What To Do If Your Domain Is Taken
Youve landed on just the perfect domain name. Its short. Its memorable. Its easy to pronounce. It perfectly embodies everything youre all about.
So you type it in to your registrars search bar and Already taken.
What now? Start over?
Well, not so fast. There may still be some options open to you
Add Your Country To The Domain Name
Have you heard of the Nissan domain name lawsuit?
Back in 1994, a company called Nissan Computer Corp registered the domain nissan.com.
It was headed by an entrepreneur named Uzi Nissan who had used the business name since 1980.
Then in 2000, Nissan Motor sued Uzi Nissan. The goal: To get the nissan.com domain name.
The famous car company didnt end up getting the domain. If you type nissan.com into your search bar, youll see Uzi Nissans site:
So what did Nissan Motor do? They added USA to their URL:
This last resort strategy is actually a solid option if youre having domain name problems.
It can actually look quite nicenissanusa.com isnt a bad URL at all, and it still has the brand name in it.
You can also use your city if youre local to a major metropolis. The company Loud Marketing uses Barcelona in their URL:
And The Eugene, a luxury apartment building in New York City, uses the abbreviated NYC:
Its best to use this strategy if you provide services within a certain country or city.
You can use your country in your URL to designate where youre from, but some of your users may think you only work within that country. Think about it carefully before you pull the trigger.
Understand The Domain Name Trends
During the past few decades, fallback naming styles have mutated incessantly in response to domain selection pressure. Darwin would be proud. In my first article on fallback hierarchies, I identified a 1996 trend for adding 1.com followed by a 2002 trend for pluralizing with z.com . More recently, an LY suffix swept the planet. Registrants who encounter obstacles invariably look for workarounds domains resembling their initial idea but available, cheap, convenient.
If youve ever browsed the web, youve seen dozens of popular workaround formats AmazonUSA.com, Amazon24.de in Germany, AmazonOnline.com, 2Amazon.com, Amazon360.com, GetAmazon.com, and so forth. Some workarounds look cheap and shoddy, as if the websites policy is to cut corners. Others appear professional enough to raise no eyebrows. Yet even with these there is a danger.
What I mean is: Age gracefully
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Weve Come To An Agreement Now What
Congratulations! Youve managed to contact the domain owner, they were interested in selling, and now youve made a deal. How do you actually get the domain? Well, it depends. For gTLDs the transfer process is standardized. Theres information on the requirements here.
For ccTLDs there can be a lot of variance in whats required to transfer, so if you have trouble figuring it out or getting started, let us know. Were happy to help.
If the domain owner is an iwantmyname customer and so are you, you can do whats called an internal transfer or move..
If you want to transfer the domain from the owners account at another registrar to your account with iwantmyname, then the owner would unlock the domain, get the transfer auth code, remove any privacy services, and one of you would initiate the transfer at our website. More information on transferring TO iwantmyname here.
If the owner is an iwantmyname customer and you want to transfer the domain to your account at another registrar, then the owner would unlock the domain, get the transfer auth code, remove any privacy services, and one of you would initiate the transfer at the new registrars website. More information on transferring FROM iwantmyname here.
Depending on the domain type and registrars involved, transfers can be immediate, or take up to 5 days to complete.
What Is The Difference Between Domain Speculation And Squatting
Theres no single, definitive definition, but generally squatting implies bad faith intent on the part of the person or company that has registered the domain.
That means they have no interest in or intentions of creating a website for the domain or otherwise using it . That person just bought it to sell it for more than they paid for it .
Domain speculation, on the other hand, involves registering domains that might be useful or of interest, but which dont block an existing trademark or brand. For example, instead of registering a variant of an existing companys domain, a domain speculator would register something more general, like weselldomains.com, in hopes that some domain registrar might want it.
Speculators are often more open about the fact that the domains in their portfolio are for sale, as well. Whereas squatters might set up a basic page to make it marginally look like the domain is in use, or create a parking page full of ads to try to get click traffic for extra revenue until they can sell the domain.
Some squatters own many domains, though some will only target a few, since the more domains you own that havent sold yet, the more money youve invested without return. Speculators often own a large portfolio of domains, targeting various industries with a selection of relevant terms.
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Check Trade Names In Other Provinces And Territories
After searching the national databases, you may also want to search registered trade names to see if they’re used in other provinces and territories if you ever plan to do business there. However, registering a trade name at the provincial and territorial level does not give a business exclusive rights to use that name at the federal level. Proper consent may be requested for the use of a name that is identical or similar to any kind of existing trade name or trademark . It’s in the best interest of a business to use a name that is not already being used by another business or corporation.
Use these links to search the provincial and territorial databases:
You May Find That Someone Else Has Snapped Up The Domain Name Of Your Dreams Here Are Your Options
So you have a great idea for a domain name. It will make you millions and be the beacon by which an unprecedented amount of Internet commerce flows your way. You’re excited. You go to a domain name registrar to perform a domain name search and, you guessed it, the name you want is already taken. What now? Don’t worry, you have choices.
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Oedipus Wants To Kill Daddy But He Rarely Does
Speculating about the future without a glance at history is unwise. With 2015 marking the 30th anniversary of .COM, the internet is no longer new. Indeed, by this stage, alternative TLDs have been introduced again and again naming choices have been shuffled and reshuffled hundreds of millions of domains have been registered, renewed, developed, deleted, re-registered enough to provide a body of evidence about what changes and how quickly. The mere fact that .COM remains a consistent first choice despite challenges from .INFO , .BIZ , .MOBI , .CO , .ORG , .NET , not to mention .PRO, .NAME, etc. … speaks volumes.
How Much Is The Domain I Want Worth
That depends on a lot of factors. There is no service you can check to see what a given domain should be worth. Any site that claims to tell you what your domain name or social media account is worth is just using some arbitrary calculation. They are just for fun and have no legal use or bearing on actual domain value or prices.
Any domain is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it . Note that some domain owners have pretty grandiose ideas about what their domain is worth, or think they can get rich quick off some desperate buyer.
There are many things that can influence the cost of a domain name. Some examples:
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How To Find Available Domains
Search for your perfect domain name with the easy-to-use IONOS domain checker and get suggestions for available domains. Just enter the domain including your preferred domain extension or let the domain check suggest a suitable extension.
The domain check tests availability, not only with classic extensions like .com and .co.uk domains, but also with a huge selection With over 400 new domain extensions, it’s never been easier to find and check the domain name that best sums up what your site has to offer. Close of new top-level domains like .global, .online or .cloud. This way, you’re sure to find the perfect domain name for your website.
Putting It All Together
You may find yourself at a digital chasm with your domain taken, but its not the end of the world. Whether a professional domainer, a fellow business owner, or a domain squatter currently owns your ideal domain name, the steps above can help you attach a relevant and professional domain name to your website. Stop helplessly glaring at that screen, and start getting your brand or business a piece of the internet.
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Understand Why Naming Is A Game Of Billiards
Permit me a metaphor. Naming is a game of billiards. Our first idea collides with fact after fact, rebounding on a different course following each encounter. The usual trajectory is one of ricochet: Perfect! No? Now what? Not that either. Next, please! Maybe. What else? Well see. And? Hmm … Weve all imagined some perfect name and looked up the ideal matching domain name only to bounce off obstacles. Prior registration. High asking prices. Unresponsive owners. Trademark conflicts. Thick online competition. Name ambiguity. Distant TLD release dates. Prohibitive renewal fees. Existing websites. Robinson Crusoe, living on a desert island, may name his startup whatever he pleases and suffer no consequences. Not so the rest of us. Our billiards table is a shared competitive landscape. Seldom do we get that clean shot that puts the 8 ball straight into the corner pocket. Usually we look around, assembling a mental list of possible targets, ranking the most awkward candidates below whatever seems more likely to succeed. We take aim, shoot, miss, and move on. Perhaps we sink an early target later. Perhaps someone else claims it sooner.
How Can I Get My Domain Hijacked
Check if your domain name was really hijacked
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Why You Need A Quality Domain Name
On its own your domain name doesnt mean much. However, your domain name is important when combined with other aspects and it encompasses a major section of your SEO campaign. You may not think it but your domain name does have an impact on your performance. Your domain name is one of the ways people find you on the internet.
If you choose the wrong domain name it can certainly impact your SEO negatively. A poor domain name may make it difficult for your potential consumers to find you. Or even confuse consumers. This is certainly something you want to steer clear of.
It is also important to keep your domain name similar to your brand name. This is because it is a major way that people search for your business online. For example, our business name is SEO Shark and our URL is www.seoshark.com.au. See! If people search for SEO Shark on Google, our website should be highly visible for users to find.
A quality domain name will add so much value to your brand. Your domain name will also help distinguish the type of branding and the direction of your marketing campaigns. Your domain name reflects your image .
It is recommended that your domain name reflects a keyword of your business. Although it doesnt provide as many benefits as it used to, it is still a good idea . When people search for a certain keyword and you have that word in your URL this will show the consumer that you are a business that provides the product or service they are looking for.
Check What The Domain Is Currently Being Used For
Your first step should be to visit the domain you want to buy. Is there a real website there? Has it been updated in the past few years? If the answers to both questions are yes, the owner of the domain is probably not interested in selling it. If theres a real website but it hasnt been updated in several years, youre more likely to get the domain, but theres still a strong chance the owner will refuse to sell it.
On the other hand, if the website you see is simply a placeholder, you can approach the domain owner with confidence. If the domain owner buys and re-sells domains on a regular basis, they might even have a page up linking to the domain buying service they prefer to work with.
Heres an example of what a parked domain usually looks like owners of such domains are usually just waiting for the right offer to come their way:
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The Hard Way: Buy It From The Current Owner
If you go to your favorite WHOIS lookup site, you can enter the domain you want and get the publicly available details of who owns the domain. Be aware that not all WHOIS lookups are official and present accurate information. Also be aware that sometimes registries have their own WHOIS lookups, which may provide different or additional details.
Ideally you want the registrant contact email address, as the registrant is the domains legal owner. gTLDs have four registrant contacts: registrant/owner, admin, technical, and billing. These can all be the same person/organization, or four different ones. Some ccTLDs, like .uk, only have two contacts.