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Sold for over $20k, and back in .ai’s expired names auction

Kevin Murphy, January 26, 2024, Domain Sales

The Government of Anguilla has put its latest batch of expired .ai domains up for auction, including a handful of single-word names and a great many three-character strings. There are 1,878 domains on the list.

At least two of the domains being auctioned off were reported sold earlier this month at the last .ai expired names auction —, which fetched a winning bid of $24,700, and, which reached $21,311.

They were the third and fourth most-expensive domains in the earlier auction. The domains’ Whois show the registry is still the current registrant, so the winning bidder(s) presumably didn’t pay up.

Other English dictionary-word domains that caught my eye include,,,,,,, and

The list is notable for the number of times the word “meta” appears — well over 100 times. This is presumably due to these three facts: 1) .ai has a two-year minimum registration term, 2) it takes 90 days for expired names to make it to auction, and 3) Facebook rebranded itself as Meta in October 2021.

For any masochists among you, some obvious cybersquats are also listed for sale, including, and Remember, .ai uses the UDRP too.

The auction ends February 5.

Google sells five-figure AI domain and six-figure .ing hack

Kevin Murphy, November 27, 2023, Domain Sales

A single-letter domain, an AI-related name, and a category-killer domain hack appear to have been sold by Google Registry during the latest week of its ongoing Early Access Period for the new .ing gTLD.

Judging by the .ing zone file, at least three domains have been registered in .ing since I last posted about the apparent seven-figure sale of a couple weeks ago.

The new names are, and I assume refers to war hero Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computing and namesake of the Turing Test, used to judge AI intelligence. was registered first, on November 13, when it would have incurred a six-figure price tag, according to published registrar retail prices. The registrant is listed as Google via the registrar Markmonitor.

Unlike and, the other two were registered via GoDaddy (albeit with redacted registrant names) so we can be more confident they are actually sales to third-party registrants.

Both and were registered shortly after Google’s EAP rolled over into week three pricing ($35,000 at 101Domain‘s low-end prices, as a guide) on November 21 at 1600 UTC.

If Whois can be relied upon, the registrant is based in Texas and the registrant in Arizona. is the only one trying to resolve currently, from where I’m sitting, but it fails due to a cert error.

Google’s EAP enters week four tomorrow at 1600 UTC, at which point prices fall daily until they settle at general availability pricing on December 5.

Did somebody spend a million bucks on a Google domain hack?

Kevin Murphy, November 14, 2023, Domain Sales

There’s evidence that Google Registry may have sold a .ing domain name for seven figures during its pre-launch period.

Google is well into its Early Access Period for the new gTLD, which runs for five weeks with premium prices decreasing every week or day until December 5, when they go to general availability pricing.

The EAP was notable for just how premium the first-week prices were — if you really wanted a quality domain hack for your business, it would cost you well north of $1 million.

But as far as I can tell from zone files, just one domain was added during that first week —, which has a Whois creation date of November 6, well within the cut-off for the seven-figure price tag.

The domain does not resolve and Whois currently shows Google itself as the registrant and Google’s go-to registrar, Markmonitor, as the registrar.

So it may be a self-reg, but waiting until EAP to grab a name in-house when Google has had literally years to do so does seem unusual.

Belgian MP registers Hamas domain, redirects to IDF

Kevin Murphy, October 16, 2023, Domain Sales

A member of the Belgian parliament has reportedly registered and redirected it to the Israeli Defense Forces’ web site.

Michael Freilich, the country’s only Jewish MP, bought the domain after seeing it was available and to keep it out of the hands of Hamas supporters, according to The Jerusalem Post.

He also reportedly caused the deletion of a payment processing account linked to Hamas.

His actions follow the massacre of Israelis and others by Hamas terrorists October 7, which kicked off a conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

Did Andrew Tate buy for a “record-breaking” sum?

Kevin Murphy, October 6, 2023, Domain Sales

The category-killer domain name appears to have been sold to the world’s biggest douchebag, Andrew Tate.

According to a press release from last-but-one owner, the domain changed hands last month for “an undisclosed, but record-breaking amount”. The buyer, according to the release, is The Real World, and the seller is an individual name Syed Hussaini.

The Real World is Andrew Tate’s alleged pyramid scheme in which users pay $50 a month for access to tutorials on subjects such as online content creation, cryptocurrency, drop-shipping, and marketing.

It looks like your basic get-rich-quick scam, with testimonials from alleged members bragging about making tens of thousands of dollars a month.

The domain currently leads to the same offering as on a redesigned site. The Real World was in turn the second iteration of Tate’s Hustler’s University offering, which shut down last year.

The Real World’s app was banned from Apple’s App Store last month due to claims it is an illegal pyramid scheme and is used to spread misogynistic views.

If the domain sale was indeed a “record-breaker” — and I don’t think the source is 100% reliable in this case — it would have to have topped the $30 million paid for back in 2019.

Tate could probably afford it. If his scheme does in fact have 200,000 subscribers at $50 a month, he’s pulling in $120 million a year.

If you’ve never heard of Tate — lucky you — he’s a former kickboxer and social media influencer best known for turning a generation of teenage boys into misogynists. He’s currently out on bail in Romania following charges of sex trafficking and rape, which he denies.

London Domain Summit starts tomorrow

Kevin Murphy, August 21, 2023, Domain Sales

The second London Domain Summit is to kick off tomorrow, August 22, with a two-day agenda blending domain investor and local domain policy themes.

The conference, at the Hilton London Metropole, is being organized by founder Helmuts Meskonis, who also owns two popular domainer forums: DNForum and AcornDomains.

Registration is available on the door and currently costs £50 for the two days.

It’s a single-track agenda, so nobody’s going to have to choose between sessions they find interesting.

I will be attending.

On the policy side of things, the highlights are a Q&A with Nominet director Kieren McCarthy, who was elected by members last year following hustings at the inaugural Summit, and a separate session with the UK government’s representative to ICANN, Nigel Hickson.

Two of this year’s three Nominet director candidates — Steven Wright and Thomas Rickert — will debate during the final session of the conference on Wednesday. The third, rejected candidate, Jim Davies, may well be in the audience. Andrew Bennett of Netistrar moderates.

There’s also going to be a panel on “Web3” domains — presumably meaning blockchain-based alt-roots — hosted by sponsor

A few sessions are set to focus on opportunities in other regions — namely the Middle East, Africa and China.

The domainer-oriented sessions cover the usual topics of monetization and premium sales with speakers from the likes of Sedo, CentralNic, BrandForce and Not exactly my wheelhouse, but there’s nothing on the agenda that looks uninteresting and I anticipate checking out most sessions.

That said, if any fellow attendees fancy a hallway chat or a coffee or want to smash my face in or whatever, feel free to collar a fatter, grayer, shagged-out version of whatever photos you’ve previously seen of me, or slide into my DMs.

UPDATE — this post was updated August 24 to correct the number of candidates in this year’s Nominet election. Apologies to David Thornton, the candidate I neglected to mention, who did not participate. among domains in NamesCon auction

Kevin Murphy, May 18, 2023, Domain Sales

Right Of The Dot has published the list of domains it hopes to help auction off during the forthcoming NamesCon 2023 conference in Texas, and my highlight has to be

ROTD said in a press release that the headline lots of the auction, which seems to have 451 listed domains, are:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, god.eth,,,,,, rap.hipHop,, and

While is certainly not the domain with the best monetization/development potential, it catches the eye due to the fantastically divisive nature of the word itself, which is coming to dominate culture-wars political bullshit in the English-speaking world.

While “woke” ideology is arguably simply a modern restatement of the Golden Rule, it can mean very different things to different people — at one extreme it means welcoming the reintroduction of racial segregation and getting people fired for wearing a hat, and at the other it means buying a closet full of AR-15s because drag queens are coming to cut off your son’s penis.

The algorithm at the parking page it currently points to thinks it relates to beds.

It’s going to be fascinating to see who, if anyone, buys it, and what they do with it. It’s listed with a starting bid north of $250,000. and both have starting bids above $1.5 million, while starts at over $1 million.

The auction runs online at and live at NamesCon for the next three weeks.

Typo .com on sale for $94 million

Kevin Murphy, March 1, 2023, Domain Sales

Somebody has listed what they call the “Saudi National Domain” for sale for a laughable $94 million, despite it apparently being a typo.

The domain name in question is, according to a press release that crossed the wires this week.

You’ll notice the addition of a Y to the traditional English spelling/transliteration of Arabia, which is something the release doesn’t shy away from acknowledging.

The would-be seller says it’s “the correct Arabic spelling of ‘Arabia,’ using the letter ‘y.'”, pointing to Arabic TV news channel Al-Arabiya as an example of this spelling.

The problem is, “Saudi Arabiya” doesn’t seem to be an official transliteration of the country’s name, and you’d be hard pressed to find examples of anyone referring to it in that way.

Some European languages do spell the “Arabia” component of the name with a Y, but none appear to call it “Saudi Arabiya”.

The registrant wants to sell the name via, and is offering buyers the chance to lease the name for a year for $4 million before handing over the full asking price.

“Everyone thinks you’re a spammer” if you buy keyword domains, says Googler

Kevin Murphy, February 16, 2023, Domain Sales

A veteran Google “Search Advocate” has said he’s “not a fan” of keyword-rich domain names, partly because they’ll make people think you’re a spammer.

John Mueller responded to a Reddit thread from a user wondering whether it’s worth splashing out $2,000 on a two-keyword .com domain for his new business.

Mueller responded, according to Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Journal:

I’m not a fan of keyword-keyword domains, but YMMV [your mileage may vary]. Random thoughts:

everyone thinks you’re a spammer

changing business focus, or even expanding, is harder

you have no brand name, there’s nothing that people can search for which “obviously” should show your site. You’re always competing, you’re not building value with long-term users. for sale, but it’s not a domain deal

Kevin Murphy, January 19, 2023, Domain Sales

The owners of, which for many years was the highest-price domain sale ever recorded, have put the site on sale.

The unidentified sellers say they will accept minimum bids of $20 million, with at least $10 million up front, in an auction that began yesterday and will run until January 31.

The domain alone sold for $13 million in 2013, but this offer is for the full site, so don’t expect it to make it to any domain sales league tables.

The sellers say the site is an “innovative blend of popular social platforms”. That appears to mean it’s a blend of features borrowed from TikTok and OnlyFans.

In the name of journalistic integrity I checked it out.

The main page is basically a feed of short teaser videos of porn models posing or performing sex acts, accompanied by invitations to subscribe to their feeds for modest monthly subscription fees.

The site’s sellers say they receive 20% of the subscription fees, with the models taking the rest.

They say they get over a million daily unique visitors. Most appear to be to the legacy “pin” business, which allows users to create collections of porn content, the site’s primary business prior to July 2021.

Interested bidders can sign up at

Update: when tweeting a link to this post, I discovered Twitter won’t allow links to (which Twitter had auto-linked from the headline) because it thinks the site is “potentially harmful”.