Saturday, May 12, 2018

ccTLD Aftermarket Sales Surprisingly Strong

I harvest domains predominantly for their PPC revenue. Recently I’ve noticed an interesting thing with the CCTLD portfolios I create by new registrations – suddenly sales are bringing in a “noticeable” part of the portfolio’s revenue. When it comes to the cctld portfolios, this sales element is about 15% of the revenue (the remaining 85% coming from PPC).

With my .com portfolios this is probably only about 3%. Interesting, can’t really find a reason to why. Otherwise when it comes to ccltds I’ve been much more active with them recently. Since I’ve sort of overharvested the .com universe and ROI has been worsening there, I’ve been looking for other TLDs where ROI is better. So last year I did a lot in .nl, .se., .de,, .it, .be,, .ca,, .pl etc. Recently I’ve gone so exotic as to play around with .jp or Now I have several CCTLDs but I think I’ve depleted them quite a bit as well.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

All .COM and .NET Domains Unavailable for Registration? @Verisign?

Has anyone else noticed?
Apparently, registrars have to contact "the registrants".

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beware: GoDaddy Auctions Your Domain Names Only 46 Days After Expiry?

One of my domains expired about 59 days ago but I had failed to renew it in time. To make a long story short, I had planned to renew it this weekend at a higher cost knowing only too well that I should still have the chance to get it back during the 30 day redemption period only to find out these baboons had auctioned my domain two weeks ago. Now the domain was auctioned without my knowledge. How did they know that they I had no claims to my domain? I can see they sent some reminders in quick succession a few days before the auction as a justification that I had no claim. When I inquired, this is the response I get from a guy called Israel:

Thank you for contacting Online Support. The domain expired on 7/2/12 and has since been purchased by another party. You can look up the current registrant's contact information by using a WHOIS lookup. Please note that we cannot provide any further information other than what is listed in the whois database and customer support cannot contact the current registrant on your behalf.

The process we, the registrar, follow for expired domain names depends on your domain name extensions and their renewal settings. Prior to expiration, we send multiple emails to remind you to renew your domain names.

If you set your domain names to automatically renew, we attempt to renew the registrations for you the day after expiration. If we are unable to bill you, we park your expired domain names and notify you via email again.

If you set your domain names to manually renew and you let your domain names expire, we park your expired domain names and notify you via email again the day after expiration.

For expired .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us, .ws, .name, .cc, .mobi, .me, or .tv domain name registrations, we hold your domain name for approximately 42 days before canceling it. Domain name renewal during this period is subject to applicable renewal and redemption fees. For more information, see What happens after domain names expire? andRecovering Expired Domain Names.

Are there any registrars out there who at least have the courtesy of informing you that they are auctioning your domain names?? I'm done with GoDaddy!

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Is Interest in Angola Fueling a Boom in Angolan Domains?

It is “boom boom” time for the Angolan economy but has this fast growth influenced the growth in the registration of Angolan domains? It is hard to tell at this time. The Angolan ccTLD registry for the .AO domains has a good technical foundation but the domains are fairly overpriced. The last time I checked, registering a .AO domain could set you back over $250 or thereabouts per year. Yet those who live in Angola are a not surprised. They are more or less used to paying the eye wateringly expensive prices for just about anything. A good accommodation in a good hotel in Angolan capital of Luanda costs between $400 to $600 per night. An “average” lunch in Luanda goes for about $70. A good dinner can go for as much as $100 while a 500ml soda costs anywhere from $8 to $10. The Angolan capital Luanda is the second most expensive city in the world after Tokyo. So why should the domains be cheap?

I think given the relatively tiny size of the Angolan middle class and the very few internet entrepreneurs coupled with a small or nonexistent SME sector, domains do not make much sense for the vast majority of the Angolan people. Like everything else that is costly in Luanda, it is the multinationals and the small Angolan middle class who can afford such costs. So I don’t think we can expect to see Angolan domainers soon. But there are opportunities for those interested in developing content targeting the Angolan market.

For example, most of the information about Angola is in Portuguese and there is very little Angolan content on the web in English apart from the usual boring stuff about the President’s daughter and the Angolan economic boom.  Given the boom in real estate and investments and the stream of high networth individuals that are currently developing an interest in the former war torn country turned an African economic powerhouse, there are lots of interesting niches that could prove profitable. Of course they will have to be developed on .COM domains, no one will spend an upwards of $250 purchasing .AO domains. So here are good prospects:
Cheap Angolan Accommodation
Flights to Angola
Flights to Luanda
Budget Travel Angola
Huambo Accommodation
Benguela Accommodation
Benguela Flights
Benguela Real Estate
Huambo Hotels
Accommodation in Luanda
Angola Travel
Angola Hotels
Luanda Hotels
Places to see in Angola
Angola Investments
Angola Visa
Discover Angola
Visit Angola
Angola Real Estate
Luanda Property Agents
Luanda Hostels
Luanda Car Rental
Angola Car Rental
Plus much more.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SCAM: The Futurlec Electronic Components and Semiconductor Superstore Scam

The Futurlec Electronic Components Scam is run from Australia
Here is another scam-busting blog post. Futurlec Electronic Components and Semiconductor Superstore is supposedly an electronic components supplier, with a “superstore” that at face value is every engineer’s dream. You can find and purchase virtually every electronics components that you might need for your project. They even offer “PCB Manufacturing” services to clients, mostly engineering students running against time to complete their projects. The shopping process is relatively straightforward. Even the billing is perfect. You can add components ranging from SMT surface mount devices to printed circuit boards in a matter of minutes. The pricing is also perfect; they charge almost 50%of what other online electronics component stores charge. But that is where it ends. It is all a scam.

I was hit with the Futurelec scam sometime back when I was doing my final year engineering project. I had prepared my project proposal and designed the required circuits. All that I needed were the components to complete my assembly. Of course back then I had not mastered the practice of reading reviews about online stores. Because the Futurlec scam website is highly search engine optimized, you are likely to land there if you are searching for any electronics components for your project. So that is how I landed at the website and lost my over $100 and almost got disqualified. A friend of mine lost over $200 and there are hundreds of engineering students around the world who are still losing money to the Futurlec scam as we speak.

So who is behind the Futurlec Scam?
As someone who deals with domains, one of the best ways use to find people involved in scamming others is to look at the WHOIS information of the domain they use for their website.  If there is no WHOIS privacy for the domain, the names under which the domain is registered are usually the owners of the business.  Why else would I let someone register the domain for my business under their name. So from the WHOIS information of, the domain was registered by the following people:

  • Alan Bonnard based in 2/136 Broadmeadow Road, New South Wales Australia Tel: +61 249623231
  • Dominic Main based in Chippendale, New South West Australia, P.O. Box  270 Chippendale
  • The domain is registered under the email  i.e. Alan Bonnard

Australian Alan Bonnard is also the company’s “Sales Manager”.

Additional Details on the Scam
They claim to source the electronics components from the Asian region from where they dropship them to global clientele. Their website also includes contact details for clients in North America, Middle East and Europe. Of course all these are part of an elaborate scam. Ask people like us who have dealt with these crooks and seen our money disappear into thin air.

So next time you are buying electronic components or looking for reliable PCB manufacturers and you see website appearing at the top of the SERPs, please ignore. This is one of the most enduring scams that has fleeced thousands of engineering students trying to buy electronic components online.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Africa Hosts Only 33 of World's Top 10,000 Websites

Well, this is very dismal. Out of the Top 10,000 websites by Alexa rank, only 33 are hosted in Africa with the majority of them in South Africa, Egypt and Seychelles. For some, the figures look optimistic given Africa's poorly developed webhosting infrastructure and the fact that many of the "hosters" in Africa are simply resellers of much bigger webhosting companies in the developed world. In Kenya, true Kenyan hosting is still relatively costly, and many people prefer the global marketplace which has very attractive offers. The growth of indigenous hosting, particularly for high traffic websites, will certainly spur growth of internet in Africa and create additional jobs in the industry. I think the onus is on African hosters to be innovative come up with a better product that sells and can draw consumers away from the BlueHost, 1&1 or HostMonster.
More on this here

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Latest Domain Name Scam to Hit my inbox: Protect Company Brand Keywords

Just got this email. It is a scam. I can smell them from 50km away.
Dear Manager:
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in Anhui, China. On June,25th,2012, We received keyya company's application that they are registering the name "domainname" as their Internet Trademark and "","" ,""domain names etc.,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.According to the principle in China,your company is the owner of the trademark,In our auditing time we can keep the domain names safe for you firstly, but our audit period is limited, if you object the third party application these domain names and need to protect the brand in china and Asia by yourself, please let the responsible officer contact us as soon as possible. Thank you!
Kind regards
Angela Zhang 
Anhui Office (Head Office)Registration Department Manager 
Room 1008 Shenhui Building   
Haitian Road, Huli Anhui, China
Office:  +86 0553 4994789
Fax:     +86 0553 4994789

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Monday, June 25, 2012

.Ummah(dotUmmah) The New gTLD Application from Gambia

I sort of got curious about the new gTLD application from Gambia for a few reasons. For one, Gambia is a relatively small African nation with a population of just 1.7 million but with a vibrant internet community including ISOC Society and IGFs. You are likely to find a lot of Gambians active in global internet circles, key amongst them was the former ICANN Board member Katim Touray who is also spearheading this new gTLD application.

So what is .Ummah all about?
Ummah  is a term more familiar to Muslims and can loosely be translated to an Islamic Commonwealth. In "Christianspeak", it would refer to "Christendom". This new gTLD application is therefore targeted at the entire Muslim Commonwealth, or Muslim nations with population totaling 1.6 billion. A gTLD for 1.6 billion people is definitely something. According to the dotUmmah ICANN Application:

The .ummah gTLD will finally provide Muslims and Islamic organizations a means to translate to the Internet, the Muslim identity that has been used since the birth of Islam about 1,400 years ago.  Beyond that, .ummah will also provide a much-needed choice that will help them build their sense of community, and build bridges between the Islamic and non-Islamic world.  Internet users will thus be able to find Islamic organizations, institutions, government agencies, businesses much easier with .ummah than without it.  In the same vein, non-Islamic entities will find .ummah domain names an effective route to reaching their target audiences in the Islamic world.

Ummah Registry will use  COCCA Registry Services as its Registry backend services provider and the application is Standard.  There is another application for .Islam(dotIslam) by a Turkish Applicant that targets the same demographic.

With  Africa's internet giants such as Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Tunisia, Algeria not adequately represented in this new gTLD round, Gambia has certainly done well. The poor representation of Africa is a bit disappointing given that opportunities like Applicant Support Programs which could have supported a myriad of African new gTLD applications have gone to waste. Anyway, good luck to Katim and team.

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