IDN Sale: Top Arabic Domains

We have been sitting on our IDN (International Domain Names) portfolio without any turnover for a while now. While I have no desire to liquidate Rick Latona style, I do think it is smart to heed his advice and turn over inventory every so often. This is also a time where it would help us to generate a little extra cash flow to support other development.

I imagine many people are unfamiliar with IDN’s sales and analysis, so I am going to try to walk you through how we can basically analyze IDN’s for this sale.

The two domains are both Arabic terms. They are .net’s, which is arguably the most popular extension in the Arabic speaking world and used by many of the leading Arabic sites. There is an auction running now on IDNchannel.com, or you can Buy It Now for $700 each by responding to this post.

Here are the basics: (if you only see boxes below you may need to add the Arabic font from your language pack)

الصور.net – (the) Pictures xn--mgbul3dva.net

الاغاني.net – (the) Songs xn--mgbaa9e3bp2a.net

Not being fluent in a language can be difficult in terms of analyzing a domain. To replace that, we stick with statistical analysis that can help us judge its worth, along with validation from native speakers. Overture (albeit one year old data due to Yahoo shutting it down) or search results can be very indicative.

Overture is the amount of searches per month in Yahoo. These are US overture results. Arabic names that return US overture in the thousands shows the popularity of the name as only the top words have returns in the thousands.

Pictures: 1,138
Songs: 1,271

Search results, for example the number of pages returned in a Google search, can also help give clarity on the popularity of a term.

Google search results:
Pictures: 55,700,000
Songs: 12,500,000

Another great tool is Google trends. Click here to see the trends by region, city, and language for the Pictures term and click here for the Songs results. One thing you’ll notice is that there are many countries that speak Arabic and search for these terms (even in the United States). This is why .com and .net TLD’s are much more popular for Arabic than country code extensions. In general, our .net Arabic domains have performed as well as our Arabic .com’s.

We have found parking statistics to be fairly useless for Arabic domains. Every so often a parked page will actually get indexed by an Arabic search engine and our views will sky rocket. Other than that, however, the natural type-in traffic for Arabic IDN’s is fairly low, mainly due to the lack of understanding by users that they can type in such a domain. However, as seen by our increases when indexed, the interest can be massive and developed IDN’s are sure to prosper. Our company lacks the expertise to develop Arabic domains currently, so selling a few of these out of our large Arabic portfolio will not hurt us currently and could potentially help (the rest of our portfolio) if others due decide to develop these IDN’s.

There is obviously a discount built into the price of these domains due to the infamiliarity of the language to non-Arabic speakers or writers. It limits development and a true understanding of the term. However, in the same manner, the upside potential of these type of domains could be huge. IDN’s have only become prominent in the last year or two and growth is on the rise. Having something like this in your portfolio is like having 5 or 10 year lottery tickets that diversify your risk away from English, the US economy, and the US dollar longer term.

To understand IDN’s, please read up on them on Wikipedia, but in general they are domains in the native language script. Ther is also an active forum with useful information at IDNchannel.com. If you want to try them out, make sure you are using Firefox, Safari, or IE7 as your web browser. While you may think that is a limitation, the growth of those browsers is extensive and limits IDN use very little any more. Also, to see the unicode (the true script of the language) in the URL field of Internet Explorer, you need to go to Tools->Options->Languages and add all the Arabic fonts. This is of course standard in Arabic speaking users browsers.

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