Jon Schultz bought the domain name Ebola.com for $13,500 in 2008. Now, Schultz is offering the domain for sale for $150,000. Many are downright angry at Schultz for what they consider to be 'profiting from a disease.' Reports are that Schultz owns quite a few disease inspired domains, including H1N1.com and Birdflu.com.
I heard one news anchor even suggest that the government should just take away his Ebola.com domain. Of course, the idea of buying domain names and holding them as an investment is nothing new. Domaining, as it is called, is a booming business and many people buy and sell domains like a portfolio of stocks. This is all pure speculation, and domain investors like Schultz are playing long odds in many cases. Not only is there the upfront cost of acquiring a premium domain, but then there are the annual renewal fees.
There are a couple of reasons that the right domain name can be highly valuable. First, many people will go to the Internet and simply type in a topic and then add the .com to it (e.g. shoes.com). This direct traffic can be worth millions of dollars. Secondly, the search engines will steer people toward .com domains that contain a given search phrase. Selecting a domain for a new website is a huge ingredient in capturing website traffic. In my Internet business coaching program, I regularly address this issue.
Flippa.com, one of the top sites for buying and selling premium domains, is an interesting site to spend a few minutes on. It is really remarkable how much certain domains sell for and the amount of bidding that takes place. In the case of Schultz, I do think he has an extremely weird niche (diseases), but to each his own. As for the notion that the government should just take it away from him, I can't believe anyone would even suggest that. There are a lot of people that make money from diseases and even death. Why should Schultz be singled out?
Helping you make the most of God's money!