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acorn domains

AcornDomains, a domain name forum for the .UK domains, recently switched to using a SSL certificate and serving pages over secure HTTPS protocol. You can read what the administrator of AcornDomains said about the SSL/HTTPS move here;

We’ve upgraded and made the move to SSL / HTTPS. I’m very clear it was going to need to happen so there’s no point delaying. Thank you to the people who made it happen e.g. @Adam H and my host. I take some of the things Google says with a pinch of salt and consider some of it as propaganda but SSL is going to be a fact of life IMO. So here we are. Upgrading your membership is always appreciated … its 24 gbp for a years forum support with benefits…just sayin.

The switch makes sense since most of the other major domain name discussion forums have moved to SSL/HTTPS. This includes Namepros and DNForum.

The change comes as Google is encouraging, while really forcing, many webmasters to switch to using SSL/HTTPS.  Google has publicly stated that sites that use SSL/HTTPS will have an SEO (search engine optimization) boost. In addition websites that have login forms for users, such as forums, would start displaying a red warning indicating if the site was using standard HTTP protocol in Google’s Chrome browser.

The switch happened earlier this month but as a Chrome and Firefox user I’ve seen no red HTTP warning indicators while using Chrome. Maybe Chrome developers forgot to push the update? 🙂

Some have claimed they feel the SSL/HTTPS push is just another Google experiment. Do you remember the Google Authorship program?  It was an attempt Google had to bring more “authority” to articles in it’s search engine for users. It would display a picture under articles tell you who wrote it. The Google Authorship program felt more like a veiled attemtp to get everyone using Google+, the company’s failed social network answer to Facebook.

Google killed the Authorship program without a clear explanation. People speculated it was affecting the company’s ad business click-through-rates to PPC (pay per click) ads were down.  It made lots of SEO firms, webmasters, and regular joes annoyed since they were pushing everyone to use Authorship and Google just chucked the entire thing.

John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, has publicly stated that the move to use SSL certificates and serve pages over HTTPS isn’t going away.  So you start a new site it should load using HTTPS and webmasters should move sites to it eventually.

There are ways to get free SSL certificates through Comodo via your web hosting company.  There is also LetsEncrypt which is what AcornDomains used.

Is switching to SSL/HTTPS a good move for AcornDomains? Have you made the switch to SSL/HTTPS with your sites? Are you planning to in the near future? Do you find it annoying Google is doing this?

This article was written and contributed by YamadaMedia.


The NamesCon auction, currently the biggest domain industry auction of the year, is over. Even though the live NamesCon auction and online auctions have ended the talk about them has not.

Noticeably many new domain extensions did not sell well this year.  Much to the dismay of new gTLD supporters. Notably many .NET domains sold for under what one would expect, even with a room full of domain resellers.  You can see the NamesCon auction results here.

The other discussions I’ve seen are about why Monte Cahn, who handles these premium auctions each year, did and did not accept certain new domains.  Also why some new domains were and were not accepted with a reserve price. Many new domain extensions I saw in the auction were real head scratchers.  Ebiz.online???

To be fair.  It’s extremely hard to know what people are interested and to predict what consumers will want to buy. Not even a domain veteran like Monte Cahn, who started Moniker and runs Right of the Dot, can always know.

Here is a discussion with teams Frank Schilling vs Rick Schwartz over the new domain extensions at T.R.A.F.F.I.C, which could be considered the precursor to the NamesCon. Monte Cahn shares his thoughts on .IRISH and why it will be a successful domain extension.  You can read the transcript below too.

Editor’s Note – If the video doesn’t load right up to the comments, you can skip ahead to the 29 minute mark.

New Domains vs .COM – Monte Cahn

The .IRISH discussion;

Monte Cahn – “Another good example is .IRISIH you know, there are a lot of people that relate, people feel like they are Irish, love the Irish,

Howard Neu – “Or .ITALIAN”

Monte – “Right, there is not going to be a .ITALIAN but there is going to be .IRISH. So you know, that is probaby going to be a very successful TLD. Besides what happened at Notre Dame. Anybody that is IRISH, there are 110 million IRISH people all over the world right know, you know. So that is another example of where people have an affiliiation to a specific TLD because of their background, religion, where they come from, what business they are in, and what they believe in. “

.IRISH Domains

So is the .IRISH domain extension successful?  No.

According to NameStat and NtldStats we see .IRISH registration sits around 2,000 registrations. This essentially means they are not even making the bare minimum in yearly ICANN fees to cover the cost of running the domain extension.  It’s estimated to cost $150,000 – $200,000 dollars per year in administrative costs to run a new domain extension.

I don’t consider registration volume everything but according to HosterStats data only 2.1% of sites of the total amount of domains are active sites.  That is roughly 42 websites, which is well kind sad. We know John McCormac, the founder of HosterStats, wouldn’t make these numbers up as he is irish. 🙂

.IRISH used to be run by an independent company but now has been sold to the Donuts, which manages over 200 domains. If .IRISH was choosing a place to go die it seems Donuts was a great option for it.


Right after the .IRISH comments Monte continued about another extension .GAY.

Monte- “Another way is .GAY, I’m sure everyone that is one everybody has heard of. It’s a community, it’s a feeling of, of what you belong to. So that is where it is going to make a difference I think on the internet.”

Then Frank Schilling, owner and founder of Uniregistry, weighed in;

Frank Schilling – “I totally disagree. I kind of dump the Geos in with the IDNs, a passion play. But the problem with Geos is the internet is global, when I’m in New-York City .NYC is going to be a great name right, but all of a sudden you polarize everyone from New Zealand, New Jersey, Delaware, all around you NYC. And if you are selling online you want to sell globally, right? And with .GAY, you can be in the most out there gay person on earth it doesn’t mean you want to you want to fly your flag in your URL and your email address.”

.GAY has not been delegated by ICANN yet over some community lawsuit shenanigans.  I agree with Schilling here halfway. (I actually think .NYC could be a successful domain extension in the low run, but currently isn’t.)  Why are you going to use .GAY in your email and domain even if you are really gay?

Rick Schwartz and Lonnie Borck, who are both Jewish, at no point in the conversation said “Hey, you know you guys are right! I’m really missing .JEWISH in my personal and professional email and website.”

Most people should not be inclined to show backgrounds, religious beliefs, political beliefs, etc. in a domain or website. Honestly you want to do business with people who may not have the same feelings or views about everything as you. Polarizing them immediately is not exactly the best message and first impression.

Predictions have been Wrong

The funniest part of the discussion is when Howard Neu, a domain lawyer, assumed there was going to be a .ITALIAN.  Sure why not, makes sense right? I’ve made the same assumptions.  Perhaps in the next round more garbage new domains will be dropped on us.

Personally as someone who follows domain names, I can’t even remember all the domain extensions. I always ask, “Is that a real domain extension?” … not good.

What’s the point here? While we are singling out Monte Cahn a bit here for sharing his thoughts on .IRISH, he’s not the only expert domain industry veteran that has been wrong, very wrong when it came to demand predictions on new domain extensions.

One panelist in the discussion was Simon Johnson who is part of the .KIWI registry.  As written here on DomainAnimal there was an unusual surge in .KIWI registrations several months ago.  The reason for this was that .KIWI had to give away roughly 200,000 domains as was reported by OnlineDomain.  This was with a joint deal with the New Zealand web hosting and domain name company Umbrellar and the .KIWI domain registry.

They gave away .KIWI domains to customers that matched existing .CO.NZ and .NZ domains. Reminiscent of the .XYZ and Network Solutions deal.

.KIWI has had to resort to mongering to actually convince Kiwis, a term for people from New Zealand, to actually maybe buy one of these .KIWI domains.  This is compared to the dominate ccTLD extension .NZ which has 672,000 registrations.  No fear tactics required.

In my opinion it is one thing to make predictions that don’t materialize, and another to make claims which are just false. Of course these shenanigans are common with new domain companies.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen any domain industry veterans and experts make other predictions which just hasn’t happened? What were these predictions and thoughts? What do you think the future holds for new domains?

This article was written and contributed by YamadaMedia.


john mueller

If you are like me you try to gain any advantage you can in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) game for your websites. I also used to try to gain any edge for various clients websites.  (In case you weren’t aware helping others with SEO is a painful experience.)

Even though my serious SEO days are behind me I still pop onto SEO discussion forums and the subreddit communities /SEO and /BigSEO once in awhile.  It’s interesting reading different perspectives and what effect Google is having on people’s businesses.  (If you guessed not positive, that would be accurate.)

Recently I noticed this quote from the user u/JohnMu in the /BigSEO subreddit.

For better or worse, people still like .com’s.

Why is this a notable comment? The person leaving the comment was John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst.

Mueller is known in SEO circles as the “new Matt Cutts”.  Matt Cutts used to be the head of Google’s Webspam team and would make videos answering questions from people about Google’s thoughts and practices regarding ranking websites.  The videos were highly useful and would be something that many marketers and professional search engine optimizers would write about, comment on, and debate.

In the past Matt Cutts commented on why he thought ccTLDs Hacks are not Good and revisited talking about ccTLD Generic use.

The videos stopped several years ago, much to professionals in the SEO space disappointment. Laster last year Cutts took a sabbatical from Google to work for the US Digital Service. (The US Digital Service is where Silicon Valley douches migrate to when they think they can fix all of government’s problems.)

SEO Fail – USDS.gov writes blog posts on Medium instead of using an in-house blog on the website. Why???

Matt Cutts has no plans to return to work for Google.  Last month Cutts announced that he was the US Digital Service’s full time Director of Engineering.

Who did this leave to do community outreach when people hand questions about Google and SEO? John Mueller.

Mueller regularly heads up Google Hangouts discussions for Webmasters in English.  As well he also holds Google Hangouts for Webmasters in his native language, German. Mueller is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Mueller also leaves comments on Reddit once once in awhile. Extremely useful insight since it is coming directly from someone at Google with real authority.  Compared to your cousin who thinks he knows about SEO.  Of course… I recommend you take what Google says with a bit of a grain of salt.  They’ve lead me astray more than once with “advice.”

So John Mueller, the current Google SEO community outreach authority, admits people still like .com domains and likely will continue to use them.  What do you think about Google saying “People still like .com’s?”

This article was written and contributed by YamadaMedia.


NameSilo Marketplace Launches Domain Payment Plans

February 6, 2017

NameSilo, a domain name registrar, has just launched the ability to offer Payment Plans for premium domain names to customers. The announcement by NameSilo came via an email which can be read below. This means that customers can pay for a premium domain in the NameSilo Marketplace utilizing NameSilo’s shopping cart and payment options. If […]

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.KIWI Gains 170,000 Domain Registrations In Two Weeks (Yeah, Right!)

December 5, 2016

.KIWI, a new domain extension aimed at the New Zealand market, has experienced tremendous registration growth the past two weeks. .KIWI has gained 170,000+ domain registrations according to NtldStats and NameStat, websites that track new domains. As of this writing there are 187,225 .KIWI domains registered. This now puts the .KIWI domain 22nd in terms […]

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New-Tech Domains and When To Cut Losses

May 26, 2016

Occasionally I become interested in a new technology that is just beginning to bud, and if it sounds promising, like others I may take a gamble on registering some domains within that field in the hope the technology eventually goes mainstream. Each year as the domains come up for renewal I spend some time reviewing […]

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Are Capital Controls Behind China’s Move Into the Domain Market?

January 5, 2016

It is an undisputed fact to anyone involved in the domain name aftermarket that a significant upswing in overall pricing trends of certain categories of domain, namely short 2 and 3 character .com as well as strong one-word .com, have been realized over the past year due to a strong influx of Chinese buyers into […]

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Throwback Thursday – One Commenter’s Cogent Corrective To A Blogger’s ‘Cybersquatter’ Rant

May 14, 2015

While cleaning out an inbox the other day I somehow came across a link to a blog post from four years ago, titled, Domain-squatter parasites not interested in haggling, apparently. As you might have guessed already, the author relates the story of how he woke up one day deciding he’d like to own a particular […]

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The Yin to the Yang of Domain Sales

January 18, 2015

Although it isn’t a regular column to this blog, consider this my weekend musings, if you will.  The following are some thoughts I was having a moment ago while giving my head and beard a quick trim for the coming week. Several days ago I caught a post on Abdul Basit’s blog, New Year Starts […]

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