What does a URL have to do with stock investing and more importantly, marijuana stock investing ? Let’s take a step back if that question sounds like Chinese to you right now.
What is a URL?
A URL is the unique website address of your company. It is the “www. thing” that you go to on the Internet to read about your company. Why is a URL important to you a company and your investment in the marijuana industry? The number one reason is that it is an asset of the corporation you decide to invest in. A URL is a web address, a unique piece of real estate that no one else can have on the Internet. It is the same as owning a piece of real estate in the physical world. It has an identifiable address and there is no other address that matches it in the world, and it is a unique piece of land or property. The same rules apply on the Internet, domain addresses, or URLs, can be just as valuable as houses in Malibu on the ocean or just as common as a PO BOX in a FedEx store.
But wait, I thought my companies name was more important? The brand, the logo, the design of the website, the colors used on the site, the font used on the business card? Yes, the name and logo of a company are important for branding, but when looking at balance sheets for investment, they mean nothing unless it is a well established brand like Coke or Delta. For example, CannaSwing (made up company) can have a great logo, nice colors, great fonts on the site, but when they go bankrupt, that stuff is worthless. If CannaSwing has a valuable URL, you now have an asset that can be sold.
Why is a URL important to a company and hence, to you as an investor?
Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
The three major search engines control 98% of the search engine queries in the country, and in most English speaking countries. A big part of their ranking, as in where you appear on the search results, has to do with the words in your URL, how old your URL is (when was it registered), and links to your URL. Links are other sites in the world that like you content and tell their readers to go check out your material. The more links you have from respected sources, the more important Google thinks you site must be, and hence, ranks it higher.
The most powerful addresses on the internet end in .com, .net, and .org. Why? They are the oldest URL ending and have the most history associated with them, so Google trusts them more. Google hates being fooled and hates showing bad results to their users. So if Google sees a very old domain, with a good link history from other sites, and has the words being searched for in the URL , and ends in a .com, .net or .org, they immediately give it high “Domain Authority.” This is just Google’s way of saying, we like you, your site is good, you are a trusted source of information so we will rank you higher to show our readers.
Let’s look at an example. If your hemp investment is in a company called, HempBeWare (made up name) and you are looking at their assets and liabilities before you invest, what do you thing is a more valuable domain URL, www.hemp.com or www.hempBeWareonline.com ? Well, the against match domain for the keyword you would like to get traffic for, the long history of the hemp.com URL, and the .com ending make it VERY valuable online for anything hemp. If I am looking at investing with them and I ask myself, “What is the worst case scenario, what if they go bust?” Well, I see that have a very valuable domain so in the worst case I know they can sell that for a few million dollars down the road to a hemp based business.
Think valuable URLS are not a cottage industry or valuable asset. Check out this price list below, granted, these are asking prices, but you get the idea.
Remember, these are the brokers asking prices, but you get the point. If you have a great domain, it can be work serious money. I have no idea what Bid.com is about but I know if I startup bought the domain and did something with it, I would put that as major asset when thinking about investing.
The Cannabis Niche
The URL is five times more important in the cannabis marijuana niche. Why is that? Currently, due to the federal standing of cannabis and marijuana, you cannot advertise for web traffic at almost all of the major sources. Google, Facebook, Outbrain, Mashable, Huffington Post, you name it will not take ads having to do with marijuana or cannabis due the drug being a scheduled as a class 1 drug by the US government. Long story short, no Google ad words, no Facebook ads, not many ways to get traffic to your site without staying within the niche and buy traffic from other cannabis or marijuana sites.
This is why Google rank is so important right now. Google will rank your cannabis and marijuana site based on the criteria we talked about above (exact match, links, .com or .net) but you can’t pay for ads in Google for it. So it is organic search results (the stuff you see in the middle of the Google page when you do a search) or nothing. That makes ranking well in Google 10x more important than say a niche like selling shoes or software. For those niches, you can buy all the traffic you want from Google and Facebook. If you can’t rank well in Google, how is the company you plan on investing going to get traffic or eyeballs to their vaporizer, soil nutrients, gummy bears, or whatever they are doing?
How important is the URL? In the cannabis niche there are only 4 “godfather” URLS. Marijuana.com and .net and Cannabis.com and .net. One person owns three of the domains and has said in interviews that he will not sell them until he gets a billion dollars from someone like Marlboro or Merc pharmaceuticals. He is basically building monopoly of the best URLs in the world in this niche.
As a personal example, in our latest funding round at Cannabis.net, I went through a 10 minute talk about our company and plans with an investor, and at the end he said nothing for 10 seconds. After that he just took out a checkbook and said, “You had me at ‘We are Cannabis.net…”
Take a look at some of the cannabis domains currently in the market.
The “Inquire” means the domain is not currently for sale but you can hire a broker for a nominal fee to track down who actually owns it and start a conversation about selling it.
Just remember when valuing an investment in the cannabis industry be sure to not just gloss over the URL that company is using and planning on setting up shop with on the Internet. An exact match, aged domain ending in .com or .net has a ton of value you out in the Internet real estate world. In a niche were traffic buying is very restricted, this double the value of a domain, since traffic is scarce and will have to be bought until the laws change.
Author – Curt Dalton own Cannabis.net and is a life long entrepreneur. He has raised money for 3 companies and has 2 successful exits, with Cannabis.net being his latest raise and company. Cannabis.net is a marijuana and cannabis portal with full dispensary, doctor, lawyer, and cannabusiness mapping, as well as a full blogging platform, and social network.
MAPH Enterprises, LLC | (305) 414-0128 | 1501 Venera Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | email@example.com