Hot Market in Virtual Real Estate Puts Venerable Domain Name In Play

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One of the oldest 'dot com' domain names on the web,, is now for sale, prompted by a market in virtual real estate that is heating up, even as the market for "real" property remains cool.

One of the oldest 'dot com' domain names on the web,, is now for sale, prompted by a hot market in virtual real estate that has seen several seven figure transactions already this year. Examples include and, which sold for $1.5 million and $1 million respectively.

Originally created by The Cobb Group in 1995, was probably one of the first 250,000 commercial domain names to be registered (there are now over 120 million registered domain names, about 90 million of which are 'dot coms').

The Cobb Group was started by best-selling technology author, Douglas Cobb (no relation) then later acquired by Ziff-Davis. However, since 1999, has been owned by another best-selling author, and leading computer security expert, Stephen Cobb, who used the site to provide free access to his many articles about security and data privacy. However, the site also featured a variety of other information, including genealogy of the Cobb family of Kent, England.

Now Stephen Cobb has moved the security content to a new web location owned by Cobb Associates, his information security and data privacy consulting business (web address He has moved his personal web site and Cobb genealogy content to

"With these changes I no longer feel the need for and, given the hot market in premium domain names right now, I decided this was the time to sell," said Cobb, noting recent domain name sales ranging from at $50,000 and at $175,000, to at $295,000 and at $1,500,000.

Cobb noted that, "Ironically, while the market in real property has slowed down, domain names--a form of virtual real estate--have become very hot." He added, "There is definitely a premium on short, non-ambiguous, top-level dot com names." One possible explanation, said Cobb, is that, despite the sophistication of search engines, "the fact is, the domain name itself still makes a big difference to who comes out on top and is easiest to find."

"In other words," suggested Cobb, "If the letters c-o-b-b are an important part of your business name or identity, then owning is likely to do more for your marketing than most other types of advertising."

As to who will eventually own, Stephen Cobb said this is, hard to predict. "Right now there are some serious speculators in the market who might buy the name just to resell it, but there are also many potential corporate buyers, from Cobb Theatres to Cobb-Vantress, and just about any business in Cobb County, Georgia." He noted that the business intelligence company, Hoovers, lists over 80 "Cobb" companies in the U.S. and around the world.

Information about the sale can be found at or, or fax +1 (775) 256 9558.


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