January 31, 2009
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Dangerous degree of arrogance backfires
You know it’s bad when you start to feel sorry for the person on stage. Hal Bailey must have wondered what the hell happened. Coming to DOMAINfest Hollywood as the man in charge of AdSense for Domains, Hal was here to tell the assembled masses that Google was going to allow them to make money while sitting on their arses.
This incredible gift was going to come with some rules though: domainers would have to clean up their game. They would have to post original – i.e. not stolen – content on all the domains they owned, and they would have to provide a valuable informational service to their fellow Netizens. If they did that, they would find Google warm in their embrace; if they did not then Google would not help them and they would be out in the cold.
You can imagine Hal planning out this gentle lecture in his head before taking the stage with fellow Google employee Matt Parry: tough love but they would thank him for it later. It didn’t quite pan out like that.
Instead, the one-hour “Google Perspective: Winning over the Advertiser and Optimizing Site Performance through Analytics” was a lesson that Google executives would do well to learn from. Customers are customers and not just grateful users of services – no matter how much market share you have.
January 30, 2009
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We first learned that the domain name market was far from stable around eight years ago when the dotcom crash turned a booming market into dust in just a few months.
Over the years, that market has grown in strength: its stability saw people invest in advanced systems for buying and selling domains, and the never-ending demand for Internet sites, coupled with the fact the the number of top-level domains stayed the same and so the domain space became smaller, meant that prices increased steadily to the point where tens of thousands of domains became worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Well, the DOMAINfest domain auction has just demonstrated that the domain name space may be more stable but it ranks alongside art, rather than houses, when it comes to property.
In short, the auction was a bit of a wash-out, with none of the 200+ domains available exceeding expectations; most hitting the bottom-end of their estimated value; and a very large number meeting no bidders and being pulled off the floor.