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Happy 25th Birthday to the .COM

It’s been able to get married for almost a decade; and voted in the last two elections, but another important age has been reached: The .com domain name is now 25 years old.

The very first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com, on behalf of ’80s computer maker Symbolics.

That year – 1985 – there were just 5 further domains registered. The growth in domain names remained fairly slow for the next 10 years, and it wasn’t until 1997 that the 1million milestone was reached.

These days and astonishing 100,000 domain names registered every day, and a total of 86m that are active. A further 113m .com websites have come and gone.

Falling costs

The low early numbers was partly down to the cost. A domain name cost several hundred pounds. Not so any more – you can register a .com domain name with WebEden for  £11.99 a year.

Some domain names have gone on to be worth a lot more than their original registration cost – as we saw with our coverage of the world’s most expensive domain name.

Not many left

With 86 million domains in circulation, there have been worries that there are not enough domain names left. In fact, there are just 35,000 unregistered single word .com or .net domain names remaining. You can see them all – and be inspired to snap them up – over at lastwordsleft.com.

What happened to Symbolics.com?

What about Symbolics, that domain name pioneer? They went bust a few years ago, although the domain has been snapped up by a speculator.

Do you own a great domain name? Are you interested in speculating in the online real estate of domains? Leave us a comment below.

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The world’s most expensive domain name is going to auction

One of the longest running Internet sagas is set to take a further twist tomorrow. The world’s most expensive domain name is set to go to auction. And if you’ve got $1m lying around – the minimum starting bid – you could get yourself a piece of the action.

Action is perhaps the right word, because the domain name in question is Sex.com.

DOM Partners LLC, the company selling the domain, acquired it for and eye watering $14m back in 2006

Is it worth it?

How can a domain name be worth that much money? At the end of the day its all about eyeballs. Long before the likes of Google, Facebook and others rocked up, the sure fire way of making money online was in pornography.

The amount of searches for porn on Google each day is enormous. Add to that the number of people who will just type ‘sex’ into their address bar, and you can see that sex.com has the potential to grab lots and lots of visitors. As our SEO Guide will tell you, having a domain name that includes a keyword that you want to rank highly for is an important way to boost your position on Google.

According to a 2008 book The Sex.com Chronicles by Charles Carreon, the domain was already making $15,000 a day a few years ago.

Other high value domain sales include:

fund.com ($10m)
porn.com ($9.5m)
business.com ($7.5m)
diamonds.com ($7.5m)

An interesting history

The sex.com domain was first registered back in the early 90s, and it has had a colourful history. Would-be rival owners have included Mexican jails; there have been international chases; and plenty of pursuits, accusations of hacking, and legal action.

It seems that there’s quite a few people who want the domain. Richard Maltz the auctioneer said “we don’t know who’s serious and who’s not, but prospective bidders need a $1m certified cheque. It should be interesting.”

Fancy grabbing it and using it for your WebEden website? No, I thought not!

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