Domainers who own the Web

By | August 13, 2007

While there is a domain conference going on somewhere in Seattle (which doesnt really involve you or me), something jolted my mind today – how some of the biggest dotcom moguls today quietly made their fortunes while the rest of the world slept, almost ten years ago. These are the guys you never really see or hear about, unless you are into the business of domaining. They own thousands, or hundreds of thousands of domains, so much so they are referred to as major league domainers.

Although there are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of domainers all trying to make some money from the Web, these guys below are the real kingpins. Forget 10k, 30k or even 50k a month, some of these guys have hundreds of millions in personal fortunes!

A word of caution, before you run off and register domains hoping to be the next Web millionaire, I need to warn you, there are very few good domains and very many crap domains. So before you empty your wallet, spare a thought that someone might actually want to use your domain for a real website. There is no point to hand register a lot of domains that draws zero traffic and is a waste of names, money and time. I see a lot of newbies tend to run off and register a handful of names only to wonder why nobody visits their domains.

Your best bet is really just to take the new domain you registered and TURN it into a website or else buy an existing one from someone or from an auction. It does take a lot of learning, or else you are just burning a hole in your pocket.

The most valuable domains are generic domains, the so-called direct navigation domains. I personally do not type in a generic name into my browser when I want to look for a term, but it seems many people do. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, there are only a limited quantity of profitable generic domains, and that is why they cost a lot of money now.

Can you imagine what it means to own generic domains like that? It means you bypassing the search engines and not having to bury your head in SEO stuff or black hat/grey hat or whatever kind of hat you want to name it. It means not having to bother about backlinks, crosslinks, outlinks, inlinks and what have you. Your traffic just comes like “magic”.

Based on the data from registrars, 2007 has been a really frenzied year for domain registrations, and it looks like most if not all sensible dot com names will be gone soon, until people start realizing that many domains do not get traffic…. that it takes hard work to build traffic to a raw name…..so unless you own a high quality generic domain, your dream of retiring soon might take a while longer to realize.

Well, we can’t be as fortunate as these men, I guess. This is just a short list, but I think their combined domains alone pull in enough traffic to be even seen from space.

  • Frank Schilling – Considered one of the most successful domainers ever, he lives in the Cayman Islands. Something that might be of interest, is that he doesn’t seem to think much of the .mobi extension, and has over 300,000 domains in his stable.
  • Kevin Ham – A mega domainer, this former doctor turned domainer has a personal fortune estimated at $300 million; more famous for HitFarm.com and the recent .cm controversy involving typos of the .com extension without the “o”. By the way, .cm is the extension for Cameroon. His nickname – “The man who owns the Internet”.
  • Sahar Sarid – A reclusive figure in domaining circles, he also is believed to possess thousands upon thousands of domain names that make him millions a year.
  • Alex Tabibi – Described as the Noah of the Internet, Tabibi is the owner of many generic pet names like Bird.com, Horse.com and Fish.com among many others.
  • Rick Schwartz – A long time domainer, he is perhaps more famous for being the owner of Candy.com and has enough domains that make him to the tune of several millions a year.

I think Kevin Ham puts it best, “If you own all the domains, you control the Internet”. Talk about control. Something else I noticed, the blogging bug has finally caught on with many of these domainers (this year), but if you’re looking for domains, I’m afraid you won’t be finding any domains for free, or for sale over there 😉

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