1. Online Advertising Revenues Up 10% Last Quarter: That’s two quarters of growth in a row and means more money for your sites. We’ve always known the money is headed towards the online world and it’s here. It’s not going towards parked sites like it used to, more than ever it’s going to Google.
2. Mid to Low End Domain Sales Did Well in 2009. Well meaning only fell 3%. According to DNJournal: the mid to low end of the market held up very well in the recession with the median domain sales price (the price at which half of all sales were higher and half were lower) falling just 3.3% from $2,688 in 2008 to $2,597 in 2009. This is a positive because it is the area that most of the domainers make their money. This is the ‘average Joe” section. Actually it’s probably below $1000 but those sales aren’t tracked. I would imagine that held up as well. It’s the big domain sales that faltered but not many of us actually ever made those sales
3. Dot Coms Are Becoming MORE Valuable. People are complaining about all the new Tlds but what the new releases are actually doing is making the dot coms that much more valuable. It’s the name you want to have and you are settling for any other extension. Each year another tld comes out that becomes even more true. Michael Mann puts it best , “2009 once again proved one old adage. .Com is still king,”
4. Sedo is booming: When Sedo does well, our industry does well. They reiterated that dot com is king but had some great sales in many more tlds. A quote from Sedo’s 4th quarter report “Sedo’s continued impressive growth in 2009 demonstrates the tremendous stability of the domain market, as evidenced by its ability to weather the economic downturn,” said Jeremiah Johnston, Chief Operating Officer of Sedo. “We expect to see ongoing demand for premium virtual real estate in 2010, with geo, descriptive, .org and .com domains leading the charge, as domain investors and marketers representing organizations of all sizes continue to leverage domains to meet their business goals”
5. For the Most Part WIPO Cases Have Been Fair: Before you jump on me here, I said “for the most part” I’ll take a quote for Howard Neu at DnJournal (again) in my research, it appears to me that when Domainers answer Complaints with intelligent well-thought-out Responses, they usually receive favorable rulings from the panelists. There have been some awful rulings but one thing remains consistent, don’t park your domain and allow ads for the company that holds a trademark for that keyword and that will help your case dramatically.
6. Marketing and Media people are starting to “get” domain names and their value as a tool to reach consumers. I’ve stated several times, it’s hard to brand a generic but a generic means you are king. If you own THE premium generic in your category comsumers assume you are the best. If you own Beer.com you must be a major player in the beer industry. Laurie Sullivin states “Marketing and advertising agencies looking to strengthen campaigns might pay just about any price for a solid domain name if it means building a better relationship with consumers“
7. Weak names are getting pushed aside: A trend for 2009 and 2010 has been the steady hold in prices of solid names and the depreciation or complete collapse of bad names. In 2008, bad letter 4L.coms were reaching $50 and three word, low search keyword names were reaching $100. It’s bad if you are a junk holder, great if you are a premium holder. In trading and the markets prices tend to reach a high, consolidate, and then explode to new highs. This appears to be the trend in premium dot coms. There is a small window left for some of these bargain prices, and not just because the world is going to end in 2012.
8. Volatility is a good thing. You may not like the ups and downs of domain prices and all the releases of tlds but if you are a flipper this is good. Using the trader analogy again, traders make money on price movement. Domaining is no different. If you buy and hold then you merely sit and wait for it to go up. If you flip you need the dips and rises to make money. We are in the dip mode. The tlds are in the ? mode. There are opportunities in both.
9. The Mobile Internet and smartphones have added another 8 hours of internet access to user’s lives. The iPhone started the trend and now it’s moved to almost all new phones. Users went from internet at home, to internet at break time at work, to internet access all day long. A trend that adds millions of more users and pageviews per day. The amount of time spent on the internet for families around the world is skyrocketing.
10. New domainers, investors, and end users continue to enter the market every day. They are the new money, the lifeblood that take domains out of circulation. We are seeing more domains than ever recycling through the auctions but every day we are seeing new businesses, new investors, and more hobby domainers enter the market. Sure, most of the domains get passed back and forth amongst domainers but new end users seem to still keep coming.