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Realnames resolves to -> gone.com
MS backs out

 1:53 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

On 1 July Realnames closes down. MS, holding 20% in the company, stops it's engagement.
About 80 people get fired.
Realnames keywords will probably cease to work.
Washington Post [washingtonpost.com]



 1:55 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Realnames keywords will probably cease to work

Well, there goes my 2 hits per year.


 2:47 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is Realname part of some search engine algo?

Will it influence the ranking on Google?


 3:56 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Realnames failed because they didn't treat their customers well. I worked with Realnames before MSN took them over, and the experience was incredibly negative.

I have to say though, the concept is a good idea. But what really makes me wonder: why didn't Microsoft advertise it to death to train consumers/ surfers how Realnames works?

It reminds me of a company my husband worked for who had a contract with MSN a few years back. The contract stated that MSN was to pay the company a certain amount of money each time the software was sold for one year. After the year was up, the software became property of MSN, and no fees had to be paid.

So, for one year, Microsoft didn't do anything with the software. No advertising, nothing. Exactly on the day after the contract was up, MSN started advertising the software as their own and began making an effort to actually make it known.

So, this just makes me wonder: what is Microsoft really up to?

I have pounded the RealNames/ SmartTags connection to death in these forums to the point people are sick of it, but I can't get away from the idea that somehow, someway, they are connected. The concept is so similiar behind the two of them. SmartTags is like Realnames 2.0.

With RealNames biting the dust, I have to wonder: is this the trigger that will make SmartTags ubiquitous?

ubiquitous: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : WIDESPREAD

(I had to look it up too.)

Pay for placement is now widely accepted as the way to make a site rank well. Microsoft needs something new and fuzzy to advertise to combat the anti Microsoft sentiment. Why wouldn't they push SmartTags as something that 'Helps you find what you need on the Internet'?


 4:09 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is Realname part of some search engine algo?

Angiolo, hardly part of an algo, but search on MSN for "barbie". And the "first" listing, a "featured site", with the little round sign on the top left is a real name type, I believe. For the rest I have never encountered any extra weighting of realnames in Search engine algos, certainly not in Google, but I remain to be corrected.


 4:52 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to say I'm pleased. That product should never have been out.

Realnames/Internet keywords what-ever have been up for debate so many times, and the conclusion was always that their business model and their sales people were way out of line. In Denmark we have numerous examples where the reps litteraly tried to scare the potentiel customers into buying that overpriced stuff.

>there goes my 2 hits
Wow, you got 2 hits out of it?


 5:12 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

> Is Realname part of some search engine algo?

Not really, but in MSIE (if your browser is set to the default search), entering a "keyword" in the address bar will navigate directly to the keyword site.


 5:16 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Back when they first started in '96 we purchased a few "real names" for some of our domains. Even then we got little to no traffic out of it and no one ever seemed to be able to answer our questions so we dropped them when they came due the next year.

Most recently I saw the keywords for sale on directnic and a friend and I looked through the information and definitely had some questions. When I called they either had someone manning the help line that didn't have a clue what was going on or they just weren't giving answers for some reason. It was almost funny the run around we got. Of course, we declined to give them any money since they couldn't/wouldn't tell us what we needed to know.

No great loss I think.


 6:00 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I treid numerous times to get information from them over the last year or two and never got a response form anyone.

Oh well, no big deal.


 8:06 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)


Just a little over a week ago RealNames announced that their Chairman and CEO was joining the SnapNames Board of Directors.


 8:37 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Confession: I used Realnames when it first started. I paid $100 for 1 year service. I did not receive 1 single hit from Realnames in that 1 year. So I politely cancelled even at the bargain resubscribe rate.

Awhile back someone sent me this link regarding Realnames which influenced my decision.

Few Net surfers use RealNames' keyword service

Mikkel Svendsen

 10:59 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Finally! It sure took them a long time to close down :)
It is one company that I will not miss!


 11:14 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Finally! It sure took them a long time to close down

HAHA! Mikkel, that's really the first thought that went through my mind when I read the opening post.


 11:45 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the post cjtripnewton and welcome to WmW.

I have read the thing about SnapNames three times, and I can't figure out what it is they sell:

SnapNames.com, Inc., the provider of domain name infrastructure
technology and authoritative industry data and analysis, uses its
patent-pending technologies to facilitate an equal-opportunity
secondary domain name marketplace.

What is a secondary domain name marketplace?

To your quesiton, angiolo, at one time, having a realname put the search result at the top of the page of many searches much as Overture sponsored searches are today. However, that ended when MSN took them over. I have not heard of any realname affecting an algo, though.

Mikkel Svendsen

 11:56 pm on May 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes, people who know me locally know that I have been fighting the product quite actively.

First of all I have never seen any proof of value that justify the price they charged – not even in the old days when it was $100. But most important, I have been fighting the product because I simply don’t like the idea of any single company having the sole rights to a naming standard on the Internet.

This product would only have become successful if most Internet users had stopped using regular domain names and switched to RealNames. That was realNames goal. What a nightmare!

Imagine having a private enterprise like them owning one the rights to one of the most fundamental part of a the Internet – the addressing standard. Do you think they would continue to charge “only” $399, $499 or $599 a year? Why not $10999?

I am so happy I don’t have to waste more time explaining customers why they should not waste their budgets on RealNames. It is much simpler now that they are gone :)


 12:58 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I remember the free versoin of realnames... what was that all about... it didnt even work it alowd you to get a god listing for your full website title... if you where lucky. :)


 4:25 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting.. They are to close on July 1 and they HAVE NO NOTICE ON THEIR SITE!
Only when you check the names:
"This feature of our website is currently unavailable. We are undergoing routine maintenance from May 10 at 3:00 PM (PST) to May 13 at 3:00 PM (PST). Please be sure to come back to RealNames later when this service is restored. Thanks for your patience. "
Well, they had a hope..

Bye bye.


 6:06 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

"They are to close on July 1 and they HAVE NO NOTICE ON THEIR SITE! "

Must have gone to the U of Look$mart business school.


 11:24 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

They are still selling keywords here in Scandinavia without informing their salesforce and resellers about this decision.


 11:31 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Right Tor, they even tried to sell some to Danish companies this morning knowing that it had ended. Unbelievable!


 11:43 am on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's an interesting comment from Keith Teare, the founder of RealNames: [teare.com...]

He also includes a summary of the latest meeting between RealNames and Microsoft.


 12:03 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thank`s for this background information on what has been going on behind the scene.


 1:08 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Rumbas, I know your clients have been peppering you with questions... here's a fairly, ummmm, blunt article from The Register [theregister.co.uk]. Send them that.


 2:10 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)



 2:42 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

can't say i'm sorry, i never had any but have been pitched over the phone, including only last week!!

their sales staff seemed remarkably uninformed about how the product even worked (not)


 2:46 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Glad to see them go...

Richard Lowe


 2:58 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just got a call from a third party calling on behalf of Microsoft selling "key phrases". He said it is basically the same product that was formerly Real Names.
Cost: $350 for your company name
Other phrases available depending on the phrase.

Mikkel Svendsen

 3:30 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

dvduval, yes, and I know a guy that sells realy cheap gold watches ;)

I don't think right now would be the best time to purchase such stuff ...


 3:49 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Where the hell did RealNames' $100 million go? Man, anybody who has read an ASP tutorial could set up that service in a couple of weeks. One hundred million dollars! You could give every citizen in an African country access to clean water for that price! That's how much it's going to cost to eradicate polio! My god.


 3:56 pm on May 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wont miss them I have to say :) All their sales reps would call up pitching the thing and I would say no one searches that way and they would beg to differ, heheheh i know where my traffic comes from ;)

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
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