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    Perl Archive : TLC : General Interest : Expired Domain Names: The Conspiracy Theories Abound
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    Date Published: 2000-12-01

    Written by JoAnn VanDersarl

    You know this situation. It has probably happened to you. You find a great domain name that is available for registration, but you decide to wait a day or two and when you go back to register it, it's been taken.

    Believe it or not, there are many people who believe some kind of conspiracy or another is to blame for this situation.

    I read an editorial on the subject today that ruffled my feathers. The article was poorly researched and did little but fuel an already paranoid group of theorists. Among the possible reasons discussed, was the idea I have often heard, which involves domain registration companies, or people who work for them, tracking domain name searches and later registering the available domains that users have searched for. Is this possible? Anything is possible, but imagine the potential lawsuits and scandals that could severely damage a registration company if this kind of situation were to be discovered. The domain registration business is highly competitive and the need to maintain customer trust is a critical part of competing and staying successful. So, in my mind at least, this is an extremely doubtful scenario.

    The article failed to mention several key things that I feel are the real culprits. There are two important factors to look at when it comes to domain names being available one day and gone the next.

    First, I think many of those who believe that the domain registration companies are behind this, fail to realize or consider the popularity and demand for certain top level domains on a global scale; particularly Dot-Com.

    There was a time when Dot-Com was commonly thought of as a United States extension. This outdated and naive idea makes it easy to assume that the only real competition for Dot-Com domains comes from individuals and businesses in the United States. This is simply not true. Globally, Dot-Com is the most recognized top level domain. Recognition plays a key role in selecting a worthwhile domain name, in terms of visitor familiarity and recall, and is an important reason for global registrations. In addition to this, there are many companies who for one reason or another, elect to register certain domain names in many different top level extensions.

    We can't forget the number of domain investors and even cybersquatters who are searching for and registering domain names in large numbers. If the general public sees this as playing a minor role; they would be mistaken. Many of these individuals and domain investment firms register domains by the thousands; not one or two at a time as we might assume. Domain investment has become big business on the internet and these investors are quite savvy in the methods they use to locate available domain names and register them. It is just these kinds of methods that the article overlooked.

    It's very hard to compete for available domains when you are competing against an investor who is armed to the teeth with a program or possibly even a script that will search the main database for available domain names and register each one automatically. There are programs out there that do just that. Additionally, a cursory search on any search engine using the term "expired domains" will quickly reveal a large number of companies who sell subscription based lists of available domains on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These lists are extremely popular and the number of subscriptions to them is mind boggling.

    There is no conspiracy behind any of this. Domain availability still boils down to competition, how lucky you happen to be on any given occasion and how well armed you are when searching for a domain name. The bottom line is that whether or not you decide to subscribe to an expired domain list or do it the old fashioned way; if you find an available domain name that you cannot live without, you had better register it on the spot. If the domain name is of any quality at all and you don't register it; it will probably be gone when you finally decide to.

    When it comes to domain names, the early bird gets the worm. There are more people searching for domains than most of us can even begin to fathom. With over thirty million registered to date, it's not hard to imagine that finding any available domains at all is only going to become increasingly difficult as time goes on.


    Written by JoAnn VanDersarl

    Visit http://www.domainiq.com for complete domain name resources.

     
     


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