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WEB/DIGITAL Web domain

kurtyordy

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Someone is asking me to be a silent partner in purchasing a web domain. The alexa ranking is approx 250,000. Currently all it does is forward to a parking page. It has this ranking because there is a major business with the same name.

What would something like this be worth? Anyone have any ideas? My first instinct is to buy and flip on sedo, but not sure.
 

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Analyzer

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Aug 31, 2007
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Probably not much... Look out for legal issues.

Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act


The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (also known as Truth in Domain Names Act), a United States federal law enacted in 1999, is part of A bill to amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite (S. 1948). It makes people who register domain names that are either trademarks or individual's names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action. It was sponsored by Senator Trent Lott on November 17, 1999, and enacted on November 29 of the same year.
In order for a trademark owner to bring a claim under the ACPA, the owner must establish
  • the trademark owner’s mark is distinctive or famous;
  • the domain name owner acted in bad faith to profit from the mark; and
  • the domain name and the trademark are either identical or confusingly similar (or dilutive for famous trademarks).
One of the limitations of the Act is the impact on settling disputes: where two parties have a dispute over a domain name, and the domain name owner has a lesser interest in the domain and is willing to settle the dispute, if the domain name owner offers to exchange the domain name for compensation (such as the cost of reprinting letterhead, business cards, and other expenses), that offer can constitute "acting in bad faith to profit from the mark". This makes domain name disputes harder to resolve.
The act consists of several amendments to the Trademark Act of 1946 to provide protection from Cybersquatters to trademark holders, a section providing similar protections for individuals' names, an amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470a(a)(1)(A)), protecting the names of historical site. It also includes a savings clause stating that it does not take away from individuals' rights to free speech, and some amendments to the United States Code removing hyphens from several instances of the word trademark. Most of the act applies retroactively to all domain names, however the damages made possible by the act only apply to domain names registered after it was enacted.
 
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kurtyordy

kurtyordy

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Current owners own a business with a variation of the name, and that is how and why they got it. If we kept it, we would do the same.
 

Jonleehacker

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My formula for value would be take into consideration the amount of traffic (alexa is next to useless for determining this, you'll need to put Google Analytics code on the parking page), the quality of traffic (what the people who are coming there are expecting...are they "hungry") and finally the topic (payday loans being worth a lot more than college humor).

Only when you can put real numbers into that formula can you get an idea of the value.
 
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kurtyordy

kurtyordy

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I am not sure the owner will give us traffic count, but I can tell you the rest.

Hypothetical domain to illustrate.

thecat.com this is the domain in question which is currently parked.

cat.com is owned by a major player named cat technologies.

thecat.au is owned by a huge company in au. The au traffic is what this site gets. thecat.au is selling a product which is easily reproduced and therefore could be targeted with just the traffic from the mistyping.

Does that make sense?
 

Jonleehacker

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selling a product which is easily reproduced and therefore could be targeted with just the traffic from the mistyping
I'm certainly not a expert, but if you take this route, I would expect you'll end up with legal issues from one or both of the other "cats"

My plan for this would be to acquire the name and then get both cat.com and thecat.au into a bidding war to buy it from you.

If the name is worth anything more than a couple hundred bucks, then insist on seeing traffic, the only exception would be if you have a really well educated guess of the number of visitors, and/or you feel the current owner is naive and you don't want them to actually know how much traffic there is.
 
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kurtyordy

kurtyordy

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cat.com's product is specialized and unrelated. cat.au's product is generic and sold by thousands of sites. some with variations of the name. like bigcat.com etc.

'If the name is worth anything more than a couple hundred bucks, then insist on seeing traffic, the only exception would be if you have a really well educated guess of the number of visitors, and/or you feel the current owner is naive and you don't want them to actually know how much traffic there is.' You hit the nail on the head. Even though we do not see traffic counts with Alexa, can't we see some value just by the ranking? My old website that I have had for almost 4 years is rated 10,000,000. So I imagine 250,000 is pretty good.
 

Jonleehacker

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Alexa is only a ranking of people going to the site who have the Alexa toolbar installed. It is good for watching traffic trends for a single site, but not really useful at all for traffic comparisons. Here's an article I wrote on the topic of Alexa and traffic rankings:

It is sold as an indicator of overall traffic but that is far from the truth. The Alexa ranking is a relative measure of the number of Alexa toolbar users that visit the site. If your visitors include a high percentage of people using the toolbar, you’ll have a disproportionally low Alexa number.

I have a test site that I put up to try out new plugins and other ideas. It isn’t indexed in any search engines and I’m the only one who ever visits that site. In two months is went from an Alexa rating of ~5,000,000 [the default], down to ~440,000 which a lot of people would consider a pretty good rating; just from my own visits using a browser with the Alexa toolbar!

There are even automated bots that can game the Alexa ranking without you even having to visit your own site.​

You can check out http://www.quantcast.com/ as a possible alternative.
 
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kurtyordy

kurtyordy

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thanks, checked out quantcast.com. They were within 5% of my unique monthly visitors. thecat.com had over 10k in unique visitors from there estimate. Only drawback is that it does not give the au visitors. A great tool non the less.
 

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