#1 GoDaddy.com - Home of the $1.99 domain name

Response to Rick - Cultivate Value in your Domains

I tried posting this comment directly to Rick Schwartz's blog post, but it said it couldn't be posted. I guess I rambled too much. In his great post he talks about trying to connect and engage the faceless type-in visitors to his many premium generic domains. I like Rick's posts and he's got a great business sense so I don't think he would disagree with this in the slightest. I'm just surprised he hasn't already taken these steps with the domains he talks about.

So here is my response to his post (with an addendum):

Maybe, just maybe... all those type in visitors are looking for a well built site with lots of useful information and content related to the subject matter. When they come to your blog instead or when they see a parked page, they go someplace else. They don't click on your links because they don't trust you. Why should they? They don't stick around because you aren't what they were looking for. People typing in egold.com will quickly realize you aren't e-gold.com, and leave.

The solution is development and partnerships. You don't even have to care about homemade products to build and manage a site where people can sell their own homemade products. Heck, you don't even have to know how to develop a site, just out source it, partner with someone, whatever it takes.

I am tempted to put up for sale signs on all my undeveloped sites, too (like others have mentioned). But to me that's admitting defeat. You're saying that the name is only really valuable/profitable in someone else's hands... if you liked the name enough to buy it, why not build it? If there's value there, cultivate it!

Now, if it's a reg fee name, and you are flipping it to the next person who happens across it and wants the name, then putting up for sale signs makes more sense. If you're a speculator in a new TLD or acquired names in bulk, then development may not make sense. But that's not the kinds of names I'm talking about here. The names Rick owns are worth tens of thousands of dollars undeveloped, if not more. That was my point, but if your cost of acquisition is a fraction of the cost of development, then I'll just make these two points:

- Understand that you are leaving money on the table by not developing the names. If that's cool with you, then best of luck to you.
- Realize that without development, the extension or term you are speculating in will be very slow to grow to it's full potential. ccTLDs are becoming hot commodities because serious business owners are using those extensions to build their sites, not because of all the great parked pages on the premium keywords in that extension.


  1. Here, here. Excellent points. They all know this though. There are tons of "undeveloped" .com's and the waiting game is over.

    Development in any extension will work if it's providing what is "sought" after.

    No doubt the domainers are hated because of a business that seems shady to outsiders that don't quite get it. The fact is, the mechanism of the internet was handed to the early birds to add value to the idea of using the internet. Well, we all know where we are on that. Letting someone sell the word "candy" or "crap" to someone else on a publicly owned entity as to control the entire market of that commodity, product, service is silly. Develop any domain with unique genuine content and eventually you get noticed.by.me -

  2. Hi,

    Sorry I don't know your first name.

    I believe you've missed the point about Rick's posting.

    As he said today shortly after you published this
    blog post:

    "this is not about me or my business model. So don't get distracted from the real issues "

    Rick's complaint has nothing to do with developing or not developing or how a domain is used.

    His gist is that Google, whom he considered a partner, completely shut him out of his adsense account for the referred to domains.

    There was no warning, no explanation and no way to appeal or challenge Google's action.

    As he said today, the Stats on those minisite domains have value to him beyond any PPC income.

    As it stands now, he will never get to see those stats because Google locked the door, threw away the key and is not reachable.

    That's not how a partner should act, is it?

    Here's link to Rick's blog today:

  3. I read the new post, but this was not in direct relation to his Google ad issues... it was talking about his attempts to connect and engage his direct navigation users. Now, the two may be somewhat related, but that post didn't discuss Google or mini-sites, just traffic to premium domain names.

    If you reread my post, I don't discuss mini-sites or PPC revenue via Google at all either (thoug they are a large provider of parked revenue). It's about building something of value on prime real estate or else all those type in visitors will be frustrated and "worthless" as he calls them.

  4. All this talk about development fawned since parking revenues went south. Domainers were always lazy. Including 'Rick'. It took parking revenue dissapointments to wake them all up. And now after years of hibernation, all of a sudden domainers will attempt becoming developers.

    Not happening. There will be a few exceptions. That's all.

  5. I appreciate the comment Maurice and I think you have a point, but I'm more optimistic. I come from a development background to the domain industry. I know that development isn't for everyone, but this blog is specifically about how to transition to development, how to plan for development, what tools work and which ones don't, etc. If I didn't think domainers could make money as developers, I wouldn't be posting. I also think the info here is useful for those who are new to domains but know their business and want to bring it online.
    In reality though, very few will truly succeed at what they set out to do. Domaining and building an entire business is really no different in that regards except the ease with which you can give up and start over!