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.

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