Sunday, September 2, 2007

Domains, What's in a Name?

Mike Davidson wrote a very informative blog post "How to Snatch an Expiring Domain". Although this post is two years old, many people have left recent comments and have chronicled their experiences in this increasingly complex process.

Securing right domain name is strategic on many levels (SEO, Ad traffic, branding, etc.) and trying to understand the unofficial rules is important for every company. Finding a domain name that is available can be a trying experience and can lead to unsatisfying results. One of the alternatives is to find domain names that have or will expire (60,000 daily!), and try to secure that name. There are many websites out there that list soon-to-be-expired and expired domain names.

But "expired" does not really mean expired. ICANN has published a life cycle chart for domain name ownership and it can be found here [^]. You can see from this chart that there is a 75 day period from when the domain goes from "expired" status to where it can be purchased (if the original owner does not renew). As Mike and others point out, individuals have virtually no chance of securing a domain name when it first becomes available. You have to use a service to "snatch" the domain name (and often enter into an auction to bid on it).

Some of the larger services mentioned are, and

My suggestion is that you try to find out as much up-to-date information as you can before selecting one or all of these services when pursuing a specific domain name. Many people have been burned by the process and often your service providers are not always looking out for your best interests.

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