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When there is absolutely nothing left on the internet the powers that be (ICANN?) should open up an auction system on those domain names with one critical new rule. If you buy (lease) the domain name example.com your site had better be 100% about example.com. No redirect page, no blank page, no parked page etc. Pure example, that's the rule.
When every stinking domain name out there has been leased to the highest bidder the internet should be turned back on and every site built would match the domain name (if it doesn't you forfeit your money and the next in line gets it).
Why would this work? Because the better domain names would go to the highest bidder who would then feel motivated to protect his/her investment by being on stinking topic with the domain name for fear of losing rights to it. Not using the domain name? You lose it. Not on topic? you lose it. content so lame a 3 year old can write better? The 3 year old inherits it.
Ok, why would this REALLY work? Because there would be no need of search engines and rankings and nofollow and every other manipulation tactic. If someone wants to learn about dark blue waterproof tuxedos they would type in dark+blue+waterproof+tuxedos+.com and voila.
It's my opinion at this very late hour of the night that I need to get some sleep but as I was preparing to shut down the computer it dawned on me, websites and their owners aren't the problem with the internet... the way we find sites is because it leads to rankings and searching instead of direct access. The importance placed on search doesn't lend itself to creating more direct access. Search is a crutch, an admitance of failure that we can't simply type in what we want and be where we want to be. I'm sorry search, I love ya, but you're the middleman and need to be phased out.
Now just borrow that TARDIS and go back and get it all fixed.
>> every site built would match the domain name
the problem there is who would be the arbitrator to judge whether my site matches the domain? You? Would it be Democratic? and... what "matches" boingboing.com?
>> leased to the highest bidder
the problem there is that the internet will be owned by Nestlé and Monsanto and Coke.
>> the better domain names would go to the highest bidder
what you've described is not a free market. it's a tyranny where you do not have the right to own your property, because the choice to sell or not is not yours.
A predictable swill of corporate walmarts who have all outbid us, forced us to watch their annoying commercials like they do on TV, and who we end up buying from because we cannot find any small shops with character nearby.
Plus, what about keeping things interesting? The spice of life, finding something you did not expect to find?
Throw 20 emails at them; if they don't spot the phishing emails, no license, retake the test. If they click any links in the phishing emails or spam mails, they go on a permanent black list, no Internet access for life.
Present them with a joke or Internet Scare email; if they a) forward to everyone they know, no license, must re-take the test, or b) forward to everyone they know using the CC field (as opposed to BCC), permanent black list, banned for life from using a computer.
Present them with options to buy licensed software or download it for free, if the hit the pirate site, re-take the safety test before getting a license.
Present them with three ecommerce sites to make a purchase, if they enter sensitive information on a non-secure site, re-take the test, no license for you.
Ask them to provide FTP/Control panel/domain info to a third party, if they email it -retake the test, no license.
Ask them to register a domain, if they enter themselves as all three contacts - you guessed it - no license.
Present a form with simple one-line instructions by each option, then ask them what they chose. If they don't know and just clicked through, not only do they have to re-take the test they have to provide a basic reading skills certificate before they can re-take the test. No license.
Present them with three pages with errors, either input or server errors, with specific indications as to what the error is, and ask them what happened. If the response is "it just said error" or "it wouldn't let me" no license. Pass the test first.
Present them with three browsers, set for "home page" at Google, Yahoo, and MSN ("Bing" . . . . lol . . .) Ask them to find example.com in all three. If they enter "example.com" in the search box instead of the address bar . . . . back to Internet Safety school you go.
Sorry for the O.T., but since we're on wishful thinking for things that will never happen, this is a reasonable list . . . we require driving licenses to try and keep people from injuring each other on the road, it's not that far of a stretch to demand the same thing for things from users that affect all of us on the "Information Highway . . . "
My twilight thoughts the other night were bonkers, i'll give you that, but the problem is real. It just struck me that instead of trying to target the end user causing the problem... a step back reveals that another problem exists at the other end of the spectrum. Search engines, their free traffic is what bottom feeders game afterall, if only a browser could learn from you with far less influential factors (such as links) to guide it.
edit: search engines haven't solved the problem yet but nobody is really looking for a solution that doesn't include search engines, as in the solution completely bypasses the need for a search engine at all, are they? Even social networking is being gamed to influence search. Again, I do love a good search but there has to be a better way.
[edited by: JS_Harris at 7:38 am (utc) on June 8, 2009]
However, there is only 1 solution. That is to drastically raise the price of a domain. And I mean drastically. I think most of us realize the value of a domain name, and a lot of us can cover the cost of a domain in the matter of a few banner clicks. These nerds who buy domains for no actual purpose, other than to inflate the cost, simply doesn't make sense and shouldn't happen. Just cause them all to go bankrupt with the increase per domain charges. Simple.
If you buy (lease) the domain name example.com your site had better be 100% about example.com
Domain names which should match the main keyword(s) of a sites are only for the small players. Look at the top sites in Alexa: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Youtube. These are all domains which didn't exist as a word before they were introduced by their owners.