The value of a key asset for many businesses – their domain name – is on the rise, thanks to policy changes to allow the sale of domain names introduced this month.
Changes to the .com.au policy by Australia’s Internet Domain Authority, which came into effect on 1 June, enable businesses to sell their registered domain name licenses directly to eligible third parties.
It means businesses can now buy relevant domain names for their companies privately from their original owners, who may not be using the space to host a website relevant to their business.
And domain names will now sell at rates closer to their actual value, as advertising revenue and site hits contribute to the monetary value of a domain name.
Bruce Tonkin, chief technology officer at domain name registrant Melbourne IT, says businesses are already benefitting from the domain change.
“The revised .au policy reduces red tape for businesses that want to trade their domain names. For the first time in the .au domain space, businesses can purchase useful domain names directly from other businesses that may not be fully utilising them, and also secure a fair value for a domain name that they themselves are not using,” Tonkin says.
And the new policy will allow business owners to be a lot more flexible in the online marketplace, according to Mark Harbottle, chief executive officer of web developer community sitepoint.com.
“In the original policy, you’d have to come up with a name, or take up a business name that wasn’t taken,” he says.
“It’s just a lot more flexible to be able to buy in the second marketplace. In fact, we have a marketplace on our site where people can trade domain names, so it’s in our best interest for that to happen, really.”
However, Harbottle emphasis this policy change isn’t perfect: “The downside of it is that you get more domain squatters. So somebody might know that you want a particular domain name, purchase it, and then try to sell it to you for a lot more profit… the old policy offered a little bit more protection against that.”
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