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This article was published on January 27, 2008

Deadpool: Domain tasting and kiting industry

Deadpool: Domain tasting and kiting industry
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Three weeks ago we brought you the news about Reddit users making fun of Network Solutions’ domain front running. They checked domains like, which the service immediately registered. Although this was funny news, the problem itself isn’t. Last year, CEO and founder of GoDaddy Bob Parsons explained on his blog how big the problem is:

The domain name tasting and kiting industry is alive, well and running rampant. The practice of domain tasting and kiting continues to rage out-of-control. In February 2007, 55.1 million domain names were registered. Of those, 51.5 million were canceled and refunded just before the 5 day grace period expired and only 3.6 million domain names were actually kept. With the exception of just a few names, 93.5% of those names were registered simply to see how much advertising revenue – paid by big search firms like our “do no evil” friends at Google – will generate when they are associated with a one page Web site and related links.

donoevilAs you can read, Parsons wasn’t really fond of the way Google made the practice of domain name tasting profitable. That will change now, and Google will gain some ‘do no evil’ points. Because the number one in online advertising will make it harder for the front running companies to show up in the search results. Over the next few weeks, Google will look up names that are repeatedly claimed and dropped in a five-day period. They will be excluded from the Adsense program, so that they won’t generate advertising revenue.

“We believe that this policy will have a positive impact for users and domain purchasers across the Web,” Google spokesman Brandon McCormick told to the Associated Press.

Fighting side-by-side with Google are Yahoo, Dell and BMW, who have filed federal lawsuits against domain name tasting companies that conflicted with their trademarks. It’s not hard to imagine that all these major companies will be able to ban out the shameless act of domain front running.

And to make the story even better, you can still have fun with the ‘mindless monkeys‘ at Network Solutions.

[WebTipr: David Petherick, United Kingdom]