Melbourne, Australia – 27 March 2014: .au Domain Administration (auDA) announced this week it will introduce DNSSEC into the .au domain namespace in an experimental capacity in the coming months.
Deployment on production servers will commence during April and will be trialed for four months. During this period auDA will:
DNSSEC is a technology that was developed to protect against DNS-based attacks and hijacks by digitally signing data so you can be assured it is valid. In order to eliminate this form of vulnerability from the Internet, DNSSEC must be deployed at each step in the DNS lookup process from root zone to final domain name. Importantly, DNSSEC does not encrypt data. It just attests to the validity of the address of the site you visit.
In auDA’s test, the .au delegation signer records will not be added to the root zone during this period and auDA notes that operators should not create or implement trust anchors for .au in their production environments.
A mailing list has been created for discussions related to .au DNSSEC. auDA will make all announcements about key rollover periods, outages and any other relevant DNSSEC information via the DNSSEC mailing list.
Public Relations Manager
Ph: +61 3 9866 3710
Melbourne, Australia – 18 March 2014: AusRegistry and .au Domain Administration (auDA) today launched their latest survey in an ongoing commitment to understand the Australian Internet user and their relationship with the .au domain namespace.
Following the success of the 2013 survey, a benchmarking exercise which achieved over 10,000 responses, the 2014 survey aims to build on the previous year’s findings. Responses will be compared to identify any shifts in perceptions, experience and knowledge of the .au domain namespace.
George Pongas, General Manager of Registry Operations at AusRegistry, encouraged Australian Internet users to participate in the survey.
“Conducting annual surveys is a commitment that both AusRegistry and auDA have made to enhance our understanding of the Australian Internet community and its relationship with the .au namespace. It is an opportunity to assess changes in user behaviour over time as well as our performance as the Registry Operator and the regulatory body.”
He noted that a substantial industry report was produced off the back of the 2013 survey, receiving considerable industry attention.
“The response from the Internet community and our international counterparts last year was extremely gratifying, with a number of country code managers wishing to replicate similar activities. We were also invited to present the findings at the largest Internet governance and policy gathering, which was hosted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in Argentina last year.”
The 2014 survey is an abridged version of the previous year’s survey and aims to achieve a substantial number of responses. AusRegistry and auDA encourage interested participants to complete the survey in support of the .au namespace.
The survey is being conducted by global market research company Effective Measure and will run until the 18th of April 2014. A report will be released later this year.
The survey is available here: www.ausregistry.com.au/survey2014
Public Relations Manager
Ph: +61 3 9866 3710
General Manager, Communications
.au Domain Administration Ltd
Ph: +61 3 8341 4111
By George Pongas
6 January 2014
Last year was a memorable one for .au domain name sales with a number of significant auctions and aftermarket deals making headlines.
For the second time in three years, a .au domain name was included in the top four sales for the world’s highest reported domain name sales for country code Top-Level Domains.
Coming in at fourth place in 2013 was cruises.com.au which was sold for $103,400. It was only edged out of third place by pizza.nl (Netherlands) by $100, followed by fotograf.de (Germany) at $117,810 in second place and jobs.ca (Canada) at $450,000 in first place.
This year’s fourth place follows last year’s highest recorded .au sale – hobart.com.au, which sold for $67,600 and ranked 15th in 2012’s sales chart.
The other .au domain name in this year’s top 30 was mysuper.com.au which came in at 29th spot with a sale value of $28,691.
This is a terrific result for .au and demonstrates the strong position it has attained on the global stage.
It’s especially significant considering the larger namespaces it’s competing with and the countries with bigger economies. Despite Australia’s relatively small population, the .au namespace is recognised as one of the world’s leading country codes and ranks in the top 10 country code Top-Level Domains globally.
Only recently we reported on the many benefits business owners can attain by registering a premium generic .com.au or .net.au domain names. Our carloans.com.au case study showed how a premium generic domain name helped their business decrease marketing and AdWord spend while increasing revenue and brand awareness.
Clearly, savvy business owners are aware of the .au aftermarket value and are using it to their advantage.
In September 2011, investmentproperty.com.au became the highest recorded domain name at auction when it was snapped up for $125,000 by New South Wales property developer Vision Homes. Only last year, the domain names – sydney.com.au, melbourne.com.au, brisbane.com.au, adelaide.com.au and auction.com.au – were touted for sale with a projected retail price somewhere in the order of $1 million as a total package.
I encourage business owners to contact their Registrar and consider a premium generic .au domain name for their business.
No doubt we’ll see even higher domain name sales in 2014 as the intrinsic value of .au domain names increases.
Although 2014 will see many new options become available in the market, my expectation is that the possible confusion will make premium generic domain names in established namespaces even more valuable.
In the face of confusion, people will default to something they trust and understand.
By George Pongas
By George Pongas
16 January 2014
A New Year and another domain name related scam is doing the rounds in an attempt to deceive registrants into providing account details.
While this current scam does not specifically target .au domain name registrants, I encourage you to be vigilant and mindful of these tactics.
Under requirements spelled out by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), domain name Registrars for .com, .net, .org and other generic TLDs must verify registrant contact information on a regular basis.
The reason for this is to reduce false or missing contact information in the WHOIS database, which is a public record of domain name registration details.
Unfortunately, we’ve witnessed hackers launch phishing campaigns recently where they use sophisticated social engineering tactics in order to steal contact information and maliciously tamper with the domain name records in the guise of these official WHOIS verification notifications.
If you have registered .com domain names, please be aware of this scam and contact your Registrar if you are in doubt about what to do.
Because many .au domain name registrants will also have .com registrations, we encourage you to be vigilant. Phishing scams such as this are typically aimed at mass deception and the perpetrators cast a wide net in order to catch as many unsuspecting people as possible. This means Australian .com registrants may be targeted.
Importantly, WHOIS verification is not a requirement in .au domain name policy and if you ever receive an email requesting this you can automatically delete and disregard it.
Furthermore, services such as .auLOCKDOWN actually add another layer of protection to your .au domain name to ensure scams like this can never impact the integrity of your domain name assets.
Even if your contact details are stolen, a Registry lock service like .auLOCKDOWN would mean that only authorised individuals with pre-authenticated keys can make changes to your domain name records, reducing the risks scams like this pose.
Whether you have a .com or a .au, you should consider a Registry lock service like .auLOCKDOWN which can provide much needed reassurance. Contact your .au Registrar today and ask about adding .auLOCKDOWN to your domain name.
By George Pongas
By George Pongas
23 December 2013
One of the most pertinent issues business owners face when establishing an online presence is how to direct customer interest to their website and translate that into revenue.
Often, this includes sales and marketing tactics like direct mail, lead generation and online campaigns to drive awareness.
Some savvy business owners also invest in search engine optimisation and marketing techniques to increase the number of leads they receive from Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
An area businesses regularly overlook is their humble domain name.
A domain name is the business asset that underpins your entire online identity and it acts as a digital lighthouse to illuminate your web presence. A good domain name can be a cost-effective and highly successful method for increasing direct type-in browser traffic to ultimately improve your bottom line.
When it comes to effective domain names, there is no better option than premium generic domains.
What is a premium generic domain name?
A premium generic domain name is a short, memorable, descriptive and commercially-oriented domain related to the market vertical or industry sector of your business.
For instance, a florist would see great value in flowers.com.au, as would a camera shop with cameras.com.au.
Given their intuitive nature, domain names such as these are seen as the most authoritative and trusted online providers in their sectors. Consumers are drawn to these websites over others and the domain name actually helps to drive in traffic. It’s a bit like getting the prime eye-level product position on a supermarket shelf, rather than being located out of sight at the bottom.
These premium generic .com.au names work; the proof is in multiple success stories operating on the Internet at the moment.
For example, in September 2011, investmentproperty.com.au became the highest recorded domain name at auction when it was snapped up for $125,000 by New South Wales property developer Vision Homes. Similarly, hardware.com.au was purchased at auction by Woolworths in 2010 for $33,000. There are unofficial sales rumored at significantly higher values, however often domain name sales remain confidential and there are no laws that require the details published as there are for offline real estate sales.
The sale of these premium generic .com.au names demonstrates the strong demand shown by major brands that recognise the important role they play. They also demonstrate the enormous intrinsic value .com.au domain names hold despite their retail price, which can start from around $20.
Perhaps the example of a premium generic domain name comes from carloans.com.au.
CarLoans.com.au case study
The first incarnation of Shaun McGowan’s car loan business was initially called Beep.com.au and turned over a healthy $60 million.
As a savvy digital entrepreneur and domain investor, Mr McGowan knew the business had greater potential and turned his attention to purchasing a premium generic .com.au for the business.
Following the acquisition of CarLoans.com.au and a brand refresh in June 2013, the business saw an immediate increase in website traffic and customers, a decrease in marketing spend, 40% reduction in ad word spend, and overall growth of 60% to generate turnover in excess of $100 million.
I recently caught up with Mr McGowan to draw on some of his insights on the value of a premium generic .com.au domain name.
“We have not done anything different, we’ve only changed our domain name and that has seen this huge growth for our business.
Our business is not unique and we have many competitors. In this marketplace, you need a competitive advantage. While deep pockets to generate awareness is an advantage, so too is having the best domain name. We don’t have to tell people what we’re doing – people know to go to carloans.com.au to get a car loan. Our marketing budget has significantly reduced because we don’t have to educate consumers. The education is already done in those eight letters - that’s the power of a domain name.
With CarLoans.com.au, consumers think they’ve seen us before even if they haven’t interacted with the business previously. People just assume they know us because we’re seen as the biggest and best.
There is a natural assumption the biggest and oldest companies have the premium generic domain names. In terms of the domain name investment, the name paid itself back within four months.
Ultimately, having the biggest and best exact-match premium generic domain name in our industry is what’s going to count at the end of the day.
For example, do you buy shoes from shoes.com.au or ABCshoes.com.au? With shoes.com.au, you’ve got instant credibility because customers believe it must be the biggest and best retailer, whereas ABCshoes.com.au must build that trust with consumers to educate them on who they are and what they sell.
The exact-match domain name is exactly what it is; it’s powerful, it’s credible and consumers believe it. It gives you instant recognition.
Purchasing premium generics
I encourage business owners to consider registering a premium generic .com.au domain name.
In most cases, premium generic domain names will have already been registered. This does not mean they are unavailable for purchase though.
Various Registrars provide expired domain and aftermarket auction services to help businesses acquire highly sought-after domain names. Simply contact your preferred registrar and ask how they can help you register the perfect domain name for your business. For a list of the Australian Registrars visit the AusRegistry website (ausregistry.com.au/registrars).
By George Pongas