PALM BEACH, FL – This is a pretty interesting story all though it has come and gone just like yesterday’s old news – no one cares, no one is all that surprised, figuring it was non-sense to begin with, next story please. I suggest domain market participants not let it be forgotten and swept under the rug so soon, because it isn’t at all good for the domain name industry as a whole – and clearly more should be done about it.
Platforms that are used for shill-bidding, price manipulation and fraud should be snuffed out by backlash or abandonment from industry participants until false bids and account misuse is properly handled.
According to “TheDomains.com” an auction at GoDaddy closed in September for the domain name “YMCDN.com” with a winning bid of $127,801.00, an exorbitant amount of cash to spend on an unmemorable five-letter domain name, even with its immense back link profile. Speaking from personal experience, the most I have ever seen (first hand, personal experience; direct) spent on a domain name specifically for its back-link profile was $8,000.00 – and that was a tremendous stretch and leap of faith, even with a better URL and it being 10 years ago when back-links from an expired domain still helped SEO tremendously – they could skyrocket a site in the SERPS, especially powerful for a site with hundreds of thousands of pages (When ‘site authority’ was more in-play than today’s ‘page-specific’ authority).
Who in the world is going to spend well over $125k on a back-link profile? Especially these days…. Insane.
A bunch of comments (almost all of them) on the article as well as NamePros.com posts (“YMCDN.com will it get paid?”) questioned the authenticity of the sale putting doubt on the domain name ever being paid for in the first place…. which turned out to be spot-on correct.
At the end of the day, the winning $127,801.00 bid was reduced to $25,500 when it was finally paid for [still a stretch] – in other words, the price had to be reduced 80% [over $100,000] until its auction would land on a previous bidder that was actually willing to fork-over the cash indicated in their bids. If the winning bidder would have paid for this name at the closing price, they would have overpaid an inflated $100k more than its true market value, due to a week, or near non-existent vetting system at GoDaddy.com.
GoDaddy is not the only platform that has been called out for shill-bidding and fraudulent activity on its platform. In 2017 NameJet.com became the target of numerous stories related to price manipulation leading the company to announced it would change policies. Also in 2017 DropCatch.com was named as another platform which caused inaccurate auction results, however, it was said to be due to a glitch in the system, and it appears the issue was handled more appropriately, transparently and professionally.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®