The true value of Geo Domains
May 19, 2008
Geolocation turns out to be hot and extremely challenging
topic. Local Search and the “local” trend have been rapidly evolving and gaining
popularity because of their huge potential for further development. A number of
new projects aiming to leverage the geographic knowledge and to deliver value
to end users are underway. To name a few:
Eagle as well as the recently announced Yahoo! Internet Location Platform, a
collection of in-depth geo-location based APIs. Owing to this platform
locations can be more smartly used.
An internet domain name that is the same as a city, a state
or a country is called Geo Domain. Examples of Geo Domains are Atlanta.com,
LosAngeles.com and etc. Since geographical names have instant name recognition,
Geo Domains are highly preferable and valued.
Some time ago, it wasn't sure whether private operators
would be permitted to take part in the Geo Domain industry, because municipal
governments asserted that they were entitled to own the domain name with the
name of the city. The courts rejected their arguments and private domainers tapped
into Geo Domain industry.
As a whole, the geo niche has not been fully exploited yet. Though,
we have witnessed some high sales of Geo Domains (recently, Bellevue.com was sold
for $150,000 in a private transaction), there are thousands of unregistered
local domains as well as many on the aftermarket at low prices. Nevertheless,
it is not a good strategy for managing Geo Domain portfolio to register hundreds
or thousands of Geo Domains and afterwards to sell them for profit.
The experts advise to register a couple of domains of
well-known locations or to benefit from location + industry type Geo Domains. The
most preferable extension remains .com. According to Associated Cities, between
60 and 80 percent of visitors reach city dot-coms by typing the name directly
into their browser. Thus, the domains come with built-in traffic. To profit from
this traffic, all the domainer needs to do is either to place ads or to develop
Some owners of city dots keep parking their domains for
profit and visitors stumbling upon the URLs can only see paid listings for
restaurants, hotels and other local businesses, sometimes along with the local
temperature and headlines from local papers.
On the other hand, some fully-developed geo domain sites indicate
that a new era for the sector is at hand. Developing Geo Domains by providing a
virtual representation of the locations is the key for success in geo domain
industry. So-called "intuitive branding" is a great competitive
advantage of city dots because the “brand” which is the same as the name of the
city is already imprinted in the minds of the consumers. Word of mouth advertising in a targeted geo
area is another great benefit. Geo Domains have a natural place within the architecture of local search, which is the fastest-growing category in
Internet advertising. Properly developed Geo Domains have also natural
advantage in generating relevant traffic. Furthermore, as the Mobile Internet
usage grows, another great opportunity for Geo Domain owners will spring up if
they develop mobile versions of their sites.
At the 2007 GeoDomain Expo, Ron Jackson, the keynote speaker stated: “Owning a single
city domain puts the owner in a position to build a property that can be more
important than any of that city’s newspapers, magazines, radio stations or TV
stations. The domain can offer everything the traditional outlets offer –
print, audio and video – and they can deliver it all over the globe at a
There is no doubt that with the fast evolution of the local
search and the great potential of local advertising market, owning Geo Domains
is becoming a solid property which will prove to be good return on
investments and quite a lucrative business.
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