Domains

The Owners of the Internet

Being different as opposed to being better is a business strategy that is picking up momentum among the "gurus". The ultimate of which comes in the form of being not only different but being the only one (or company) that provides a certain service. Here is an example of something very few people know or even think about.
Just as land has its owners, "virtual real estate" is also owned by a few smart moguls. Business 2.0 magazine ran a very interesting story on one of the top domainers. Domain trading and investment has grown as an industry, of this I am aware, but the degree to which these people have taken it, is really surprising.
Kevin Ham, the man behind many of these evil (and seriously cool) tactics, has also managed to remain anonymous in this undercover field of business.
Software that automatically detects expiring domains and attempts to get it before anyone else is one of the tactics. But it is one of the lame ones.
The .cm scheme is a really interesting one. Based on the fact that many people make typing mistakes when they enter the domain names they want, Kevin and his gang have secured a really interesting deal with the government of Cameroon! Here's the deal:
Whenever someone mistakenly enters "newyorktimes.cm" instead of "newyorktimes.com" their software checks if that domain name is taken, if not it immediately directs the user to a site called Agoga. This is a site filled with pay-per-click ads, and Kevin gets paid whenever a user clicks on any of these ads! They are also working on a similar project with the government of Colombia, who owns the .co extension.
Another form of traffic is surprisingly what is called "type-in traffic", which happens when someone tries to guess a generic name and typing weddingflowers.com for example. This type of user will again be greeted with ads, most of them are actually relevant to their search, which isn't a very bad idea. "Parking", "tasting", and "type-squatting" are among some of the other ways these people make serious money.
I never thought a domainer would have more than a thousand domains registered, but it turns out that the top portfolios owned by one person can go up to 320,000!
In-depth details and explanations of these devilish strategies can be found in the article.