.AL Domain Hack Sales – VOK.AL to be the new domain for Startup GetVokAl

Host.al, an accredited registrar for .al domains informed that the domain VOK.AL was sold for 1000 US$.

Although the name of the buyer was not been made public initially, the domain seems to be the main brand for the Start-up GETVOKAL. (GET)VOK.AL is an audio social network for creating, sharing and discovering entertaining, hilarious Vokes (audio clips). Normally the users can signup to create “vokes” of up to 1 minute in length
edit, add special effects in real time. The vokes can be posted privately or publicly.

VOK.AL has headquarters in Bengaluru, Karnataka India. Their crunchbase page indicates that they have raised funds from some prominent investors such as Accel Partners or Blume Partners.

The sale indicates that .al domain hacks still have traction.
What are domain hacks!?.
The similar VOC.AL domain was sold for 5000 US$ few years back. Also related DIGIT.AL sold for 5500€

What is a domain hack!?

There are continously question on what a domain hack is, or if a domain is a domain hack or not.
Below is a set of categories that constitute domain hacks. If you domain fits into any of the following categories, then you have a domain hack:

Word Hack

A domain where both sides of the dot combine to form a word,

i.e. DE.AL

Dual hack

A 1-word domain that can also form another word using its extension,

i.e. Box.es (Box and Boxes)

Subdomain hack

A subdomain that forms a word across itself, the name and the extension,

i.e. my.ide.al

Subdirectory hack

A subdirectory that forms a word across the name, the extension and itself,

i.e. digit.al/library

Phrase hack

A domain where both sides of the dot are each a word and form a phrase,

i.e. Help.me

Brandable hack

A domain where both sites of the dot form a short brandable “made up” word,

i.e. Bit.ly (commonly referred to as “Bitly”)

Partial subdomain hack

A subdomain that uses the subdomain and name only to work a word,

i.e. Ma.gnolia.com

Split phrase hack

A domain where the last word in the hack is split across the dot,

i.e. CreditCa.rd

*Note: Many do not consider this a domain hack so they aren’t very highly sought.

 

.al domains are well known for a large number of domain hack combinations. These domains are usually cheaper than other tlds.

LLLL.Com Domains – Who is buying them!?

A few months ago, these domains where priced to about 40-50$. Now the price is around 300$ with a median of 800$. Why is that?

1. Who is buying!?
Check latest players involved in transactions from llllsales.com
My stats:
I checked 566 transactions of domains sold for more than 1000$

  • There are only 294 unique users (emails) involved. (Unique Users who bought one domain for 1000$)
  • There are 349 domains sold to domainers who bought more than 1 domain.
  • There are 142 domain sold to domainers who bought more than 10 domains.

(There is a margin of error, but spend a few hours and do your own check to prove me wrong)

hat happens in domaining is all about trends. Someone dictates the game, and domainers follow. You become a domainer when you learn that you are not someone special, you are part of a flock that is lead to “trends”. You are smart if you study these trends! Few can predict the trend; in domaining the trend is always crafted.

Dictionary domains, domain hacks, generic domains, chinese chips… these are all trends. Majority of domains is owned by someone already.

Again Stats!?
There is a total of 456,976 LLLL.COM out there.
More (way more) than 110,647 LLLL.COM domains are registered to users who own more than *100* of this specific type of domain. (This is a very very minimalistic number, my data have limited GoDaddy numbers, and also missing references from many smaller registries).
Only about 50000 domains are owned by those with more than 6 (4L) domains. I am not even considering as “domainers” those who do not have 5 LLLL.Com (no disrespect, only for the sake of argument).

So is domaining a pyramid?
Here is a challenging question for you who say it is not! How many 4L domains are traded every day (easy to find)!? and what happens if one of those guys who ownes 8980 domains decides to sell them for “the profit” he is expecting/preparing one day ?
-Hint! None will sell all in one day, it will be a slow process of hopess and demand 🙂

SEDO Fees – What are the real costs to sell a domain through Sedo?

Sold today a domain at SEDO, to notice that I will get not more than 56% of the listed price! That is right, the fees SEDO is chargin for my domain go up to 43% and this is why.

 

SEDO is still an important marketplace when it comes to domain sales, but I never realized how unfair it can be when it comes to commision fees. As one can see from the image, SEDO is chargin a plain fee of 200€ for a ccTLD domain. With a sale value of 549€, the percentage of SEDO goes up to 36.43%. This is way beyond what I was expecting, a comission of 20% as noticed at the moment of signup. Seems SEDO has introduced a discriminating 200€ flat fee for certain TLDs and if you are not aware, you will end up in that list.

Will SSL Implementation, HTTPS improve the ranking of my website?!

This is a question I have been asked lately a lot. While Google says: HTTPS (SSL) is a Ranking Signal, the practice has shown this claim to be incomplete.

In fact, many SEO Researchers say that HTTPS has no real impact at the moment.

Considering the lower prices of SSL Certificates, it does not hurt to have it implemented. It costs about 18$ to buy a cheap SSL certificate. You will need an additional dedicated IP (about 12-24$year depending on your data-center), but totally worth it, considering you will have a secure communcation to your webserver/mailserver.
Usually Google does not penalize at the first years of notifying new ranking signals. The ranking signal of SSL implementations might be more advantageous on future google-algorithm changes.

.al domains , DOT.AL offline

Apparently one of the websites that offered .al domain registrations, www.dot.al is down since 2-3 days. While this is a problem isolated in an irresponsible behaviour of small business owner, the issue should be avoided in the future.

Assuming you are a domain owner and have registered a domain through dot.al, have a look at the following announcement: Dot.al – domain registration portal offline. Host,al, the largest .al domain registrar in the zone is offering support to those facing interruption of service.

And to avoid similar situations, consider that in the future you should register domains only from .al domain Accredited Registrars.

Domain Hack Sales – Digit.al sold for 5500€

Digital

In a facebook notice, Host.al, an accredited registrar for .al domains informed that the domain Digit.al was sold for 5500€.

Although the name of the buyer has not been made public, the domain has changed IP to the same host provider as digitaltape.com, a UK Manufacturer & Provider of Digital LED Lighting Solutions.

The .al zone is not unknown to the domain hack word. The zone has more than 14000 English hack words ending in .al and some domains in the zone have hit xx,xxx$ sales with soci.al leading the list. While most of the good domains are already registered and no longer on sale, digit.al is quite interesting. The enterpreneur world has seen a rise of the term digital in the new ventures, product and startups. A quick check on Google Keyword planner relates the term to more than 5,5 milion searches for this term only in January 2015.

Digit .al Domain Traction

This domain hack, is so cool that many other domain hacks have tried to imitate it. Checking the .al zone I found the following domains (and probably there are even more):

analogdigit.al
arrowdigit.al
avenuedigit.al
bluedigit.al
borndigit.al
cirrusdigit.al
clapdigit.al
dazedigit.al
deloittedigit.al
districtdigit.al
europadigit.al
forkdigit.al
geardigit.al
godigit.al
idigit.al
jamdigit.al
justdigit.al
ldigit.al
linedigit.al
lsdigit.al
mdigit.al
modedigit.al
newdigit.al
pixeldigit.al
rockdigit.al
sbdigit.al
sdigit.al
slatedigit.al
sodigit.al
vivedigit.al
wecreatedigit.al
whatisdigit.al

Each of the domain hacks above might represent a startup or initiative that would have been interested to purchase “digit.al”.

In any case, yet another great domain hack has been sold. Let’s see if the new owner put’s it to use for some viral campaign.

Value of LLLL CN Domains

Abstract (or tl;dr;)

I contacted and received offers by all the owners of (LL)CN.COM domains and bought one.
The article points to some figures in the valuation of (LL)CN.COM domains by their actual owners.The domain range is from 840$-109.000$

 

LLLL CN Domains

A few weeks ago I was reading about the increase of market for the domain from the chinese market. Normally the primary target are the .com domains with numbers. Beside the number domains, the short 3 letter domains are also highly demanded and priced starting from 5000$ up to high 100000$ and even higher. As these domains are highly expensive and cannot be found easily on the market, minor traction do have also the four letter domains which areusually referred as LLLL (LetterX4) domains.

From LLLL domains, it seemed those domains that included -CN-, especially starting or ending in it, are the most desired ones. Since there is no specific statistics for these domains, I decided to run a test and see what their value is to their actual owners. Considering that the number of combinations is limitted to combinations of 2 letters, with the 2 other letters being filled by CN, I easily created two groups of domains. Those starting with CN-, such as CNAA.com and those ending in -CN, such as ODCN.com. Each of these groups had 676 combinations.

Being from Europe, and with no knowledge of the chinese culture, I decided that I should start with the domains ending in -CN. I decided to send an email to all the owners of the domains and ask for their sale price. To honor the time each of them would spend in addressing me, I decided I should buy one (or two) of the domains. This would make my attempt genuine and would prove profitable considering I could pick the cheapest.

So I prepared a script to fetch WHOIS Regs and then another script to deliver a prepared email-message. As there was a limit to the outgoing emails, I send those emails in two separate dails from two email providers (gmail/hotmail). Sending the emails was easy though. Being active in the negotiation was difficult and it took a lot of time and energy. After few hours in the process, I decided I would limit my test to only the (LL)CN.COM domains (I also realized my budget would cover one domain and I should not risk on a blind choice of another).

In total I got response from 86 people. As I was not selective, I assume I had send emails to running websites and they would not be interested to sell the domains on a developed platform. (There were a lot of email bounces and a few emails that ended up at registrars. I did not follow them, but seems that there is a serious problem with the registrant-emails overall.)
Out of those 86 people, only 63 engagged in a negotiation. The other group clearly responded that they had no interest in selling their domain.

The price range of the domains on sale was from 840$ – 109 000$US (some persons provided a price in YUAN which I converted). I did not negotiate above 2000$ but one should know that depending on the origin of the sender, there is a trend in negotiationg. For example, some owners cat the price in half on the second day (Something like jumping from 48000$ to 24000$. I was hoping they would continue the trend beyond a week, but did not happen :))

A breakthrough of the prices is below.

Price Range (in USD) Domain Count Percentage
<1000 2 3,3
>=1000 && <2000 8 13,3
>=2000   && <5000 15 25
>=5000 && <10000 14 23,3
>=10000 && <20000 7 11,6
>=20000 && <30000 6 10
>=30000 && <40000 2 3,3
>=40000 && <50000 2 3,3
>=50000 && <100000 3 5
>100000 1 1,6

For a better visualization, I have plotted the results in the graphic below, and as one might imagine, most of the domains are found in the range of 2000$-5000$USD. Although these domains are the peak in the price, the total number of domains which are more expensive than 5000$ is higher than the price of the domains below 5000$. The numbers show 35 domains above 5000$ compared to 25 below 5000$. That means, although risky, buying a domain in the range cheaper than 2000$ is still a probabilistic good deal.

End if you made it up to this point in reading. Out of those 2 domains below 1000$, I bought one; another one broke of the deal after we signed the escrow. Apparently some partner adviced him against the sale. And if you are looking to get a (LL)CN.COM, it happens that after this experiment I have one for resale. Let me know.

And the rest of the domains. I did not check on the price of (CN)LL.COM domains. I had planned that my budget would potentially allow me for another domain, but CN showed to be more expensive than expected. Maybe some other day on a good moon and with some extra cash I will try the second part of the experiment and see if CN(LL).com is more valuable than (LL)CN.COM.

If you have some experience to share, feel free.

Backorder and register expired .al domains

.al domains are still one of the coolest ccTLDs when it come to domain hacks. The .al ending can create hack domains in English, Turkish and Pakistani daily words. As many good domains are expired, a lot of old domains become available every day.

To allow the users registrater dropped domains, Expireddomains.al and expiring.al are two fresh websites dedicated to lists of domains which are expired or about to expire. Both websites are related, but represent different view and information.

ExpiredDomains.al presents the already expired domains. The domains in the list will be completely available for registration, assuming someone else did not beat you to the race to snap the domain. Expiring.al represents domains which are about to expire, but hey, the websites points to a .al backorder service as well. The backorder is based on a fee which increases the chances of being the first to register the domain significantly.

 

Digit.al for Sale on Flippa

Checking the list of the domain hacks in the Flippa Market Place and could not miss the fact that digit.al was listed in the top spot. While the domain hack trends in somehow on decline due to (arbitrary) decisions related to SEO and Google, the value of such domains is still great for unique start ups which are based on viral services.

The .al zone is not unknown to the domain hack word. The zone has more than 14000 English hack words ending in .al and some domains in the zone have hit xx,xxx$ sales with soci.al leading the list. While most of the good domains are already registered and no longer on sale, digit.al is quite interesting. The enterpreneur world has seen a rise of the term digital in the new ventures, product and startups. A quick check on Google Keyword planner relates the term to more than 5,5 milion searches for this term only in January 2015.

Other terms related to Digital include:

Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)
digital spy 1220000
digital 165000
digital camera 135000
digital marketing 74000
digit 60500
digital photo frame 60500
digital signage 40500
digital radio 40500
digital antenna 33100
digital tv 27100
digital art 27100
digital clock 27100
digital picture frame 27100
digital life 27100
digital media 22200
digital divide 22200
digital cameras 22200
best digital camera 22200
dolby digital 22200
digital piano 22200
digital thermometer 22200
digital printing 18100
digital converter box 18100
digital camera reviews 18100
canon digital camera 18100
digital perm 18100
digital scale 18100
digital watches 18100
digital drugs 14800

And imagine that each of these terms might be a cool digit.al domain hack.

  • http://digit.al/spy
  • http://digit.al/drugs
  • http://digit.al/camera
  • http://dolby.digit.al

and so on.

As mentioned, many companies already include DigitAl in their brand. The domain might be used by one of these companies as a digital marketing domain as well. Some examples: https://www.digitalocean.com/, http://www.digitaltrends.com and many others.