Web Development

100 percent of expired .COM domain names instantly registered

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a white paper this week on the practice of "Drop-catching," which refers to the process whereby a domain name has expired, is released again into the pool of available names, and immediately is registered by another individual.

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a white paper this week on the practice of "Drop-catching," which refers to the process whereby a domain name has expired, is released again into the pool of available names, and immediately is registered by another individual.

dc.jpgHere are some really interesting facts, as reported on Website Magazine:

  • CADNA tracked 17,000 randomly selected Dot-ORG, Dot-COM, and Dot-NET domain names after their scheduled expiration on September 18th, 2007, and found that 100% of the Dot-COM and Dot-NET domains were instantly registered after they were released.
  • 39.8% of Dot-COMs and 32.2% of Dot-NETs were added and dropped again throughout the study via a practice known as kiting. The initial registration of all expiring domains and the subsequent domain tasting and kiting that occurred points to a willingness on the part of drop-catchers to continuously register domain names since they can be repeatedly tested and easily returned with no monetary penalty.
  • The results also show that 87% of Dot-COM drop-catchers use the domain names for pay-per-click (PPC) sites. They have no interest in these domain names other than leveraging them to post PPC ads and turn a profit...

You can view the full report here. (pdf)

If anything, let this be a gentle reminder to be diligent when it comes to renewing your company's domain name. You don't want your domain snatched due to your forgetfulness!

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

8 comments
Jaqui
Jaqui

the service of doing the re-registering. I have one client with 3 domain names, yet the person who set them up for him, put them into his own name, not the clients. That is an abuse that used to be quite common with hosting companies. When they lost business because of it they stopped that and put the domains into the client's names.

dlakudzala
dlakudzala

The full report link above does not work. Its ivalid, please correct Derek Lakudzala

john.mcgarvey
john.mcgarvey

... but I didn't think it would be that high! 100% is quite a phenomenal figure. Certainly focuses your mind a bit on making sure your domain isn't allowed to expire. Presumably any change of the rules by ICANN to reduce domain tasting would affect this too.

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

that it's not the previous domain holder/registrar that's snapping it up - the re-registration is done by domain poachers, trying to grab the traffic from a known site that has accidentally expired. The idea is that if someone unintentionally fails to re-register a domain name, a poacher will grab it and then plant their own click-through site, their own malware host and/or hold the domain name for ransom. "Oh, you wanted that domain still? Well, I'll sell it to you for $xxxxxx." I still think that there should be a 1 week to 1 month period after a name expires where ONLY the previous owner can register the domain name. It would kill this vulture practice.

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

I guess it shouldn't really come as a surprise, given the huge volume of domain-tasting that's going on. I'm glad all of our domains are set up for auto-renewal. I'd like to see a new rule formulated that places an expired domain name in limbo for 30 days. During that period, only the previous domain name owner can register the name. That, coupled with ending the free domain-tasting policy, might help to take some money out of the pockets of the Domain Vultures. If there was a $1 fee for the 5-day name trial period, it might break the pay-per-click economic model. IMHO, YMMV, of course. :-S

Jaqui
Jaqui

that the vulture practice is only possible because it STOPS domain theft by hosting companies. at least the vultures will let the name go. that is an improvement over the common practice before the service started being offered of stealing domain names from your own customers.

Jaqui
Jaqui

the entire service where the vultures are stealing was created to stop the hosting company theft. it isn't a perfect solution to the original problem, of hosting company theft, but it's the only one that has pushed them into being more honest. now, how to stop the vultures without losing the enforced honesty about domain names is the real question raised by the article to be answered. F.W.I.W. Since I'm in the process of starting my own hosting company, this is a subject of high interest to me. my Client's deserve to get what they are paying for, and they deserve to be able to keep their domain names in their name. The current method to combat the vultures, that is used by most good hosting companies / registrars, is to send a reminder email out at least two weeks before the domain name expires. if the client does not renew it after being reminded, then it is their own problem if a vulture gets their domain name. [ specially as it is easy to ask your hosting / registrar provider to automatically renew it ]

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

Sorry, Jaqui, I had totally misread your post and, apparently, the gist of the article. It hadn't registered that it was the hosting companies that were the thieves. I seem to have my extra-stupid cap on...

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