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The case of domains “stolen” when registering.
dronbk




msg:698893
 4:37 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a long read but it is worth it if you don't want to lose that domain you wanted.

This thread is to help those to be careful when trying to register domain.

There have been many cases of people complaining that the domain they wanted to register got registered sometime after they first looked it up to see if it was available. Meaning they “lost” out on it to another “person”.

This is a fact, rather than a conspiracy theory, it’s not people looking up your query for domains, instead the registration process that “steals” your domain is carried out automatically by bots, and sometimes humans too. There are many factors behind the process that triggers the bots to register the domain you are after,

I’m going to write some tips to stop you fall in that trap in PART 1.

Even if you fell in this trap, not t worry you can get out of it by reading PART 2.

I’m speaking from experience so I wanted to pass on this experience so I can help others to avoid it. I missed out on a domain, another company registered it because I made the mistakes of showing too much activity, and few days later I registered the domain my self. So there can be a happy ending.

PART 1

How to NOT fall in the trap of getting the domain registered before you.

- Make up your mind what domain you want and register it instantly. Make sure you’re ready in every aspect when you want to register the domain and register it. Make sure you have time and the right payment to register it right there and then and do not leave it for “later”. Because once you typed in the domain to see if it is available, then there is a chance that it will be taken by bots/humans if it appeals to them. Don’t take the risk!

- Use only one domain registration site that you trust to query to see if the domain is available or not. Not two sites, not more, just one domain registration site, and let that be one that you trust and it is reliable and trustworthy.

- Query to see the domain is available only once, once you know it’s available then it is available! Do not try to make another query just to make sure if it was really available, doing so may trigger bots to register your domain.

- Another advice is, If you really want to know whether a domain is available then just check it through your browser once, if a webpage didn’t come up then chances are it’s available.

PART 2

How to recover and register that domain even after it got “stolen” and got registered.

Like I mention, individuals don’t always register these domains, automated bots has been set up to register them if they feel there is a lot of activity concerning that particular domain, it’s all complicated algorithms, such as, if domain has been checked for availability this many times then register.

You have to know these domain are registered by solely on profit making, and they almost all be used in domain parking sites.

These are the steps to take recover the domain after registration. I took the same steps and got the domain that I wanted to register in the first place.

- Once you feel the domain has been “snatched” from you, then leave it alone for 3-5 days (preferably 5 days) Let those 5 days past, you have got nothing to lose now. So just leave it alone in all aspects.

- In that period DO NOT check to see if the domain is available, DO NOT type in the domain in the browser to visit the site (it will probably just be parked). DO NOT check any WHOIS to see who’s got it. Totally leave it alone.

- Once you leave it alone, the domain will be released again to the public because of the “lack of activity” surrounding it.

- The only reason the domain gets “stolen” is because you did not follow PART 1, meaning you shown too much activity for the domain, and the scammy registrars/bots/whatever only see dollar signs and they turn it to a parking page. You might have checked that domain’s availability 10 times, but scammy sites will see it as 10 people. They think it will make them money, so they take it before you do.

- There is a 3 to 5 days rule where there is a “special” affiliation between scammy registration companies and those who register it, the domain they register costs them nothing as long as they release it within 3-5 days after they register it. So in that period they are checking whether to see is worth keeping the domain or not, so by you showing activity around the domain you are giving them a reason to keep it.

Follow PART 2 and 5 days later you can register that exact domain without problem, it will be available like nothing had happened.

So the bottom line is, follow PART 1 to not fall in the trap, if you’ve made a mistake and did fall in the trap then follow PART 2 and you could get that domain back.

<snip>

I felt bad when the domain I wanted got registered because I fell in the trap, so I do not want others to feel like how I did. I felt great when I finally registered that domain I initially wanted few days later, so I want all to feel great too.

Some people are not aware about these methods of “domain snatching” so please make them aware of it by letting them read this.

Good luck and be careful with domain registration.

[edited by: Webwork at 4:43 am (utc) on April 18, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

 

davezan




msg:698894
 8:10 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I realize people feel "their" domain names get snatched after being searched for. But really, no one has absolute exclusive rights to a domain name 'til it's registered.

Millions of people use the 'net every day. The chances of 2 or more people coming up with the same idea and racing to express that idea increase as more and more users converge at the same time.

Plus, when you're using a registrar's search site to see if a name's available, they're free to use the data you're feeding them in any way they see fit. Unless their privacy policy or they form some agreement with you stating like they won't "exploit" that data, they have no obligations to you.

If we take this a step further, SEs like google can analyze the data they're fed, and commercially earn from it. Why shouldn't they since it's their machines you're using, and no one's forcing you not to use them?

One attorney gave a good analogy I find logical and reasonable: imagine you're in a guy's living room, taking down notes or whatever. The guy's watching your every move, taking down what you're taking down.

Do you feel he's invading your privacy? Maybe, but you're in his living room where he can do what he wants.

Still, it's good you mentioned the importance of grabbing the name right away seen it's available. You somewhat forgot to mention 2 other ways of making sure none of the registrars know what you're searching for, though:

1. Make sure your computers are clean, of course. You don't want anyone putting any unwanted guests in them to feed your data to whoever sent it and possibly using it to their advantage (or your disadvantage).

2. Use the authoritative Registry instead to see if a name's available or not. Registrars base their results from the Registry, and they can't tell what people are looking for if one uses the Registry's WHOIS lookup instead.

Of course, there's always the chance the Registry's commercially exploiting that data, too. But that's a conspiracy theory I've no proof to offer...yet. :D

On the side, there's an interesting link related to this. But I'll check with WebWork first.

FireHorse




msg:698895
 5:13 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

who's the "authoratative Registry"?

monek




msg:698896
 5:36 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seems kind of unreasonable. I mean, let's say there's someone/thing/whatever parsing all the registration searches and picking ones to register...what good would it do them? All the decent names are pretty much taken. All they could stand to gain is holding the domain for a year to see if you offer them something for it. Since its likely to be a low value name anyway the user is more likely just to register another one that is available.

In sum, I think your conspiracy theory is a dead end.

~M

davezan




msg:698897
 7:57 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

who's the "authoratative Registry"?

.COM & .NET - Verisign
.ORG - Public Interest Registry (PIR)
.INFO - Afilias
.BIZ - Neulevel

WebWork, feel free to edit these if not appropriate. :)

Seems kind of unreasonable. I mean, let's say there's someone/thing/whatever parsing all the registration searches and picking ones to register...what good would it do them? All the decent names are pretty much taken. All they could stand to gain is holding the domain for a year to see if you offer them something for it. Since its likely to be a low value name anyway the user is more likely just to register another one that is available.

There are actually 2 names quite commonly found doing these sorts of things, especially if you use their registrars to do your searches.

What they'll do is wait for someone to search a name using their registrar, potentially reg it, hope you'll contact them and ask how much, then they'll give a "unreasonable" figure. If there are no takers, they can always delete the name within the 120-hour window registrars are allowed to delete a name and get a refund.

Sure it's convenient. But at least there are options. ;)

Alex_Miles




msg:698898
 8:22 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)


I wish I had the luxury of regarding this as a conspiracy theory.

Thanks for following through and finding the solution, Dronbk.

monek




msg:698899
 9:59 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I just checked another popular domain forum and there's a guy accusing godaddy of the same thing described here. I'll admit the ability of registrars to use "domain tasting" to pick up names makes this theory a little more possible but the returns are so little compared to the bread and butter products registrars make most of their cash from. I mean think how much they would stand to lose if they got caught doing this. So much risk for so little return.

~M

emodo




msg:698900
 2:50 am on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

This might be of interested to this thread:

[wiredblogs.tripod.com...]

And no I am not Ethan Zuckerman secretly promoting Tripod.

cerebrum




msg:698901
 3:49 am on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Use ICANN official Whois

[internic.net...]

AhmedF




msg:698902
 6:38 am on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is not a 'conspiracy theory' ... it is something that is happening on a pretty large scale by pretty large firms.

The argument about 2 people thinking of the same domain is one of the weakest one - if a domain has not been registered yet, the chance of two people thinking of the same domain in a short time span is somewhere between not happening and not likely.

kwngian




msg:698903
 8:33 am on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wish these fake registrars would stop doing that. They literally take a good domain and destroying what may take years to build, by parking it throughout the registration period and getting it blacklisted by the SEs.

Staffa




msg:698904
 2:29 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

- Another advice is, If you really want to know whether a domain is available then just check it through your browser once, if a webpage didn’t come up then chances are it’s available.

In several weeks time I'll need a new domain. Out of curiosity I followed above advice and guess what .... a domain name reseller site popped up - in nothing related to the URL I entered in the address bar - with a mention "THIS DOMAIN NAME HAS JUST BEEN REGISTERED FOR ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS!" further down the page was a link to check the domain leading to a whois check page.

I guess if I were to follow through they would probably have snatched the name just to sit on it for a while. And no, I didn't give them the satisfaction. It just goes to show to what lengths some will go.

Rodney




msg:698905
 8:26 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it true that when you do a domain name search at some major registrars (like when you are going to buy a domain) that your whois query is actually broadcast out to ALL the registrars and registries?

That means everyone knows that it is a potential quality TLD. The reason they send the query out is due the amount of expired and waiting to be deleted domains. Registrars want to get you the domain that you ask for, so they query everyone to see if it is available

I can see this happening at some domain registry places if they are actually a reseller for that particular extension, but I didn't think this was a standard practice for all domains?

stu2




msg:698906
 2:07 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think dronbk has some good advice there. I'm going to "steal" some of it :)

I'd just like to support davezan's theory about two people thinking up the same name at the same time. It's true! It just happened to me.

I had been tracking a domain that I'd intended to buy at auction but somehow didn't get around to it. It expired. A "taster" picked it up. I only know that because it dropped approx 5 days later (yesterday... my birthday). Of course I was absolutely delighted.

It was a 10 char dictionary word (verb/noun) plus an "s" tacked on the end making it definitely a noun. A bit of a strange use, but definitely in use. I'd checked previously if the same name with "the" tacked on the front was still available, and it was. Again a bit strange but definitely in use. After registering the 1st name, I went to register the 2nd. Low and behold, it had just been registered yesterday. ON MY BIRTHDAY! It had been registered about 12 hours before I tried! (it's still yesterday in the USA). In use by a softball team who call themselves "The ..........s"!

So, some good and bad luck, on my birthday :) :( But definitely these coincidences exist. I too, was skeptical about the logic. But I'm a believer now.

stu2




msg:698907
 2:26 am on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh... and I definitely used the tactics explained by dronbk in Part 2

davezan




msg:698908
 8:12 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it true that when you do a domain name search at some major registrars (like when you are going to buy a domain) that your whois query is actually broadcast out to ALL the registrars and registries?

No. The registrar queries only the Registry for a domain name record, if any.

However, there's always the possibility the registrar can share its results with other registrars, especially if they have some mutual agreement. But I'd imagine no one would do this because any mutual benefit is somewhat "minimal".

Demaestro




msg:698909
 8:33 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

davezan I think you are somwhat mistaken on that point.

<snippet from emodo link>
One of the things everyone should know is that when you submit a query for ANY domain name, it is sent out across the interenet to ALL the registrars and registries. That means everyone knows that it is a potential quality TLD. The reason they send the query out is due the amount of expired and waiting to be deleted domains. Registrars want to get you the domain that you ask for, so they query everyone to see if it is available.
<snippet>

davezan




msg:698910
 9:35 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

davezan I think you are somwhat mistaken on that point.
<snippet from emodo link>
One of the things everyone should know is that when you submit a query for ANY domain name, it is sent out across the interenet to ALL the registrars and registries. That means everyone knows that it is a potential quality TLD. The reason they send the query out is due the amount of expired and waiting to be deleted domains. Registrars want to get you the domain that you ask for, so they query everyone to see if it is available.
<snippet>

A guy from GD actually replied to something similarly posted in another site, although I'm not sure if I can post it here. But that snippet from the original link that started this isn't completely right.

The other registrar owner-members here can verify that. But I really wonder where did "shaggysurfs" get that info.

Goes to show it's hard to screen out the truth from fiction.

Demaestro




msg:698911
 9:41 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree dave and I didn't mean to suggest that it must be true because someone named shaggysurfs says so.

However the reasoning given seems to make sense and unless they checked with all the registrars how would they know if a domain had been released very recently, or taking by someone else recently.

At least the logic behind it makes sense.

I did a look at some of the whois styled sites and couldn't find any info on who they ask when checking domains.

davezan




msg:698912
 10:26 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

unless they checked with all the registrars how would they know if a domain had been released very recently, or taking by someone else recently.

Just for those domain names following the redemption period - pending delete process, all registrars are notified which domain names are about to be deleted during the 5-day Pending Delete phase. Then when the domain name's just about to be available, boom! everyone starts pounding the Registry itching to grab it.

There's one analogy I'd love to use to describe how it goes. But I'm embarassed because it involves...reproduction. :D

Anyway, it's the registrar who notifies the Registry when a domain name's registered or modified, that's it. Then the other registrars check solely the Registry who's got the domain name or not.

Demaestro




msg:698913
 10:53 pm on Apr 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the explaintion.

Myself I use command line whois so I am not sure I have to worry anyways.

What do people here think about sitting on a great domain name hoping for big $$.

There is one domain I want and someone has been sitting on it for 6 months now and all it has on there is a text about how they want an offer and an email address to send to. It was asking on the page for $3,650,000 No word of a lie. When they took down that amount I offered them $1000 and they said no and that they had turned down 6 figures.

What you think of that? This domain has no established traffic or ranking, it is a 4 letter word with an s and they want over 3 million. Is it me or is this just wishful thinking?

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