View Full Version : Picking and buying domains don't delay after searching

04-18-2006, 09:17 PM
I just found an interesting blog entry over at Wired.com http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/monkeybites/index.blog?entry_id=1460947

Apparently some less than reputable companies take advantage of the way domain name searches work to pick up some domain names that people search for. Basically in order to find out if a domain is expired and waiting to be deleted, registars have to query each other's databases. Some less that reputable companies use these queries to figure out what domain names to buy, park and resell at inflated prices.

So if you know you want a domain, plan on buying your choice at the same time you do searches to see if it is available. If you don't it might not be available when you come back to purchase it later.

Some scumbags need to have their connections to the Internet terminated.

04-19-2006, 02:36 PM
There's a 5 day grace period where registrars can hold a domain and then delete the registration without paying for it if they decide they don't want it. Most of these people that scrape whois searches like this register and hold domains for the 5 day grace period to see what kind of traffic it gets or if the person who wanted it contacts them. If it gets enough traffic to pay for the registration they'll keep it and park it. If the person who was searching for it contacts them they'll hold it hostage for a ridiculous price.

This happened to me recently with a domain I really wanted. I checked the availability, waited a day or two to see if deals for alternate names for the project would go through, then came back to register it and it was gone.

I actually got the name I wanted back by waiting for 5 days without going to the URL, doing any more whois searches on it, or contacting the party who registered it. Since they thought there was no interest in it they let it drop to avoid paying the reg fee and I snapped it up!

04-19-2006, 07:19 PM
interesting i had no idea it worked that way. Thanks westech.

04-19-2006, 09:18 PM
I was wondering what the hell was going on; I thought the domain system was totally screwed up, but it makes a lot more sense now. Thanks, Westech.

04-19-2006, 10:19 PM
Maybe people could start to screw with their business models by searching for bogus but short domains delay on buying them, but continue to look at them for a few days and make bogus inquires on them. If we could figure out how to do it correctly, we could trick them into buying lots of worthless domains.

04-20-2006, 07:05 AM
That's a good idea KLB. The trick would be to search for a lot of semi-legitimate looking domains (in case they have filters in place to filter out nonsense domains) and then get multiple people from multiple IP addresses to visit the domain over the 5 day period after it's snapped up. They'd get traffic for the 5 day grace period, then it would suddenly dry up after the point where they can no longer avoid paying the registration fee.

I read the article you linked, and was surprised to learn that domain availability queries go out to all regristrars. I didn't know that and just assumed that lists of queries were being sold to the highest bidder by the individual registrar where the search was made, or possibly by Verisign itself.

I had been trying to figure out who was selling their query info by checking domain availability at several different registrars and watching to see which ones were registered. Now I understand why my results weren't making any sense.

04-20-2006, 07:11 AM
Well lets start the trend by people posting legitimate but worthless domains to start querying. We can start off with a small scale experiment and then if it works as expected we can use our various channels to spread word of our uprising.

04-20-2006, 10:26 AM
i would be game to be a part of this experiment. I love ****ing with people who have great scams going! A couple of us with big sites throw up some bogus links and voila, guaranteed thousands of clickthroughs and somebody is buying a **** domain.

04-24-2006, 09:28 AM
Bob Parsons, the CEO of Godaddy, has just posted an article about this. It's a pretty interesting read, but he completely left out the issue of queried domains being snapped up and only addressed expired domains being taken and then released after the 5 day grace period.


05-02-2006, 03:27 PM
or, someone should write a script to visit recently dropped and bought names and click on the links a few times. this way the guys buying them will think they are good typos getting traffic and keep them but they are really buying junk...

05-02-2006, 09:32 PM
Yeah, I've wondered about this a few times in the past.

A friend of mine came up with a clever idea for a domain name (one I'd never thought of before), registered it with godaddy (on my recommendation), but after some trouble with his credit card, lost it. It was then bought up by one of those companies.

For some weird reason, it's showing up now as available. I'm going to try to register it.