Wow. How time flies. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve published anything online and this industry seems to have changed more over that time than the entire decade before.
A few years ago new GTLD’s were just a discussion, long tail exact match domains were getting big dollars, many domain owners would never sell, Lana Del Ray was just Rob’s daughter Lizzy, SEO was a sure thing and Brian from the Family guy was alive.
Today is a different story.
Google has changed the SEO landscape forever by introducing updates fondly named after cute animals (who now have Chucky like qualities when you think of them), almost 1,700 new GTLD’s have started rolling out, Lana Del Ray is a true rock star, killer premium domains are available and Brian from the Family guy is dead (for now).
As we enter 2014 I truly think we are going to see the best of this industry.
My predictions are numerous but I will provide a few that I would bet on.
Premium .COM Names Will Get Higher Values
Over the next year we will enter into a very defining period. One without much room for mediocrity as thousands of alternative options become available in the new GTLD market. The premium .com market will only get stronger.
New GTLD’s will be a Booming Success
You can’t ignore this. Some will fail, some will succeed but the learning curve for the registry operators to understand what works will be quicker than you think.
As a brand agency, domain investor or business owner what you need to do is understand the definition of a good domain name. Not many people can do this on scale in my opinion. As a very small industry my bet is there are less than 1,000 people in the world who can define what a great domain for investment is outside of the obvious mortgage.com or sex.com type names on any level of scale. It’s a rare talent which you must learn now. There will be millions of dollars made in the new GTLD market and many more millions lost but you can win all day long if you know what you are doing. Try to stay on the happier side of the fence.
Another Industry Changing Event Will Occur
When Frank Schilling introduced Internet Traffic it shook up the parking industry, when NameJet launched it shook up the auction industry. In 2014 my prediction we will see another huge shift of a service to an entirely new provider who has spent the time and money to innovate while existing companies sit around and talk about strategy. In fact, I already know what to place my bet on but that secret is under lock and key.
Rick Schwartz Will Make Another Big Sale
Two things are predictable with Rick. He will get mad at someone and he will have a BIG sale (we love you Rick)
The Boston Red Sox will Not Make the Playoffs
This is my article, we are Baltimore fans in the office and Elliot likes the Red Sox
Brands Will Be More Important Than Ever
Keyword domains have a place but when the monster of search (Google) is moving to a brand world and invested in the new GTLD’s then you better be hedging your portfolio on brands. A lot of people still work on the assumption that Google results will stay constant. Whether it’s 2014 or 2015 my bet is you will wake up one day and see .sexy, .web, .build, .guru and many other new extensions with very cool brands overtaking almost every search result. Embrace the change now or risk being a dinosaur in 24 months.
Personally, I can’t wait to see how 2014 plays out. This industry is full of incredible people who are risk takers, innovators and good hearted souls who deserve a chance at collective success. When I started in this industry around 1996 it was unknown and like the wild wild west. Around 2004 it started becoming more of a family with structure and conferences but even then many portfolios were built and many players already defined. This new window of time is an opportunity we have never had before on such scale and one where many stories will be written.
About 18 months ago I joined Domain Holdings and this has been a great 18 months. We have built an amazing book of business, have an incredible staff of people and are working on some really existing stuff for next year.
While the above predictions are mine and not representative of Domain Holdings (yes, we have lawyers also) I can say for everyone here that we wish each and every person in this industry a truly joyous holiday season, filled with memories and happiness to last a lifetime.
This industry is like one big family and from our family to yours …