Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

SEO’s are from Mars – Domainers are from Uranus

I’m at SES in San Jose this week, but I’ve got a post from my COO, Chuck Price, who was a the Domain Roundtable Conference in Seattle last week. Jim


Hey there – I’m Chuck Price, COO at We Build Pages. Please don’t take offense at the title of this post. As a marketing guy, I just couldn’t resist! I just returned from the Domain Roundtable Conference in Seattle. This event was produced by Jay Westerdal’s company – name intelligence. Jay is probably best known in SEO circles for his website For the record, all of the domainers that I met at this conference were bright guys with endless ambition.


Jay Westerdal CEO Name intelligence

I was first turned onto the conference by Stuntdubl, during a late night brainstorming / fishing session on the Hudson River. He convinced Jim & myself that domainers and SEO’s went together like peanut butter & jelly and should be internet super friends. Hey – I’m always interested in making new friends, so a trip to Seattle sounded like a good idea. ( Plus, with SES the following week, Jim’s wife would have killed him if he went).

Chuck with some new friends At Sugar in Seattle (pics removed)

The thing that struck me immediately was what most domainers and SEO’s have in common – nothing. Domainers are primarily traders and speculators in the domain name market. Values are determined by subjective traits like how a name looks on a business card, how it sounds on the radio & the amount of type in traffic it generates. But what about age, content and backlinks? As they say here in New York – Fuhget abaht it. (Google: Did you mean: Forget about it. )

Domaining Experts like Stephen Douglas view domains as "internet real estate and an “appreciable marketing asset.” Domain investors and the domain industry in general consist of legitimate businessmen seeing the value in this online real estate and the marketing of such real estate". This is a pretty interesting concept, but I find one flaw in this view. Unlike real estate, where they aren’t making any more of it, they actually are making more domains on a pretty regular basis. Is it possible that dot com real estate could feel the same effects as the real estate along route 66 after interstate highways were introduced? I don’t know what the equivalent of an interstate highway could be in this case, but a .web or standard international domain extension just might do it.


Stephen Douglas – Executive Producer

A notable exception was Keynote speaker Mike "Zappy" Zapolin. He started his career by purchasing for 80K and flipping it in less than 12 months for $7Million. Not a bad return – even for a guy with a Drexel Burnham & Bear – Stearns background. Zappy learned a hard lesson with his next deal – After investing 6 figures in this name he was able to flip it for 2.75M. So what’s the problem? The guys that he sold it to actually developed the site & sold the business for $140 Million. Don’t expect to see, or any other domains that Zappy owns being sold any time soon without a full blown business model attached to it.


  Photo of: Mike Zapolin

Mike Zapolin

I believe that a number of domainers really want to develop some domains, but just have no idea how. Some of the best attended sessions were the SEO sessions. If SEO’s and Domainers are to become "super friends", the real question is this: what is the model for a Successful domainer:SEO partnership? That is the question that I am pondering. What do you think?


Aaron Wall

Since I’ve been on the road all week, I’m keeping this brief, so I can get back to work. If there is enough interest in this topic I will write a follow up detailing the conflict of interest & unfair advantages that the top registrars have over the average domain buyer. I will also detail what opportunities I think really do exist in the area of domaining.


20 Responses

  1. I also think that as more speculators come into the market they will drive down margins. But hey, if you can take the risks and have the cash to tie up, there is money to be made. The point should also be made that people are also loosing money out there. The domain market looks a lot like equities trading on the stock market these days.

  2. I think the value of quality domains will always rise, probably more than any other market in the world. The net is getting bigger and bigger by the day, it won’t be to long before the whole world relies on it – which means domain names will soon run out, making the quality domains much more valuable than they are today.

    I’m interested in hearing more info on how domain registers have an advantage on the standard domain buyer like me – What are your thoughts on how can I compete competitively?

  3. Chuck, you were an animal at the painting event:.)

    Seriously, it was great hanging out with you at the Roundtable…Jim needs to get you out at more shows.

    Domainers and SEO’s have nothing in common? Not sure I’d agree…

  4. Great write up. I’ve been reading about these domaineers in magazines and online for the last six months, and I have to admit that I’m stunned someone would pay that kind of money for an undeveloped site just because they like the name. Then again, I’ve been contacted about selling one of my sites, and I said no, as it’s a labor of love, plus I’d have no idea how to even negotiate something like that. Oh yeah, the guy wasn’t offering millions either. 🙂

  5. Hey Todd – it was great meeting you & hanging out. You are absolutely right. Domainers & SEO’s have at least one VERY big thing in common – we both want to maximize income opportunities for our domains!

  6. Hello Chuck,

    Great post and thanks for the recap of the conference. Very informative. Domains are intriguing to say the least…. It will be interesting to see more on this topic, so please do follow up.


  7. LOL….That is the funniest blogpost title ever…I’m literally in stitches laughing…Looks like you had a great time in San Jose. So jealous! I’ll be coming to Vegas though…wohoo!!

  8. good point by Mike.
    If SEO’s and Domainers are to become “super friends”, the real question is this: what is the model for a Successful domainer:SEO partnership? .

  9. Great article. I find it very helpful. Oh, just in case you want to give your site more coverage and exposure, I will suggest

    you give a try. It is the first social networking site for domainers and website owners.

  10. Just reminded me of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus! But here in this case There’s no option for both SEO and domainers to live without each other!

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