Premium .ME Domains Now Up For Sale
Back in September of 2007, the country of Montenegro was given the 2-letter country code designation of .me for their international top-level domain. Since then, the .me registry has been using the English definition of the word “me” as a promotional device aimed at individuals and companies wishing to have a more personal domain than a generic .com address. However, after seeing the domain market explode on previous top-level domains, the .me registry decided to hold on to various groups of what they considered to be premium domains.
These groups mostly consisted of popular first and last names from all over the world. At different stages, the registry released the names to auction and allowed the market to dictate the value. In fact, the domain you’re looking at now was once at auction and obviously I won. The name groups sold for anywhere from $200 to over $4,000! The remaining groups of premium domains consisted of even more popular names as well as word plays like About.me.
Well it looks like some of the last premium domains are coming for sale. The difference this time is that instead of just throwing them into an auction, they have decided to take applications. This enables the registry to closely monitor how these premium domains are going to be used. The downside to this format is that it will keep almost all of the small players out of the game. Some of the domains that are up for sale now are Around.me, Fund.me, Find.me, For.me and Hire.me.
And you can guess how much these will go for! I like this idea only because I’m tired of seeing so many wasted premium domains out there pointing to a silly parking page while the owner hopes someone comes along and wants to pay millions for the privilege of owning such a domain. Yet at the same time, little guys like me would never have a chance to own a high profile domain unless we can come up with the capital to make a great idea come to life.
I honestly hoped that the .me extension would have taken off better than it did. When the first sets of premium domains were being auctioned, it was like a firesale! I was monitoring over 100 first and last name domains just to see what kind of prices they commanded and was surprised that just about every single one of them had over 5 bidders. But after the dust settled, I went back and checked on some of these domains to see what their current status is and at least nine out of ten are just parking pages for a sales listing on Sedo.com. Clearly it was the domain speculators that saw more value in this new extension than the average person.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t buy this domain as an investment…I bought it because it’s my first name and what better domain to use for a blog than that?! But it still would have been nice if more people felt the same as me and picked up their own names for a personal or business site. One advantage that .me has over other International domain extensions is that Google recognizes it as United States applicable domain. For example, if you register a .gy domain, like I did for my URL shortening service frg.gy, Google Webmaster Tools won’t let you change the geographical target for your traffic. In this case, I’m stuck with Guyana. This could have a huge impact on my search results since I’m running that site from the United States and it is not geared towards the people of Guyana.