Protect Your Reputation
It's becoming an ugly feature of the Internet, but expired domain names are making people big bucks. If you are not careful, they can also damage YOUR business reputation.
I received two email sales letters this morning touting the virtues of buying expired domain names, and how you can capitalise on all the links (traffic) etc that are still pointing to a domain which no longer exists.
We too are victims of this link fraud... our directory contains links to the web sites of businesses who (for whatever reason) did NOT renew their domain name... and that name was grabbed by this new breed of low life.
So - our links have been generating traffic to this "new" site with no useful content or service - nothing more than a collection of "sponsored" links on a whole heap of keywords relevant to the domain name (see picture at right). The related links (on RHS of the pic) lead only to more identical pages.
From our perspective, automated link checking processes will only report that the domain name is still active. Only a MANUAL link checking process can uncover this type of link fraud allowing us to remove it from our directory... and that's only likely to happen by accident.
Our Warning To You...
Make sure you re-register your domain name BEFORE it is due for expiry. If you forget, the chances are extremely high that YOUR DOMAIN NAME will be grabbed by these link stealers... and possibly cause immense damage to your business reputation.
For a while, I thought the added expense of a .com.au domain name would deter these link stealers from grabbing Australian domain names... I've only seen the cheaper .com domains being used for this purpose.
It seems doubly ironic that the .com.au example shown above was for a "fraud investigations" web site... and ends up being used for dubious purposes...