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Domain Names Forum

Arrgh! A "Double - - Hyphenated" Domain
I've never noticed one before

 6:35 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are a heck of a lot of posts on whether to use hyphens in a domain name, how many words you can get away with separating by hyphens, etc. But I've never seen a double - - hyphenated domain before today while doing a search on Google.

It showed up in an Adwords ad -- along with a subdomain, of course -- in this form:


Are we in for a new wave of "How many hyphens in a row can I have in a domain name?" posts. Or has this been happening all along and I've just not noticed?



 6:38 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

getting to the bottom of the barrel huh! :)




 11:40 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I wouldn't be surprised to see random numbers, random hex digits, random characters, etc. start showing up as domain names.

Think about the fundamental purpose of the domain name system. It's to assign a permanent name to endpoints, independent of IP address. In some cases, it serves a purpose to make the name easily-remembered, easily-typed, and mnemonic.

But not in all cases.

If the name is being used for some kind of machine-to-machine connectivity, the only need is for a name that is unique and independent of IP address.

One advantage of a domain name made up of random characters is that it's unlikely to be taken from you in a trademark dispute. :)

And I can think of a number of reasons why spammers, hackers, and a few other unsavory types might actually prefer domain names made up of random characters.


 11:50 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I wouldn't be surprised to see random numbers, random hex digits, random characters, etc. start showing up as domain names.

I've been seeing them for months- in SPAM messages. Now that domain names are so cheap, SPAMMERS can buy a bunch of "disposable" domains, have them all point to the same server, then SPAM away. These days, most of the time when I look up WHOIS info forURLs in SPAM, they have almost always been registered within 1-2 days of the SPAM message. They mostly resolve to servers in China where the admins do nothing about SPAM complaints.


 8:45 am on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I seem to recall ICANN (or some other formal organization) determined in the past that domains with double/consecutive hyphens were not allowed and would not be issued.

Perhaps some black hat registrar has broken this rule?


 2:20 pm on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

What I've found checking on a few different registrars is:

this-place--widget.com can be registered.

this-place--this--widget.com can be registered.

this--place--widget.com returns an error.

this--place-widget.com returns an error.

So it seems that only double hyphens as a first occurence get flagged.


 8:04 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Double Hyphens in the third and fourth position are not allowed.


This allows for IDNs and other encodings.

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