Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

DomainsBot takes its new gTLD spinner to registries

Kevin Murphy, July 11, 2013, Domain Services

DomainsBot has started promoting its domain name suggestion services to new gTLD registries.

Announced today, its new TLD Recommendation Engine for Registries is designed to make TLD suggestions more relevant when people are hunting for a new domain name.

It’s a sister service to the TLD Recommendation Engine for Registrars that, as we reported last week, DomainsBot hopes to have in place on many of the major registrars’ storefronts when new gTLDs launch.

After last week’s news, Domain Name Wire did a test of its demo and found it lacking in certain areas, such as failing to offer a .accountant domain to a query containing “CPA”.

DomainsBot CEO Emiliano Pasqualetti told DI that the service being announced today will help TLD registries avoid this kind of problem.

In consultation with DomainsBot, they’ll be able to more accurately define the meaning of their TLD string, improving the relevancy of DomainsBot’s results and potentially not missing out on sales.

Under the hood, it’s based on a database of all the existing second-level domains in existence today. DomainsBot wants to connect each second-level string to relevant results in new gTLDs.

“My goal is to pre-classify every existing second-level domain before new gTLDs go live,” Pasqualetti said.

The service is not free, of course. The cheapest tier has an introductory price of $1,000 per month, which Pasqualetti said will go up in future.

It’s “pay for relevancy” rather than “pay for display”, he said. “I’m not saying if you pay me I will display .cpa every time.”

MinardosGroup, which has applied for .build, .construction and .expert, has already signed on to use the service, according to a DomainsBot press release.

DomainsBot to be “at the heart” of new gTLD sales

DomainsBot, which powers the name suggestion feature on most major registrar storefronts, has unveiled a significant update designed to make selling new gTLD domains easier.

The company reckons its new technology will soon be promoted from a follow-up sales tool, rolled out if a customer’s first choice of domain is not available, to “replacing the availability check” entirely.

“The idea is to be at the heart of the process of promoting new gTLDs,” CEO Emiliano Pasqualetti told DI.

The idea is pretty straightforward: a customer types a word into a search box, the service suggests available domain names with conceptually similar TLDs.

There’s a demo online already. If you type “chocolate”, it suggests domains such as chocolate.food, chocolate.menu and chocolate.health. Domain Name Wire did a quick test run today too.

While it may not be perfect today, it was pretty good at finding appropriate TLDs for the keywords I tested.

And Pasqualetti said that under the hood is a machine learning engine that will make its suggestions increasingly more relevant as new gTLD domains start to go on sale.

“It tries to predict which TLD we need to show to each individual using a combination of their query, their IP address and as much history as we can legally collect in partnership with registrars,” Pasqualetti said.

If, for example, customers based in London show a tendency to buy lots of .london domains but hardly ever .rome, Londoners will start to see .london feature prominently on their registrar’s home page.

“We learn from each registrar what people search for and what people end up buying,” he said.

Some registrars may start using the software in their pre-registration portals, increasing relevance before anything actually goes on sale, he said.

My feeling is that this technology could play a big role in which new gTLDs live or die, depending on how it is implemented and by which registrars.

Today, DomainsBot powers the suggestion engine for the likes of Go Daddy, eNom, Tucows and Moniker. Pasqualetti reckons about 10% of all the domains being sold are sold via its suggestions.

Judging by today’s press release, registrars are already starting to implement the new API. Melbourne IT, Tucows and eNom are all quoted, but Pasqualetti declined to specify precisely how they will use the service.

It’s been widely speculated that Go Daddy plans to deploy an automated “pay for placement” system — think AdSense for domains — to determine which TLDs get prominence on its storefront.

Pasqualetti said that’s the complete opposite of what DomainsBot is offering.

“We’re relevance for placement,” he said. “We want to give every TLD a chance to thrive, as long as they’re relevant for the end user.”

According to Pasqualetti (and most other people I’ve been talking to recently) there are a lot of new gTLD applicants still struggling to figure out how to market their TLDs via registrars.

There are about 550 “commercially interesting” applied-for gTLD strings in the DomainsBot system right now, he said. New gTLD applicants may want to make sure they’re one of them.

Next week, the company will reveal more details about how it plans to work with new gTLD registries specifically.