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Remember the drop back in early 2000's? A look back at the stats with analysis

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I dug up some old drop chasing data from my personal logs. The data is from May 19, 2004-May 31 2004. I chased/monitored 198 expiring names. Since these are my personal drop chasing logs, I am disproportionately represented, I was never anywhere near as big a player as most of the others on the list. It's selection bias that I show up at all.

First up, which companies actually won domains?

If I recall correctly, Pool was relatively new and kicking ass. BuyDomains and NameAdmin had personal registrars for chasing and left almost everyone else in the dust.

So who was winning all the domains?

Frank Schilling (NameAdmin), Mike Mann (BuyDomains) and Yun Ye (Ult Search) were clearly dominating the market. Anyone who ever bid on drops hated seeing names like benfranklin and competing with these guys. A few other big companies/individuals were sniping very specific names, but nobody competed on the scale of those three.

I was surprised that Vertical Axis (Kevin Ham) didn't show up. I don't know/recall when he got very active, but he didn't show up once during this ~2 week period.

What about the traffic?

I ran the names through January 2007 Overture data to get overture numbers for each domain. Then I counted the cumulative overture score of domains owned by a company. The second graph looks at current whois and makes assumptions that they were purchased by the company originally but my winner data was incomplete.

The most shocking part of looking at traffic is, UltSearch dominated BuyDomains and NameAdmin. UltSEarch only won 16% of the names but took home 37% of the traffic. NameAdmin and BuyDomains get approximately their expected percentage.

Notable Stats

  • Frank Schilling (NameAdmin) has sold only 1 name ( out of the 43 he won during this period.
  • BuyDomains has sold 24 of 41 (58.5%) domains picked up during this period.
  • Only 3 domains out of 198 (1.5%) expired again.
  • I didn't sell any of the names I bought during this period :(
  • The quality of drops was exceptional compared to today.

I am attaching the list of names, I bolded a few of my favorites. You can see some killer brandable names, pronouncable CVCV.coms, premium generics (, a ton of solid 2 word .coms, geo, geo services, and names.

The List of Domain Names