3 Key Domain Industry Trends I Saw At NameCon This Year

namescon-2017-lasvegas

One of the things I really enjoy about going to a conference like NamesCon is getting a pulse on what other domain investors are seeing, doing, and most importantly, changing about their investment strategy. It’s the reason why I’ve said many times before that any blog post, book, video, or anything else you read about domain investing should come with an expiry date. This industry changes a lot from year-to-year and if you take advice from a year or two ago, you’ll likely be playing a losing game.

I had the chance to catch-up with a lot of fellow domain investors at NamesCon this year and here’s three trends that came through pretty clearly, at least to me that I think are worth paying attention to.

  1. 4L .COMs just aren’t as hot as they used to be – I heard a number of people say, “I’m glad I sold my chips at the top of the market,” and many others talk about the fact that we probably aren’t going to see the highs we saw in 2015 ever again. That being said, I didn’t find anyone selling their 4L .COMs in a fire sale, but most people were more comfortable holding than selling now for a lot less than they would get a little over a year ago.
  2. Some people are making money with new gTLDs – while I still feel very strongly about focusing on .COM and it’s clear just about every investor feels the same way, I did talk to quite a few people that had seen some nice ROI with new gTLDs. I don’t know anyone that has diverted away from .COM but it doesn’t seem too unusual for investors to now chisel out 5% – 10% of their portfolio for new G’s. The key trend I saw with people who were actually making sales is that you had to own a super premium name, think of a word that would sell for six-figures in .COM.
  3. Nobody is talking about parking – when I went to my first domain conference back in 2010 parking was still a hot topic, sure it had died down quite a bit since its heyday but it was still on the radar. This year I honestly don’t think I heard a single person talk about parking, and when I talked to some of the folks that I know who used to make a killing in parking, they no longer are. Heck – look at the sponsors on the archway above, only one of them is a parking company, oh how things have changed.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Joseph Peterson January 27, 2017, 11:24 pm

    “Nobody is talking about parking”. Not only is that true, but several booths were representing companies that offer bulk mini-site solutions of some kind. Don’t know whether mini-sites will work today or ever. It’s an old aspiration, harder to implement than ever in the face of Google’s new ranking algorithms. But it’s clear that parking has left a big void, which is now filled by mini-site creators and portfolio management platforms devoid of PPC.

    Reply
  • Snoopy January 27, 2017, 11:56 pm

    “But it’s clear that parking has left a big void, which is now filled by mini-site creators”

    ////////////

    Minisite creators are never going to fill any void.

    Reply
  • Joseph Peterson January 28, 2017, 12:03 am

    @Snoopy,

    Perhaps not. But they ARE already filling the void in terms of manning booths at NamesCon.

    Reply
  • Francois Carrillo January 28, 2017, 1:30 am

    @Joseph Peterson lol

    I am wondering what killed parking?

    Internet is supposed to have more users and the percentage of ad dollars spent online continue growing:

    a) Is it the lack of competition? Previously there was Google and Yahoo competing, now alone, Google could be tempted to offer a lower commission.
    b) I the type-in usage that have fall down? People are more educated and know rarely keyword.com gives the best response (in fact often a parked page with low interest).
    c) The growing usage of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, …), video, texting,… people spend less time visiting sites.
    d) The growing usage of mobile?
    e) That parking actors keep more money for them and less for the domainer? (I doubt but who know)
    f) Changes of the browser search bar?
    g) Click scam, maybe lead Google to pay less for parking advertising?
    e) Something I missed.

    Reply
  • Francois January 28, 2017, 1:45 am

    @François,

    Man, I’d have to be nuts to try to answer that question in a blog comment. It’s way too complex. And, frankly, I don’t know that I have all the answers. At least, I don’t have the evidence to support whatever answers I could give. Never paid much attention to parking myself. When I got into this industry in 2011, parking already had a certain mildew smell.

    Reply
  • Walter Gimenez January 28, 2017, 7:42 am

    Very clear trends, accurate and above all helps me to make some decisions, I have had in mind. Thanks Morgan

    Reply

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