Experimenting with .DE

This week I begin my grand .DE experiment! It is something I’ve been waiting to play-around with a bit more after learning a great piece of information at TRAFFIC in Las Vegas. One of the first sessions at the conference was about ccTLDs so of course I was very interested in the discussion! While I learned a number of interesting things – including that .DE is the second largest Domaining market next to .com (I bet you thought it was .net, .org or .co.uk – didn’t you!) – what really caught my attention is one-month .DE registrations.

I can register a .DE domain name for just one month for about one Euro (about $1.40 USD). This means you can do something very similar to the Domain Tasting early Domainers were able to enjoy. So what’s my strategy here? I’m going to do a bit of type-in traffic scouting using the following method:

  1. Using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool I will look-up keyword phrases and English and German and pick domains with keywords that have over 1,000 exact-match searches in Germany. Remember – to do this you have to change the options in the Adwords Keyword Tool to indicate that you are targeting Germany.
  2. I will register 50-100 domains/month – thus a maximum of about $140 USD/month
  3. Using a solution like Why Park or SmartNames I will quickly get a website onto the domain. I’m not expecting this to monetize or rank nearly as well as my search engine optimized sites however I do know it will do better than a parked page and all I am looking for here is type-in traffic so SEO doesn’t matter at this stage.
  4. After about three and a half weeks I’ll look at the traffic and if I see a particular domain is getting an acceptable level of type-in traffic – I’ll keep it for another month – if not I’ll let it drop.

After about six months I would hope to have 15-20 .DE domains that I can develop into information sites (in both English and German) that will generate more passive income in the first few months than I spent tasting names! With good type-in traffic and a search engine optimized site I think I can generate some great revenue and expand my .DE investment portfolio.

Feel free to share your own experiences if you’ve done something similar. Of course if you have any questions feel free to ask away!

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • John April 8, 2010, 5:15 pm

    Would you mind sharing the registrar where you can register .de domains for just 1 month? Never heard of that, and imho seems like a misunderstanding. Would be nice though :).

    Reply
  • Fan April 8, 2010, 5:19 pm

    Hi Morgan,
    Nice info there. I am also a big fan of .de domains. Is Moniker a good registrar for buying .de names? It seems to be cheaper than Godaddy… Also when you mentioned one month registration, did you mean one can get the refund within a month, if they don’t like it. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Frank Michlick (DomainCocoon) April 8, 2010, 6:19 pm

    @John: DENIC, the registry charges registrars monthly for their .DE domains, plus a initial fee for the registration of the new domain. You can delete the domain at any time and there will be no additional charge. You just need to find a registrar that passes this service on to their registrants.

    Reply
  • David April 8, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    thanks for sharing your strategy. I’ve checked Godaddy, Moniker, and Name, but I can’t find the option to register the domain for a month.

    What registrar are you using?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Morgan April 9, 2010, 3:38 pm

      Thanks for the question @David – I am using InternetX as my registrar

      Reply
  • PPC Ian April 9, 2010, 2:01 am

    Morgan,
    Sounds like a great test. Looking forward to learning more and wish you much success.
    Best,
    Ian

    Reply
    • Morgan April 9, 2010, 3:36 pm

      Thanks @PPCIan!

      Reply
  • Arseny April 9, 2010, 6:42 am

    Morgan, first of all, thanx for sharing your knowledge!

    I’ve used Namecheap to register .de DN.

    Knowing that Germany is the place where Sedo was born it’s quite hard to find a decent unregistered name ;]

    Secondly, I’ve found out that SmartNames does not support foreign traffic. At least PhoneCharger.de was declined =/

    Reply
    • Morgan April 9, 2010, 3:36 pm

      Thanks for sharing @Arseny! Interesting – I may have to focus on Why Park then to monitor the traffic starting-out.

      Very true that it is hard to register a decent name…but that being said people are still registering .net’s and .org’s that are selling for 10x+ what they paid for them so I know the potential is there in .DE!

      Reply
  • Joe April 9, 2010, 8:46 am

    Great news there! Like others, I’d like to learn more about this “1-month” charge. Does every registrar supporting .de registrations offer this option?

    Reply
  • David April 10, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Thanks Morgan 🙂 I went to the InternetX site and it redirected me to http://freedomain.de/, that’s the site for registering the domains right?

    And I noticed you can buy .coms monthly too, so you can do the same with .com domains.

    Reply
  • R>N April 10, 2010, 7:11 pm

    @David: .com, .net and .de domains on freedomain.de have a minimum term of 12 months. Go to the Domain tab and you’ll see most domains are for 12 months, some even 24 months. They charge you monthly, however but this doesn’t help you guys…

    Reply
  • David April 10, 2010, 8:12 pm

    @R>N: oh k I didnt see that. Well, I went to InternetX.com but didnt see any domain registration services, only reselling.

    Reply
  • R>N April 11, 2010, 1:59 am

    @David: InternetX is a reseller registrar. They have a site for you and me called freedomain.de – but that is not their core business. Morgan most probably has a reseller account with them.

    Reply
  • Johan April 20, 2010, 6:31 am

    2nd largest, interesting. Well, it will probably be hard to find a decent .DE domain at this time, but a try probably. Many good 2-3 keyword domains might still be available.

    Reply
  • Arseny April 20, 2010, 6:49 am

    Hi Morgan!

    Just want to update with experimenting with developing .DE domains. I’ve signed up with WhyPark and I’ve tried forwarding nameservers to them. But failed, here’re the comments from NameCheap support:

    “Hello,

    Please note that the .DE registry has certain requirements for nameservers that can be applied to .DE domains. Some of those requirements are that the nameserver IP addresses must be in separate class C networks, and that the nameserver must provide SOA. Denic has created a tool on their website where you can check to see if your nameservers are valid for their system before setting nameservers for your .DE domans.

    You can check the nameservers at DENIC’s ZoneCheck(http://zonecheck.denic.de/) where you can verify if the nameserver for a domain was configured properly and if the zone complies with the DENIC domain guidelines. If no error is reported, you can then configure the nameservers to work with your domain. If you do get any error, you’ll need to contact your DNS provider, and show them the error messages to fix this situation.

    Please let us know if we may be of any further assistance.

    ——————–
    Regards,..”

    =/

    Reply
  • Arseny April 20, 2010, 6:49 am

    Hi Morgan!

    Just want to update with experimenting with developing .DE domains. I’ve signed up with WhyPark and I’ve tried forwarding nameservers to them. But failed, here’s the response comments from NameCheap support:

    “Hello,

    Please note that the .DE registry has certain requirements for nameservers that can be applied to .DE domains. Some of those requirements are that the nameserver IP addresses must be in separate class C networks, and that the nameserver must provide SOA. Denic has created a tool on their website where you can check to see if your nameservers are valid for their system before setting nameservers for your .DE domans.

    You can check the nameservers at DENIC’s ZoneCheck(http://zonecheck.denic.de/) where you can verify if the nameserver for a domain was configured properly and if the zone complies with the DENIC domain guidelines. If no error is reported, you can then configure the nameservers to work with your domain. If you do get any error, you’ll need to contact your DNS provider, and show them the error messages to fix this situation.

    Please let us know if we may be of any further assistance.

    ——————–
    Regards,..”

    =/

    So my .de is still parked with Sedo.

    Reply

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