The Man Who Owns the Internet

The Man Who Owns the Internet

The man who owns the InternetWhen I read this story, my jaw hit the floor…several times. This is an incredible story about a domainer named Kevin Ham. Ham is probably the most powerful dotcom mogul you have never heard of.

One of the amazing things about Ham is that he worked out a special deal with the government of Cameroon to register many common one-word domains. The catch is that Cameroon uses .cm as their extension and many people mistakingly type .cm instead of .com.

Another interesting tidbit:

Ham is a devout Christian, and he spends $31,000 to add to his collection, which already includes and When it’s all over, Ham strolls to the table near the exit and writes a check for $650,000. It’s a cheap afternoon.

Given Ham’s reach on the Web, his sites receive 30 million unique visitors a month. It’s unbelievable that so few people know about him.

Read the full article here…

Tell me what you think of this guy after you have fully read the article.

How to Get Started In Domain Investing

It has been a while since I have written a post about domain investing, otherwise known as domaining. Domaining is an interesting business and one which I have covered quite thoroughly in the past. A few months ago, my business partners and I sat down with a group of domain investing moguls, a company called DotVentures, who own a 50 million dollar collection of domains. They expect their domain collection to be worth over $1 billion within the next few years. DotVentures is also in the process of developing a proprietary way of turning undeveloped domains into profitable and traffic-driving minisites.

Several years ago, a Vancouver man by the name of Yun Ye, sold his large collection of domains to a Seattled-based investment company called Marchex for $164 million. Regularly, domains are being sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Remember, everyone who originally registered these domains paid the regular registration fee of $7-10. Think about the return on investment if you register a domain for $7 and sell it for $7,000. Not only that, but how much effort did it take you to see that kind return? That is why the field of domaining is becoming more popular every day.

To anyone who is curious about this field of Internet specialization, there are many ways to learn how to get started in domaining. My favorite news source for domaining-related information is the Daily Domainer. They offer an excellent free newsletter that provides you with all of the latest news, rumors, and most recent mind-blowing domain sales.

Another great guide to learn how to get started in domain investing is called The Art of Domaining. The Art of Domaining is an ebook by a good friend of mine, Jason Drohn Jason has been involved in domaining for several years and has made a tidy five-figure in the process.

The Art of Domaining is a complete guide dedicated to professional domaining. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn about the industry or a domaining professional, this a great resource to learn how to grab a piece of the domaining pie.

For more information about domain investing, visit the Daily Domainer or read The Art of Domaining.

Please note: this is NOT a paid post and I receive no commission if you choose to buy The Art of Domaining.

Poll Results – You Hope Domain Parking Is Dead

Poll Results

It’s been a month now since I first installed the Democracy WordPress poll plugin. My first poll question was conceived after I met with a domain investing mogul, Matthew O’Brien of DotVentures.

To summarize the meeting, Mr. O’Brien of DotVentures is in the midst of developing a new alternative to parking domain pages. What is domain parking? You know when type in a web site address and you just see a page of links? That is domain parking. Domain parkers simply register domains to park the pages with contextual advertising links, and most often, have no intention of ever developing them. Parked domains containing contextual ads make millions of dollars every year. If they have a good domain, such as, for example, they will get a ton of natural traffic, and owning that domain would be very profitable.

Anyway, Mr. O’Brien is in the process of developing proprietary software which will create useful and unique mini web sites out of undeveloped domains. Additionally, these mini sites will utilize special search marketing software that will create more organic (search engine) traffic than most parked pages receive.

After meeting with DotVentures and learning about the future of domaining, I became convinced that domain parking was going the way of the dodo bird. For more information about the future of domaining, please read my meeting with a domain investing mogul.

My poll question was: “Is domain parking dead?” 90 people voted, total.

48 people (53% of all votes) voted they HOPE domain parking is dead.

12 people (13%) voted domain parking IS dead.

30 people (33%) voted they think domain parking is NOT dead.

According to DomainTools, there are over 86 million domains registered currently (of the main TLD’s, .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, and .us). A huge percentage of those domains are undeveloped and simply sitting there doing nothing. Imagine those domains were providing the web with useful content.

I came across an interesting article questioning the ethical implications of parked domains combined with contextual advertising. In the article, the author says:

To make money with contextual advertising you want your content to be bad. Yes, you want it to be bad. You do not want the user to like what you have on the webpage or find what they are looking for in hopes that after not finding it, they will either do another search in your embedded Google search box or they will click one of the contextual ads on the page in hopes of finding what they came there to find.

The defenders of this type of website say they are “just another way for users to search and find what they are looking for.” What a crock. If that page never existed, the user would have clicked to a relevant website in the first place.

Read more…

I understand the Internet is really just one big advertisement, but it is hard to argue that parked domains are doing anything more than just contributing to net-garbage. The same can be said about TV and commercials, however. Most TV is just garbage, but there is still plenty of useful and informational content. After you finish reading that article, tell me what you think about domain parking and if it is truly ethical.

All Hail Democracy!

All Hail Democracy!

All hail democracy! No, not the system of government. I am talking about the new AJAX WordPress plugin, Democracy.

Democracy is a sweet little plugin that lets you insert a poll into your blog. It is compiled in AJAX, so it looks delicious, is easy to work with, and performs miracles. You can test it out on the sidebar of my blog. I will be adding a new poll question every month.

My first poll question is: Is domain parking dead? Read my post on Our Meeting with a Domain Investing Mogul: Domain Parking Is Dead to learn more about why it seems like domain parking is going to soon be a thing of the past.

New technologies are emerging that are allowing unique, high-quality web sites to be created automatically based on a few keywords. We first heard about this concept with WhyPark, a new company which allows you to easily replace your traditional parked-domain pages with full content-driven minisites. WhyPark also allows you to use your own advertising code, which will increase your income compared to Sedo, which splits the ad revenue with you.

However, WhyPark is only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating unique content sites for parked pages. Searchmarketing LLC, a company in my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona is in the early stages of forever changing domain parking and web development as we know it.

For more information:

Our Meeting with a Domain Investing Mogul: Domain Parking Is Dead

Our Meeting with a Domain Investing Mogul

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I was recently contacted by a Phoenix, Arizona-based company called DotVentures. I wrote about DotVentures a while back because I saw their commercial on MSNBC and was interested in their innovative way of developing and selling domains.

Last Tuesday morning, I, along with my two business partners, Matt and Josh, met with the president of Dot Ventures, Matthew O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien also owns a search marketing company fittingly called Searchmarketing, LLC.

DotVentures is one of the first companies I have seen that treats domain investing as a business. My business partners and I currently own around 160 domains. We started a company to help sell our domains called Dot Com Moguls. Naturally, we were interested in meeting with DotVentures to find out how they could help us market and possibly develop our large collection of domains. DotVentures is conveniently located only a few miles from us, here in Scottsdale, Arizona.

DotVentures is unlike traditional domain brokering firms, in that their main purpose is NOT to simply broker the sales of domains. Instead, they help domain investors create value in their domains by developing them into microsites which produce sustainable income and build traffic over time. A few years down the road, they assist in brokering the sale of these domains for a huge ROI.

DotVentures currently owns thousands of domains in a portfolio worth an estimated 50 million dollars. They anticipate their portfolio will be worth over 1 billion dollars in a few years. This is testament to the incredible growth domain investing will see over the next few years.

Although they are still in early stages of development, their primary company objective is to allow individuals to invest in their portfolio of domains they own. After a client makes an initial investment, their search marketing company, Searchmarketing, LLC build an SEO-optimized website using patented technologies designed to generate traffic and produce monthly income. The client keeps all of the monthly income from the domains. After a few years of generating sustainable traffic to the domain, they help broker the sale and split the profit with the client 50/50.

Shortcomings of Traditional Domain Parking and Web Development

Mr. O’Brien has been in the web development business for over 15 years. He has had a great deal of experience and made several key observations about its shortcomings and how it could be improved upon.

According to Mr. O’Brien, despite having a profitable development company, it is difficult to achieve large-scale growth when you are employing other web designers. You can only hire so many people to work on so many projects. Also, completing web sites from scratch can be a very time consuming process. The limited scaleability of web development companies is the reason we have not seen the emergence of any leading, large-sized development studios.

The other shortfall with the current state of the web development industry is in the concept of search marketing. When you build a web site from scratch, it has no back-linking and no page ranking. Generating consistent traffic takes many months if not years. This is also true for domain parking. It is very difficult to get Google to display high page rankings for parked domains.

To help better understand this concept, think about this metaphor: One does not buy a physical retail location because of its numerical address – 123 Park Lane does not mean anything. One buys a physical retail spot because of the amount of traffic it or its surrounding area receives. As Donald Trump says, “Location, location, location!”

Having the best domain in the world means nothing if you do not have any page ranking or traffic. Building traffic and page ranking is a very time-consuming process.

Opportunity to Improve Domain Parking and Web Development

The future of web development is no longer going to be about registering a domain name and building a web site from scratch. It is going to become the process of taking a preexisting domain name that already receives traffic and then turning it into a prime location for a business. Selling highly-trafficked domains will resuilt in a much higher ROI for the investor than developing a web site from scratch.

Searchmarketing and DotVentures are unlike any other web development companies out there right now. Searchmarketing has built several patented technologies which generate page content and a useful web site automatically. Think about taking a collection of parked domains, and instantly attaching unique content and an attractive design. This is similar to WhyPark’s service, but Searchmarketing promises a far more interactivity built into these domains. For example, imagine having an instant social-networking web site built into a parked domain. Now, when you properly SEO-optimize these sites, you have the potential to get much higher page rankings and an increase in return visitors.

Many people agree this is the direction web development is going in – instead of parking domains or building sites from scratch, web sites will be developed into vertically-marketed portals which provide far more value to the web than a parked page or a static web site.

I have read of similar ideas from only one other person, a man by the name of Richard Rosenblatt. Mr. Rosenblatt helped broker the deal of MySpace to Newscorp several months ago. He now owns a company called Demand Media which is reportedly working on similar technologies. It will be interesting how Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Rosenblatt’s companies change the worlds of web development and domain parking over the next year.

An Exciting Time is Upon Us

Over the next year, I am sure you will hear about DotVentures and Searchmarketing if you have not already. Like I mentioned earlier, DotVentures is already running commercials on MSNBC. Now is the perfect time to get into the business of domain investing. Mr. O’Brien also talked about working with domainers who already own a large collection of domains, like us.

My web development business, infinFX, will be working with Searchmarketing, LLC over the next year to develop a handful of our 160+ domains into profitable microsites. We are also in talks to possibly license their patented technologies to help increase traffic and pagerankings for some of our existing web sites. We will keep you updated over the next few months as our relationship with DotVentures, LLC and Search Marketing, LLC pans out.

It seems like domain parking will soon be a thing of the past. That means we could see a major improvement to the quality of the Internet over the next few years.

What do you think? Is domain parking and traditional web development going in the same direction as the dodo bird? Cast your vote in the new poll (see the sidebar, to the right).

For more information, visit: