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Domain name "front running" chicanery casts a
dark shadow over the Internet
Do you know what "Domain
Name Front Running" means? This is an important issue right now
in January 2008. Recently it was alleged that Network Solutions, the
original domain name provider until its monopolistic grip was broken by
the powers that be, was grabbing for itself the domain name lookups and
even on "WhoIs" searches. Unethical? Hell, yes. Maybe
even evil. One wonders if NSI is selling this information to other
The main problem is that any
company doing domain name front running would be using insider
information to get an advantage on the competition. The competition in
this case is you and me, the little consumers. We search for a domain
name with certain keywords and key phrases. We find one we like but we
may want to think about it for an hour or overnight. We go back to the
registrar to buy it but find it is taken. In the old days we would just
attribute this to our slow action although there were rumors about this
happening even five years ago.
This process is also known as
Under current rules of The
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a registry
can delete a domain name it purchased within 5 days of the initial
registration. However, individuals and companies who are not associated
with registries are accused of buying the search data from Internet
Service Providers and the registries to find the names that were
searched for but not purchased immediately.
In fact, at this time domain
name warehousing is not expressly forbidden by ICANN rules but it
certainly puts a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. This business
does not need any more bad will in the community.
Here is a recent PC World article
about this: http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/id;712578009
Is the 5 day grace period a bad thing?
Well, I can tell you that the 5 day waiting period saved my weary butt from
picking up a domain name just a few days ago. After the purchase I discovered
that my choice had too many characters in it so the registrar's computer just
cut off the last few characters. The resulting domain name really looked silly
and is quite unusable. I did not see any warning about this when I was going
through the final payment exercise. The company did not refund the money but
gave me a credit for the purchase to be held for another domain name purchase
when I was ready.
Be a good Net Citizen and express your displeasure about this issue to your
friends and associates. Post it on bulletin boards everywhere.
Making a good domain name choice
is an art
Having a good descriptive domain name is an important aspect to
your online marketing success. However, it is not as important
as is the content on your website.
It is important to have a domain
name that is easy to say. You may often have the opportunity to
tell people your domain name in person or on the phone. Since
that is common, be sure to get a name that is easily pronounced
and easily understood once you say it.
You can purchase a domain name up
to 67 characters in length. Here is an example of a very long
domain name that is essentially a one page site with a pithy
quote by author Douglas Adams:
Short domains can work very well,
though. Remember that your content does not need to be reflected
in your domain name to be successful. For instance, I own
mom2.com and dad2.com. They are easily said and identified
though the content in them may not be up to snuff right now.
I don't worry much about typing in
the domain name when visiting a website. I have not done the
research, but my personally I seldom type any domain names into
the browser. If I do it will just be the first few letters
because the browser will pick it up and display the entire name.
Since so many sites are visited by surfing the web, all you need
to do is click the link, of course.
Try to get a domain name where your
key word is first. For instance, if you sell vitamins, a domain
name such as vitaminsforyou.com may be a good choice.