For many, choosing a domain name is an integral part of starting a new business, even if the actual business won’t be conducted online. All sorts of companies have realized the benefit of having a web presence, and being “findable” on the internet. The problem is that the soaring popularity of the internet has created an extremely high demand for good, easily remembered domain names.
Until recently, I didn’t name a company until I got online and checked for available domain names. The problem is, the last two times I did that, I walked away to mull the options over in my head, and by the time I came back to my computer, the domain names were ALL gone, snatched up and held for ransom by a domain broker. As a matter of fact, just this week I ended up coughing up $500 for a domain name that I lost in this manner.
According to a recent Denver Business Journal article, there have been allegations in the past about a practice called front-running, where someone funnels tips to domain brokers when people search for domain names, allowing brokers to buy the domains and sell them back at a very inflated price. Despite concrete evidence, Network Solutions instituted a policy of placing four day hold on domain names after someone searches for them, to combat front-running. However, new allegations indicate that they may be involved in a form of profiteering by hiking the price during this holding period.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from having your domain names snatched up by a broker or squatter? First off, do your homework before going to a domain registrar. We have gotten into the habit of typing our URL ideas into a browser to see what comes up. If there isn’t a site, we keep the name on our list. Once we’ve got an idea of what domains might be available, we mull them over, and pick our top choices. When we’re ready to buy, we go to a registrar to look up our top choice, and if it’s available, we buy it right then.
If you got other ideas or strategies related to domain name registration, let our readers know by leaving a comment!