Toute l'actualité des noms de domaine et nouveaux gTLDs

Archives de mots clés: tasting

Is Instant Domain Search stealing your ideas?


I am working with a few associates on project for a client who is starting a new website. Part of the project is to brand the company which includes naming the company and acquiring a domain name. I have been using Instant Domain Search for while now as it is a quick and easy way to find available names. My associate has been using what looks to be a GoDaddy affiliate/clone that she calls Name Intelligence.

We came up with a list of names(that contained some keywords of course) and my associate checked quite a few on Monday to see if they were available. I checked through almost all the names and then some on Tuesday. We went back to purchase a few and found that most of the names we had searched for had been bought up by the same company on Wednesday(damn it). This was too weird to be a coincidence so I did a bit of research.

Here is the company that bought the domains:
Organization: Maltuzi LLC
Address: 800 West El Camino Real Suite 180 Mountain View, CA, 94040
Phone: 1.6508146730

According to IPWalk, Maltuzzi LLC owns 1,768,141 domains (WOW) as of Jan 21,2007.

I found a thread on Webmaster World that discusses the same thing happening to some other folks by Maltuzi.

So as you can see these Maltuzi guys are a bunch of bastards. However I must ask, why in the hell did they want these domains? I can’t tell you the names we were thinking of, but really they weren’t gonna be the next Amazon or anything.

How Did Maltuzi Hijack my domain name research?

While I am still not sure which of the above querying services contributed to my research being comprised, I did find some information in an article by Larry Seltzer in eWeek titled Who is Hijacking my Domain Name Research. Larry does a great job of explaining the possibilities of how this name research may have been compromised. In Larry’s case it was a company name Chesteron Holdings buying up the domains after they had been searched for using CNets domain research tool.

Here is what’s possible, based on what I know:

    CNet, or someone at CNet, could be passing the requests on to Chesterton. I don’t believe this for a second.
  • One of the hosting services that CNet is checking with (and there could be more than they indicate) could be passing data on to Chesterton. This seems unlikely to me.
  • Chesterton could have compromised one of the servers involved in the process, for instance the whois server used by one of the hosting services. This seems possible to me. There are a number of other hacking techniques, DNS cache poisoning for example, that could indirectly give Chesterton access to data from these queries.
  • Verisign could be passing the data on to Chesterton. I don’t believe this, either.

How can these companies afford all these domain names?

Larry has another article about Domain Tasting which explains how these companies can afford to buy all these domain names. The short explanation is there is a 5 day grace period on domain name registration so the companies buy a domain, throw up some ads, and taste to see if the site makes any money. If no ads were click during the tasting period the domains are released and a refund is given. If the domains show potential, they are kept.

So who can you trust for domain name research. I am not sure at this point. I am hoping that a command line whois query is still safe but I am really not sure. I think you just have to have a list ready to go and if a name on your list is available, make the purchase right away.

I can only hope that my names will be freed in 5 days. I’ll post back with in update. In the meantime, be careful when you are searching for an available domain to buy!

Source Mike, The Internet Guy

Who Is Monitoring Your Domain Searches?

It has happened to most of us:

  • A perfect domain name pops into your mind.
  • A quick check at your favorite domain registrar reveals that the domain is still available.
  • For some reason, you put off the actual registration for a few days.
  • And when you come back to finally register the domain, it’s taken by someone else!

In many cases, this is simply a coincidence. But there are increasing reports of domain search data being sold to domain tasting companies which then register your domain ideas to see if they attract any traffic.

No traffic? No problem. The domain taster simply drops the domain after five days. But if the domain proves popular, the taster will keep it and monetize its traffic through PPC (pay per click) ads.

Bob Parsons of was one of the first to raise hell about domain tasting. He focused on what he calls « domain kiting » – repeatedly registering a domain and dropping it right before the end of Verisign’s 5 days refund period, only to reregister it shortly thereafter. This strategy ensures that the domain taster never actually pays for the domain, even though his payment is « on deposit » with Verisign and therefore tied up permanently.

GoDaddy and its associated companies do not engage in domain tasting, according to Parsons. Not that they would have to: GoDaddy already earns millions of dollars in PPC revenue off their client’s newly registered and/or unused domains.

While the Daily Domainer considers random domain tasting to be a legitimate business, we believe that leeching off the domain searches of others (who expect their domain ideas to remain private) differs by several orders of ethical magnitude. Recent mainstream press reports about domain tasting in general are bad enough already.

For example, last night an Associated Press article made the rounds (read the full version here) and the arguments are predictable: Domain tasting is defended by those who are engaged in it and attacked by those who either missed the boat or consider themselves too « above-board » to take advantage of the opportunity.

Until recently, prospective domain tasters had to set up their own domain registrar to get started. But even individual domainers can now use registrars such as Dynadot or Moniker to register domains and give them back within 4 to 5 days at no charge (Dynadot). This is very helpful if you’re eying several domains and are undecided which ones to use.

So what can domain owners learn from this?

  • Delay searching for available domains until you’re actually prepared to follow through with the registration. Better still, search for and register new domain ideas immediately whenever inspiration strikes you.
  • If one of your domain searches is registered by a domain taster shortly after you checked availability of the domain, and you still want the domain, wait five days and it might become available again. Do not visit the domain during these five days, otherwise the domain taster will believe that the domain gets enough traffic to warrant adding it to his permanent portfolio!
  • If you’re thinking of several domains for a project and are undecided which one to use, register all of your domain ideas immediately. If you use a registrar like Moniker or Dynadot, you’ll have 4-5 days to decide if you actually want to keep a domain once you have registered it. This practically eliminates the danger of impulse registrations that you might regret later.

Finally, if after reading this post and despite all our warnings you are thinking about joining the « dark side » of domain leeches and spies, here’s how you could go about it.

  1. Set up your own domain search tool or approach registrars that will sell you their search data (not GoDaddy of course, they are too ethical to even consider doing something like that! 😉 ).
  2. Once you have gained access to the domain search data, analyze it and register promising domains to test them for traffic. The faster you do this, the better.
  3. Keep domains that earn at least 5% to 10% of their annual registration fee during the first five days. Drop all others.
  4. And last not least: Be prepared for a massive backlash from disappointed end users who will publicly accuse you of having « stolen » their domain!

Domain Tasting: Is it even allowed?

Domain Tasting has been going on for years however Ross Rader of Tucows recently raised the point that Domain Tasting may not even be allowed under section 3.74 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. ICANN has a poor history of enforcement on certain section and clauses. ICANN picks its battles careful, there are just too many provisions and rules to enforce. Mr. Rader has formally asked ICANN staff if they have ever enforced the provision that states, 3.7.4 Registrar shall not activate any Registered Name unless and until it is satisfied that it has received a reasonable assurance of payment of its registration fee. An answer by ICANN Staff is expected sometime this month and it could lead to enforcement of the clause.

Mr. Rader points out:

The issue is not whether someone theoretically can pay for the registrations they’ve tasted, but that they will if the registration is activated. The second a registration gets transmitted to and accepted by the registry as a valid transaction, a fee is payable to the registrar. The clause in question clearly states that the registrar must be satisfied that the Registered Name Holder will pay for the registration and that such payment is final and non-revocable. In other words, a registrar is not permitted to issue a refund to a registrant for cancellations made during the Add Grace Period according to the terms of this contract. Generally, this reads that ICANN is not concerned as much with whether the registrant *could* pay the bill, but whether they *will*. Under all tasting implementations imaginable, the answer is clearly no, they will not be paying that bill.

The simple act of enforcement of 3.7.4 of the RAA may shut Domain Tasting down. A lot of arguments can be made against this but clearly a habitual user that preforms domain tasting can be isolated and told they are violating section 3.7.4 and that it is not allowed or the registrar could be discredited by ICANN. The issue is not about random domain owners and registrations that happen and then get deleted it is habitual users that clearly violate section 3.7.4 repeatably.

Source DomainTools

‘ Domain tasting ‘ : la spéculation sur les noms de domaine alarme l’Icann

« L’organisme de gestion du Net veut limiter la pratique du ‘ domain tasting ‘, qui consiste à annuler légalement la réservation d’un nom de domaine après en avoir évalué le potentiel sur la Toile. Il a lancé une consultation publique sur ce sujet.

L’Icann, organisme chargé de gérer les noms de domaine sur internet, s’inquiète des conséquences de la pratique de ‘ domain tasting ‘. Elle consiste à déposer des noms de domaine, tous azimuts, afin de tester l’audience qu’ils sont susceptibles de générer naturellement, pendant la période de rétractation en vigueur, à savoir cinq jours. Juste avant l’expiration du délai, ne sont alors conservés que les plus probants, c’est-à-dire un infime pourcentage.

Dans le principe, la période de rétractation permet à une personne de revenir sur son dépôt de nom de domaine, d’en effacer l’enregistrement et de récupérer la somme versée pour sa réservation. Au départ, elle est notamment garantie pour permettre la correction de fautes de frappe dans les noms déposés.

1,7 million de .org réservés, 10 800 conservés

Mais une poignée de dépositaires professionnels profitent de cette fenêtre de quelques jours pour tester, au quotidien, des dizaines de milliers de noms de domaines. Ainsi, au cours du seul mois de janvier 2007, cinq sociétés avaient réservé 1,7 million de noms en .org, pour finalement n’en conserver que 10 800 au bout de cinq jours. Les autres (99,4 % des noms déposés) sont alors redevenus disponibles instantanément, sans avoir pu être facturés par les bureaux d’enregistrement.

Ce même mois, quelque 45 millions de noms de domaine en .com et .net furent effacés par une dizaine de dépositaires après avoir été éprouvés, sur un total de 47 millions de noms réservés. En général, il s’agit d’un processus automatisé, basé sur des algorithmes sophistiqués pour sélectionner, tester, garder ou rejeter les noms sur la base de leur valorisation monétaire potentielle.

L’objectif est de détecter les noms de domaine qui, parce qu’ils font souvent l’objet de requêtes directes de la part des internautes (,, par exemple) ou constituent des fautes de frappe courantes ( a par exemple été déposé par sécurité par Google), peuvent générer des revenus publicitaires via des liens sponsorisés.

Une pratique qui inquiète depuis 2006

Cette spéculation a cependant son revers. ‘ Nous nous soucions de l’impact potentiel du domain tasting sur la stabilité et la sécurité d’internet ‘, écrivait déjà en 2006 le gestionnaire du domaine .org, dans un courrier adressé au SSAC (Security and Stability Advisory Committee) qui est rattaché à l’Icann.

Cette situation a poussé l’Icann, au mois de juin dernier, à publier un rapport synthétisant les conséquences potentielles du domain tasting. Elles vont de la déstabilisation du système DNS (Domain Name System) aux coûts supplémentaires imputés aux dépositaires légitimes, en passant par la confusion introduite auprès du consommateur, les abus d’image de marque potentiels et les autres activités répréhensibles.

La semaine dernière, l’organisation a lancé une consultation auprès de la communauté internet afin de réfléchir, dans l’intérêt du public, aux moyens de limiter cette spéculation sur les noms de domaines. »

Source ZDNet

Tasting: Other TLDs interested by .Org’s tax?

« (Reporting from the ICANN Meeting in San Juan, Puerto-Rico). When PIR, the .Org Registry asked for an amendment to its contract with ICANN, the decision was met with little fanfare.

Nevertheless, the Registry’s decision to charge a five 5 cents deletion fee per domain to Registrars who would delete more than 90% of the domains registered in a month can be seen as some kind of Domainer Tax and was highly talked about this week in the ICANN corridors.

Indeed, when thousands of domains are tasted per month, a mere 5 cents can represent a lot of money in the end. From what we have heard, as far as PIR is concerned, the amendment, implemented a month ago, is already deemed successful as it is responsible for quite a dramatic down in domain names deletion.

While the Registry is currently happy with the outcome, it could move the threshold from 90% to a lesser number to make an even stronger deterent to Tasting. A solution that other gTLDs are reportedly looking into, with the strong backing of the Intellectual Property Constituency.  »

Source DomainNews