Potential Changes to Internet Privacy Could Mean Less Protection For You

July 16th, 2015



Hari Ravichandran, the CEO of our parent company, Endurance International Group, recently wrote an op-ed for Entrepreneur.com on Internet Privacy, and the responsibility that Internet companies have in making the Internet a safer place.  His viewpoint centered around a proposal that is currently in front of ICANN – the governing body of the Internet and domain names – which could affect privacy services available to domain owners today, particularly business owners.

Today, when you register a domain name (whether it be for an individual use or for a business), you have the option to purchase privacy services to protect your personal information from public view, including home address and email address. Not only do privacy services keep your information private, it protects individuals and corporations from identity theft and can potentially ensure physical safety.

With the changes to the current privacy services, the proposal would limit the use of privacy services for domains classified as ‘corporate use’. This would hurt many small business owners as they would no longer be able to purchase privacy “proxy” services.

A second potential change could be damaging as it requires privacy providers to disclose personal information about domain owners to third parties who are alleging International Property infringement. At stake here is the privacy of loosely defined owners of ‘commercial use’ domain names, and their ability to protect themselves and their business.

We are all in this together.  Mr. Ravichandran has been an outspoken opponent of these new proposed changes to privacy policies being considered by ICANN.  But as a business owner, what can you do?   By visiting SaveDomainPrivacy.org you can read more about the potential changes, express your concerns, and sign a petition to support the protection of privacy online.

8 Steps to Changing Your Domain Name Without Losing Your Digital Footprint

July 10th, 2015

Many domain owners at some point in their internet life cycle decide it is time to change or upgrade their domain names.  It could be for a number of reasons that one decides to make the move, but some of the more common ones are outlined below:

  • A better domain became available and you decided to update your image/brand.  Sometimes when you first create your brand your preferred domain is not available, so you settle for something else.  Overtime you may decide to invest in a better version of your domain or you may wait for the registration to lapse and the domain becomes available.
  • Another common scenario is having multiple domains and you decide to consolidate down to one domain.
  • Your business name has changed and it’s time to change your internet branding to suit your new name.  Perhaps your company was bought out by another brand or you have decided to change your image and update your company name. To keep a presence on the internet you need to keep your domain name aligned with your new brand so you are easily recognizable.
  • Last, maybe you are just tired of your old domain and want to liven up your digital footprint on the web and have decided to recreate your image with a whole new domain name.

First things first, one must not do this at the flip of a hat.  Carefully plan your move to a new domain and put in the time and effort before pulling the plug on a previously well-developed domain.

There are 8 steps you should take to ensure a smooth transition.

1)      Back Up Your Site

  • You will want to back up your entire existing site before deciding to make any changes or migrations to a new site.  Often times glitches happen during a transition and you will want to make sure you have a secure back up of your original site that can get you back online immediately if you hit a roadblock during the migration.

2)      Clean Up Your New Domain

  • One will want to make sure the new domain you are planning to move to is free of any penalties and you can do so within the Google Webmaster Tools.  If no issues arise, you can move forward with the migration, however if there are some penalties, you will need to amend them and then submit a request through Google to reconsider your domain before you move forward.

3)      Move Your Content to Your New Domain

  • To complete this process there are two approaches one can take:  You can move your content a portion at a time allowing you to test content piece with minimal impact on your overall search rankings, however it is a bit time consuming.  After moving the content to the new domain a piece at a time you will need to make sure you do a 301 redirect of the pages, so Google knows where the new content resides.
  • Another way to move the content to your new domain would be to make the giant leap all at once, which is what most people do in order to get everything over to the new domain as fast as possible.  You can complete this task either by using a plugin to assist in transferring the content or by manually transferring it to the new domain.  If taking the manual approach you will want to make sure you have a content management system in place prior to the move to assist in making sure the basic framework is intact.

4)      Permanently Redirect Old Pages to Your New Domain

  • This is one of the most crucial steps of completing the change from an old domain to a new one.  You will need to set up a 301 redirect in order to maintain your search rankings.  This can be completed by a small piece of code in your .htaccess file, but it is one of the most important and vital steps to this whole process.  There are free tools to assist you with this process and can be found within Google Webmaster Tool’s help section.
  • If you are changing content between the old site and the new site you will need to create 404 pages for content that is not equivalent to anything on the new domain.

5)      Inform Google That You Have Moved to a New Domain

  • Use Google’s change of address tool to officially inform them that you are moving your domain; this can be found within the Google Webmaster Tools.

6)      Create a Sitemap

  • There are tools that can assist you with the creation of an XML sitemap that will automate this process for you, including Google’s Sitemap Generator.
  • You will want to create a sitemap of your old domain and one of your new domain through Google’s tool, which in time will index your new domain pages and began decreasing your previous indexed pages from the old domain.

7)      Check and Update Internal and Inbound Links

  • While initially you will be using redirects to link over to your new domain, eventually you will want to update the links internally because over time you will probably want to shut down the old domain, and then the redirects will no longer function.

8)      Watch Your Analytics, Especially After the Move

  • Monitoring your new site is crucial to ensuring everything is functioning as expected.
  • You will want to use the Search Analytics in Google Webmaster Tools to keep a close eye on your site’s performance.  Here is where you will be notified of any warnings, manual actions, index status, crawl errors, and search queries


And finally make sure to inform your customer base that you are moving, let your followers (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) know that you are moving, as well as your email subscribers.  This is something that you will want to inform them of in advance, not the day of the move, but weeks or months in advance, so nothing comes as a surprise when your customers go to find you on the web.

While initially your SEO rankings may dip versus your previous stats, overtime, if you follow the steps outlined above you should be able to regain your rankings and traffic over a short lapse of time.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/06/24/it-is-possible-to-change-your-domain-without-losing-your-seo-juice-heres-how/

Internet Grows to 294 Million Domain Names in the First Quarter of 2015

July 1st, 2015

RESTON, VA, Jun 30, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — VeriSign, Inc. a global leader in domain names and Internet security, today announced six million domain names were added to the Internet in the first quarter of 2015, bringing the total number of registered domain names to 294 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of March 31, 2015, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief.

The increase of six million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 1.9 percent over the fourth quarter of 2014. Worldwide registrations have grown by 17.8 million, or 6.5 percent, year over year.

The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the first quarter of 2015, reaching a combined total of approximately 133.0 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base. This represents a 3.1 percent increase year over year. As of March 31, 2015, the domain name base of .com equaled 117.9 million names, while .net equaled 15.1 million names.

In the first quarter, Verisign processed 8.7 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.6 million domain names for the same period in 2014.

During the first quarter of 2015, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 119 billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 165 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average increased 8.6 percent and the peak increased 13.1 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased 40.2 percent and the peak query load increased 37.9 percent.

With changes to search algorithms that favor websites that look and perform better on mobile devices, non-mobile friendly website owners, including many small businesses, fear their search rankings will plummet. As online commerce continues to grow and as people continue to turn to the Internet when looking for information, this quarter’s feature article, “‘Mobilegeddon’: Good for Small Business?” touts the benefits of mobile websites for business and why small businesses should make this a top priority.

Verisign publishes the Domain Name Industry Brief to provide Internet users throughout the world with statistical and analytical research and data on the domain name industry. The first quarter 2015 Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained at VerisignInc.com/DNIB.

About Verisign
Verisign, a global leader in domain names and Internet security, enables Internet navigation for many of the world’s most recognized domain names and provides protection for websites and enterprises around the world. Verisign ensures the security, stability and resiliency of key Internet infrastructure and services, including the .com and .net domains and two of the Internet’s root servers, as well as performs the root-zone maintainer functions for the core of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). Verisign’s Security Services include intelligence-driven Distributed Denial of Service Protection, iDefense Security Intelligence and Managed DNS. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by Verisign, please visit VerisignInc.com.


What do consumers really think about .com?

June 10th, 2015

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently published their findings from its Global Consumer Research Study, which measured aspects of consumer awareness, perceived consumer choice, experience and trust related to the legacy TLDs such as .com and .org and the new generic TLDs (g-TLDs) coming into market, like .email and .club.


The survey was conducted across 6,000 individuals from 24 countries located throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America.  This study is intended to service as a baseline of data and will be followed by a subsequent survey to take place approximately one year later.


Below are some of the notable highlights and findings around awareness and trust of top level domain names.


Awareness and Visitation follow Suit

Awareness of the legacy domain extensions .com, .net and .org are consistently high across all geographic regions.  Beyond these legacy domain extensions, awareness is relatively low with half or less of consumers across all regions. The degree of visitation follows the same trend as awareness.

ICANN blog


Familiarity and Exposure are advantageous for Legacy TLDs

An average of 90 percent claimed to trust the top three legacy TLDs (.COM, .NET, and .ORG), with the highest numbers found in North America, South America and Africa. By contrast, when shown new TLDs, the numbers were much lower. The average trust in new extensions was 49%.


Trust among New TLDs is Driven by Implied Purpose

.Email was the most trusted (non-geographic) new TLD at 63%. .XYZ and .guru had the least trust at 35% and 42% respectively. Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s global domains division, acknowledged that, because TLDs like .Email have an implied purpose and associated functions, some of the drivers of recognition may actually be linked to a general association rather than specific awareness of the extension.


While the domain name landscape is ever-evolving, it’s clear that acquiring a legacy TLD such as .com or .net provides significant advantages in the minds of the consumer by imparting familiarity and inherent trust.


You can view full results from the survey on ICANN’s website.

Google’s Mobile Search Changes, and What it Means for Your Business

June 5th, 2015




google_416x416You’ve invested in a premium domain name.  You built a website, and worked hard to maintain your rankings in search engines.  Customers find you every day through Google searches.  They come to your site and buy your products and services.

But are you staying on top of changes in mobile search? On April 21st, Google began using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in their search algorithms.  According to Google, if your site was not mobile ready on April 21st , they may begin to negatively impact your website’s placement in search results.

You can check to see if your website is currently mobile-friendly, by using Google’s tool here.


If your site is mobile optimized, that’s great!

If it’s not, don’t despair.

The Google update was much milder than what was predicted, or expected.  It certainly was not as impactful as the Penguin or Panda updates that leveled many websites.

While Armageddon did not happen following Google’s recent mobile search algorithm update, experts are predicting that Google is in this for the long play.  Since Google’s mission is to deliver the best search experience to their customers, and with the search traffic shifting to mobile more every year, you can bet that they will continue to make life difficult for non-mobile-friendly websites.  Expect future updates from Google that could be related to mobile site speed, optimized check-outs and more.

If your site is not optimized for mobile, our sister company BlueHost offers a mobile design service for only $199.  You can contact a mobile design expert at BlueHost at +1-855-723-6643.

Domain.com’s Latest nTLD Roundup: .SPACE, .WEBSITE, .BUZZ

April 1st, 2015

Today we’re featuring three new domain extensions that have either just launched or grown in popularity recently. Although we love the original .COM, .NET, and .ORG extensions, registering an industry or interest specific domain name for your website will help visitors better remember the name of your new brand, small business, or next great startup. With over 250 new extensions like .REALTOR, .NINJA, and .CLUB why not branch out and showcase your presence online in a new and creative way!

Take a look at these three unique domain extensions to see which one’s right for you.


The .SPACE extension is perfect for individuals looking to create an online portfolio to showcase their skills or hobbyists who want to highlight their passions. Imagine you are able to create a .SPACE online to express your creativity and talent with the world. The .SPACE extension is also a popular choice for stargazers, astronomers, and anyone interested in outer space! Get started with .SPACE and let us know what creative name you come up with!

Find your online .SPACE now



If you’re looking for a .COM or .NET alternative, look no further. The .WEBSITE extension is the next globally recognized domain name that gives businesses, organizations, and individuals the possibility to expand their online reach. Like .COM, this extension lends itself to any name and works with every industry. You’ll have an easy, recognizable URL ready to advertise your website in no time!

Search for .WEBSITE today!



This new extension is great for sites that share the latest news, gossip, tips and more. Not only is the .BUZZ extension short and easy to remember, it’s also perfect in today’s social media age where web apps are all about instantaneous sharing of memes or gifs. According to Compete.com, Buzzfeed (a website that covers a variety of hot topics including politics, animals, and entertainment), generated roughly 28 million unique users per day in December 2014![1] As sites like Buzzfeed grow in popularity, why not use an extension like .BUZZ to generate interest in your own site! If you want a domain name that’s fun, memorable, and has the power to create buzz around your idea, a .BUZZ is the one for you.

Get started with .BUZZ here!

Which one of these domain extensions are you going to use? To take a look at the long list of new domain extensions and to search for names you’re interested in registering, head to Domain.com and get started today!


This guest blog was provided by Domain.com, the go-to site for affordable, reliable domain name registration and web hosting. In business since 2000, Domain.com offers a full range of solutions to create and market websites to individuals, small businesses, and startups. When you think domain names, think Domain.com.


[1] https://siteanalytics.compete.com/buzzfeed.com/#.VN1L5yl6gas

Evolving Your Domain Strategy; From One to Many

February 26th, 2015

TLD blog - Copy



Gone are the days of buying the name of your company as your domain name, creating an online business, and waiting for the traffic to come to your site.  There are many different strategies today that you can employ – and that your competitors may already be using- to drive more traffic to your site.  Identifying several different ways for your customers to find you on line is the new normal, and the best way to grow your business beyond your digital zip code.

Buying your tag line

Does your company have a tag line?  Are there phrases that describe what you do, or brand promises that you identify with that could be turned into a memorable domain name?  McDonalds owns their well-known tag line ImLovingIt.com, which simply redirects to their main site, www.McDonalds.com.  Using a tag line gives their customers a more enjoyable way of finding their site, while at the same time reinforcing their tag line.

A recent Forbes article describes the owner of the freight company AirFreight.com who purchased several premium domain names including ExpeditedFreight.com, SameDayDelivery.com and many other similar names.  He is not only outperforming delivery giants like FedEx.com in search results, but he is keeping his competition from buying up these names as well.

Buying new TLDs

Thanks to ICANN, the governing body that is responsible for IP addresses, there are hundreds of new TLD options available ranging from generic words like .space and .guru to specific and niche words like .travel and .service.  With availability much wider and names more accessible than many premium .com names, with low prices to match, it makes sense to consider buying any versions of your company name or phrases that describe your products or services to create a memorable domain name.  Some examples of brandable gTLD websites include Website.Builders, Leadership.Training and Visit.London.  All you need is a little creativity to come up with your own unique web address.

There are many different paths to choose when developing a domain name strategy.  One thing is for sure, one domain is not enough.  Our own customer research shows that only 8% of BuyDomains customers own one domain name, whereas 22% own 100+ domains.   With all of the available options today, between primary registration, premium registration and new TLDs, it’s easy to create your own unique and successful domain name strategy.

ARCADE.COM Live Auction February 9th, Submit Pre-Bids NOW!

February 6th, 2015


A premier gaming website waiting to happen!


Today’s Arcade Looks a Little Different

Though the term “arcade” may elicit memories from the 1980s, today’s arcade escaped the brick and mortar limitation and can now be accessed through a myriad of connected devices.  Since the early 2000’s, the gaming industry continues to grow with an impressive 59% of Americans who play either video or computer games.  The profile of the average game player may be a surprise as well; no longer is it the stereotypical geeky young male teenager. Rather, today’s gamer averages 31 years of age and with only a slight gender skew at 52% male and 48% female. There is also a significant segment of 50+ year old gamers, which increased by 32% from 2012-2013.

Growth of Online Gaming

Video game consumption is now turning to alternate delivery methods beyond the traditional console, many of which are accessed through various websites and apps.  This means that the arcade is never as far as your pocket and wireless device.  The potential application for a domain name like Arcade.com in today’s digital landscape is vast; it could be developed as an e-commerce website or even a portal to access a variety of different games.

Factors that are contributing to the growth of this industry include the increase in the number of games that can be played online, the growing numbers of women and adults joining the fun, and the technological advances that allow access from multiple devices.   The excitement and adoption of the gaming industry confirm that Arcade.com is an excellent investment.

If you are interested in acquiring Arcade.com, follow this link to submit your pre-bid or take part in the live auction on February 9th through Heritage Auction:  http://domains.ha.com/itm/arcadecom/a/1133-22.s


Source: The Entertainment Software Industry 2014 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry

You have 8 Seconds. Does Your Website Make the Right Impression?

January 29th, 2015


8 seconds


You’ve got less than 8 seconds.

Commanding consumer’s attention is a difficult task when you only have a few seconds to make an impression. According to recent research, the average adult’s attention span consists of eight seconds, but when it comes to internet browsing it’s even less! The following statistics may require you to reconsider how and what you are posting online and on your webpage.

28% of words on an average webpage (593 words) are read.
4% of page views last more than 10 minutes.
17% of page views last less than 4 seconds.
The average length watched of an online video is 2.7 minutes.

Judging by these percentages, your first impression is crucial. If you want to attract new customers, it is important to realize that your impression is limited to mere seconds. The fate of your business website relies on what consumers take away in those few short moments. Not only are potential customers looking for the right products and services that meet their needs, but they also want to feel comfortable with the business they purchase from, especially if it is an online purchase.

Whether consumers realize it or not they are evaluating your site, checking for credibility, user-friendliness, ease of checkout and more. So how can you meet all this criteria in just a few short seconds? Grab attention with these simple steps.

  1. Keep content “short, sweet, and to the point.” Clearly consumers aren’t reading everything you are diligently trying to publish, so cut back on the length of your content. You can also make your point through visuals as the human brain will absorb the information more efficiently than text.  By keeping your website succinct, not only are you making it easier on yourself, but you are allowing consumers to quickly find the information they want. If they are only spending four seconds on your webpage, their experience should be enticing and informative. You should also take this into consideration if you write a blog. Putting the most important information in the first 100 words may hook potential buyers or current customers to continue reading.
  2. Mobile Friendliness is key. The evidence is everywhere; users are becoming increasingly mobile every year. How your website displays on mobile devices is now a critical factor in establishing the credibility of your business.  In fact, 48% of users say that if they encounter a business site that doesn’t work well on mobile, they take it as an indication that the business does not care.  Ensure that the information your customers search most for can be easily found with 1-2 clicks.
  3. Create a site that is easy to navigate. Website efficiency is key when it comes to keeping people involved. If there are error messages, dead links, or even a difficult check out process, you will lose customers. Making sure that all navigation through your site runs smoothly will allow customers to complete transitions in a timely manner, before their attention span runs out.
  4. Generate immediate credibility with a premium domain name. When searching online, customers will look at your domain name in order to determine the validity of your site. If your name includes unknown words, multiple hyphens, or is just incredibly long, consumers may look over your site, not even giving your web page a chance to speak for itself. By choosing a short, keyword-rich, easily identifiable and brandable name, you can create credibility and entice customers to give your website a chance.

So perhaps the hardest part isn’t grabbing a consumer’s attention, but rather keeping it. The best thing you can do for your website is prove to consumers you are worthy of their attention and also keep in mind you only have eight seconds to do so. Be conscious of the first few lines on your site, blog, or other materials and make sure you are making the right impression.

7 Website Copywriting Tips to Live By

January 8th, 2015


Whether you are new to website copywriting or a seasoned professional, the task at hand is no less daunting. Diving into a topic, while figuring out how to grasp your readers’ attention can be difficult. Here are 7 website copywriting tips to allow you to jump straight into content (without wanting to jump off a cliff).

1. Say What You Mean

The phrase, “Don’t beat around the bush,” has never been more relevant than it is in relation to web copywriting. Readers are likely to move on to the next piece of material, or even the next website, unless the copywriter can quickly grasp their attention. As such, getting to the point as soon as possible is important. Repetition can actively drive readers away.

2. Bullet Points Are Your Friends

Proper spacing eases the readability of any piece of web content. Injection of bullets and numbered points in web copy offers structure and brevity that will often keep your readers through to the end of the article. Lengthy paragraphs with few breaks can deter them before they get started, regardless of how well written or witty the content is.

3. Be Yourself

A reader can always tell when a web copywriter is simply not genuine. Their disinterest in the topic or their sole interest in making money off the copy shows through. Drive web copy with your passion, and you will likely keep your reader intrigued.

4. Believe in Yourself

Like “Be(ing) Yourself”, it is important to believe in yourself as a web copywriter. Doing so shows through your writing. An insecure blogger or web copywriter is likely to hold things back. Readers are looking for a no holds barred approach to the subject at hand. Don’t let insecurities about your writing ability prevent you from providing this to them.

5. Sell Excitement, Not Products

With the exception of the necessary product descriptions, web copy should never be boring. Instead of selling products with your content, sell excitement. Get readers pumped about a new activity, event, product, or service. Build buzz and turn that buzz into loyal readers and even customers.

6. Don’t Forget the Grammar

When all else fails, remember your 7th grade English class where your teacher drilled into you the concept of avoiding run-on sentences and the important differences between its and it’s, who and whom, their/they’re/there, and so on . While your readers are likely not English teachers, they will catch on to poor grammar, which can turn them away from your copy.

7. Remember Who You’re Writing For

It all comes back to your reader. Know who you are writing for and provide content that will appeal to them. Web copywriting for an online business school publication certainly requires greater formality than copy blogging for the local snowboard shop.

In the end, becoming a good web copywriter relies on staying true to yourself. Sharing your passion with readers is the best way to keep them reading.