There is a standing invite for any of my readers to submit guest articles on topics relating to domain names. If it is a controversial topic like “Direct Registration” or anything about auDA, I don’t care whether your opinion is “for or against”. As long as it is coherent, and not defamatory (in my sole view), then I will publish it. Constructive debate is healthy – particularly in a membership organisation.
Today, I’m happy to publish another one of these (with some subtle editing).
Alan Gladman is not a professional domain investor, so it’s good to hear his perspective on direct registrations. For the record, we have been friends for many years.
Disclaimer: As well as being an auDA Member, I am now an auDA Demand Class Director. The article below is a guest article, and therefore does not necessarily represent my personal opinion. Nor does it purport to be the views of auDA.
What I Think About Direct Registration
My name is Alan Gladman, and I’m not a domainer. Nor am I an SEO specialist or a web designer or a reseller.
I’m a Commercial Builder based in Victoria and Queensland.
Ned has invited people to do a guest article, and while I never normally seek the limelight or comment on forums, I wanted to do an article on this subject. Because frankly, I cannot believe how this whole process is being handled by auDA.
I first got into domains back in 2008 when I happened to be introduced to the late Tony Lentino (the founder of Instra) quite by chance. We became instant friends, and shared many adventures together until his untimely death from cancer in 2016. He was a guru about domains, and I learnt a lot from him.
I have a portfolio of Aussie domain names that I have accumulated over the past decade. Most of these are com.au – some are net.au. In all my time in the industry com.au has always been portrayed and marketed as king – net.au is when you can’t get the com.au. Stats back this up. About 90% of registrations are com.au. It’s not like some people prefer Fords; and some Holdens. There is one clear standout winner – com.au.
I think the idea of auDA introducing direct registrations is ridiculous. Particularly if they are going to give some sort of preference to holders of existing domains.
- What does that actually achieve? I’ll tell you what it will do. It’ll create winners and losers and a lot of pissed off and confused people.
- Who does direct registration benefit? Simple answer is auDA, the registry; the registrars. No one else. It is revenue raising. Keep an eye on auDA’s bank balance.
- Where is the real demand? Emphasis on the word “demand”. There is none.
- What is the cost to businesses going to be? Assuming some crazy allocation system allows the com.au holder to get rights to the domain, what is the cost of a defensive registration? What about rebranding costs? Or SEO costs? Multiply this many time over.
- As we say in the building trade, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Maintenance and renovation work wonders, and saves lots of money.
Go on, tell me if I’m wrong with all or any of the above.
Don’t try and tell me that all the good domains are taken either. That’s crap. At the end of February 2018, Australia had total registrations of just 3,132,350 domains – of which 2,775,000 domains were com.au.
Compare with dot com which is still growing strongly each month – I think at last count there were over 132 million dot com domains registered, and about 14 million dot nets. According to Verisign, in the last quarter of 2017, there were 9 million new registrations. That’s in just 3 months.
I’d like to suggest to auDA that they abandon this direct registration proposal for two reasons:
- It doesn’t make commercial sense. Where is the business case that says otherwise?
- Why hurt people when you don’t have to? Why have winners and losers?
If you want the registrars to earn more money, then encourage more people and small businesses to invest in domain names. A good start would be by cutting out the ridiculous auDA rules that most people don’t understand. Those that do, live in fear of falling foul of them.
Do this, and watch the market zoom.
Alan Gladman – 20th March 2018