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Shane Gramling is a husband and father of three, web & print communications design expert, worship leader, photographer, cyclist, and flintoid

Domain Name Danger, Part 4: Domain Auctions (4 of 4)

by Shane Gramling on February 4, 2013

Registering a domain name is a simple and easy process, BUT there are a number of dangers involved with it. In this series of videos I’ll shine some light these dangers to help keep you better informed.

Never let a domain name expire, unless you’re okay with someone else owning it and doing with it anything they please.

Today we’re looking at a beast called domain name auctions. There are generally two types of domain auctions. One where someone is selling a highly valued domain, something like cars.com or shoes.com and another where a domain has expired and before its released back to the market, the domain registrar places it into an auction, and for good reason on their part.

So why in the world would MY domain be placed in an auction?

First off, you probably registered your domain name a few years back, and placed unique content on the site. This is the first piece of value because search engines and directories have indexed your site and linked up different keywords with your domain name. Second, you’ve probably done a bit of promotion and that leads to gaining links form other websites to your site. We call those “back links” and they can be very valuable because they provide absolutely free traffic.

So now you should have a fairly good idea as to why your domain holds value, and why your domain registrar might try to auction your domain after you let it expire.

So who bids on these domains?

There are typically three kinds of people who buy expired domains.

The first and most common bidder I’ve found is someone who will take an expired domain, and build on it, a small site with related content – but with ad placements. These sites can generate a few dollars a month – do this a few thousand times, and you’ve got yourself a full time job.

The second type of bidder is someone who assumes you lost the domain name by accident – and you want it back. They buy it at auction for ten bucks, and attempt to resell it to you for a few hundred. Someone only has to sell 20-30 of these per month and they’re instantly making easy money.

The last type of bidder I’ve found is going to be your competitor. If your superawesomeshoes.com site is going out of business, you better believe that they guy who runs supercoolshoes.com is going to be interested in bidding on your domain name.

So the moral of today’s story is: Don’t let your domain expire, unless you don’t mind someone else owning.

That wraps up the final episode in this four-part series on Domain Name Danger – check the box below for links to the other videos.

I’m publishing videos every weekday so make sure you subscribe!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

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Author Snapshot

Shane Gramling is a full-time professional freelance graphic designer based in Michigan. He serves a global client base with over 10 years' experience creating memorable brand experiences across multiple platforms. Shane has a highly sought-after combined skill set in web interface design, front–end programming, and print design – from brochures, to annual reports and billboards.

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» See his photo portrait work on Shane G. Photography

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