Archive for January, 2012

.CO – A shortcut to success: Part I
by Clint on January 31st, 2012

The rise of the .CO domain looks unstoppable and garnering more attention every day, especially as the .COM extension becomes increasingly played out.

The force behind the .CO extension is a Colombia company called Arcelandia S.A, and a U.S. enterprise called Neustar, Inc, who in tandem, develop and operate the .CO Internet registry.

“.CO is the new domain extension that offers a truly global, recognizable and credible domain name for individuals and organizations to build their businesses and brands,” said the .CO registrar.

“The Colombian government, in consultation for the local Internet community, has made .CO domains available globally in a responsible and secure manner.  .CO will never cease to be Colombia’s ccTLD, but it is marketed to a global user base. .CO is a relevant, credible, and global domain name extension.”

The Colombian government receives about 25% in the sales revenue from .CO domain registrations, which must be a lot of cash considering the fact that registrars like Resell.Biz and Go Daddy expect purchases to top 5 million by 2017.

At this time Wikipedia confirms that over 1 million .COs have been registered in over 200 countries.

TechCrunch reports that Google purchased G.CO in order build official URL shortcuts for applications such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google Photos.

“Google ranks .CO domains with the identical geo-targeting options available to the .com web address, so when your idea comes to life the world will know it,” said the .CO Registrar.

The .CO extension may well become Colombia’s hottest export, but the birth of this popular domain began in controversy.

The changing world of Domains Names and what it means to us
by Clint on January 20th, 2012

Without domains we would be stuck using IP addresses to find your favorite brand, product or social network.

In fact, if the Stop Online Privacy Bill  (SOPA) ever passed Congress in it’s original form, people would still be able to bypass the legislation and retrieve illegal files by typing in the IP address of the offending site. But, who wants that!

Besides SOPA — which most of us are opposed to — there are some massive shifts taking place in the world of domains that affect cost and marketing. This includes the radical new gTLD program from ICANN, which will allow brands to market themselves in ways never seen before.

The introduction of .brand and .category represent some of the biggest changes to the Internet naming system — EVER!

Imagine a domain world of .coke and .Facebook.   It sounds great but it will be expensive perhaps costing as much as $185,000 to secure your brand. Of course, many wonder if the price will deter cyber squatters who always seem to find ways to muddy the waters.

In the interim, domain auction sites like Sedo.com are still squeezing value out of the traditional .com extension. For instance, a recent blog reported that some domains like Zimbabwe.com were selling for over $25,000 as part of their Great Domains Auction.

According to Domain Name Wire, “the owner is taking a 60% haircut from when it sold for $130,000 back in 2007 (also on Sedo).”

So, yes, it is possible for somebody to own a country (virtually) if you have some serious spare cash lying around!

If you are a small business, you are probably using domains in a much more practical manner, and probably also trying to maximize your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) capability.

SEOMOZ suggests that when purchasing a domain avoid using separators like hyphens which diminish credibility and may act as a spam indicator.

Also avoid domains that exceed 15 characters in length, which result in mistyped characters or are more difficult to remember.

It also suggests using keywords carefully in your domain name selection:

“The domain name itself is a key ranking factor that the engines consider when calculating ranking order,” said SEOMOZ.

“Having relevant keywords in a domain name is beneficial because the domain name is the text that other Internet users will use as anchor text when linking. Since keywords in anchor text are an important ranking factor, having these keywords in a domain name has a significantly positive impact on ranking.”

Interestingly, SEOMOZ shatters the myth that registration length matters in SEO.

Their conversation with Matt Cutts, Google, firmly establishes that length plays no role in Google’s famous algorithm.

Just bare in mind that all these so-called SEO experts don’t know exactly how Google programmed its algorithm, or how it will adapt over time.  So one day this fact may no longer be true. Welcome to domain name SEO!

SOPA: How online piracy may forever change the way we see the Internet
by Clint on January 13th, 2012

“SOPA targets only foreign Web sites that are primarily dedicated to illegal and infringing activity. Domestic Web sites, like blogs, are not covered by this legislation” ~ Lamar Smith, Chairman of House Judiciary Committee, letter to New York Times.

The problem is not everyone believes him. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is picking up increasing counter-attacks from website designers, website administrators and business owners who rely on the Internet to display and share information.

According to Mr. Lamar there are more than 120 groups and associations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, that now support the new pending bill.

“We need to examine the real motives of the ‘big Internet guys,’ like Google, that oppose SOPA,” said Mr. Lamar.

“Google made huge profits by directing consumers to illegal foreign Web sites, so its opposition is self-serving. In fact, Google recently paid half a billion dollars to settle a criminal investigation because of its promotion of foreign pharmacies that sold counterfeit and illegal drugs to American patients, possibly endangering their health. “

The goal of SOPA is to protect against the illegal theft of American intellectual property and the counterfeiting of goods, including the pharmacy drugs mentioned above.

To Libertarians, the act smacks of more, unnecessary regulation that will not only stifle the exponential power and value of the Internet but will ultimately hurt small business which have been identified as a critical driver in helping the United States emerge from the worst recession in decades.

The legislation is seen to have bipartisan support in the U.S. government, even as Democrats and Republicans engage in ‘class-warfare’ as the upcoming Presidential elections draw nearer. This means there is a strong possibility SOPA will become law.

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