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article imageTravel website pays $1.1 million for one extra letter 'S'

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 8, 2008 in Internet
A British company Cruise.co.uk, that sells cruise-related products, paid $1.1 million to get the domain rights for Cruises.co.uk. The reason given: It doesn’t want to lose traffic when people search for the word “Cruises” or “Cruise".
The travel site, Cruise.co.uk, claims it is the UK’s largest cruise community website. It sells or shares travel information at its site along with user reviews discussing various cruises and experiences. It is marketed mainly at UK customers.
There was another competing site Cruises.co.uk, but it belonged to a German travel company.
Seamus Conlon, the owner of the Cruise.co.uk, decided to purchase this site from the German company and paid a record sum of $1.1 million. The previous record in the UK was $300,000 paid for a “co.uk” domain name last year.
Conlon said the word “Cruises” is a frequently searched term in Google and the next top-ranked word is “Cruise”. So, he wanted to own both of them to gain the maximum number of hits on his site.
Even though Conlon paid a large sum, it's not the world record paid for a domain. The most expensive domain name is “Sex.com” which was bought for $12 million in 2005, the next highest was “Porn.com” bought for $9.5 million last year.
I checked the number of visitors for Cruise.co.uk; they average about 6,000 visitors a month. Their number of visitors is increasing at a high rate (134 per cent above last month and 221 per cent above last year). Will that be sufficient for them to recoup this $1.1 million cost? Only time will tell.
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