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WSJ Says Numeric Domain Names are Hotter than Ever

Chronological Thread 
  • From: "Ben Teitelbaum" <>
  • To:
  • Subject: WSJ Says Numeric Domain Names are Hotter than Ever
  • Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 10:42:06 -0800

The goal of ISN/Freenum was never to promote numeric brands, but that be unavoidable.  From numerology to ZIP codes to significant dates, numbers are powerful brands.

What's in a Name? More and More, a Number
Despite Limited Success of Digits, a Numeric Trend Blossoms in Internet Domain Monikers;, Anyone?

We think of numbers as quantities. But they can be potent brands as well.

Devised a quarter century ago, the Internet's domain-name system was meant to spare the general public from numbers. Easy-to-remember words or initializations such as and were allowed to stand in as aliases for 11-digit computer addresses.

Now, numbers could be making a comeback. Industry watchers say Web users should get used to visiting sites whose names are numeric. A group in Australia plans to develop into a search engine that will deliver the 100 most relevant results. An Aspen, Colo., equity researcher has spent more than $1 million on numeric domains for a project that is yet to be determined. And on Thursday, an auction of dozens of numeric domain names closed, with bids as high as $325,000 for

The interest in building an online brand around numbers stems from the increasing scarcity of word-based domains. Dot-com remains king in U.S. business, even as newer extensions such as .jobs, .museum and .travel have become available. And there can be only one, say,

Among numeric names' advantages: There's no need for translation between countries, and some numbers, such as 360, have global meaning, and are reasonably priced, compared with equally short domains using letters.

Of the 100 priciest Internet domains sold this year, 11 are numeric domains, compared with no more than one in each of the prior three years, according to data tracked by Domain Name Journal. "I do think you will see a movement toward numerically named Web sites," says Eric Bradlow, professor of marketing at Wharton. "They have this perception of technology and newness."


-- ben

  • WSJ Says Numeric Domain Names are Hotter than Ever, Ben Teitelbaum, 12/05/2008

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