Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Mon 29th Jan, 2007

Domain Search Squatters Must Die episode #001

It looks like the SpinServer people that I mentioned nigh on nine months ago have disappeared. That I can cope with - a pity, because I liked their designs, but businesses come and go.

What INFURIATES me beyond measure is the way the people who run the domain registers then cash in on any businesses' past success by installing a copy-cat templated redirector site that earns them a bit of money from the hapless people who mistake it for the real thing. They're getting good too: it was so well layed out it took me several moments to work out that there was nothing actually useful on the site. Previous attempts I've seen have been pretty much just a bunch of prepackaged searches on the keywords in your previous site listed down the page, with a generic picture of a woman holding a mouse or going windsurfing (or for the more extreme sites going windsurfing holding a mouse). Now it's getting nasty.

It's not good enough that these domain registrars take money for something they've been proven to lose, 'mistakenly' swap to another person, revoke without the slightest authority, fraudulently bill for, and costs them nothing to generate. They they have to leech off the popularity of any site that goes under, not only scamming a few quick thousand bucks in the process but confusing anyone who wanted just a simple page saying "this company is no longer doing business". There must be something preventing this from happening in real life - businesses registering the name of a competitor as soon as they'd closed, buying up the office space and setting up a new branch. Except that there'd be some dodgy marketing exec handing them money for every person who wandered in and asked "Is this where I get my car repaired?". This sounds criminal to me.

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