domingo, 27 de maio de 2007

Marchex Buys Spanish Domain Portfolio From Chris Chena

Marchex recently acquired more than 100 Spanish-language Web sites from two separate parties. The acquired Web sites collectively generated more than 1 million unique monthly visitors for the month of April 2007. Unique visitor statistics are based on internal traffic logs, which calculate unique IP (Internet protocol) addresses on an unduplicated basis during a given month. Under the terms of the transaction agreements, which are effective immediately, Marchex paid a total of $10 million in cash for all of the Web sites. Additional examples of the Web sites, which will initially be monetized with graphical and pay-per-click text advertisements, are listed below.

The seller is a top notch domainer and developer in the Spanish market. It’s good to see good guys making mega deals in the business. Congrats Chris !

Examples of Marchex's Spanish-Language Web Sites:

Below is a sample list of Marchex's Spanish language Web sites, including the newly acquired Web sites as well as Web sites Marchex already owned.


Preços de algumas vendas de domínios

Here is the list of all domain sales over $100.000. Some of the sales still need public verification. This list is for pure domain name sales, not sales attached with a business (for instance was the domain sold with the business, hence it doesn't qualify).

Highest (published) Domain Sales over $100,000 - $14 million (Jan 2005) - $7.5 million (Nov 1999) * - $7 million (2004) - $6 million (2000) - $ 5.5 million (Oct 2003) * - $5 million (Jan 2000) * - $5 million (Jan 2000)* - $3.5 million (Nov 2003) - $3.3 million+ (Sep 1999, resold in 2001 at bankruptcy auction) - $3.25 million (Jul 1999) * - $3 million (Jan 2000, sold to Bank of America, GD) - $2.9 million (needs verification) - $2.75 million (July 2004) - $2.5 million (Feb 2000) - $2.2 million (Dec 1999) - $2.2 million (Dec 1999, HD) - $2 million (2000) - $2 million (Dec 1999) - $1.9 million (Mar 2000) - $1.8 million - $1.5 million (Mar 2000) - $1.5 million (Feb 2000) - $1.5 million (Nov 1999) - $1,4 million (Sept 2005)* - $1.32 million (Dec 2003, full payment fufilled May 2004) - $1.23 million (Feb 2000, GD) - $1.2 million - $1.2 million - $1.1 million (March 2004 - $700k cash) - $1.1 million (2000) - $1.03 million (Apr 1999, NC) - $1 million (July 2005) - $1 million (Aug 2000, NYT) - $1 million (early 2000) - $1 million - $1 million (1999, NYT) - $1 million (Jan 2000) - $1 million (needs verification) & .net - $1 million (Aug 2000, needs clarification) - $1 million (July 2000, only $200k in cash *) - $1 million (Feb 1999, ?? $25k + 50 cents per transaction for life?)
--------------------------------- - $xxx,xxx+ (2003 - "almost seven digits") - $975,000 (1999) - $835,000 (Jan 2000, GD) - $824,000 (Aug 1999, GD) - $800,000 (Dec 2005) - $800,000 (Mar 2000, needs clarification) - $800,000 (needs verification) - $800,000 (Oct 2000) - $800,000 - $750,00 (August 2005) - $750,00 (July 2005) - $750,000 (1999) - $706,850 (Nov 2005) - $700,000 (March 2005) - $700,000 (Jan 2000, GD) - $700,000 (Feb 2000) - $625,000 (June 2000, GD) - $600,000 (Dec. 2005) - $600,000 (needs verification) - $530,000 (1999) - $500,000 (Nov 1999) - $500,000 (Nov 1999, resold for $1 mil ?) - $500,000 (late 2000) - $500,000 (May 2000, needs clarification) - $500,000 (April 2003) - $500,000 (Mar 2000, GD) - $500,000 (2000, GD)
--------------------------------- - $475,000 (2000 or earlier) - $470,848 (€360,000 euros, January 2005) - $460,000 (Mar 2004) - $460,000 - $450,000 - $436,000 (Dec 2000) - $400,000 (Dec 2004) - $400,000 - $375,000 (1999) - $350,000 (Nov. 2004) - $300,000 (Dec. 2006) - $300,000 (Sept. 2004) - $285,000 (August 2005) - $250,000 - $250,000 - $230,000 - $225,000 (Aug. 2004) - $208,000 (2000 or earlier),, - $204,000 (Feb 2005) - $200,000 (Dec 2005) - $200,000 (resold for $1.1 mil?) - $198,365 - $190,000 (2000 or earlier) - $186,000 (Aug 2004) - $181,000 (Nov 2005) - $180,000 (Apr 2004) - $175,000 (July 2005) - $175,000 (2000 or earlier) - $160,000 (2000 or earlier) - $159,500 (Nov 2005) - $155,000 (Oct 2005) - $155,000 (May 2005) - $150,000 (Nov 2005) - $150,000 (Sept 2005) - $150,000 (June 2005) - $150,000 (March 2005) - $150,000 (Jan. 2005) - $150,000 (Oct 2004) - $150,000 (Feb 2004) - $150,000 (2000 or earlier) - $150,000 - $150,000 (1999) - $150,000 (1997, resold in 1999 for $7.5 mil) - $147,000 (May 2004) - $146,000 (May 2004) - $145,000 (Sept 2004) - $141,000 (Feb 2004) - $140,000 (Dec 2005) - $135,250 (Nov 2005) - $133,000 (Aug 2005) - $125,000 (Nov 2005, sale included and - $125,000 (July 2004) - $125,000 - $125,000 - $120,000 (Aug 2005) - $120,000 (2000 or earlier) - $120,000 (2000 or earlier) - $119,000 (2000 or earlier) - $115,000 (2000 or earlier) - $112,100 (Jan 2005) - $110,000 (July 2005) - $108,000 (May 2005) - $101,200 (Nov 2005) - $101,000 (Feb 2004) - $100,000 (Dec. 2005) - $100,000 (Dec. 2005) - $100,000 (Sept 2005) - $100,000 (Aug 2005) - $100,000 (Aug 2005) - $100,000 (July 2005) - $100,000 (Dec 2004) - $100,000 (Sept 2004) - $100,000+ (Feb 2004, exact price unknown, possibly $250k) - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 - $100,000 (late 1999) - $100,000

* Em alguns casos, vendas com valores superiores a um milhão envolvem trocas de ações. A venda do, por exemplo, de US$7,5 milhões, envolveu na verdade US$500 mil dólares em dinheiro e uma série de condições que deveriam ser atendidas antes do pagamento total dos US$7 milhões.

Domain names become premium Web real estate

By Jon Swartz | USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — Everyone should have Amy Schrier's problem.

For six months, she resisted selling the domain name for $200,000. Using a formula she devised to fetch the highest market value for domain names, Schrier eventually convinced a private party that was worth $500,000. Since the name was sold in March, its site now includes links to sexual material and airfare ads.

"The market will really explode when people realize they are sitting on premium real estate," says Schrier, 37, an entrepreneur in New York who bought for $65,000 in 2002.

Dan Taylor, 54, an industrial designer in Toronto, stumbled onto his domain riches. In the 1990s, he bought with the intent of developing online content for skin-care products. As Taylor's luck would have it, that was before ring tones became available on cellphones. When Universal Entertainment in Germany came calling for the domain name last year, Taylor sold it for an undisclosed amount.

Schrier and Taylor are among an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 individuals who make a living buying and selling domain names, though about half prefer to remain anonymous to avoid competition, says Ron Jackson, editor and publisher of Domain Name Journal.

'A long-term investment'

Most domainers buy and own names. They "park" on sites, where they develop content in the form of Web links and ads, to generate income and increase the value of their virtual real estate.

"It's a long-term investment, like owning a home," says Lawrence Fischer, vice president of business development at, a company that owns and manages thousands of domain names, including "But if a major brokerage firm came along with a big offer, I would be willing to listen."

Plenty have been willing to pay. Sales of 5,851 domain names generated $29 million in 2005, compared with the sale of 3,813 names for $15 million in 2004, market researcher Zetetic says.

Venture-capital firms, too, are betting on domains. Last year, Highland Capital Partners plunked down more than $20 million on YesDirect, a holding company with 600,000 domain names. YesDirect is developing content for websites using the names, says Bob Davis, a managing general partner at Highland.

Further underscoring the hot domain-name market: Its biggest trade show ever took place in Las Vegas last week. About 400 to 500 domainers and investors took part — double what the same show drew a year ago, organizer Rick Schwartz says. Officials at Yahoo and Google, both of which own domain names, attended. There, the largest live domain-name auction produced $2.1 million in sales in three hours.

'Like a lottery ticket'

"It's like buying a lottery ticket, but the odds are better," says Ken Carey, 50, a longtime autoworker in Grand Rapids, Mich., and part-time inventor who owns 200 domain names, including and "All you gotta do is hit the right niche, and you're well on your way to being a millionaire."

When Carey thinks a technology is about to take off, he says, he buys a domain name that pertains to it. The more generic the name, the better its value, says Carey, who is about to retire.

Sometimes, the payoff is huge. Online entrepreneur Gary Kremen snagged $12 million in cash and stock this year when he sold to Escom, an adult-entertainment company.

Sometimes, it lands the owner in legal hot water.

When Benoit Deschenes, 38, of Montreal, approached a health care conglomerate about selling it a domain name containing its name, the company balked and threatened legal action, he said. On the advice of his attorney, the unemployed Deschenes says, he is selling the domain name to the company for a small, undisclosed sum.

"I never imagined it could be like this," says Deschenes, who says he collects domain names like coins and stamps. "It's a crazy time."

A surge in online ads and Web viewing have made domain names a serious business proposition. Online ad revenue is expected to reach $13.6 billion in the USA this year, up 14% from last year, according to Jupiter Media. Overall, 153 million people in the USA use the Web, up 2.5% from a year ago, Nielsen/NetRatings says.

"Those who understand domains and what they represent, can and have done very well," says Schwartz, 52, who sold for $1.3 million in late 2003, a huge profit from the $15,000 he paid for it in 1997. He bought for $750,000 last year.

Schrier, who sold for more than twice what she was originally offered, may soon offer advice.

She intends to market her formula for getting the most value out of domain names.

sábado, 26 de maio de 2007

Conclusões de grandes proprietários de domínios na Internet

"The single biggest cost website owners incur is the invisible cost of sales being lost."


I truly believe that more sales are being lost on the net than actually being made on the net.


This just illustrates why domain names are in such demand and why prices of this commodity has gone up faster than ANY other commodity EVER KNOWN to mankind.


It was hard enough to convince domain owners that "Type in"" traffic was a very valuable commodity and it had direct connection with the value of a domain name.


Follow the plan of They spent tens of millions in advertising and their GENIUSES in their IT department FAILED to have the traffic folks were typing in directly to the browser bar get to their site. It was Thanksgiving Day 1999 I think. Commercial after commercial. all day long. So I typed "" into the browser bar. Guess what?? I get a 404 error!!!! Why?? Because the GENIUSES in IT could not get into the minds of a customer watching a commercial and figure out that they won't type in


The power of domain traffic is far from understood. But in most cases it is highly targeted and potent. What if I told you that type in traffic from domain names is a bigger number than the numbers American Idol pulls? What if I told you that instead of "Idol" doing it a couple times a week, with domain names that traffic is generated every single day of the year? And what if I told you that instead of having 50 million viewers with different interests watching the same commercial the domain name can give you the power to advertise to just one segment with the same interests? Did you hear that? Do you understand what that means? The power these domains possess? Imagine what that would do to the sales of the end user. Imagine which way the rates would go if they doubled or tripled their business.


Don't even think about being part of the 98% of masses that embrace failure and fear success. Don’t feed failure and starve success. Don’t be one to achieve failure because you give up on the doorstep of success.

For the 2%, that “Failure” is no failure at all. It is a CLUE to your next success!


My job is to have domains recognized in the marketplace for the great investment that they are. More importantly it is to have businesses of every industry look at and understand the source and quality of the traffic produced by GREAT domain names. Massive amounts of targeted visitors looking for something very specific.


I think that "What if" is an important question to ask if you are looking at the COMPLETE picture. What if my competition can market online better than my company? What if their costs for a new customer are lower than mine? What if they spend 100% of their budget online and I only spend 20%? What if I am losing market share?

"What if".......What if Ford owned Perhaps their financial condition would be better?

The POINT of all this.......What if you are hiring folks that are missing the BIG things? What if your CEO got $150 million in annual salary plus bonus and your company lost money? owns some great o

nes such as:


Disney owns many. Here are a few.:

IAC has many known and many not so known. Here is just a few. (formerly with ReadersDigest)

etc. etc. etc


Imagine if Hyatt Hotels had gotten Instead of you being 1 of hundreds of hotels listed including all your competitors and paying for each lead or each booking Hyatt would have received ALL the leads. Would that not increase sales? Would that not increase market share?

Step in Madison Avenue. These folks are sooooo hooked on "Branding" that they forgot the REASON they brand is to INCREASE SALES. So their REAL job is to increase sales. THAT is ultimate branding. Having your product everywhere. Funny how in time they have LOST SIGHT of that basic core contract. So Madison Avenue failed the hotel industry as well. IMAGINE, of all these high paid execs at all these companies and not a single one could figure it out. Figure that if they own a domain like they would be a leader in their sector. But they are all so hung up on BRANDING that they would rather IGNORE a reservoir of new business. New business snatched directly from the competition.

Even before it was attached to a business plan or went online was going to be a million user a day site because it had a substantial traffic base. My guess would be that a domain like that would have gotten somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 new visitors every day since the moment the domain went live. I guess the corp guys and Madison Avenue saw no value in having their call centers receive 9 to 18 MILLION added calls a YEAR. 9 to 18 MILLION calls that Hyatt would not lose to Marriott or Westin or Hilton or Holiday Inn or Ritz-Carlton or the other way around. They EACH had a chance to lock out the other hotel chains and they ALL missed it. They spend millions on a superbowl ad with results that can't compare and cannot even truly be measured. They let InterActive Corp (operator of and Barry Diller beat them by disrupting the entire travel industry and for that they will pay dearly for decades to come.

Until folks face the greatest failure of their careers and learn from it they first must see and understand that failure. I don't want to beat these guys up. Really I don't. I am sad to report that 12 years into this and they STILL have no clue just how bad they failed. With 20/20 hindsight you would be hard pressed to find a hotel executive to say they screwed up by not getting hotels .com. What the hell is wrong with you folks??

Johnson and Johnson figured it out. They own and a LOT more. See how they OWN this sector. How they CONTROL this sector. How that have positioned themselves to lead the next 100 years just like they have lead the past 100 years. THEY GET IT!! Then think what would be the consequences if their competitor got it!
Bank of America owns THEY GET IT!
Barnes and Noble own THEY GET IT!
Kraft owns THEY GET IT!
JC Penny owns THEY GET IT!
Calvin Klein owns THEY GET IT!

Now let's look at a disaster.....and a failure by the same counterparts
Campbells Campbells owns The competition (Knorr) owns Somebody SCREWED up there! They DON'T get it and by the time they figured it out....TOO LATE! How much do you think it will cost Campbell over the next 50 years not having that domain? I would invest in Knorr. They have SHARP people there and they may unseat the leader just like 1-800-flowers gobbled up FTD. That is one of my favorite stories of not keeping up. Here is a business (FTD) that OWNED the sector for 100 years and here comes 1-800-flowers and the tiny fish gobbled up the GIANT fish. The ONLY way Campbells will get is buying the other company. But they better do it NOW before it goes the other way! Knorr is owned by Unilever.
Imagine if 1-800-flowers did not own Would not that have been a MAJOR screw up? Well if you can see it is time to apply it to your own sector and see if you pass or fail. The key to all this was that it WAS a "Unique opportunity in time" because a domain like could have been bought a few years back for LESS than the price of a SuperBowl commercial. Today I bet some chains pay the price that could have run many commercials. And what do you think the price of is today?? Do we count in hundreds of millions or billions? I think the latter if you could even get to that point.

Branding without using every tool is not building brands it is destroying brands.


The line in the sand

Let me start with a foundation of things I believe. These few points are not debatable from where I sit. So unless you get to this point, you will likely not understand nor accept anything else I have to say.
1. Getting a GREAT domain name is/was a "Unique opportunity in time."
2. No other commodity in the history of mankind has ever gone up in value faster than a GREAT domain name. No stock, no diamond, no gold, no land.
3. Just like land may have "Mineral rights" such as oil, a GREAT domain may also have mineral rights in the form of "Type in Traffic" from folks typing in your domain name directly into the navigation bar. If someone types in and spells it right do you think they are not qualified? Not targeted? Is that visitor not valuable? Maybe even more valuable than most traffic because of the closing ratios they achieve? I'll talk more about closing ratios in a moment.
4. Fuel runs an automobile, TRAFFIC is what fuels the net. You can have a million dollar auto but without fuel it won't be going anywhere on it's own power. Same with a website. You can spend millions in development but until you add targeted visitors and can CLOSE A SALE you really have nothing. It just sits like the car with no gas.
5. Nothing on this planet happens until a sale is made. Nobody goes to work, not a truck rolls, not a plane takes off not a factory opens not a thing happens. Nothing happens until a sale is made and then you don't actually EAT until you turn a PROFIT. So you don't have to be a genius to sell hundred dollar bills for $79.95.
6. If you sell a product or service on the net via your website and your CLOSING RATIO is not your guiding light, not on the tip of your tongue, not on your radar.....Then you are lost. It is what I believe to be the single most important piece of data no matter what you are selling and less than 1% of all folks that run a site can answer that question. They are lost and are like a captain with no map, no compass, no plan. Your ratio is how many visitors do you need on your site for you to close ONE sale and then repeating those sales? Many sites are incapable of closing any sales. It may be for many reasons or even a single simple the visitor can't find the checkout button.
If you have 10,000 visitors and you only sold one order I would ask why you did not close TWO out of 10,000 or FOUR or FIFTY? Or more? I would ask what you did with those other 9999 customers? I would ask "Is the traffic no good or is it the website that is no good?" You MUST isolate and figure out both sides. You absolutely MUST! But almost nobody does. They are working in the blind and building without a plan.
TEST, TEST, TEST. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak, experiment, experiment, experiment. And when the result is worse, go back to what worked better and find out WHY it worked better and build on that.
I can go on all day long talking about #6. But that is for another day and you may be asking what the hell does a domain owner know about this? All I can tell you as I know how to close sales on the net and back in 1996 and 1997 and 1998 I made a name for myself by increasing the bottom line of websites by 15% in just FIVE MINUTES! There are certain NAVIGATIONAL MISTAKES that almost everyone makes. Fix those, change the font, change the color, change the location and sales can go up dramatically.

7. All the dead guys that built the corporations so many work for today are rolling in their graves because those in position of power and leadership largely missed the greatest opportunity of their lifetime, their fathers lifetime and their fathers before them!

8. Not all traffic is created equal

9. SHIT traffic and TARGETED traffic likely costs the SAME

10. If you don't know the SOURCE of you're traffic you better find out and re-read #6 until you are blue in the face. Imagine what it would do to your business if your site (Your MOUSETRAP) could only close ONE sale in 10,000 visitors while your competitor is closing 50 sales with the same amount of visitors. He is EATING your lunch and you better start paying attention before you head to and look for a new job.

So here we are......
This may sound pretty basic to domain owners and developers, however it is GREEK to those outside the industry. They will doubt these beliefs. What they don't know is we are armed with stats to back up what we say. So my target audience is those outside the industry that still have a misconception of what GREAT domain names represent.


Everyone runs around and says they want to make a million dollars. But that is truly silly. It is the same thing as climbing to the top of a building or a mountain without a staircase, ladder, elevator, gear or some device to get you there incrementally. The map to making a million dollars is not making a million dollars. It is making a dollar a million times. It is making a PENNY 100 million times. So if you are STOPPED as I suggested, this is your first change. When you make a core change like that it affects other decisions down the line so now you have to reanalyze many things. Invent once and then repeat, repeat, repeat. The more you repeat and the faster you repeat it will determine everything else. $1 million, $10, million, $100 million, it’s all based on the same recipe.


To All Bloggers and Domainers:

RICK speaks the truth about investing "NOW" in a domain if not in a portfolio of domains before all that is left of the good domain names are gone and unaffordable. I have about 250 domains which is just a very very very small amount in the overall picture of domains. I went from a few clicks to a few thousand in months but have not found the exact formula of making the most of the clicks. BUT YOU ONLY NEED ONE DOMAIN TO MAKE IT. This year will be the year when some of my domains come to life. I had them just SITTING WITHOUT A PURPOSE before I READ THE KINGS BLOG. His blogs remind me of what can happen and what will happen. Learn from his blogs and take some time to visit and STUDY HIS SITE.


to learn more about RICK'S projects and to get current information about his developed domains.



There’s nothing real in giving a market value on a domain without knowing the UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES SELLER IS FACING IN LIFE.

In regard to real estate, when it comes to valuation, these are not similar at all. Real estate is limited by governments, strict laws, physical space. Domains are only limited by one’s imagination. You can build a small honey shop as well as building the next Google, MS, or something ten times of these companies combined. The sky isn’t the limit, it’s the UNIVERSE!


Some of the things that count in terms of valuation that appraisal companies pay no attention to:

1. Most important, CIRCUMSTANCES. IF you MUST SELL then the value drops fast. Must as in you must have X$ tomorrow morning for some urgent need such as illness, rent, travel expenses, etc.

2. BUYER. The value of a domain isn’t the same to different buyers. One can afford more then the other, one has different visions/plans then another.

3. SELLER. Are you bullish about the business? Are you bearish? Do you need to sell? Do you want to develop? Do you HAVE to sell? If you are looking to replace the income you currently make, what price would you need in order to get the same ROI on a different investment, and which differnent investment?

4. Where else can you get the same ROI? If makes 1,000$/month, what price you need to get in order to get 1,000$/month from other type of investment, such as CD, stocks, gold? This is really an important question if your motivation is to move to a differnet investment with same or better ROI.

See, all these points are UNIQUE to the situation at hand, not to the property itself, and they are what MAKE the real value of your domain name. Without knowing and understanding the unique circumstances at hand the chances of guessing the value correctly are slim to none. That is why the value between appraisal companies vary so much.


Within the world of Web 2.0, the name coined for the second wave of businesses to capitalize on the Internet, direct navigation, sometimes called direct search or "searching without a search engine," is considered one of the fastest-growing niches.

It is projected to generate $650 million in sales this year in the United States, about 7.5 percent of all search revenue, much of it from revenue sharing with search engines like Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. on paid placement ads hosted on its sites, said Jordan Rohan, an Internet stock analyst for RBC Capital in New York.

Rohan estimates that revenue pool could double in the next three years if direct navigation companies like NameMedia can refine their processes and develop e-commerce portals on their sites.

"More than any businesses I've seen on the Internet, these companies get to cash-flow positive almost immediately," Rohan said. "Direct navigation is the overgrown toddler of the online media space. It's large, growing, and a little bit clumsy in its movements right now."

People have been buying up Internet domain names since the early 1990s, though most of the early speculators were "domain parkers" or "cybersquatters" who owned static websites. As companies like Google and Yahoo deployed technology to monetize Internet traffic through advertising, some of those website owners were able to piggyback on their success by hosting advertising links. The sites attract traffic because millions of Internet surfers bypass search engines and type domain names directly into address bars.

Hundreds of people own portfolios of websites, but among the dozen or so companies that are trying to develop e-commerce and other businesses, NameMedia is one of the largest, Rohan said. Its competitors include Demand Media and, both of Los Angeles, iREIT of Houston, and Marchex of Seattle. While all seek to monetize their sites, each has carved out a different strategy.

"We're really a media company," said Richard Rosenblatt , co founder and chief executive of Demand Media, which was formed through three acquisitions and owns 200,000 domain names. "We're not going to build out all of the domains, but we'll use tools and technologies to create a better consumer experience on all our domains."

NameMedia is the new name of, a company that was started in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and acquired last year by a pair of venture capital firms, Highland Capital Partners of Lexington and Summit Partners of Boston. During the past year, operating in stealth mode under an interim name of YesDirect, the company moved to Waltham and acquired more domain portfolios and a technology platform for monetizing its sites through advertising. The company has increased its workforce to 75 from about a dozen.

"You hate to predict the future, but I think a business like this can be a multibillion-dollar franchise," said Bob Davis , managing general partner at Highland Capital, who sits on the NameMedia board.

Davis would not say how much Highland and Summit, the two largest NameMedia shareholders, paid to acquire BuyDomains or how much funding they'd provided during the past year.


Direct Navigation Overview

The direct navigation space has quietly been built up and grown while the Internet went through its cycle of boom and bust. Up to twenty percent of people who use the internet type in what they are looking for in the form of a domain name. This has been coined with the term, direct navigation.

While search engines provide a gateway to find information, the overwhelming number of results have often frustrated people trying to find relevant information. Their next recourse is to type in what they are looking for as a domain name. This targeted user intent has by its very nature led to an industry where such intent is serviced by trying to provide the information that might match that intent. The current model is by providing the pay per click advertising based on the keywords that were used to form the domain name. eg. would provide a list of advertisers who advertised for the keywords wedding shoes.

Piper Jaffray estimates that the paid search industry will generate an estimated $14 billion globally in 2006. It is estimated that the direct navigation market represents more than 10% of the global search market and is growing at comparable annual rates. By 2010, paid search, including paid listings and paid inclusion, is expected to equal 40 percent of the online ad spend or $7.5 billion.

High quality portfolios of domain names are limited and difficult to attain, with the costs rising quickly each year. Yet the direct navigation market has started to mature as domain name prices have spiked and the direct navigation market has began to consolidate.

Reinvent Technology and its related companies are in a good position to build upon its quality domain name portfolio and positiion itself as a leader in this industry.


From Domains to Virtual Communities...


Rick_schwartzI was stumbling around some domain related news stories when I came to this tidbit in the Naples Daily News (Naples, FL). My colleague Rick Schwartz aka DomainKing has diversified into purchasing some virtual real estate in online community Weblo (similar concept to SecondLife). Rick went ahead and bought the entire state of Florida the day Weblo opened.

Quote: "Virtual mayors or governors get fees whenever purchases are made in their cities and states. Mayors collect 5 cents for every $10 spent in their city, while governors get 25 cents for every $100 spent in their state. Earnings are paid out monthly. Though he hasn’t developed his sites yet, Schwartz has earned $500 on all his properties. He estimates he’s invested $50,000. “Florida and California are probably my biggest holdings,” he said. ... To make money, you’ve got to take risks, he said. If you’re scared to lose money, you’ll never make a lot of money,” Schwartz said. “Most people don’t lose enough to win enough.”

WebloWell said sir. I have to say, it's funny when I watch people's reactions to the amount of money folks have made in the domain-name industry. Some are enthralled by the returns, others view the entire affair with disdain. Unlike Weblo, the domain industry is no game. What many folks fail to realize (and what Rick's related quote above illustrates) is that the returns are the reward for taking incredible risks during a time of great uncertainty. Today things look much less uncertain.. hence the diminished returns. Still, the untapped latent value of domain names in 2007 -- the returns remaining to be realized are much greater than traditional investments which themselves carry different degrees of risk.

Good luck with your new investments Rick! Hope they pay off like domains did.


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I've heard about Weblo earlier this year and just don't get it. Who is visiting their pages and sites other than the people buying the properties? What is to stop other sites from selling 'virtual' properties in the same way? I can see the point in Second Life, which has massive players and a community of members to advertise to, but Weblo doesn't seem to be doing anything unique that can't be duplicated. The only time I hear about Weblo is to do with the buying of properties, not anyone actually using the site as a visitor or surfer. Will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

If we live in a Matrix (and you can never prove we don't) than everything is a game.

***FS*** Ha! True Keanu.

btw, now you can buy virtual bl*w j*bs on second life:

I think there's a ton of money to be made in the virtual world- not sure that Weblo is it but who knows. I can now see how some of my own domains can be applied to these developments.

To take the matter further, you may be interested in this:

sexta-feira, 25 de maio de 2007

The man who owns the Internet

Kevin Ham is the most powerful dotcom mogul you've never heard of, reports Business 2.0 Magazine. Here's how the master of Web domains built a $300 million empire.

By Paul Sloan, Business 2.0 Magazine editor-at-large

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- Kevin Ham leans forward, sits up tall, closes his eyes, and begins to type -- into the air. He's seated along the rear wall of a packed ballroom in Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel. Up front, an auctioneer is running through a list of Internet domain names, building excitement the same way he might if vintage cars were on the block.

As names come up that interest Ham, he occasionally air-types. It's the ultimate gut check. Is the name one that people might enter directly into their Web browser, bypassing the search engine box entirely, as Ham wants? Is it better in plural or singular form? If it's a typo, is it a mistake a lot of people would make? Or does the name, like a stunning beachfront property, just feel like a winner?

UPWARDLY MOBILE: Kevin Ham's kitchen-table business now inhabits the 27th floor of a skyscraper in Vancouver.

When Ham wants a domain, he leans over and quietly instructs an associate to bid on his behalf. He likes wedding names, so his guy lifts the white paddle and snags for $10,000. is not nearly as good as the plural, but Ham grabs it anyway, for $350,000.

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.

Just a few years ago, most of the guys bidding in this room had never laid eyes on one another. Indeed, they rarely left their home computers. Now they find themselves in a Vegas ballroom surrounded by deep-pocketed bankers, venture-backed startups, and other investors trying to get a piece of the action.

And why not? In the past three years alone, the number of dotcom names has soared more than 130 percent to 66 million. Every two seconds, another joins the list.

But the big money is in the aftermarket, where the most valuable names -- those that draw thousands of pageviews and throw off steady cash from Google's and Yahoo's pay-per-click ads -- are driving prices to dizzying heights. People who had the guts and foresight to sweep up names shed during the dotcom bust are now landlords of some of the most valuable real estate on the Web.

The man at the top of this little-known hierarchy is Kevin Ham -- one of a handful of major-league "domainers" in the world and arguably the shrewdest and most ambitious of the lot. Even in a field filled with unusual career paths, Ham's stands out.

Trained as a family doctor, he put off medicine after discovering the riches of the Web. Since 2000 he has quietly cobbled together a portfolio of some 300,000 domains that, combined with several other ventures, generate an estimated $70 million a year in revenue. (Like all his financial details, Ham would neither confirm nor deny this figure.)

Working mostly as a solo operator, Ham has looked for every opening and exploited every angle -- even inventing a few of his own -- to expand his enterprise. Early on, he wrote software to snag expiring names on the cheap. He was one of the first to take advantage of a loophole that allows people to register a name and return it without cost after a free trial, on occasion grabbing hundreds of thousands of names in one swoop.

And what few people know is that he's also the man behind the domain world's latest scheme: profiting from traffic generated by the millions of people who mistakenly type ".cm" instead of ".com" at the end of a domain name.

Try it with almost any name you can think of --,, even -- and you'll land on a page called, a site filled with ads served up by Yahoo (Charts, Fortune 500).

Ham makes money every time someone clicks on an ad -- as does his partner in this venture, the West African country of Cameroon. Why Cameroon? It has the unforeseen good fortune of owning .cm as its country code -- just as Germany runs all names that end with .de.

The difference is that hardly any .cm names are registered, and the letters are just one keyboard slip away from .com, the mother lode of all domains. Ham landed connections to the Cameroon government and flew in his people to reroute the traffic. And if he gets his way, Colombia (.co), Oman (.om), Niger (.ne), and Ethiopia (.et) will be his as well.

"It's in the works," Ham says over lunch in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. "That's why I can't talk about it." He's nearly as reluctant to share details about his newest company, called Reinvent Technology, into which he's investing tens of millions of dollars to build a powerhouse of Internet businesses around his most valuable properties.

Given Ham's reach on the Web -- his sites receive 30 million unique visitors a month -- it's remarkable that so few people know about him. Even in the clubby world of domainers, he's a mystery man. Until now Ham has never talked publicly about his business. You won't find his name on any domain registration, nor will you see it on the patent application for the Cameroon trick.

There are practical reasons for the low profile: For one, Ham's success has drawn enemies, many of them rivals. He once used a Vancouver post office box for domain-related mail -- until the day he opened a package that contained a note reading "You are a piece of s**t," accompanied by an actual piece of it.

Bitter domainers are one thing, lawyers another. And at the moment, Ham's biggest concern is that corporate counsels will come after him claiming that the Cameroon typo scheme is an abuse of their trademarks. He may be right, since this is the first time he's been identified as the orchestrator.

When asked about the .cm play, John Berryhill, a top domain attorney who doesn't work for Ham, practically screams into the phone, "You know who did that? Do you have any idea how many people want to know who's behind that?"

Spreading the word

Kevin Ham is a boyish-looking 37-year-old, trim from a passion for judo and a commitment to clean living. His drink of choice: grapefruit juice, no ice. His mild demeanor belies the aggressive, work-around-the-clock type that he is. Ham frequently steers conversations about business back to the Bible. Not in a preachy way; it's just who he is.

The son of Korean-born immigrants, Ham grew up on the east side of Vancouver with his three brothers. His father ran dry-cleaning stores; his mother worked graveyard shifts as a nurse. A debilitating illness at the age of 14 led Ham to dream of becoming a doctor. He cruised through high school and then undergraduate work and medical school at the University of British Columbia.

Christianity had long been a mainstay with his family, but as an undergrad, he made the Bible a focal point of his life; he joined the Evangelical Layman's Church and attended regular Bible meetings. Ham recalls that it was about this time -- 1992 or 1993 -- that he was introduced to the Web. A church friend told him about a powerful new medium that could be used to spread the gospel.

"Those words really struck me," Ham says. "It's the reason I'm still working."

After he graduated from med school in 1998, Ham and his new bride took off for London, Ontario, for a two-year residency. By the second year, Ham had become chief resident, and when he wasn't rushing to the emergency room, he indulged his growing fascination with the Net, teaching himself to create websites and to code in Perl.

Information about Web hosting at the time was so scattered that Ham began creating an online directory of providers, complete with reviews and ratings of their services. He called it

From there it was a short step to the business of buying and selling domains. About six months after he launched Hostglobal, Ham was earning around $10,000 per month in ad sales. But when one of his advertisers -- a service that sold domain registrations -- told him that a single ad was generating business worth $1,500 a month, Ham figured he could get in on that too.

From doctor to domainer

It made sense: People shopping for hosting services were often interested in buying a catchy URL, so Ham launched a second directory, called Like similar services operating at the time, it gave customers a way to register domain names.

But Ham added the one feature that early domain hunters wanted most: weekly lists of available names, compiled using free sources he found on the Web. Some lists he gave away; others he charged as much as $50 for. In a couple of months, he had more than 5,000 customers.

By the time he finished his residency in June 2000, his two small Web ventures were pulling in more money in a month -- sometimes $40,000 -- than Ham made that year at the hospital. That was enough, he reasoned, to put off starting a medical practice for three more months, maybe six. "It just didn't make sense not to do it," he says.

With a new baby in tow, Ham and his wife moved back to Vancouver, settling into a one-bedroom apartment. Ham's timing, it turned out, was spot-on. Tech stocks were tumbling, dotcoms were folding left and right, and investors were fleeing the Web. More important to him, hundreds of thousands of valuable domain names that were suddenly considered worthless began to expire, or "drop." Ham and a handful of other trailblazers were ready to snap them up.

Figuring out when names would drop was tedious work.

At the time, Network Solutions controlled the best names; it was for a long time the only retail company, or registrar, selling .coms. It didn't say when expiring names would go back on the market, but twice a day it published the master list of all registered names -- the so-called "root zone" file (now managed by VeriSign (Charts)). It was a fat list of well over 5 million names that took hours to download and often crashed the under-powered PCs of the day.

So Ham wrote software scripts that compared one day's list with the next. Then he tracked names that vanished from the root file. Those names would be listed briefly as on hold, and Ham figured out that they would almost always drop five or six days later -- at about 3:30 a.m. on the West Coast. In the dark of night, Ham launched his attacks, firing up five PCs and multiple browsers in each. Typing furiously, he would enter his buy requests and bounce from one keyboard to the next until he snagged the names he wanted.

He missed a lot of them, of course.

Ham had no clue that there were rivals out there who were way ahead him, deploying software that purchased names at a rate that Ham's fingers couldn't match. Through registration data, he eventually traced many of those purchases to one owner: "NoName." Behind the shadowy moniker was another reclusive domain pioneer, a Chinese-born programmer named Yun Ye, who, according to people who know him, operated out of his house in Fremont, Calif.

By day Ye worked as a software developer. At night he unleashed the programs that automated domain purchases. (Ye achieved deity status among domainers in 2004 when he sold a portfolio of 100,000 names to Marchex (Charts), a Seattle-based, publicly traded search marketing firm, for $164 million. He then moved to Vancouver.)

Ham went back to the keyboard, writing scripts so that he, too, could pound at the registrars. Ham's track record began to improve, but he still wasn't satisfied. "Yun was just too good," he says.

Then Ham did something brash: He bought his way to the front of the line. Since registrars had direct connections to Network Solutions's servers, Ham's play was to cut out the middleman. He struck deals with several discount registrars, even helping them write software to ensure that they captured the names Ham wanted to buy during the drops. In exchange for the exclusivity, Ham offered to pay as much as $100 for some names that might normally go for as little as $8.

Within weeks Ham had struck so many deals that, according to rivals, he controlled most of the direct connections. "I kept telling them to hit them harder," Ham says in a rare boastful moment. "We brought down the servers many times." During one six-month period starting in late 2000, Ham registered more than 10,000 names.

Rival domainers, locked out of much of the action, didn't appreciate Ham's tactics. It was one of them, most likely, who sent him the turd. "Kevin came in and closed the door for everyone else," says Frank Schilling, a domainer who figured out what Ham had done and sealed similar deals. "There was a ton of professional jealousy."

Ham, in fact, owes a lot to Schilling. Both men lived in Vancouver at the time, and after Ham sought out Schilling in November 2000, the two met at a restaurant to compare notes.

"How much traffic do you have?" Schilling asked. An embarrassed Ham replied that he had no idea. Schilling mentioned that he was experimenting with a new service,, that would populate his domains with ads. Ham spent the next week figuring out how much traffic his sites were generating, and he was amazed by the initial tally: 8,000 unique visitors per day from the 375 names he owned at the time.

"From then on," Ham says, "I knew that what I was building would be very, very valuable." He soon signed up with GoTo (which was later purchased by Yahoo). On his first day, Ham made $1,500.

The system worked then as it does now: People don't always use Google (Charts, Fortune 500) or Yahoo to find something on the Web; they'll often type what they're looking for into a browser's address bar and add ".com."

It's a practice known as "direct navigation," or type-in traffic, and millions do it. Need wedding shoes? Type in "" -- a site that Ham happens to own -- and you'll land on what looks like a shoe-shopping portal, filled with links from dozens of retailers.

Click on any one of those links, and the advertiser that placed it pays Yahoo, which in turn pays a cut to Ham. That single site, Ham says, brings in $9,100 a year. Small change, maybe, but the name cost him $8, and his annual overhead for it is about $7. Multiply that model several thousand times over, and you get a quick idea of the kind of cash machine that Ham was creating from his living room.

By early 2002, roughly $1 million a year was pouring into Ham's operation, which he ran with the help of his high school friend and current partner, Colin Yu. But again he felt the tug of his conscience. He occasionally left Vancouver to do medical missionary stints, helping patients in Mexico, the Philippines, and China. He found the experience rewarding, but the development boom he saw taking off in China just reminded him of the virtual real estate boom he was leading back home.

Soon Ham was back working full-time on the Web. "There was just too much more to do," he says.

A little taste

There was no looking back. The next few years were among Ham's most aggressive. One of his most valuable tricks was one he had experimented with in the early days, a practice called domain "tasting." Tasting takes advantage of a provision that allows domain-name buyers a free five-day trial period. Intended to protect customers who mistakenly purchase the wrong name, it handed aggressive domainers another means with which to expand -- and exploit -- their portfolios.

Ham cobbled together new lists of domain words in every combination, registering hundreds of thousands of new names for free, monitoring the traffic, and then returning the duds. By 2004, Ham had amassed such a deep portfolio that he pulled his names from third-party registrars, launched his own registrar, and then created another company, appropriately named Hitfarm, that could do a better job than Yahoo of matching ads with domain names -- for himself and 100 or so other domainers.

Like any shopping spree, though, Ham's tasting binge didn't last. It brought in so many names -- offbeat strings of letters, names with too many dashes, and other variations that humans would be hard-pressed to think of -- that Ham saw the quality of his portfolio dropping in proportion to its growing size. For every few thousand names he'd register, he'd toss back all but a hundred or so.

Tasting exacerbated another problem too: Ham's software grabbed all kinds of typographical variations of trademarked names. Called typo-squatting, it's a practice now coming under the same intense scrutiny long faced by cybersquatters. Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500) and Neiman Marcus are just two companies whose lawyers have brought anti-cybersquatting lawsuits, charging domainers with intentionally profiting from variations of their trademarks.

"Tasting changed everything," says Ham, who has since abandoned the practice, though he concedes that Hitfarm still holds some problematic names. "I said, forget it," he says. "Generic names are already too hard to come by. And the legal risks are too great."

The legal risks should diminish, however, if you don't own the domain names at all -- and that's the secret behind the Cameroon play.

New world order

The domain confab in Vegas is like any other trade conference: The real intrigue happens at cocktail hour. One subject in the air is Cameroon. Late last summer, domainers began noticing that something odd happens to .cm traffic: It all winds up at a site called Domainers know, of course, that .cm belongs to Cameroon. And they know that whoever controls has created a potential gold mine.

What they don't know is who's behind it all.

At one of the meet-and-greets, Ham is standing drinkless, as usual, sporting a polo shirt, chatting with a few people he knows and some he's just met. In this crowd, it seems, everyone wants to know Ham. Finally, he is alone.

"I hear you're the guy behind .cm?"

Ham looks surprised by the reporter's question, then flashes a big smile and says, "I had help."

Over a series of conversations a few weeks later in Vancouver, Ham shares some details about a deal that, despite his innate reticence, he's clearly proud of. About a year ago, he says, he worked his contacts to gain connections to government officials in Cameroon. Then he flew several confidantes to Yaoundé, the capital, to make their pitch. His key programmer went along to handle the technical details.

"Hey," Ham says, flagging his techie down near the office elevator. "Didn't you meet with the president of Cameroon?"

"Nah," the programmer says. "We met with the prime minister. But we did see the president's compound."

It's an odd scene to picture: a domainer's reps in a sit-down with Ephraim Inoni, the prime minister of Cameroon, to discuss the power of type-in typo traffic and pay-per-click ads. And yet, as with most of the angles Ham has played, the Cameroon scheme is ingeniously straightforward.

Ham's people installed a line of software, called a "wildcard," that reroutes traffic addressed to any .cm domain name that isn't registered. In the case of Cameroon, a country of 18 million with just 167,000 computers connected to the Internet, that means hundreds of millions of names. Type in "" and servers owned by Camtel, the state-owned company that runs Cameroon's domain registry, redirect the query to Ham's servers in Vancouver.

The servers fill the page with ads for paper and office-supply merchants. (Officials at Yahoo confirm that the company serves ads for Ham's .cm play.) It all happens in a flash, and since Ham doesn't own or register the names, he's not technically typo-squatting, according to several lawyers who handle Internet issues.

The method is spelled out in a patent application filed by a Vancouver businessman named Robert Seeman, who Ham says is his partner in the venture and who also serves as chief adviser at Reinvent Technology. (Seeman declined to be interviewed for this story.)

Ham won't reveal specifics but says Agoga receives "in the ballpark" of 8 million unique visitors per month. Fellow domainers, naturally, are envious.

"As soon as it started happening, there was a huge sense of 'Why didn't I think of that?'" says attorney Berryhill, who represents Schilling and other domainers.

Still, several companies have already tracked down Ham's attorneys, claiming trademark infringement. Ham argues that his system is legally in the clear because it treats typo equally and doesn't filter out trademarked names.

Berryhill concurs. "You can't really say that [wildcarding] is targeting trade-marks," he says. "It captures all the traffic, not just trademark traffic." Moreover, the anti-cybersquatting statute applies only to people who register a trademarked domain; using a wildcard doesn't require registering names.

Clever though it may be, .cm is "a very small part of our operations," Ham says. He won't disclose how much he pays to the government of Cameroon, whose officials could not be reached for comment.

The partnership has been a rocky one so far, and the system has sporadically shut down. But .cm is only one of several country domains where the typo play can work. According to Ham, he and his team are working with other governments. The dream typo play -- .co -- belongs to Colombia, to which Ham says Seeman paid several visits long before they began working on Cameroon. (Citing safety concerns, Ham hasn't yet made the trip. "I would only go if the president requests to meet me," he says.)

As for other countries he might soon invade, Oman (.om) is an obvious target. Niger and Ethiopia are out there too, but since they would play off less lucrative .net typos, they might not be worth the trouble.

As for Colombia, Ham says, "we're making progress."

The long view

Ham leans over his office PC to check on a domain auction. Steven Sacks, a domainer based in Indianapolis who works for Ham, is telling him about some names up for sale. Ham shoots back an instant message: "I like ... and ..."

The days of figuring out the drop are long over. Everything's open now. Lists are easy to obtain. You can preorder a name before it drops and hope to get it. Or, like Ham, you can shell out five or six figures in online auctions. The only great deals, at least for .com names, tend to happen privately, when a domainer manages to find an eager or naive seller.

Ham still buys 30 to 100 names a day, but he's no longer getting them on the cheap. In fact, he and Schilling, who today maintains a $20 million-a-year portfolio from his home in the Cayman Islands, are often accused of driving up prices.

Take, for example, the $26,250 Ham paid for, or the $171,250 for "The amount he will pay is crazy," says Bob Martin, president of Internet REIT, a domain investment firm that has raised more than $125 million from private investors, including Maveron, the venture firm backed by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.

Nonsense, Ham says. The names are expensive only if you value them the way people like Martin do. The VCs and bankers, who were late to the domain gold rush, assess names by calculating the pay-per-click ad revenue and attaching a multiple based on how long it would take to pay off the investment.

Viewed that way, Ham's personal portfolio alone is worth roughly $300 million. But some of Ham's recent domain purchases would also look silly: They'd take 15 or 20 years just to justify the price, and that assumes continuation of the pay-per-click model.

But Ham is taking a longer view. The Web, he says, is becoming cluttered with parked pages. The model is amazingly efficient -- lots of money for little work --but Ham argues that Internet users will soon grow weary of it all.

He also expects Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to find ways to effectively combat typo-squatting. Some browsers can already fix typos; Internet Explorer catches unregistered domains and redirects visitors to a Microsoft page -- in effect controlling traffic the same way that Ham is doing with .cm. "The heat is rising," Ham says.

When Ham buys a domain now, he's not doing pay-per-click math but rather sizing it up as a potential business. Reinvent Technology aims to turn his most valuable names into mini media companies, based on hundreds of niche categories.

Among the first he'd like to launch, not surprisingly, is Ham recently leased the entire 27th floor in his Vancouver building and is now hiring more than 150 designers, engineers, salespeople, and editorial folks.

Much of that effort is going into developing search tools based more on meaning and less on keywords. "Google is only so useful," Ham says.

The aim is to apply a meaning-based, or "semantic," system across swaths of sites, luring customers from direct navigation and search engines alike. would then become an anchor to which scores of other sites would be tied.

"It's time to build out the virtual real estate," Ham says. "There's so much more value in these names than pay-per-click." Seeman's patent application even mentions the possibility of turning Web traffic from Cameroon and other future foreign partners into full-fledged portals.

It's all part of the master plan, as Ham aims to become the first domainer to move from the ranks of at-home name hunter to Internet titan. Smaller players have been selling out to VC-backed groups, and Ham expects that the best names will eventually be owned by just a handful of companies.

If he bets right, he might very well be one of them. "If you control all the domains," he says, "then you control the Internet."

Paul Sloan, an editor-at-large at Business 2.0, covers the ever-changing Internet landscape on his blog, The Key. Top of page

To send a letter to the editor about this story, click here.

O dono da internet

Tradução publicada no blog SUPRA-SUMO.ORG da matéria original publicada na revista BUSINESS 2.0
Original da Tradução
Original completo, em inglês

Confira aqui mesmo a matéria original, na postagem anterior: "The man who owns the Internet"


Kevin Ham, até pouco tempo era um mero desconhecido. Ou melhor, seus feitos são famosos, mas até então não se sabia quem era a pessoa por trás dos mesmos. Kevim Ham é proprietário de um incrível portfólio de 300 mil domínios, que se estima valer 300 milhões de dólares. E que juntos, geram aproximadamente 70 milhões de dólares por ano.

Assim como outros nesse tipo de negócio, Kevim Ham utiliza diversos truques para atrair visitantes para seus domínios, que não exibem nada mais do que anúncios. Você já deve ter “caído” em uma dessas páginas infestadas de anúncios. Pois é, isso dá dinheiro. E Kevim Ham, conhece mesmo, muitos truques para conseguir isso.

Esse tipo de negócio é baseado na exploração do direct type-in, onde o usuário digita diretamente no navegador o site que ele deseja. Ou então, quando o mesmo está procurando imóveis, ele digita simplesmente no navegador: Eles se aproveitam principalmente de pequenos erros de digitação, fazendo então com que você caia nessas páginas infestadas de anúncios. E isso, meu caro, é algo bem comum de se acontecer. Funciona mais ou menos assim, ao invés de digitar, você erroneamente digita Um erro simples e bastante explorado nesse tipo de mercado.

Temos ainda um exemplo recente envolvendo os sites e Os dois sites, no inglês, têm a mesma pronuncia. Portanto, é comum que os usuários confundam. Mas neste caso não foi feito uso intencional deste tipo de truque, até porque o segundo já existia. E embora, como citado não tenha sido intencional, o tem se aproveitado das visitas vindas acidentalmente do, e vendem toques polifônicos para celulares. Ou seja, querendo ou não o acabou fazendo parte desse negócio.

Agora, você pode estar pensando que isso é um negócio sujo, mas acredite, não é. Por trás dessas jogadas existem milhões de dólares e grandes empresas, grandes mesmo. As páginas do Kevim Ham, aliás, contém anúncios fornecidos pelo Yahoo!. E o Google também faz parte desse negócio “sujo”.

Kevim Ham é mesmo um exímio domainer, como são chamados os que trabalham nesse mercado. Ele é dono de sites como, e Mas esses são detalhes, façanhas pequenas comparadas ao seu maior feito: uma parceria com Camarões. Agora, me pergunte: o que tem a ver Camarões? E eu responderei: tudo. Oras, é a Camarões que pertence o domínio .cm, que se diferencia apenas por uma simples letra do domínio mais usado da internet, o .com.

Vamos lá, há alguns dias foi vendido o domínio pela “bagatela” de 9,5 milhões de dólares. E adivinhe, Kevim Ham é dono do Veja, a diferença está em apenas uma simples letra. Imagine quantos usuários chegarão ao equivocadamente. Esse é um exemplo, Kevim Ham é dono de muitos outros domínios assim. Como se não fosse bastante, ele ainda pretende fechar acordos com Colômbia, que é detentora do domínio .co e com Oman, detentor do .om.

Bom, é fácil saber quando um domínio pertence a Kevim Ham, simplesmente você será redirecionado ao quando for. Por isso, se você tiver um domínio .com, procure digitá-lo sem o, e veja aonde você irá cair. Se não for no você ainda não foi escolhido. Pelo menos, não ainda.

“Se você controla todos os domínios, você controla a internet.”

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