first-year rates should be around $15 retail with standard and renewal prices around $35 or so.  This compares to over $100 previously.

The relaunch is scheduled for Monday, January 14 at 16:00 UTC.

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Categories: News and Updates

NameSilo acquires domain registrar and expired domain company NamePal

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-10 15:40

Deal will give NameSilo more tools to target domain investors.

NamePal’s Fetch is a domain backorder aggregation service.

Domain name registrar NameSilo (PINKSHEETS: NTCEF, URL:CSE) has acquired NamePal, a small domain name registrar with an expired domain backorder platform.

The all-equity deal is for up to a 1.75% interest in NameSilo, with the equity payments not starting until 6 months after completion of the acquisition. At today’s market cap, that’s only a few hundred thousand dollars. However, NameSilo is picking up NamePal’s team, so there might be employment agreements as part of the deal.

In a release, NameSilo touts NamePal’s Fetch! Product as a big reason for the acquisition. Fetch is a multi-platform backorder aggregator. According to a product page, Fetch allows you to place backorders on a central dashboard and manage your purchased domains through a central location as well:

Tired of using dozens of registrar platforms for your backorder domains? Multiple logins and different control panels can waste your time and cause delays that cost you money and customers. NamePal’s new Fetch! is here to solve your problems, our proprietary Backorder Platform will consolidate and make managing your backorders faster and convenient. Capture domains across multiple popular catch services, manage your remote domains and participate in auctions across the web, all in one location.

The page notes that the product is coming soon.

I can see value in a service like Fetch, especially if users can manage their purchased domains from one dashboard rather than logging into each registrar account.

A 2017 presentation explains NamePal’s plans to target domain investors with tools and services, including a domain “afterlife” program that lets domainers share in income received from a domain after it is sold to another user.

Arthur Poghosian founded NamePal. He also was CEO of, which he sold to in 2016.

The most recent domain data report at ICANN from September shows that has 26,000 .com domains under management at its main registrar, plus 40,000 at affiliate registrars that were likely set up for dropcatching.

The acquisition signals that NameSilo continues to beef up its domainer-targeted offerings.


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Categories: News and Updates domain dispute settled

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-10 14:41

Settlement overturns bad WIPO decision.

A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) wrong has been righted.

In February 2018, a three-member WIPO panel made an atrocious ruling that should be transferred to a Mexican bus company. is owned by Francois Carrillo, the owner of

Carrillo subsequently sued to halt the transfer of the valuable domain name.

Last month the parties settled. The settlement order (pdf) reads:

…In light of the Parties’ agreement that (i) Plaintiff’s interests in respect of the domain name are legitimate; (ii) Plaintiff did not register or use the domain name in bad faith; (iii) Plaintiff’s registration and current use of the domain name do not violate Defendant’s rights under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125(a) and 1125(d)…

So the settlement overturns a mistake by the WIPO panel. That said, the court order states that each party will bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees. If indeed Carrillo came out of pocket on legal costs to settle the claim, then the wrong has been only partially righted.

Update: I connected with Carrillo today via email:

Now that the case is settled, what are your plans for the domain?

No special plans. Sell the domain if I receive an appealing offer, or use it myself further if I have a service idea that can benefit of this brand.

The settlement says that both parties are paying their own attorneys’ fees. How much did it cost you to defend your domain?

All court cases are expensive ( in comparison defend an UDRP case is insignificant), and this case was no exception. But, I thought it was important to not only make sure that I kept but to also obtain a court order clearing me of any suggestion that I violated the UDRP. This has been done!

What advice do you have for domain owners who lose a wrongly-decided UDRP?

Talk to an attorney who has handled court cases following wrongly-decided UDRP decisions so that you know your options. But, more importantly, get involved with the ICANN Working Group that is currently reviewing the UDRP so that it can be improved to lessen the chances of finding yourself in a similar situation.

(Hat tip:

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Categories: News and Updates

Infusionsoft loads up on domains as it plans for Keap

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-01-10 14:26

Company acquired, filed for trademarks, and recently loaded up on Keap-related domains.

The Keap logo, as filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

CRM and marketing platform Infusionsoft has registered a lot of domain names as it prepares to launch Keap.

What is Keap? I can’t tell for certain, but based on the company’s recent trademark filings and domain registrations, it’s very possible that the company is rebranding as Keap. At a minimum, it is about to launch a new product called Keap.

In August or September 2018, Infusionsoft appears to have acquired the domain name from Frank Schilling’s Name Administration.

Then late last year the company filed for nine trademarks involving the brand. The services it filed under seem a lot like what Infusionsoft currently offers.

Over the past two days, dozens of keap-related domain names have been registered:

The domain names use a registrar’s Whois privacy service, but it’s the same corporate registrar at which is registered.

The pattern shows a good practice in corporate branding: first, acquire the domain name. Then file the trademarks. Finally, pick up ancillary domains that might be useful (or detrimental) to the brand.

Expect an announcement from Infusionsoft soon.

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Categories: News and Updates

Last Domain Sales Reported for 2018 Include a $1.15 Million Monster & 3 Others in 6 Figures

DN Journal - Thu, 2019-01-10 01:17
I hope you all enjoyed the holiday break and are ready to catch up on what happened over the holidays in the domain aftermarket.
Categories: News and Updates

25 end user domain name sales up to $250K

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-09 18:34

A tax service provider,  a video game company and soccer forum all bought domain names recently.

Sedo published a new sales list that covers a few weeks of sales over the holidays, so we have a bonanza of end user sales to report this week.

Let’s get right to it, and if you like this list, you can view previous lists like this here. $250,000 – Sedo sold this high value generic key term to the international tax services and consulting firm Ryan, which is headquartered in Dallas. They currently utilize as their main site but with this purchase, they will certainly receive more traffic. $68,000  – This domain is being used for a soccer forum. €10,099 – This valuable 3L .com was purchased by Redfox Ventures, a branding agency, presumably for one of its clients. €7,000 – A food takeout and delivery service bought this French ccTLD. $7,000 – Forwards to, a Houston-based dermatology practice. €6,500 – This is German for ceramics. A “coming soon” message on the domain points to eQuarz, a granite, quartz and ceramic countertop seller.

Kü €5,950 – A German construction company specializing in kitchen renovations. €5,900 – Redirects to, a German service provider that lets you manage personal medical information such as healthcare providers, medical institutions, etc. $5,600 – RentBerry, a home rental company, bought the Brazilian ccTLD to match its .com. for its business after purchasing the Canadian ccTLD several weeks ago. It bought for $8,888 a few weeks ago. $5,000 – Shopee is an E-commerce platform headquartered in Singapore that launched in 2015. $5,000 – Electronic Forms LLC, which operates from, is an online provider of legal documents and contract forms for business, real estate and estate planning. $4,001 – A site in development for a new app for real-time mobile Blockchain payments. $3,900 – Game developer Picroma, which as a game called Cube World. $3,800 – Redirects to .com version of this online jewelry and accessories shop. €3,700 – Controlar, a Portuguese auto electronics and software company that operates on $3,500 – A New Zealand company called Aeroe Ltd. €2,900 – German dental equipment company Dental Fox, which uses, $2,750 – Med-Link helps accident victims with their medical treatment. $2,568 – Symetra Life Insurance of Bellevue. It uses the domain €2,500 – Purchased by the Catholic Youth Summer Camp organization to be used for their Damascus campus in Centerburg, OH. €2,420 – Claneo GmbH, a German Digital Marketing agency who that uses the German country code domain €2,350 – Digital marketing agency Optival uses the domain name $2,300 – Redirects to, so this is a shortened domain for the CMCX European Content Marketing Conference hosted in Munich. €2,000 – Redirects to Datack.FR which looks to be a French website in development for some sort of marketing agency with the slogan, “Deploy your identity, Activate your communities, Influence your sector”. $2,000 – Presumably purchased by Mountain Hardwear, a subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear who specializes in apparel, accessories and equipment primarily for mountaineering enthusiasts and outdoor athletes.


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  3. What domains Microsoft, HBO and others bought last week
Categories: News and Updates

A prediction: new TLD registrations will drop in 2019

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-09 17:12

A drop in total registrations will be a healthy sign of a maturing market.

A drop in new top level domain registration numbers would be a health thing.

This week I published my annual predictions podcast episode featuring 19 predictions for 2019.

Here’s another prediction for 2019: the number of registered domain names in new top level domains will decrease. But this is actually a good thing, as I’ll explain.

The reason for the anticipated drop is a shift in business model at Famous Four Media, which is now Global Registry Services Limited, aka GRS Domains.

The domains under management in this portfolio were built on very cheap (sometimes free) domain registrations. That’s why .loan is the third (or second depending on who you ask) biggest top level domain in terms of volume. nTLDstats shows 2.2 million .loan domain names.

John McCormac, who runs, has been tracking .loan and other former Famous Four Media domains and says renewal rates for these domains are dismally low when renewal prices are higher. He calculates that renewal rates for 2017 registrations was under 1% through the first three quarters of 2018. So over 99% of those domains dropped.

Historically, these would be replaced by people registering new domains. But GRS Domains started charging higher prices toward the end of last year. Retail prices for .loan domains are now $10+. Here are HosterStat’s new registration calculations for .loan through the first day of each month:

01 Jan 2018: 224,502
01 Feb 2018: 98,624
01 Mar 2018: 205,863
01 Apr 2018: 397,069
01 May 2018: 353,244
01 Jun 2018: 37,968
01 Jul 2018: 705,787
01 Aug 2018: 110,583
01 Sep 2018: 57,174
01 Oct 2018: 46
01 Nov 2018: 93
01 Dec 2018: 78

There’s little demand for .loan without steep discounting.

McCormac notes that the increased wholesale price of .loan and other domains is scheduled to last until February 2019. If prices stay higher, then we can expect few new .loan registrations this year.

But…this is a good thing. New TLD registration numbers have been inflated by cheap domain registrations. Dirt cheap domain registrations are a bad thing: there’s a very real correlation between the price of a domain and its abuse rate. Scammers and spammers keep their costs down with these cheap domains. Paying less than a buck for a domain instead of $10 adds up when you register thousands.

Spamhaus publishes a list of the 10 most abused top level domains. Guess what’s at the top? Yep, .loan.

There is simply no legitimate reason that certain top level domains have as many registrations as they do. The only reason they are so high is because people are using them for bad stuff. That kills the TLD. Legitimate domain users will avoid a TLD if it has a bad reputation. Some people have blocked emails from all .top domains because of the amount of spam.

A financial company would be much wiser to use one of Donuts’ .loans domains than .loan because of the reputation of these domains.

So assuming GRS Domains sticks with its current approach (and I hope it does), we can expect the number of registered domains under new TLDs to fall in 2019. This is a good thing.

© 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Hostway and to merge

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-01-09 14:42

Two hosting companies are merging.

Austin-based Hostway and Denver-based are tying the knot, the companies announced.

Emil Sayegh, who currently heads Hostway, will be the company’s CEO and president.

The two companies combine to have 14 data centers in five countries across three continents. They have about 1,000 employees.

Hostway is primarily a Windows Azure shop., which actually goes by the generic name Hosting, focuses on AWS. They manage services on these public clouds as well as provide their own hosting infrastructure.

Both companies were founded in the late 1990s at a time when the hosting business was dramatically different than today.

© 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

No related posts.

Categories: News and Updates

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2018

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-01-09 13:47

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2018 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry.

Top 10 Featured Blogs from the community in 2018:
#1ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the InternetBrian Winterfeldt – Mar 06, 2018
Viewed 22,261 times#2Humming an Open Internet Demise in London?Anthony Rutkowski – Feb 25, 2018
Viewed 20,793 times#3Why Is It So Hard to Run a Bitcoin Exchange?John Levine – Feb 13, 2018
Viewed 17,453 times#4Why Are the EU Data Protection Authorities Taking Away Our Fundamental Right to be Safe?Hemanshu Nigam – Apr 21, 2018
Viewed 15,338 times#5Why You Must Learn to Love DNSSECMark Jeftovic – Jun 19, 2018
Viewed 14,451 times#6Blockchain's Two-Flavored AppealJohn Levine – May 07, 2018
Viewed 14,189 times#7Changes to the Domain Name MarketplaceKurt Pritz – Mar 12, 2018
Viewed 13,211 times#8Internet Governance Outlook 2018: Preparing for Cyberwar or Promoting Cyber Détente?Wolfgang Kleinwächter – Jan 06, 2018
Viewed 12,966 times#9Holocaust Remembrance DayKathy Kleiman – Apr 12, 2018
Viewed 12,452 times#10Security, Standards, and IoT: Will Connected Devices Flourish Under Prescriptive Regimes?Megan L. Brown – Mar 29, 2018
Viewed 12,142 times

Top 10 News in 2018:
#1Microsoft, Facebook and Others Demand ICANN Take a Closer Look at Questionable RegistrarsMar 07, 2018
Viewed 20,058 times#2Report Estimates Cybercrime Taking $600 Billion Toll on Global EconomyFeb 21, 2018
Viewed 15,854 times#3SEC Reinforces and Expands Its Cybersecurity Guidance for Public CompaniesFeb 22, 2018
Viewed 15,421 times#4IPv6, 5G and Mesh Networks Heightening Law Enforcement Challenges, Says Australian GovernmentFeb 28, 2018
Viewed 15,279 times#5Gold Dragon Helps Olympics Malware Attacks Gain Permanent Presence on Systems, Reports McAfeeFeb 05, 2018
Viewed 14,295 times#6Access Logs Reveal 12M Visits to .CM Typosquatted Sites Just in 2018 So FarApr 05, 2018
Viewed 13,870 times#7Botnets Shift Focus to Credential Abuse, Says Latest Akamai ReportFeb 20, 2018
Viewed 12,930 times#8UK's Government Websites Infected by Cryptocurrency Mining MalwareFeb 12, 2018
Viewed 12,686 times#92.6 Billion Records Were Stolen, Lost or Exposed Worldwide in 2017, an 88% Increase From 2016Apr 12, 2018
Viewed 12,341 times#10Teen Hacker Who Targeted High Ranking US Government Officials Sentenced to 2 Years in PrisonApr 20, 2018
Viewed 11,781 times

Top 10 Industry News in 2018 (sponsored posts):
#1DNS-Based Threats: DNS Reflection and Amplification AttacksVerisign – Jan 29, 2018
Viewed 12,857 times#2Q4 2017 DDoS Trends Report: Financial Sector Experienced 40 Percent of AttacksVerisign – Mar 20, 2018
Viewed 11,791 times#3DNS-Based Threats: Cache PoisoningVerisign – Apr 18, 2018
Viewed 8,932 times#4ICA Statement on UDRP Decision: Overreaching Panelists and Interference With Domain MarketInternet Commerce Association – Mar 01, 2018
Viewed 6,682 times#5A Re-Examination of the Defense of Laches After 18 Years of the UDRPInternet Commerce Association – Jan 15, 2018
Viewed 6,144 times#6Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 332.4 Million Domain Registrations in Q4 2017Verisign – Feb 16, 2018
Viewed 5,967 times#7Afilias to Buy Entire TLDs at NamesConAfilias – Jan 27, 2018
Viewed 5,093 times#8Startups on Radix Domains Rake in $436M in VC FundingRadix – Jan 29, 2018
Viewed 4,751 times#9Paving the Path to the Brandsight Beta: Development and Release of Our Domain Management ProductBrandsight – Jan 18, 2018
Viewed 4,369 times#10Radix's Premium Domains for 2017 Renew at 71%Radix – Mar 22, 2018
Viewed 4,352 times

Written by CircleID Reporter

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More under: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Domain Management, DNS, DNS Security, Domain Names, ICANN, Intellectual Property, Internet Governance, Internet of Things, IPv6, Law, Policy & Regulation, Privacy, New TLDs, UDRP, Whois

Categories: News and Updates

Political New gTLDs: One Year in Review

Domain industry news - Tue, 2019-01-08 21:02

Once a month, at the end of the month, a snapshot of domain name registration volumes is taken according to categories of new gTLDs. Twenty categories are covered and this article covers Political new gTLDs. These snapshots allow having a global overview of which extensions increase their volume of domain names registered from a month to the other, in a period of 12 months. Below is what I noticed from January 2018 to December 2018 for domain name extensions related to politics.

20 categories covered

Some domain name extensions extracted from the full list of the 1,930 ICANN new gTLD applications submitted in the first round were regrouped in categories such as "politics", "luxury", "music", "catering", "photography", "city names", domains dedicated to "companies", "law and justice", "finance", "colors", "sports", "alcohol", "real estate", "french new gTLD applications", "religions", "cars and automotive", "health" and "adults". Two other monthly reports cover:
1) new gTLDs existing in their "singular and plural" version;
2) Group of registries operating five and more domain name extensions.

These reports include some .BRAND new gTLDs (dedicated to the exclusive use of Trademarks and some IDNs (Internationalized domain name extensions). The "Politics" new gTLD report includes eleven extensions.

12 domain name extensions for politics

1) The .DEMOCRAT new gTLD
3) .FAIL
6) .GURU
7) .GOP
8) .BEST
10) .VOTE
12) .VOTO ("vote" in Spanish)

From January 2018 to December 2018

• The first thing to notice is that one extension only has more than 10,000 domain name registrations. The 11 remaining are closer to 4,000 registrations.

• Six extensions have more registrations in December 2018 than what they had in January:

1) .FAIL
4) .BEST
6) .VOTO

• The .VOTE is one that should be used massively by political parties and other affiliate organizations but it accumulates less than 3,000 registrations worldwide.

• There are more ".democrat" domain name registrations than ".republican" ones.

• None of the 12 extensions kept growing from one month to the other on a 12 months period of time.

• The .GOP and .REPUBLICAN new gTLDs have less registrations in December 2018 than what they had in January from the same year.

• Surprisingly, negative extensions are successful: .FAIL - .EXPOSED and .GRIPE had more registrations in December than in January.

• The .BEST new gTLD now follows an interesting learning curve.

• The .VOTO new gTLD has 348 registrations in total.

"Volumes" are a long debate

There is a long debate on volumes of domain name created by registries: some say that "use" matters the most and that's what drives to volumes of registrations (but this takes time); some, like ".com" domain name investors, like to focus on volumes only (and like to laugh about the ridiculous numbers of new domains created compared to ".com"). I like to focus on both because volumes matter in terms of sales when you are a registry. I believe that "use" is not enough to install a new domain name extension because volumes of domains created also allow a new gTLD to be noticed by the general public (note that domain name registration volumes can be inflated too).

Some categories of TLDs generate much more interest than politics. This is a series of articles focusing on new domain name registration volumes from the ICANN new gTLD program.

Written by Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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More under: Domain Names, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates

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