Every Google Search result indicates “This Site May Harm your Computer”

For much of this morning (January 31, 2009) every Google Search result indicates “This Site May Harm your Computer.” Google’s Safe browsing tool seems to be having serious issues today.

Screen shots follow, from the DNC to Wikipedia, to gmail, to AdSense, they all are showing as having malware. Google has not yet acknowledged the issue. It appears that every site on every search result is impacted

Update: Some time between 10:10am and 10:20am Continue reading Every Google Search result indicates “This Site May Harm your Computer”

YP.com sold

YP.com was acquired by AT&T for about $3.85 Million in cash according to BusinessWire.com.  AT&T got a real deal here.  First, yp.com will be of value for mobile searches, will give SEO benefits to YellowPages.com, and most of all eliminate a competitor.

Matt Panella of Domain News comments that Alexa rankings of 70,000 implies for traffic figures of 1,000 to 3,000 visits per day.  Alexa is notoriously wrong on statistics due to self-selection bias, limited browser reach etc (for some discussions see: http://spottedwalrus.com/articles/79/the-alexa-issue-a-problem-a-solution/http://paulstamatiou.com/2007/03/07/why-you-should-completely-ignore-alexa-stats http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/152243 ).  

While I do not have access to YP.com’s traffic statistics, a traffic rank of 120,000 can get more than 100,000 searches per day and multiple times that in page views.  That is a fact.  No doubt Matt is using what information he has available, but considering it is Alexa, take it with a pound of salt. 

For example, Halloween.com had an Alexa ranking of around 52000 in October 2008. Traffic logs show many orders of magnitude over the “implied” traffic of 5000 visitors. Let me repeat that traffic implied by Alexa is off by many orders of magnitude. Another site with a traffic rank of in the 120,000 range gets 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more traffic per day than Alexa reports.  Remember two orders of magnitude means 100 times what is shown.  

So what is the point?  The point is that basing a domain price on Alexa statistics is a bad idea because the data is just not that good.  Alexa may be good for comparisons between like sites with similar demographics, but not absolute numbers.  If you are selling a domain based on Alexa traffic estimates you are probably getting taken to the cleaners.  If you are buying based on Alexa traffic statistics, you may be getting a good deal.

Likewise, anyone selling a domain name solely off of current traffic statistics is missing the boat.  When I sold Movie.com (or Miami.com or Casino.com or Gamble.com or Honeymoon.com or Flying.com or Racing.com or hotel.com or reservations.com or reservation.com etc.), I didn’t sell it based on traffic, that would have been the height of stupidity.  Domains – particularly one word, easily brandable domains – are priced based on what can be done with the name.  It would be like selling a vacant lot at the corner of a busy intersection based on the number of people who come to it instead of basing the price on the the potential traffic.  A lot on the ocean in Palm Beach (even with the current real estate mess) is a lot more valuable than a lot at the corner of Tomahawk Rd and Route 187 in McNary Arizona.  Nothing against McNary but the demands is higher for the ocean.  Domains are the same.  News.com is certainly more valuable than a domain like “this-is-the-current-california-news-site-number-1-for-news.ad”.  It is easier to remember, easier to type etc so consequently more brandable.  

Let’s be clear, under no circumstances should anyone sell a short, brandable domain name based solely on current traffic without considering the uses to which it could be put.

AT&T is all about market-share and traffic growth and yp.com will add to that.  In short, AT&T got a deal on yp.com.  Yes, current market conditions may have impacted the sale price, but it will pay off for AT&T in the mobile space and SEO.

Look at YellowPages.com (see http://christianriley.com/2004/11/yellowpagescom-price/).  Some people thought they were over-paying, but in retrospect, it appears they got a good deal. 

(see  http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090114005473&newsLang=en)

GoDaddy Reconcile status for a domain?

After seeing a domain on GoDaddy show its status as “reconcile” (e.g. Status: Reconcile  (Refresh Page)). I had to find out what it means. Well, it appeared for me while transferring a domain into the account after it was in a pending account change status. It appears that this is an internal status until it switches over to “active.” In my case after less than 10 minutes it had changed to “active.”

Bruce Waldack, a friend

Wow.  Let me just say that Bruce Michael Waldack (Bruce or bmw) and I had fallen out of touch for a year or so. I just Googled him to see what he was up to and found this site (http://www.brucewaldack.org/).  I was shocked to see that he had passed away on June 23, 2007.

I met Bruce in 1993.    We did business together in initially the software field – statistics and tracking software for CSG/digitalNation (dn.net) when it was running FirstClass.  And then we became friends over time.  Back in early 1994, we were talking one day and I said, “Hey Bruce, if you want to write to Santa Claus on the internet, you’ll be hitting santaclaus.com on our servers.”  He said something along the lines of, “No way!  You are kidding me!  You can do that?”  (It may have been more along the lines of “No shit!  Your f-ing with me!”).  So we spent the next hour talking about names and cool things to do with them and found a lot of great ideas on the topic. He was always looking for a great idea and there were always great conversations with wild ideas to be had.  He went on to register a bunch of domain names after that conversation.

We spent the next 14 years in the Internet space, talking on the phone, emailing, and generally just being friends. I was looking him up today for just that reason – to see how he was and to see what was new on the horizon, bounce a few ideas off of him and generally catch up.

I’d get emails in 1995 and 1996 with things like, “Glad you got it!  I didn’t want to tell you this, but Cynthina [perhaps he meant Cynthia!] set it out with 1 stamp on it.  Thus it came back last week!! Sorry!”  All the previous week saying it was in the mail – which it was, just not enough postage, but that was just Bruce, reluctant to do anything to disappoint, but coming clean in the end.  Ready to BS when needed, but someone with a good heart.

After not hearing much from him since January of 1997, out of the blue on December 8, 1997 I got:

“I just mistyped [he’d sent me an email by mistake]. <g> Hope all is well with … you.  Lori and I  had two baby boys (Copper and Colten) last Monday, so we have been quite the busy bees.  Hope your holidays are happy and safe.”  My own daughter Christi had been born in September and so we had a lot to catch up on with kids and business and mutual friends.  And then we’d be emailing or phone-ing back and forth for a few months updating each other and running ideas by each other.

Sometimes we’d go for months without talking – both busy with our businesses, fun, and new families and then out of the blue one of us would call or email the other to just see what was going on, new things that were in the works.  To update each other on things like sale of dn.net to Verio in 1999 or us selling casino.com.  I think the most we went was in 1997, but sometimes it would be just a quick note.

He was always very generous and whenever we did anything, it was fun times, always intelligent conversations and lots of humor.  He was a friend and someone who I could bounce ideas off of and who would do the same for me.  I will miss his laugh and his sharp mind.  I will miss his out of the blue call or email seeing what’s up.  I’ll miss a friend who made a difference for a lot of people.

I will never forget in 1993 we were talking about hosting issues on the internet and how to do some things and he said, “You know, right now there are probably only half a dozen people in the world who would know how to do what we are doing right now.”  And then about 6 months later, discussing domain names saying (this isn’t an exact quote): “Think about this, today you have more domains registered than anyone else in the world, but I’m going to register some too.” (Which we did until late 1995 or early 1996 when Proctor and Gamble surpassed us).

But most of all as I write this, I hope that his family is well, that he is enjoying himself as much above as he was here on earth.

If you find this an were at dn.net or elsewhere and have comments, please feel free here or on the site above.

(And Drew Ladner, what are you up to?   Looks like honeymoon.com is now with some group in the UK.  Been almost exactly 10 years since we sold it!)

(And if you are looking for great Mac support in the Washington, DC/Virginia area, 4macsolutions (http://4macsolutions.com/) is a good choice. Will is great!)

Visit from St. Nicholas/The Night Before Christmas

If you want to see what I think is a really fun Christmas site, A Visit From St. Nicholas aka The Night before Christmas at VisitFromStNicholas.com is one such site.

It has a really large collection of antique versions of The Night Before Christmas. Now, why is that cool? I just find it amazing to see some books 150 years old that are one of a handful (or maybe the only copy) left anywhere in the world and to think about the amount of enjoyment that people have gotten over the years from this poem.

Thinking that others would feel the same way, we’re digitizing as many editions as we can in order to share the Christmas spirit with as many people as possible, so enjoy the scans!

Ralph crocker, pine crest swimming, later auburn

I knew Ralph when he was the distance coach and dorm parent at Pine Crest. He was a nice guy. He, with his wife Margaret, was also one of the dorm parents. They didn’t have Cameron then, but I had heard about his daughters and what had occurred. He always had a joke, a smile, and a laugh for all of us. To me it always seemed as if he had a witty retort on the tip of his tongue, some of which he couldn’t share with high school students, many of which he did. His positive attitude, integrity and dedication are something I will always remember about him.

Trips to Indianapolis for Junior Nationals, always entertaining. Or States. A great guy.

I’ll always remember the New Years Day practice he and Gary Butts had for us 10 x 1000 on 10:30, 11:00, or 12:00 minutes depending on the group. I strongly suspect that they were doing a bit of napping under the hats and dark glasses given it had been New Year’s Eve the night before.

I was very sorry to hear about his passing. He will be missed.