Domain Names: An Unusual and Profitable Characteristic
Due to my other Internet activities I had relegated my hundreds of domain names to a low priority and seldom gave them much thought. The exception was for some minor research for topics to create websites for a small number of domains. Fortunately, a registrar who caters to those with many domains managed most of my names. Part of their service is providing a number of statistics on each domain name. In addition, the names (URL’s) host a directory website where I can make a few cents (if I’m lucky) if visitors to the website click any of the links.
A few days ago I decided to take a quick look at some of those domains. I had a new idea for a few possible websites and wanted to see which ones were getting enough hits to warrant further consideration. As I created a report showing traffic on some of my domains I was amazed to find one of my domain names had a lot of impressions (website page views). Where normally that name had a few impressions each day it had several hundred that day along with several dollars of profit where there usually was none.
That was the first time I had noticed such a drastic change in one of my domains in such a short period of time – one day. The previous day there were the normal few views and no money to be made from that domain name. I asked my co-worker if he heard anything in the news involving video games since the domain name showing unusual traffic was related to video games. He said no, he had heard nothing. Since he was a thirty-something and was usually aware of such things I first thought it might be just an aberration, but it was unsettling nevertheless. As a stock and options investor, I am very familiar with the effects of news on those financial instruments so news was the first thing to cross my mind that might change the activity on a domain name so fast.
Later that evening, right before turning off my home computer, I thought of that domain name again and took a quick glance at its statistics. Wow! There were a lot more impressions and many more dollars showed as profit off that surge of hits.
About that time my son, nineteen and an ex video game fanatic, who was in Korea (I was in Southern California), came on and sent me a message via Instant Messenger. We conversed a short while then I asked him if he had heard any news about Xbox because by then I was suspecting something big must have been said in the news related to that specific video game platform. My domain name XboxStars.com was going wild with hits, compared to its usual half-dozen hits or less each day. He said, “Dad, I think they announced they are coming out with an Xbox 2”. Immediately I knew that was why my domain was getting so much action. It was reacting to the news! Maybe even over reacting. The news had probably been released that day. I never really saw the actual news related to that announcement, but I later checked some of the video game sites and their forums and there was lots of talk about Microsoft’s announcement related to Xbox2 to have some games created in Japan and speculation that some version or prototype of Xbox 2 would be at a well known game convention the next week.
I followed the impressions and clicks for the next few days and sure enough, the action had it been graphed, would have looked like a huge peak, rising very high and then falling like a rock in just a matter of a few days. Until that day I had never realized a domain name could react to news. Here is how it played out.
Date Domain Impressions Earnings
02-25-05 XboxStars.com 1 $00.00
02-26-05 XboxStars.com 1 $00.00
02-27-05 XboxStars.com 4 $00.00
02-28-05 XboxStars.com 1 $00.00
03-01-05 XboxStars.com 261 $97.77
03-02-05 XboxStars.com 483 $30.33
03-03-05 XboxStars.com 404 $28.15
03-04-05 XboxStars.com 569 $22.05
03-05-05 XboxStars.com 2 $01.22
03-06-05 XboxStars.com 4 $00.00
03-07-05 XboxStars.com 4 $00.00
(as of 03-07-05 9:00 am)
I had noticed some domain names had ups and downs before, but never associated that with potential news affecting the domain name. One especially, but with not so pronounced activity, I did a cursory check on, and found out the name is related to football. Although initially the name Insidend.com didn’t sound related to a sport I guess the “inside” and the “end” could be construed as being related to inside linebacker and end zone, defensive end, or tight end, etc. That’s a far stretch, but then again football is an extremely popular sport and is often in the news during football season. Whether or not football is affecting this particular domain remains to be seen, but now I’ll be on the lookout for such possibilities when I register new domain names or see huge changes in activity on any of my domain names.
I had better do some follow up research on other domain names that seem to have a lot of fluctuating activity. Take a hint from my experience. If you have any domain names that could be subject to reaction to news events you may be able to plan a strategy to capitalize on certain events depending on the circumstances. This could be especially profitable if you are selling something on a website with such a name.
About the Author
Charles is a computer programmer and developer turned web entrepreneur. He has written software for many major U.S. Corporations as well as written and sold his own software. He is currently developing a soon to be published website for his many domain names and another on top-rated eZines. Charles can be reached via the contact form at www.z-cashflow.com or his sister’s www.KLTGallery.com.
Charles L. Harmon