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Domain Housecleaning Survey: Letting Your Domain Registrations Lapse

What percentage of your holdings are you allowing to expire? Why?



2:18 pm on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'd say in the past year I've allowed about 12% of my holdings to drop. Given my total holdings that's not an inconsequential number.

Looking forward I'm considering ever a larger clean-up operation.

Concerning my "personal drops" :), I'm sometimes amused, rarely irritated and typically some degree of happy when someone pick up one of the domains I allowed to expire. Happy because I knew it was a decent domain, just not a domain up to my current standards. When I see a prompt re-reg I'm glad someone else secured a decent property. Also, I get a tiny bit of validation out of the re-registration, like "See, I knew I was on to something".

At least the drop and re-reg confirms that I'm not the only deluded domainer. :P

The tricky part is the selection criteria. What to drop? Why?

I look at traffic. I look at income earned via parking. I look at enduser value of the traffic, since PPC payments are often out of sync with enduser "converted sales lead" value. So I may hold onto some domains that didn't pay for themselves with parking revenue because I perceive an inherent value in the domain and know there is some demand.

Example: A legal domain that may only receive 5-6 type-ins a year, 2-3 clickthroughs. I know each clickthrough could be worth $$$$ to a lawyer so - I wait, patiently - until my lawyer buddies wake up to the reality of competitive marketing in the Web era.

So, what percentage have you allowed to drop during the past year?

What are your thoughts going forward? Plan to refocus? Plan to cull even more?

What criteria are you applying?


2:27 pm on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm in the 10-15% range as well and am pretty much right in lock step with your criteria for drops.

Probably more significant is my decline in new registrations. Don't think I've had more than a handful this year. Though I have picked up some fantastic names at auctions on the cheap.

Some domainers aren't doing a great job of cleaning house as they go along and seem to be getting squeezed out of stellar names. The longer the economic issues continue, the more of this we'll see.


8:46 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I think I've got 200 domains. I rarely let any drop. Maybe I don't have time right now to do anything with it, but what about in 10 years? 20 years? 30?

I learned my lesson when I look at the domains I had 10 years ago that I let lapse.


11:55 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I only have about 20 domains, and I let five of them lapse this quarter. I can't see a reason to keep on holding to them if they're not earning me anything. (Philippine registrants mark up to 20% of the registration fee, so it really cuts into my budget.)


3:05 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have let close to 30% drop. I got on a kick with some geo-targeted names and a medical profession. It turns out I don't have the time to properly develop these names and the medical specialists are not beating down the doors for a Web site just yet.


3:52 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'd say whether to allow certain geo-domains to lapse is one of the toughest calls to make.

IF they are getting type-in traffic and clicks that aren't in smart pricing hell that may be a sign that the domain traffic is converting.

Riding out the latest economic turmoil is challenging and cutting costs is clearly a meritorious strategy. Sometimes we just gotta bite the bullet, do what we gotta do, etc.

But . . . on the other side of the downturn . . is the ever present and growing reality: Businesses are and will continue to get their new clients from the WWW.


Those danged geotargeted type-in domains will, at some point, look mighty tasty to someone for whom a converted client lead holds $$$$ value.

Tough times. Tough decisions. I've bit - hard - on the bullet so many times I'm going to need major dental work. ;P Too bad I don't own (MyState/Dentist.com). I might be able to work a deal. ;)


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