Where do you draw the line? Is a celebrities name OK to buy and develop. Does that make you a fan or a squatter? When you buy a typo of a company and send that to your site and make money is that OK? These are all questions and decisions that we as domainers make daily. I don’t have the legal answers to any of those questions but I do have MY answers. I have one simple question I ask myself before I buy a name.
By buying this name am I benefiting from another person’s efforts of building a site, name, brand or company?
I am not judging others by what domains they buy. They are free to buy whatever domains they chose and I could care less. They have to deal with any repercussions of their purchases. We’re all adults and can make our own decisions. Nobody makes us buy a domain. I simply choose not to buy these types of domains. I am not going to lie though. Right now I have some that are questionable. I, over the last 10 years, for some reason bought an iphone related domain, a singers name, and a typo of a real estate site. The first two I am going to let expire but the last always gets me. It makes pretty good money in parking and although it makes me a hypocrite, I have trouble letting go.
My blog has introduced me into a world that has allowed me to understand domaining much better. I no longer need these type of names to make money. Before, it was the only way I knew how to get traffic. People were typing or searching for these so I went out and got them. Not any more. I don’t need to squat on a celebrity name or a typo of a popular site. I want to make that popular site. I want to build the business that people try and buy typos of. I want to be a celebrity.
Those people worked hard to get people to come to their site or search for their name (ok SOME celebrities worked hard), who am I to try and use them to make money. Again, you want to do it? Fine. Much wealthier, smarter, and better businesses men than me do and have. As a business owner that has several domains, I know to try and register all the typos and tlds. Occasionally I miss one and when I find it, I realize that every time someone types that I either lose traffic or it makes it that much more difficult to find me. Part of it is my fault for missing it, but the squatter doesn’t help. They have no vested interest in my business or industry but they register my typo and then sell parking ads leading my customer to another business selling plants. I can see why people hate some domainers.
So again, ask yourself that question By buying this name am I benefiting from another person’s efforts of building a site, name, brand or company?