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|Local Search & Zip Code URLs: A Domain-Search Model That Works in .US gTLD?|
Newly launched .US Zip Code Network Challenges Marchex's .Com Zip Code Network
New nationwide zipcode network of sites in .us is launched
|For example, <my zip code><gibberish>.us is NOT reserved, and apparently can be registered. |
It gets stranger still.
Do a WHOIS lookup on <any zip code><gibberish>.us, and it shows as not registered.
Attempt to register it at a registrar, though, and it shows that it is "taken".
Click on "whois" at the registrar, and it once again shows as not registered.
Neustar (the .us registry) is under contract with the US government to develop this out. Neustar has contracted with Vendare to help develop it. There's nothing sinister going on here. All us zip codes have been reserved by the registry since day 1. In a nutshell, this is the tipping point for .us domains ... once it's all fully developed and marketed. This is NOT going to be just a bunch of identical MFA looking sites I promise you that ... this is HUGE.
"...the new registry and registry operator for the .us TLD is a commercial company, Neustar, which also is the registry and registry operator for the new gTLD .biz.......and no significant pressure from users/registrants in the domain--indeed, many of them argued against it. And the DOC RFP essentially required a commercial operator with commercial intentions..."
"Only NeuStar has the combination of technical and public resource service capabilities required to
ensure proper administration of the usTLD"
From what I can see, they don't yet have zip code-specific geo targeting.
The sites look nice visually, and give you the impression that everything is specific to a particular location, but they don't necessarily function that way at the moment.
I tried the link for "restaurants" on my local zip code domain, and no ads or listings for any local restaurants appeared. Instead, I see some ppc ads for a national restaurant chain, a hotel in Las Vegas etc.
Then I tried the same "restaurants" link for a zip code from another state, halfway across the country, and I see the exact same set of generic ads.
They're obviously going to need to some sort of geotargeted content in order to make this concept work -- at a bare minimum, they need the basic phone listing data for restaurants and the handful of other categories they are promoting on the front page.
It strikes me as rather odd that they would go live with thousands of sites without first making sure they had some geotargeted content ready to go.
|This is NOT going to be just a bunch of identical MFA looking sites |
Wake me when it's done.
Right now, it sure is a bunch of identical MFA looking sites.
The requirement that sites be registered with a .us TLD in order to be listed I think will prevent this from going much of anywhere.
Seems pretty scammy to me.
But we (the public, and webmasters) let them get away with it.
I don't see how this benefits anybody but Neustar.
hmmm... I just checked a domain I manage, one I used to own and sold a few years ago.
At one time I also had <nameoftown>.us and <nameoftown>.ma.us
I got these back in the day when you didn't have to pay for domain names, just register them so I never kept track of the registrations (before I registered my own names, the company I had co-lo space at got me the names as a "bonus")...
Anyway, now I find that WHOIS shows both as: Domain Status: client DeleteProhibited
Domain Status: client RenewProhibited
Domain Status: client TransferProhibited
Domain Status: client UpdateProhibited
Although the <nameoftown>.ma.us still resolves to the site... Someone snagged the ".us" version through GoDaddy (but apparently they stand to lose it to the zip code snatchers).
Something is rotten --- and it ain't in Denmark.
This thread made me look up Canadian postal codes using .ca extension, and guess what... every one I looked up is owned by Yellow Pages. While Canadian postal codes use 6 characters, the first 3 are the important ones as they define the area. For example, m4k.ca, m4j.ca, m3j.ca, l4a.ca, etc. Seems they were all bought in 2005. Yellow Pages has been very busy buying .ca domains over the past year.
|This thread made me look up Canadian postal codes using .ca extension, and guess what... every one I looked up is owned by Yellow Pages |
Even if they were available, I wouldn't bother to register them. Unless you are the phone company, (or Google), I don't see how anyone could generate enough content to make use of 50,000+ zip code / postal code domains in any TLD.
Beside "name, address, phone" (list type) information is not copyright protected -- if that's all they have, people will scrape the sites and build true "local content" sites around it. Without human edits, you would only be able to compete for BigYellow, SuperPages, WeatherChannel style sites --- then you need a fleet of ad salespeople to get anywhere.
Even if NueStar rolls out this (.us) zipcode thing, they still need a lot more than a list of zipcodes to that cross reference to list type info.
Show me the money --- or at least show me where it will come from before genuflections are in order.
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