Bill Hartzer

Meeting of the Chiefs – Report from the TRAFFIC Domain Name Conference

CEOs and Presidents from the top companies in the domain and traffic space discuss the state of our industry. Also covered will be the future direction of T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows, plus why the industry is increasingly important to Wall St. while getting the cold shoulder from Madison Ave, and how that translates to Main St and the Vertical markets found there. Divyank Turakhia President of Skenzo, Monte Cahn, CEO, Ammar Kubba CEO, Tim Schumacher, CEO Sedo, Jeff Bennett COO NameMedia, Sigmund Solares CEO, Dan Warner COO and Jerry Nolte CEO Domainer’s Magazine

Tim Schumacher, CEO Sedo
The traffic only converts is the content on the site is relevant so what the user is looking for.

In 2001, we were seeing banner fatigue. Lately, we’ve been seeing domain fatigue and we need to get the CTR rates up. If you talk to a big branding company or advertiser, they are skeptical to domains and domainers. One reason is that there’s a tendency to take advantage of loopholes. Let’s take domain tasting, for example. The outside people don’t like domain tasting. We need to bring some light into the excessive things that are hurting the domain industry. We’re seeing diminishing returns of domains. A domain registered today earns less than a domain registered a few years ago. The domain industry does a lot of domain trading. There’s a lot of selling within the industry. We can only create value of domains if we actually use them. If we’re hoarding them then the value of domains goes down. The best thing for the domain world if there’s a steady flow of domains that are being used in the mainstream. If we let people use domains and buy domains at fair prices then overall the domain market will grow and prices will go up. We need to keep a few things in mind so we keep the domain industry healthy: sustainability is a big factor.

Dan Warner COO
Dan Warner talks about his recent paper about aftermarket domains. The market was fundamentally broken, and now is fixed. Godaddy, SEDO, etc., by offering domain auctions (aftermarket auctions), the system is being more liquid. The main distribution network is based at the registrar. Putting domains in the path of domain buyers is helping. Instead of buying a junky domain for $6 why not buy this domain name for $1200? When people buy aftermarket domains, they buy more hosting, more services. Customers are about lifetime value, not just a quick buck.

Cash flow is king. When you go to an investor they want to see what you’re making on the domain. They don’t care about what you want for the domain name.

Sigmund Solares CEO
What makes different? has over 9000 categories with targeted results along with multiple image sets and ways to add new content to the site. On the state of the industry, since Yahoo! Panama was launched, everyone was nervous. We looked at the numbers and the numbers look good. On the domain development network, will be adding it to directnic in the future.

Ammar Kubba CEO
We’ve had a fun ride the past few years and we need to make sure that continues. We need to continue to cooperate with each other and focus not just on monetization of domain assets but making the process better for everybody. This starts at the user experience. As more and more people come online and see the parked pages we need to make sure that the advertisers continue to get better results. Yahoo! has done a good job with Panama and we’re seeing better and higher CPCs. At TrafficZ, our goal is to bridge the gap between parked pages and domain development.

There’s some sort of lack of trust between the domain owners and the parking companies. Auditors need to come in and audit the payment process. Trust will continue to drive the domaining industy forward.

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