Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Most Visited Domain on Undeveloped -

I was recently offline for a couple of weeks, and when I returned I noticed that I had a new "most visited" domain name on my Undeveloped portfolio (my overall portfolio contains about 200 domain names).  One nice feature of Undeveloped is that it tracks how many visits each domain name gets. If you have the DNS pointed to Undeveloped, then a user typing in the exact full domain name will be counted as a visit, as will someone searching within Undeveloped and clicking on that domain name from the list of domains presented.  Undeveloped do not count visits to your own domains while you are editing your portfolio. You can have a display of visits displayed for potential purchasers if you wish.

Anyway, back to the story.  For the first time since I have been using Undeveloped, a .gdn (global domain name) had rocketed to first place in the most visited category, and by a dominant lead.  The name?  Now I am not sure exactly when I set my DNS to point to Undeveloped for this domain, but as the graph here shows that the uptick in visits over the past month is impressive. Keep in mind that this is not a list of searches on the word photon (which would be in the tens of millions per month), but actually typing in exactly

Given that the global domain name extension is not that well known, this is especially surprising.  This is the first time that a .gdn has been in the top 5 most visited list on my Undeveloped portfolio. As a sidelight, another .gdn domain name also appeared on my most visited list,, but I had dome some promotion of this name in conjunction with recent British Columbia technology announcements and events, so that is perhaps not so surprising.  Up to now, I had done zero promotion of, so it rose to first place all by itself.

When I purchased the domain name some months ago, as a physicist I did recognize that it is a pretty special word. Much of my research career was based on making sense of astronomical objects from the photons they emitted or reflected. The photon is the quanta of light, that is the smallest energy packets that light comes in.  I am using the word light loosely here, and actually the word photon applies to any kind of electromagnetic radiation, from microwave to infrared to visible to X-ray to gamma ray. A photon of ultraviolet radiation has more energy than a photon of visible light, and that is why exposure to ultraviolet radiation carries more biological risk.

Photon is therefore one of the most important words in science.  But it also is of huge importance in industry, especially in communications. The industry of photonics essentially deals with doing with light what used to be accomplished using electronics (photons replacing electrons).  A single fibre-optic cable can simultaneously carry a huge number of voice transmissions (or other types of data).  The National Centre for Photonics and Optics Education have a nice introduction to photonics here. From communications to medicine, signal processing to imaging, photonics is changing our world.

Even among new extension domain investors, I admit there is not a lot of familiarity or enthusiasm for gdn, and I think that is unfortunate.  I am somewhat contrarian in my view of the extension, and do see significant value and potential.  The idea of gdn was a global domain name - i.e. rather than using a .uk or a .de or a .ca,  a company that operated in multiple countries, but did not want to use multiple country code extensions or a new or legacy other top level domain, might choose gdn. I say company, but the idea for gdn has always been inclusive of any business, individual, site, or organization

I like the premise for the extension .gdn.  Even though there are a significant number of registered domains in the extension (about 100,000 according the NameStat data), I find that occasionally great single generic words can still be found to register (in most cases these have been held previously but allowed to drop by a domain investor).  As with many of the new extensions, discount pricing has hurt the extension, and resulted in the usual dip after the one year period following cheap registrations ended. Pricing seems to have stabilized in the last year (the extension has been generally available for a bit under three years).  If you look at NameStat data there is one Alexa top 1M website using the extension for every 1400 registrations, which is actually pretty positive. As comparators, the .app extension is about one for every 4000 registrations, and the leading new extension .top has one Alexa top 1M for every 2600 currently (you can find this information for yourself for any global extension using Namestat).

The extension has, not surprisingly, most registrations in the US, although the geographic spread is pretty healthy (see graph based on NameStat data). There are registrations from 111 different countries. I think that for a name that claims to be global it is important to have significant registrations in both the US and China, as well as developed and developing countries in various parts of the world. The extension passes this test.

One aspect I look at when considering the viability of a domain extension is which registrars handle it, and how expensive and stable renewal rates are.  In the case of .gdn, major registrars including Alpnames, Dynadot, Epik, Gandi, Namecheap and OVH all offer renewals at about $12 or less. You can find the best deals on any domain extension (for registration, transfer or renewal) at

I decided to try to figure out why the specific domain name had suddenly rocketed to first place among my Undeveloped portfolio domains.  As a starting point I did a Google search on gdn photon.  The results are shown in the screen capture.  I was somewhat surprised (and pleased) to see that the leading search result pointed to the technology section of the domain name catalog at my website.   Also the third entry is the Undeveloped lander for the domain name, which may help explain the number of people landing there.

I think if you look down through the other links and image search, though, another clue is offered regarding the popularity of  I won't go into the technical details, but GdN is a semiconductor material used in the photonics industry. In this case by serendipity the extension abbreviation is the same as the scientific abbreviation for a related term.  When this happens, there are definitely advantages in search engine optimization, yes for the lander for the domain but more importantly to a future holder of the domain name.

As a domain name investor, I had to decide how to respond to the new popularity of one of my domain names.  While the name had received lots of visits in the month, there were no offers made to purchase the domain name.  Up until a few days ago I had no price set for this particular domain name, and it was simply listed with make an offer on Undeveloped (or through my Efty Marketplace).  I had three options: leave it that way and wait for an offer, set a fairly high but it now (BIN) price and hope that the popularity would lead to a major sale, or set a modest BIN and hope to quickly sell the domain name.  I do realize there are sound arguments for all three choices, but my primary interest is to see domain names, especially scientific and technical ones, get into use on websites, so I decided to set a modest BIN.  Simply enter the domain name into any browser to see that price (assuming that it has not yet sold at the time you read this), or easier yet use this link. The good folks at Undeveloped will efficiently and securely handle your payment and promptly transfer ownership of the domain name to you.

It will be interesting to see if having a BIN price will result in a sale or offer.  The research done by Undeveloped suggests that having a BIN price, having the lander at Undeveloped, and showing your full profile as a seller all help in getting sales.

PS In case you are wondering, some of the other domain names which have been in the top 5 most visited of my Undeveloped portfolio over the past few months are listed here.  These are not necessarily my most interesting or valuable domain names, and some have DNS pointing to Undeveloped and others do not, so the comparison is skewed by that.  Click (or enter in browser) any domain name to go to the lander for it.

Monday, June 25, 2018

ngTLD Sales Report May 23 - June 22, 2018

Another month has rolled around, and it is time again to take a look at "new" global TLD (ngTLD) domain name sales reported in the NameBio database.  While the number of domain extensions sold is down slightly, there were still 104 sales over 16 different extensions during this reporting period. The total number of sales and the average sales price were both similar to the previous month. This was certainly a 30 day period in which the .top extension dominated, accounting for 78 of the 104 sales. 

During the monthly period ending June 22, 2018 there were
  • 104 recorded ngTLD domain name sales;
  • The average sales price was about $3450, while the median price was $1580;
  • In terms of major sales, 8 were for $10,000 or more;
  • The highest price sales in this period were for $53,904, for $15,000, for $14,162 for $13,861 and for $13,130; 
  • There were sales in 16 different extensions during the reporting period;
This report saw sales in 16 different extensions (compared to 23 and 18 in the previous two months). Top dominates, while the extensions global, app, link and work also had multiple monthly sales. Considering the newness of the app extension, it seems off to a great start in the resale marketplaces with 3 sales including 2 in the top 5. Here is the breakdown by number of domain sales reported in each extension.
  • app 3
  • capital 1
  • club 1
  • community 1
  • directory 1
  • finance 1
  • gift 1
  • global 8
  • guru 1
  • live 1
  • link 2
  • storage 1
  • surf 1
  • top 78
  • work 2
  • yoga 1
So far in 2018 there have been 524 NameBio reported ngTLD sales with an average sales price of $6127.  Note that this is as Namebio report sales dates. Both for $500,000 and for $300,000 are listed as 2018 sales, since they were reported in 2018, even though the sales terms were completed in 2017. On the other hand, that sold for $500,300 is not reported in 2018 in their database. The total value of 2018 reported ngTLD sales up to the day of writing (June 24, 2018) is $3.2 million. In terms of number of ngTLD sales the rate is similar to that recorded in 2017, although the total value of ngTLD sales if continued at current rate through the rest of the year will eclipse last year.

The NameBio database (or at least the portion publicly reported) does not include sales with value less than $100, nor sales from a number of venues such as Undeveloped or Efty (unless buyers or sellers report them individually), nor from most of the ngTLD registries, so it is difficult to estimate how complete a record this is of all  #ngTLD domain name sales.

Here are links to the three previous reports in case you want to do monthly comparisons:
We should note that after our last report a major .top sale was added to the NameBio database with a sales date that fell within our previous observing period. The name sold for $172,758 on May 22, 2018.

We will issue our next report in late July, and it will cover ngTLD sales for the period from June 23 through July 22. As always we welcome comments and corrections.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The All Time Top New Extension Sales

In this post I take a look at the top 100 new extension (ngTLD) sales of all time (search made on NameBio database June 1, 2018 available at this link). As of that date Namebio show a total of 4380 ngTLD sales.  It took a sale of $30,000 or more to make the top 100 list.

There was a lot of diversity, with 28 different extensions having at least one entry in the list. That being said, a few extensions dominate.  Fully 44% of the list are in just one extension (.top) and another 15 % in .xyz, 7% in .market and 5% in .club. There are two entries from each of .attorney, .estate and .club.  I show in the graph those extensions with two or more entries.

Another 21 extensions have a single entry on the top 100 list: bio, casino, exchange, flowers, forsale, games, global, hosting, lawyer, ltd, loan, loans, news, nyc, online, rentals, rocks, sale, show, ventures,  and work.

I should point out that the Namebio database does not include the highest ngTLD sale of all time.  According to some sources (e.g. Top250Sales and DNJournal) in 2014 sold for $3,000,000.

Interestingly some of the top sales are in extensions with only that single entry in the top 100 list.  At least as reflected in the Namebio list, here are the top 8 all time sales.

  1. $500,300 
  2. $500,000
  3. $300,000
  4. $218,880
  5. $201,250
  6. $191,001
  7. $183,000
  8. $181,720
There has definitely been an uptick in big ngTLD sales, with the top 7 on the list all selling within the last 16 months.

Here is a summary of key points:
  • 100 of the 4380 ngTLD sales have been at $30,000 or more to make this list
  • 28 ngTLD extensions have one or more on the top 100 list
  • top dominates, with 44% of the entries on top 100 list
  • more big sales lately, with top 7 all in last 16 months
  • the two biggest sales were in extensions with only that entry in top 100 list

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