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DNS.com : The Next Geo-Targeting Solution PDF Print E-mail
Written by Domainer's Magazine Staff   
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 15:19

Comwired.com was founded in 2008 as a service for domainers to split traffic between parking companies. After already developing a separate solution for domainers to manage their domain name portfolios, and meeting with domain investors at conferences around the world, we recognized that there was an opportunity for domainers to optimize their domains further than any individual parking company was offering by splitting out traffic (according to the origin of the visitor) to the parking company that was best equipped to handle that traffic.

DNS.com is forging a new type of geo-targetingThis was particularly important as the industry entered a period when PPC revenues were on the decline and we saw many domainers turning to mini sites and other alternatives to replace or augment their domain parking income.

Comwired Inc. acquired the DNS.com domain in 2010. We have offered a commercial DNS service since the beginning, but in the last two years we have fine-tuned our management software and global infrastructure substantially. With upgrades to security, a modern control panel interface, and a custom anycast DNS network, we were confident enough in the service that we launched it as a true enterprise solution under the DNS.com badge. DNS.com itself has a long history as a destination for DNS services, having been registered all the way back in 1991 – a mere 11 days after Microsoft.com was registered.

Please describe what each of these companies do in general.

Comwired provides geo-targeting solutions for domains and easy traffic splitting between parking companies. Our control panel allows you to select the countries or groups you want to split on a particular domain, then pick from a drop down menu which parking company you want the traffic from each region to go to. All you do is point your nameservers at us instead of the parking company and we handle everything in the background. International traffic can make up a significant portion of a domain’s visits, so the ability to properly optimize the landing pages for each region can really give you an advantage over other domainers. The service lets you realize new revenue streams from the same traffic you’ve always had. We also offer advice for those needing help deciding which parking companies to send international traffic to.

DNS.com specializes in secure, enterprise-level managed DNS hosting. Even if your web hosting provider has the most redundant servers and connectivity, the DNS can be a weak link. All too often websites suffer downtime because a registrar’s nameservers are hit by a DDoS attack. This can affect parked domains as well if you are using URL forwarding provided by your registrar. DNS.com eliminates many of the potential points of failure by using our custom developed DNS server on a globally distributed IP anycast network. We back our service with a 99.999% uptime SLA.

What makes you stand out against your competition?

Looking at it from the domainer side, Comwired is the first solution of its kind. The closest service that allows domainers to target traffic based on physical location is RootOrange.com. They offer a related technology that allows one business per city to lease the same generic domain name for all visits that originate from that city. What they are really selling is fractional access to premium domains for

local businesses, and marketing the domains to end users on behalf of domainers, taking their cut of the proceeds. Comwired is unique in that we don’t take any commission. We offer a roll-your-own platform

using our patent-pending technology. Set it up how you want, create your own geographic zones for splitting out traffic, whether that’s by country, state, city, or another characteristic such as language. With our platform a thousand Root Oranges could be created for different verticals or used by individual portfolio owners.

Similarly, DNS.com stands out from the competition due to the precision of our geographic lookup data. With 99.99% accuracy at the country level and 95% at the city level worldwide, we are miles ahead of the capabilities offered by other managed DNS providers when it comes to geo-targeting. We can identify down to a 10 to 15 mile radius where a visitor is located. This is powerful technology for marketers to target their campaigns at the local level. Geographic targeting has been used in the print industry and direct marketing for ages. It’s time for the Internet to play catch up. You’ve probably seen Google and DoubleClick employ your location in text and banner ads. Now you can use the same technology Google has using DNS, putting you in control. We also offer an API to allow for custom developed integrations, making the possibilities even more exciting.

Who are the people behind DNS.com?

Daniel Kimball, CEO

Daniel Kimball has more than fifteen years of experience in the technology, telecommunications and services market. A well-known figure in the industry, he joined Comwired after running the two

largest reseller programs in the web hosting industry. His teams have managed over 9,000 resellers in 146 countries. While at Qwest, Daniel ran the largest channel sales territory in the United States.

Dan was Director of Reseller Channels at ModernGigabyte, where he played a significant role in growing the company’s reseller network and participated in the sale of ModernGigabyte to Parallels in 2007. Prior to Comwired, Dan was CSO of DNZoom, helping it to become the leading domain name management platform and leading to the company’s successful acquisition by a group of investors in 2008. Dan has previously managed various direct and indirect sales departments for Qwest, NTT/Verio, Interland, Claranet, and ModernGigabyte, LLC.

Brian Smith, CTO

Brian is a contributing author at CNET’s TechRepublic. Enjoying solving complex processes, he was a natural working with computers from a young age. In college he gained a reputation dealing with

network security issues and worked closely with network administrators to perform penetration tests against campus wireless and wired networks.

Among Brian’s specialties are PHP, Perl, Python, Javascript, Ajax, MySQL, PostgreSQL, database design, network security, Linux, agile development, software automation, and mobile technologies.

Sean Stafford, COO

Sean is the author of the Domain Graduate domain investing eBook and a familiar face on domain industry panels. Sean has been a technical instructor at Daymar College in Louisville, and found his way to software firm ModernGigabyte LLC, creators of ModernBill web host billing software where he took over the role of support manager. It was here he discovered the untapped potential of domain names, which led to the development of the DNZoom domain management platform and subsequently to the inception of Comwired.

At DNS.com and ComWired.com, Sean sets features, manages utilities, and publicly speaks at trade shows about domain names and Internet software automation. Sean is passionate about traveling the world, investing in his own domain portfolio, and educating others about the domain industry.

Eric Radtke, CMO

Eric Radtke is a marketing professional and UI designer specializing in new product development, creative marketing communications, SEO, branding, and strategic planning. As a partner in web hosting and design agency InterSurge, he directed business strategy and developed partnerships with domain name registrars. Eric has also run an ad-based Internet access provider and participated in early

development of phpBB.

He places an emphasis on conversion optimization, brand management, market research, and UI patterns and flow to build user-friendly, functional, and effective web applications. Eric loves working with breakthrough products and services to build market share and achieve profitability.

Are any/all of these companies working on any new projects that you would like to share with our readers?

Comwired and DNS.com are sponsoring a collaborative developer community to crowdsource local geo data and enable developers to build and launch their own products or services using our DNS and geo-targeting platform with no up front costs. We are excited about the future of location services and have seen firsthand the successes that can be launched from an open development platform.

What costs are involved in each product to the end user/domainers? (A range from each company if multiple offerings is sufficient. )

Many domainers are skeptical of solutions where you have to pay up front before getting a chance to see the results. Our goal is to make Comwired as affordable as possible to remove this trust barrier. We also offer a free 30 day trial so there is no risk to try it out.

We have many domainers using our platform who have moved their entire portfolios over after seeing the difference in performance after their first month. Pricing ranges from $11.95 to $384.95/month depending on query volume, with no limit on domains. Domainers can get more information and sign up at http://www.comwired.com/accounts/signup/

Posted prices for our enterprise DNS offerings at DNS.com range from $24.95 to $199.95/month. We offer custom quotes beyond 10 million queries a month. Just a few years ago this level of location targeting would run you tens of thousands of dollars a month for a hardware-based solution. We are helping to bring costs down dramatically by offering our services as a hosted solution.

What has your company(s) learned over the years that inspired it to make improvements upon/fix?

By getting in front of domainers and business owners we saw early on the importance location was starting to play on the web. We started building our platform ahead of the current wave of interest in location and our early adpopter users have reaped the benefits from offering customized, targeted landing pages. By using a static solution, too many domainers and businesses are leaving enormous sums of money on the table.

As we developed our enterprise solutions, security was always one of our highest priorities. This focus has in turn caused us to attract a unique kind of security-conscious users. Even now we get tips from users with advice on little areas we can tighten up the service, practices their banks are employing, and options they would like to see.

Our competitors have had a number of high profile cases in which user information was compromised to gain access to DNS accounts and hijack a website’s traffic. Situations like this force us to reevaluate whether we are doing all we can to prevent a similar situation from affecting our users, and to make incremental changes to avoid similar disasters.

What’s next For the companies?

We are on a path to announce several major partnerships in the web hosting and domain registrar space this summer.

We are stepping up our reseller program and providers are taking notice. We continue to attract enterprise customers, especially in the online retail and advertising industries. We hope that our crowdsourcing efforts and developer outreach will help provide even better location lookup data and spark some creative projects built upon our platform

What would you like our readers to remember above all?

We are very bullish on the future potential of domains and the many roles location plays in the way people interact with the web. The systems we have developed are among the easiest and cost effective ways for business owners to geo-enable their websites and web applications.

If any domainers are still on the fence about the best way of monetizing their porftolios, we invite you to speak with us to work out a plan to optimize your domains.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 19:46
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