| This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 66 ( 1  3 ) > > || |
|Domain Name Holding - That's Not Right!|
There ought to be a law
I know this has been discussed before, but I am really fed up with domain registrars who do nothing more than hold domain names for ransom. They hold these names, skewing search engine results, and have no relevant content. Case in point: I have a directory web site which has in its domain name a word that can commonly be spelled two ways: modern and old English. I use to own both, but now only own the modern spelling. I found the “old English” version still floating around in Google – in fact it was the first result on a test inquiry, but had absolutely no content related to the domain name. The page was nothing more than links, the prominent one being THIS DOMAIN FOR SALE. So I inquired and they want 500GBP, nearly 1,000UUSD. GET REAL! I run this directory site as a hobby and make a few bucks through Google ads. Obviously I wanted the old English spelling version for people who still use it. BUT $1,000!
So, I ask, why are there no rules governing this type of activity. I understand “free enterprise” and “capitalism,” but if a domain is registered and used for nothing related to the domain name, then it should not be allowed as there are people who have legitimate use of a name but may not be able to, or want to, spend $1,000 to be able to offer a convenience for visitors. It’s not like I’m Coke or McDonalds.
How does domain squatting help the consumer? Is the Internet a better place because the best domains are full of second tier search results? Domain squatting is bad because it devalues the online experience for the end user and hurts the Internet community as a whole.
I think the answer to this problem is to develop a browser that has a filter for squatted domains. I would assume that majority of users that are looking to buy a car would want to be directed to sites that sell cars - not sites with second tier results. The online community can devalue squatter's domains and take the business away from the squatter. The major search engines could also put a five year ban on any domain with second tier results so that it can not be bought and reindexed. More regulation would not solve but attacking the profits of squatters by directing users toward real sites would be a big help.
Man, I go out of the office for a few hours and come back to find that we're 25 posts back into this worn out, run down and beaten to death debate?
Well . . have at it. Call each other (very creative) names. Get it out of your system. 'cause I swear we are not going here again in the next 6 months . . unless I'm out of the office for a few hours . . . Argh! Lord, give me strength. ;0)
Remember, I started this under FOO as a rant. I didn't move it here. ;)
But the other issue I mentioned is how these domains skew search results. This practice is unfair to everyone on the Internet.
“you don’t pay, you don’t get.”
Maybe it’s worth mentioning that I did not let the domain name (which started this post) merely expire or failed to make payment. I was in a car accident that left me laid out for two years, so it was not a matter of choice, or desire. Even then, it still does not alter the bottom line of the post.
Marshall, I agree. It's not your fault. I've been outflanked by forces of evil that executed a strategic pre-dawn vertical insertion of this thread into my little island nation.
As a counter-measure I've advised the Domain Forum bridge troll that he may take R&R leave. No sense in overworking the troll when this situation is not his fault. He ordinarily tosses threads such as this into the great chasm of doom before they get past the second post. :0)
[edited by: Webwork at 9:48 pm (utc) on June 26, 2007]
Maybe Brett should start a forum simply called RANT, or "I'm fed up and ain't going to take it no more", and what starts there stays there. Kind of like Vegas. How about it Brett?
Hey, I'm getting close to the magic "Senior Member" number, and in only six years, less two for a BIG boo-boo. Okay, I rolled (totalled) a Jeep Cherokee. I need an asprin just thinking about it.
|All real, living languages change, morph and evolve endlessly |
Yes, absolutely right, well done!
The point I was making, is that we both speak English, apparently. By we, I don't mean you and I, I'm not pointing any fingers here as I don't know where everyone else is from. I mean UK and US.
One spells "colour", one spells "color". They can't both be right, and only one describes themselves as English. If I pick up my dictionary, "color" won't be in it. Which one am I?
Hmmm, I'm in a good mind to make a dramatisation out of this, then I'll advertise it. It'll take some hard labour, but afterwards I can stroll on the pavement whilst savouring the moment.
>>They can't both be right,
Of course they can both be correct. But first, I recommend that you stop buying cheap dictionaries. ;) I have several dictionaries that list 'alternate' or 'variant' spellings.
As far as the historical record goes, words tend to get shorter rather than longer. So savoury may become savory in your future. Much like 'olde' became 'old'. More notably, two word combinations will contract into one word. Cellphone rather than cell phone, like web site became website.
|How does domain squatting help the consumer? Is the Internet a better place because the best domains are full of second tier search results? Domain squatting is bad because it devalues the online experience for the end user and hurts the Internet community as a whole. |
How does some guy owning 100,000 acres in florida help the consumer? It helps the consumer because at the end of the day a free market brings more good to consumers than bad. I just sold a name I was sitting on for a decent amount of money. I am now going to take that money and pay someone to build me a new website. The guy I pay will be able to pay rent, buy dinner and get a new TV set. Sounds like a good deal to me.
now if we had someone doling out domain names to the "good guys" none of that would have happened.
This isn't 1995, just because you think something "hurts the internet community as a whole" doesn't mean it can or should be stopped.
digitalghost is correct- both dialects of the English language are correct for the region in which they are spoken in. There is no such thing as a "Universal English".
You are all right of course, squatting on domain names is not illegal. It's only legal because it is assumed that most of us know when something is wrong even without a law to stop us.
The internet is, from both her physical and her historical roots, a shared cooperative resource. I can 'mailbomb' you, I can add thousands of comments to your guestbook, I can use my big pipe to overpower your slowing server. I don't because it would be a betrayal of the internet itself, equivalent of spitting on all the meat that your host serves so that the other guests won't touch it.
We've been given an open invitation to come and use the internet, and that includes the ability to obtain a domain name registry entry should we need it and can pay the small administration fee which applies. I quite understand that some people do make money out of squatting on domain names, but making money does not justify an act. It is still plain rude and an abuse of the kindness and trust which has been given to you and all users of the internet.
If this were any other thread, a mod would have split away the off-topic discussion of spelling and put it back into Foo...
Vince, would the OP be happier if some multi-million dollar company bought the domain and developed it? You know, added some real competition? Or is it easier to compete with a parked domain? Or are you suggesting that the OP buying up all the competitive domains adds value to the webscape?
Personally, I'd rather compete with the type-ins than a domain that offers real value. Just my opinion of course. Just seems like a lot of folks that bitch about domain owners want to squelch the competition by owning all the alternatives. Sort of like the domain buyers do...
If you do the math, the company I mentioned with over 600,000 names for sale, and using the quote of $2,888.00USD they gave me, you reap $1,732,800,000. That's almost a license to print money, and greed is the only motivation - not making the Internet better, not sharing, not providing unskewed search results, not helping anyone - just selfish greed. And you cannot convince anyone that a registrar is spending a lot of money "holding" the domain - what, maybe $10.00 a year if that. Not a bad proffit margin.
Your post went up while I was typing mine. Might not competition with a "real" domain actually improve not only the Internet, but site designs themselves? I am thinking of another thread about accessibility. And let's not forget the skewed search results parked domains cause.
Ay the very least, I think every web builder/designer/master, should report EVERY domain that turns up in a search result which is nothing more than a "for sale" sign. And by the way, the domain I was talking about has no ranking whatsoever. Alexa doesn't even recogonize it.
[edited by: Marshall at 2:33 am (utc) on June 27, 2007]
>> Might not competition with a "real" domain actually improve not only the Internet, but site designs themselves?
Hasn't yet. But feel free to change your complaint. It's the Internet. Haven't noticed the missing theatre site yet. I'm sure people are waiting. Of course, I've been busy buying up all the misspellings....
>> Alexa doesn't even recogonize
Alexa is a very large piece of #*$!. Noticed only because of the smell.
I think one should be careful of the terminology used here. The term "squatter" may infer Cybersquatting which in the US falls under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and is one who registers in bad faith domains that are trademarked and/or otherwise in business use. Domain Name holding like in the title might be more appropriate. Theres nothing wrong with buying up domains for use and/or investment.
Domains are a supply and demand business. They may not be "real" real estate but they are definitely "virtual" real estate that will increase in value as supply of prime names dwindles. Just think of what your one or two word generic .com name will be worth 5 or 10 years from now.
As mentioned in in another post here investors go at risk at the chance of obtaining a return on that investment. If you have the cash buy them up while theyre still available. Whining wont help obtain the domain you want.
Domains names are very cheap to register at the moment. I have six registered, all very similar and all redirecting to my web site.
I'm keeping an eye on my traffic stats to see which domain(s) are used the most to find my site. For the ones that aren't used much, I might let them go when the time comes.
|Of course they can both be correct. But first, I recommend that you stop buying cheap dictionaries |
lol! ok, my dictionary does have US only based variations. But I'm pretty sure sidewalk is NOT in there. It's not an English word, the English don't use it. The correct spelling is "pavement". And the correct spelling for pavement is "road".
What you have is a language largely based on English, but that is not English, why can't you just call it American and be done?
As for different spellings by region, no, scousers (Liverpool), mancs (Manchester), geordies (Newcastle) and cockneys (London), to name but a few, all have the same dictionaries.
Scotland and Wales also have the same dictionaries. The Scottish used to speak Gaelic, the Welsh are still clinging to their own language, called Welsh. When these 2 countries do speak/write English they are polite enough to accept the English way of spelling things.
Imagine if we were to pinch the French language, god forbid, change it to our own fashions, and try to pass it off to the French as French? You think they'd be ok with that?
back to the point for a second....
|I was in a car accident that left me laid out for two years, so it was not a matter of choice |
Unlucky. I hope everything is ok for you now. I believe you can now register domain names for up to 10 years, maybe you should consider this in future, just in case.
gmac17, you are a used car salesman of the web if you like. You have neither an original idea, nor a good product which you have produced.
Without you, the website guy would have gone straight to your domain name guy, paid his rent, bought his dinner, got a new TV set, and got his car serviced on top. The domain guy would have been $$$'s better off, and the only thing you have done (apart from staying off state benefits which is nice) is push up the costs and prices of the guy who genuinely want's to build his website, for his business, for his products or services which he has worked hard for.
What you, and people like you do, amount to no more than blackmail.
|Please see vincevincevince's post! Well spoken that man! |
The very good point he made is that you should need laws to tell you when something's wrong. You should know. If it wasn't illegal to kill your irritating neighbour, would you do it?
|that bitch about domain owners want to squelch the competition by owning all the alternatives. Sort of like the domain buyers do |
digitalhost, I'm sure jealousy will always drive some people, but I personally think it's just really annoying when I want to register a domain for one of my enterprises, and can't cos somebody has put an unrelated link farm there.
|You know, added some real competition? |
Driving down consumer prices? Yeah, I'm sure they'd object to that!
|Might not competition with a "real" domain actually improve not only the Internet, but site designs themselves? |
You can lead a guy to a domain name, but you can't teach good design.
|Domains names are very cheap to register at the moment |
Yeah, I pay about £2.50 per year. I have about 15 active, hosting for either me or my clients, and about 20 'spare'. Some are redirects for my clients, some just have my holding page for things I plan to do in the future.
I've taken to using memorable names, rather than the names of companies or services, for example www.example.co.uk, rather that www.example.co.uk
That way you can always find something. Or I have so far anyway.
[edited by: buckworks at 12:40 pm (utc) on June 27, 2007]
[edit reason] Examplified - no URL drops, please [/edit]
Ive just had my first experience with one of these domain holding company's/cyber squatters, a client of mine has just paid the best part of $3000 to buy a domain only to find that it seems to be useless.
Now that he's got the domain its seems it has been blocked in a number of countries and the only reason we can see is the holding page that the domain holding company had up
|Imagine if we were to pinch the French language, god forbid, change it to our own fashions, and try to pass it off to the French as French? You think they'd be ok with that? |
I think Canada already tried that one...
Back to the topic as well:
I admit that two years' laid up is an extreme form of "inattention" (and I hope you are fully recovered) but, if this thread has done nothing else, I hope that business owners are thinking about long registration periods for their important sites.
Nonetheless, I still fail to see the distinction that most of you are making.
Marshall (presumably) wants the former domain name to redirect to the current site, potentially depriving another owner of the use of it.
Dabrowski does the same for some clients, plus has some where they are lying fallow waiting for the arrival of some roundtuits, also depriving potential owners of the use of them.
As do some others (including me) who have posted in this thread.
Many domain name owners are also waiting for that elusive delivery of roundtuits, but have decided to put ads on the holding page instead of a 404 which a lot of other webmasters leave up.
And some domain owners have no desire to build anything currently as they are making a nice profit from type-in traffic.
So what is it?
Is it the fact that the domain is undeveloped?
If so, what about your own redirected or undeveloped names?
Is it because people want money for it when you desire it and you consider it is outside your price range? A lot of people want to use Photoshop but have to make do with Gimp because they can't afford the former.
Is it the content on it that is undesirable? I can show you a lot of domains which have been developed where I could do a far better job than the current owner. Should they have to turn their domains over to me if I want them?
People registered those domains before you did. They paid their money and they now have ownership as long as they continue paying their fees. They can do what they want with them - that is their right (within the rules and regulations that we have in the domain world). Just as it is your right to leave a 404 on your undeveloped domains or to redirect it to another of your domains or to put up a page of twaddle or to feature a picture of your cat or even to make a useful site. If you want one of those domains that is registered, offer to buy it. And if you don't want to pay the price, then find another domain name.
(And I must say that I have never ever had a problem finding a domain name that I liked for any new project. It may not have been the name I first thought of, and it may not be the name I would have chosen if given the choice of all the names under the sun, but they do the job for me.)
stever wrote : "Marshall (presumably) wants the former domain name to redirect to the current site, potentially depriving another owner of the use of it."
Yes, I want it as a redirect as I had before, but not to deprive anyone else of using it, but as this thread has pointed out, some people spell words differently and I just want to accommodate those who spell theater "theatre". Bottom Line: It's not to deprive anyone or improve rankings, etc., it's just being thoughtful to my visitors in letting them type what comes naturally.
I think the main issue is this:
|Many domain name owners are also waiting for that elusive delivery of roundtuits, but have decided to put ads on the holding page instead of a 404 which a lot of other webmasters leave up. |
And some domain owners have no desire to build anything currently as they are making a nice profit from type-in traffic
Genuine holding pages for roundtuits are fine, as long as the intention is genuine. Leaving ad's is also fine, I personally have a holding page advertising my own company.
The problem is the second point, domain owners, doing nothing with the domain, other than link farming, or click trade. This dilutes the online experience for users looking for genuine, relevant content.
|Is it the fact that the domain is undeveloped? |
If so, what about your own redirected or undeveloped names?
The problem arises when the domain is developed, but not with relevant content. Like having www.lizard.com and then filling it with content about giraffes. It's unlikely that giraffe fans will look at www.lizard.com, and it will annoy lizard fans as they go to www.lizard.com, only to find nothing about lizards, just a load of giraffe adverts.
The debate is really about should this be allowed?
Having any number of domains with holding pages is fair game, as long as you have genuine intention for relevant development, as I do. I don't optimise my holding pages, and get very little traffic through them. I like it that way, as I don't feel I'm upsetting anyone. If someone wants the same name, then they're probably competition for my idea and I wouldn't sell it for any amount of money.
Marshall has lost his domain, and will probably never get it back, unless he pays for it. If the site will recoup this cost it may be worth it but it shouldn't happen as the site has been turned into a useless linkfarm.
|and I just want to accommodate those who spell theater "theatre". |
You mean, correctly? ;)
[edited by: Dabrowski at 2:26 pm (utc) on June 27, 2007]
Actually, I always spelled it "re", but when I taught technical theater at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, it was in the Department of Speech, Communication and [u]Theater[/u]. Who am I to argue with the people signing my pay check. Sorry UK.
|doing nothing with the domain . . dilutes the online experience for users looking for genuine, relevant content. |
Your major premise brings to mind eminent domain - devoid of the "compelling government interest".
Your version of eminent domain is a bit more like "your house isn't pleasing to me so you should tear it down". My warehouse isn't a museum so I should tear it down so you can build a museum in its place.
In case you failed to notice the last time I checked the news there was growing public sentiment that the power of eminent domain was being overused or abused by governing agencies. "It's just someone else's property. We can do better!" isn't a winning argument lately.
Forget the fact that no one needs to linger more than a second at my crummy landing page loaded with relevant ads unless they are actually looking for service or product providers. Then they're happy since the website lists on my domain's landing page are likely as good as an SERPs page, just less spammy or uncertain or less confusing than SERPs pages often are.
Not to worry. All those crummy landing pages are about to disappear. The domain parking industry is about to explode into the (crummy?) developed domain business. Marchex to launch 100,000 local websites. [webmasterworld.com]
Knowing that - that 100,000 parked domains are about to become some version of mini-portal - are you feeling better now? No? All those undeveloped domains now instantly qualify for your "under developed domains and websites we don't like must go" debate . . or petition . . or . .
Sound and fury. You and I would do better to spend our time building a new quality content page than to revisit this tired issue.
[edited by: Webwork at 3:18 pm (utc) on June 27, 2007]
|In your version of eminent domain my house isn't pleasing to you so I should tear it down. My warehouse isn't a museum so I should tear it down so you can build a museum in its place |
But I wouldn't build a museam, and call it "Jeffs Fish 'n' Chips", I wouldn't build a warehouse and call it "King George III's Castle".
Webwork is entirely right. The two groups involved in this thread will never reach an agreement, especially with so many here who have vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
In any case, it will never be domain squatters who make the decision about whether these practices continue, so it is of no benefit to try to persuade them otherwise. Just as with slavery and smoking, curtailment of this industry could only ever happen through pressure being applied to those able to create new laws or change corporate policy.
All that being said... although the debate is futile, I still feel drawn to show my objection to the 'industry'. Just as well we have the TOS!
Domain parking and slavery? Logical extremism is the dying breath of feckless debate. What next? Global security and parked domains?
Let's be clear: The moral turpitude embedded in the Anti-Cybersquatting Act only applies in very limited, well defined circumstances.
Domain parking is a shortcut to commercial use and commercial exploitation. Commerce is what is present on domain landers, i.e, advertisements or paid promotional website listings. Are you are saying that commerce equates with moral turpitude?
What about developing a domain for commercial use or exploitation? Is your proposition that a little commercialization is a moral wrong but big commercialization isn't? Many commercial pages = moral or good? Few commercial pages = bad?
Is flooding Google SERPs with Ebay pages an issue of moral moment or not? Isn't each page in the SERPs essentially a stand alone act of immoral commerce? Why have a page that sells something? Isn't there a better use for that space, that page?
As best I have been able to divine from reading this thread the asserted "wrong" only exists in the minds of those willing to make the leap from "parking use" to "a better use" a leap of moral moment. A better use makes the lesser use immoral. That's a logical minefield if ever I entered one. I so look forward to the day when my "better use" argument trumps your "but I own it" argument. I have a better use for the grassy lot you call your backyard. I want to plan zucchini and feed people.
There's a reason why property rights are zealously protected.
The pointlessness of this debate is exactly why we don't play host to it . . except sometimes . . argh. ;-P
[edited by: Webwork at 4:28 pm (utc) on June 27, 2007]
If you own the trademark, or if your counterpart is pretending to be you ('passing off'), then there is a law to protect you.
If you can't be bothered to register a mark (I've done this and it's quick, cheap and easy), then you don't have greater rights to it than anyone else.
|But I wouldn't build a museam, and call it "Jeffs Fish 'n' Chips", I wouldn't build a warehouse and call it "King George III's Castle". |
In this quote, it seems that you want domain names to be descriptive of the content. The best brand names are never descriptive of the product they brand. Trademark law affords the highest measure of protection to brands that are not descriptive.
If I go to to nike dot com, I am not going to see an essay on the Goddess of Victory.
Since I never expected my “Foo” rant to grow into such a hot topic, I am going to lay to rest (at least my participation) this topic.
The “theatre” domain name I formerly owned and would like to get back, was on the market ONLY 3 years. At best, I figure it cost whomever has it now $30.00 to take and hold it all this time, but they are asking nearly $1,000. You tell me what industry has what, a 3,000% mark-up!? Compare this to land speculation if you want, but I doubt you will get a 3,000% return on your investment, especially in three years. I know of no industry where this is possible. What if gasoline was raised 3,000%, or bread, heating oil, etc. What would you say then – EXTORTION!, plain and simple. Look how people are complaining about the price of gas in the US now claiming the oil companies are profiteers, and that’s only a few cents a gallon (of course, people in the US actually have some of the cheapest gas around). THE ONLY reason people can get away with it is that no one regulates it. Internet is free!? Yeah, right.
Regardless what side of the debate you are on, it is the extortion aspect that really gets me. Since no organization can regulate, or is willing to, the only thing is a grass-roots effort to stop paying outrageous prices for names. At the very least, buyers should make a purchase conditionally stating in effect that the seller guarantees and minimum amount of traffic through that name, otherwise a proportional amount of the purchase price should be refunded. If you bought a car, blender, toaster, computer, software, whatever, that did not live up to the hype and/or expectation, you would take it back. Domain names that are held for ransom should be no different.
Deb, thank you for your kind words. Where do I start.
|gmac17, you are a used car salesman of the web if you like. You have neither an original idea, nor a good product which you have produced. |
Using this logic you obviously feel that realtors, real estate investors, stock brokers and the like also fit into this crowd.
|What you, and people like you do, amount to no more than blackmail. |
What is blackmail about buying domain names and not using them, or holding it to develop later on, or to sell? I'm not buying names of your company and then trying to sell them right back to you for more money. I'm buying blank pieces of slate that i may develop someday, and if I don't i will sell.
I have 500 names. You stated you have 15 names. So at the end of the day the only difference between us is 485 names? So if I'm a big crook, you are also a crook, just on a smaller scale? (reminds me of the story of the guy who offered the woman $1,000,000 to sleep with him but I won't go there...)If someone offered you $25k for one of your unused domains would you turn it down to preserve the kindred spirit of the internet?
|Without you, the website guy would have gone straight to your domain name guy, paid his rent, bought his dinner, got a new TV set, and got his car serviced on top. The domain guy would have been $$$'s better off, and the only thing you have done (apart from staying off state benefits which is nice) is push up the costs and prices of the guy who genuinely want's to build his website, for his business, for his products or services which he has worked hard for. |
You don't get it. I am the guy taking my money and giving it to the website guy to build me a site. And the guy who "wants to genuinely build his website for his products and for his business" is a billion dollar company that already has 20 websites, so cry all you want that this big company couldn't get this domain for $8 from the internet domain fairy.
I don't like typosquatters, tm violaters or the like - but if you complain about the rest of the domain world I sure to hell hope you also bitch about people who own beachfront real estate and don't put houses on it.
Marshall, getting out first makes you the smarter man than I. ;0)
FWIW, I consider this thread an "all in good fun" event, bruising though it may be. No offense intended. No offense taken. Let the fur fly. Fire all the guns at once.
Just nothing particularly low brow.
| This 66 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 66 ( 1  3 ) > > |