Long Island, New York-based Searchen Networks has put nearly 160 geo-targeted domains in auction at Flippa. The domain names are focused on Long Island and include:
I connected this week with fellow-Long Islander John Colascione who is the President & CEO of Searchen Networks to learn more about his domain portfolio and background on the Long Island-focused domains. As husband and wife domainers, John works with his wife Denise who handles most of the books, clerical and finances. Denise remembers when this all started out at almost a dollar a day, so she has been pleasantly surprised with a few transactions over the years.
According to Colascione, Searchen Networks’ domain portfolio consists of 400 – 500 domain names and 50% – 70% of the domains are about Long Island. When asked how he procured most of the domains, John said “Approximately 40% of my domain names have been hand registered. 40% picked up after drops, expiration, etc… 20% purchased directly from a seller on a forum, sedo, etc. I believe the most I have ever spent on a single domain name was about $6k or $7K.”
When asked why he decided to sell his domain portfolio on Flippa, Colascione said “I think Flippa will become more popular quickly now that they have purchased Domain Holdings. I like the site as it is easy to use and has a lot of people using it.”
The Colascione’s main businesses, which are NOT for sale, are LongIslandExchange.com, NewsLI.com and LIUsedCars.com. When asked what their plans are after they sell their Long Island-related domains, it was no surprise when John replied “Same stuff really. I only want to hold what I want to use in the very near future, or what is considered part of what I am doing with Long Island Exchange. I also changed the criteria for the names I want to hold onto. I look more at generic terms. Everything else I want to sell off. I have accumulated just too much over the years and spent a tremendous amount of money on my digital empire. Now I need to sell off some stuff to realize some gains on these ‘so-called’ investments.”
Without question, the “Directory” business model has changed over the years and since they built and operate LongIslandExchange.com I asked Colascione what advice he would give to new domainers and domain investors/speculators who are interested in geo-directory names/businesses?
Colascione agrees that “the geographic niche has changed tremendously in the last several years. If you do not have somewhat of a footing to start with it may not be worth while getting into it now, especially if you are solely a directory. I don’t think that is a good idea. To be a good GEO site, you need to be involved in other content, news seems really powerful today. There is a million local yellow pages websites to compete with, and search engines have changed how they choose directories and the location information about the users visiting them to determine which pages to serve. Ad revenue is down, traffic is split between these hundred or so Yelps that exist, so directory owners have more hills to climb then ever before. They need to be better than the majority of the competition. It’s not like it was in the past, where you just needed to exist. Now, you need to be the best. Brand matters. This is what Google wants. It took a few years, but they have it working now. My advice, is don’t just be a directory, you have to be more than that. And don’t depend only on search engines. Don’t underestimate social for traffic generation, especially Facebook. Get a killer web name so once you get visitors there, they’ll be sure to remember you. There is more choice than ever. You’ve got to have something really good to matter.”
We wish the Colascione’s the best of luck on their domain auctions and will keep you updated as the domains sell.