I've Become a ccTLD Investor | DomainInvesting.com
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I’ve Become a ccTLD Investor

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been learning about ccTLDs. I received feedback from a number of people, some of whom gave advice about investing in ccTLDs, and some who told me to stick with .com domain names. A couple people even specifically advised me not to invest in .US domain names right now, because my money could be better spent elsewhere right now. I really do appreciate all the advice, as it has given me an idea of how I should proceed with the ccTLD market.

I just recently became a ccTLD investor with my first .US purchases (an investment rather than a protective measure as I did previously). While I don’t think Americans or American companies will begin using the .US extension very soon, I do think its a great way for American companies to target Europeans who are more inclined to use local ccTLDs.

Because of this, I decided to buy many second tier .US domain names for registration fee, where I would be very happy to pay a significant premium if it was .com. I might not be jumping in with a huge splash, I am slowly wading in to this and am being strategic about it. Once I think my acquisition phase is initially done, I will reveal what I have been buying, but I don’t want to say what they are yet, since there are a number of similar names I am considering :)

These aren’t short term investments, and I will probably begin developing directories on a couple of them to see how Google ranks them and to do some experimenting with regards to traffic, return visits, time on the site, and other things that will help me evaluate whether consumers trust a .US and to see where visitors come from.

I will write a more comprehensive review of the TRAFFIC show on the return flight home on Sunday, but in short, the show was excellent, and it gave me the confidence to invest in something that wasn’t previously in my comfort area.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (35)

    Johnny

    ccTLDs…….oh man! I just lost all respect for you Elliot! Just kidding with you.

    So, your not a purist anymore….welcome to the club. :)

    June 5th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Ross

    Very wise to invest in .us. Not only is it your native ccTLD it has also been getting pretty hot lately. The Rick Latona auction and Bido.com auctions recently have spouted the potential for these names. I really really like .us domain names and IMO have seen them sell more frequent and for higher prices lately than some .org and .net names.

    June 5th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Elliot

    The other attractive thing about .US is that there are still great keyword names unregistered.

    June 5th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    dcmike77

    Welcome to the club!

    We quickly learn that 3-word .coms have little appreciation value if you don’t develop.

    cctlds, on the other hand, especially .tv (globally recognized) and .us still have great 1 keyword names for [relatively] cheap And they have MUCH greater appreciation potential.

    I’d rather have bankruptcy.us than usbankruptyinfo.com

    cheers
    -M

    June 5th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Dot us

    Money well spent :)

    all i have to say.

    June 5th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    David J Castello

    @dcmike77:
    Good analogy. I’d rather have bankruptcy.us than usbankruptyinfo.com, too. On the other hand, I’d rather hunt big game than squirrels. Seriously, there’s good money to be made in ccTLDs, but if I’m going to devote my time to this industry it’s because I wake up in the morning and read that Rick bagged $3,000,000.00 for Candy.com. That’s what fires me up.

    June 5th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    wannadevelop.com

    .us = sucks

    all of the available keyword domains that are up for grabs are domains that have been previously registered, and re-registered by somebody else and none of this domainers could ever sell them or make any sense of it.

    as for the recent .us sales — well, it is all between resellers

    …and who recommends the .us buy? those same resellers

    avoid!

    old newz :)

    June 5th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Ed

    I rarely see any .us domains ranked in the SERP’s
    Anyone have an example of a solid search term with a top 5 ranking. No 4 word geo long tails please.

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Deb

    Being in Canada, I like the .CA ccTLD and it’s doing well and there are still deals to be had, so presumably same thing for .US Best wishes Elliot in the .US ccTLD world.

    Well said DavidC! Although…some of us didn’t bag the BIG domains way back when so had to start somewhere & I think ccTLD is good option to add to portfolio. :)

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Deb

    p.s. – David C. – hey I can get pretty fired up after winning a .CA auction! 😛 Ok, ok…not quite the same thing I know!

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    David J Castello

    @Deb
    Speaking of, what’s been the best dotCa sale so far for 2009? I don’t see a dotCa in the Top 100 ccTLD sales for 2009.

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Elliot

    Didn’t Shaun buy jobs.ca for several hundred thousand?

    June 5th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    David J Castello

    @Elliot:
    Yes, I believe it sold for 600K in May 2008.

    June 5th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Leonard Britt

    Personally I think .NET is a far better choice than .US as it is far more widely recognized and more often you can backorder these for very reasonable prices because everyone is so focused on .COM.

    If you are going to develop fine but even then I believe the .US extension will hurt your traffic. Users aren’t as familiar with the extension and may view a .US site with skepticism.

    June 5th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Deb

    @Elliot – Yes, Shaun got jobs.ca at $600K. Also cv.ca sold for $53K last year.

    @DavidC – .CA has been slow this year. I’ve got a couple of great LL.ca’s thinking of selling to fund other projects, but may have to hold off to get price for now.

    June 5th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Deb

    @Leonard, with respect, I don’t agree. When I’m doing a direct type-in search I never think to put the .NET extension on the end. I go to the .COM and if I don’t find what I’m looking go for the ccTLD next. And, if looking for something specifically in the country, go directly to ccTLD first. I never warmed to .NET and would never be my choice if I didn’t own the .COM. I would go for the ccTLD. Can’t speak for .US but .CA is widely recognized and used in Canada.

    June 5th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    M. Menius

    .US is excellent for development and investment. Congrats to Elliot for expanding the horizon a little. As I always have said, .com is great and no reason at all .com and .us can’t co-exist moving forward.

    Ron posted on DN Journal that Job.us went for $35k at the ccTLD auction. Would prefer the plural but certainly a nice keyword.

    June 5th, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Gazzip

    Candy.us just dropped at pool 3 or 4 weeks back, it went for $1,372 , major difference from what the .com just went for eh ! ..Traffic is King by price is also nice :)

    I thought Americans would have been pretty quick to embrace the .us as most of you are (in general) very patriotic…compared to the Brits

    June 5th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Jeff Jones

    I’ve enjoyed EVERYONE’s comments on .us names and look forward to others. Personally I like .us as much as .net because .us at least indicates something: that it is a U.S. business/organization. What does .net say/infer? It is on the Internet. Duh. : ) I understand that .net is worth more but I do think .us values WILL increase especially if ccTLDs increase. Personally, I’ve got a domaining ‘high’ from regging .us names such as: YogaApparel, PokerAccessories, PlayingGuitar, DebtCancellation etc.

    June 5th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Stuart McILreavy

    The problem with developing a .NET is that, it only feels like you didnt get the .COM

    Its not a nice feeling building a brand or business around .NET

    Just feels like you have settled for second best.

    Think that many people are looking for something more special which will end up being .TV, ccTLD or Something else.

    June 5th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Edwin

    Interesting that you’ve caught the cctld “bug”, Elliot! And the good thing is because so much more is available at affordable prices, it’s much easier to effectively create “networks” of related domain names, which could be mass-developed productively on a grand scale. Rick Silver’s discussion of how they’re building n49.ca and all the vertical sites that hang off it was particularly enlightening in that respect.

    June 5th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Dot us

    Mike,

    99% of .com sales are more than lickely between resellers also,

    plenty good sale go unmentined/reported that would make .us that little bit more “investible” if reported.

    Most are end user sales.

    why are they not reporrted to the masses ? i have no idea.

    and job.us sold for $32,750 or there abouts. so not a total waste of money is it ?

    June 6th, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Kevin

    I’ve got CountryClubs.us at $5K if anyone is shopping for .us domains.

    Kevin@BigTicketDomains.com

    June 6th, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Domain Development

    Elliot,

    Good move in getting into ccTLD names. We’ve been hand reg’ing various ccTLD names for a while – lot’s a great words and phrases left, even now.

    Has anyone here developed any .US names and ranked them in google.com?

    Let’s hear about them!

    June 6th, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Huw Williams

    I have a few .US and lot’s of .NET premiums I just can’t sell at the moment, the market is really poor so I may pull them all back and wait for the wave to get stronger – HOPEFULLY next year. I’m a full time web developer, I’m not really into chasing end users as I just don’t have the time or the patience :)

    I have Planet.us, Ministries.us, AffiliateNetwork.us, ProGambling.us and a few others if anyone’s interested in trading for traffic domains. More here:
    http://www.dnforum.com/f525/premium-generic-category-killer-domains-sale-thread-365611.html

    June 6th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    jj

    ccTLDs are great for many reasons but unlike say .co.uk, .ca, .de, I don’t see any dot us sites ranking well in Google – make no mistake that this is intentional on Google’s part as they see the default ccTLDs for the USA as com/net/org. This may change, but until it does, dot us has an uphill battle IMO.

    June 6th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Elliot

    @jj

    Its a long term investment for me. But if/when I develop, I think the target will be an international audience looking for a US website.

    June 6th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Jim Holleran

    Elliot,

    I think it’s great you are expanding. Even though I am 95% .com, the other 5% I am .tv such as Spain.tv, Europe.tv, Religion.tv, Espanol.tv, Moscow.tv, Bahamas.tv, Actor.tv, and many other .tv. It’s risk=reward and let’s see what happens.

    I really like the .de extension but I really don’t have time or knowledge about the go after the top keywords. I believe if you are going after CCtld than you got to try to get the best one-word top keyword names.

    David, has a great point about .com. However, for me to get Spain.com it would of cost me probally about 2-3Million so instead I got Spain.tv for $12,500 and $1,000 yearly renewal. It’s all about ROI and nothing for sure but I will take my chances.

    Thanks, Jim

    June 6th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    ojohn

    In my opinion .US (and some of the other major and popular ccTLDs) are the only extensions that are going to be able to stand their ground once all the new TLDs are released. All other extensions will probably be overshadowed by the new TLDs to one extent or the other.

    Email me at (TLDpromotions at gmail dot com) if interested in some “Big Game” .US domains. :)

    June 7th, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Dot us

    I hate to say it,

    but when all these “new” extensions come out, i’m sure .us / .tv will fit in just perfectly,

    .us
    .tv
    .news
    .hotel
    .inc
    .llc
    etc
    etc
    etc…

    they all make there selves very very clear as to what they mean.

    cant say that about many others unfortunetly,

    so i dont think it’s as bad for .us as it is for .com when these come out, (still a bad idea for them to come out, but what can i do or say to make any differance)

    .com is default, but what do most people think it means ? they have 2 choices, company / commercial . they dont think about what it means.

    .com – emm, the normal extension
    .us – ohh, americas extensions

    :)

    whereas .us is as simple as it gets for americans.

    put it simply, .us is officially americas doamin extension, no if’s/but’s/and’s about it.

    will americans finally realize they have there own extension ?

    hopefully they will.

    June 7th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Domain Development

    @jj

    You’ve got that right, after a fast look I didn’t see many .us names ranking in the top 3 of an niches either.

    But we acquired a few .us names recently and we’re going to run some test with proper content, link building, social media etc and see if we can beat those .com names in google.com

    I’ll post details in a few months once our test is complete.

    June 7th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Think Local

    What people like about ccTLDs is that they mean relevance to them.
    Yes, this is about my part of the world and is more likely to be useful. As a guide to currency of a ccTLD it’s good to check out the main media in that country and see what extension they use for their website and promotions. Their ability to give a ccTLD constant repetition and subsequent increase its profile is important. .

    June 8th, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Daniel Dryzek

    Better later than never to make such a decision.. 😉 Good luck with your .us investments!

    June 8th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    geoffrey gonzales

    Hi Elliot,

    welcome to the .us world

    June 9th, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Best

    I’m really interested and curious in the dot us domains you’ve invested in. I have several pretty good ones myself that I plan to hold onto for some time! I got in when it was quite reasonable still around 2009 and don’t have any regrets. I think it’s more exciting getting in on the ground floor… reseller prices are not too bad and I’ve received a few offers almost immediately from resellers for more. It’s fun just holding onto them and deciding how to develop them in the future.

    January 13th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

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