We have been following the selling of dotChicago(sm) domain names, since Josh Metnick* the owner of Chicago.com first started chatting about selling subdomains off of Chicago.com

Today Josh let us know that he plans on auctioning off 100-300 Chicago.com subdomains this spring.

What is the value of hotels.chicago.com? sushi.chicago.com? lawyer.chicago.com? cars.chicago.com? softwaredevelopment.chicago.com? accounting.chicago.com? business.chicago.com?, lasik.chicago.com? venturecapital.chicago.com?”

“”We have determined that the best way to set prices for the names is to let the market decide.* This Spring, we will be using an auction format to release a limited set of names (between 100 to 300 to start with) to select companies.* Our total inventory of keywords is around 100,000, but we will be careful and measured in the launch of the names, as well as who gets to use them and for what end, as all of the sites in the ecosystem will need to be quality sites.”"

The email also pointed out the case Parking.Chicago.com which is only six months old and is dominating search against sites that have been live in this space for 10+ years

“Mark Lawrence, the CEO of SpotHero, recently emailed me in shock — happily in shock, that parking.chicago.com is beginning to surpass SpotHero.com’s Chicago SEO placement— that the domain name they acquired from us, parking.chicago.com, is now #1 in Bing, and, at #3 organic in Yahoo!, exceeds SpotHero.com by six spots for the search term “Chicago Parking.”

“Paid parking is a several hundred million dollar industry in Chicago alone”.

“SpotHero recently closed $2.5M in funding from Battery Ventures, OCA, New World, Lightbank, etc”.

“What I have attached are two screenshots of the SERP’s from both sites.

“One might say “Well, who really cares about Bing and Yahoo!?”* The reality is not so simple: Bing and Yahoo represent approximately 29% of the search market, with Google at 70%.* So throwing away 30% of one’s market.. not so smart.

“On Google, parking.chicago.com is rising and continues to rise– it has gone from unrecognized, to now second page of results for “Chicago Parking,” and is #1 or #2 for various long-tail Chicago Parking related terms”.


We will keep you updated