Have you heard about Domain Tasting?

I have heard of Wine Tasting but Domain Tasting?? Ask Verizon’s legal team who found hundreds of new sites that use variations of Verizon’s name. A simple Google search uncovers domain names such as verizonpicture.com, vorizonringtone.com, and varizoncellularphone.com. But none of the sites has anything to do with Verizon!! They’re registered by small independent companies in China, and the Bahamas.

Blame it on a little-known but rapidly growing activity called “domain tasting.” The practice, perfectly legal, lets registrars profit from the complex money trail of pay-per-click advertising. Exploiting a regulatory loophole, “tasters” snatch up Internet domains for five days at no cost and jam them full of Pay Per Click (CPC) advertisements from popular search engines like Google and Yahoo!.

That means the taster vorizonringtone.com gets cash every time a visitor clicks on an ad. With zero risk and 100% profit margins, bulk registrants are now registering mass quantities of domain names every day—some of them over and over again.

The explosion in domain tasting can be traced back to the practices and policies of the organization responsible for regulating Web names, ICANN who established the “create grace period,” a five-day stretch when a company or person can claim a domain name and then return it for a full refund of the $6 registry fee. That was to allow someone who mistyped a domain to return it without cost.

Where’s the Buzz?? Actually it is more like a Buzz Kill, depending on the size of your organization and what you sell, I would start asking your legal and web team to police this. Right now, it seems to be a feeding frenzy which needs legislation to stop this abuse.

1 comment to Have you heard about Domain Tasting?

  • Daily Domainer

    Domain tasting has become quite popular and it’s good for the domain industry because it gives domainers a risk-free way to test domains before actually committing to the purchase. The result is that many domains that would otherwise remain unregistered are now bought and paid for, which generates additional revenue for domain registrars and ICANN.

    Domain tasting isn’t directly related to registering trademarked domains or cybersquatting. Those practices existed well before domain tasting became popular. A domain taster will test any kinds of domains, including typos of generic domains, which are fair game, such as makemonney.com (typo of makemoney.com)

    The purpose of domain tasting is to find out of a domain receives any type-in traffic. If it does, that traffic can be quickly and easily monetized through PPC ads. If these ads generate at least twice as much money over the course of a year than the annual domain registration fee, the domain is a winner and the domainer will certainly renew it for another year.

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