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Is it still advisable to register domain names that are variants on the one you always use? If you normally have a .com, should you register the .org, .info, .net, etc. to theoretically keep others from doing whatever nefarious thing they would do with a domain similar to yours?

I had all the similar sites registered to one of my domains, and I'm wondering lately if it was just a waste of money, and whether I need to bother renewing. I have a hard time picturing someone out there squatting on the domain trying to skim away my traffic.

What do you guys think?

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ephemera
Mar. 24th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
do you have the domain set up to refer people to your main site? If so, do your web stats show any traffic coming through?

(It would partly depend for me how expensive the domain is - I probably wouldn't take on the .com of my domain as a 'name squatting' exercise, because .coms are so expensive, but one of the cheaper variants might be a different calculation.)
jordan_c_price
Mar. 24th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
No, I just have them registered for my store to prevent someone unethical from grabbing them and putting up an imitation site or something. It might be a real pain to have them redirect. Or maybe not, maybe there's some easy way to do it that I've never explored. Hm! Something to look into!
Amanda Corlies
Mar. 25th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
I have my personal sites through nettica and square space, and it was really easy to redirect the flow of traffic. I'm not sure if that would be the case with your domain location or your host site. But, I'm betting it is. At first, I was going to say the same thing, that the only way this seems worth your while is if you are using it to redirect traffic to the correct site. But then, on the other hand, we also purchased them all for The Ravens Crossing, because the name is something that could be fairly common and we didn't want something strange and seriously not YA turning up on the other domains. So, I guess I can totally see the argument for spending the money and keeping all of the domains yours. You just never know what somebody will decide to do. Better to have the controls.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 25th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how redirects would work for domains that I own with no hosting attached, that would be the thing for me to look at.

Maybe I should at least to the .net to be safe. I'll give it a think.
quillismightier
Mar. 25th, 2012 09:24 am (UTC)
I don't bother, honestly. I have a non-profit that will be 9 years old in August. I started out just buying the .com and the hosting. Then when Register.com became a douche and let our .com expire without telling me, then letting some overseas company purchase it, who then tried to sell it to me for 10x what the stupid domain was worth -and seriously, we're a small NFP, we didn't bother.

Then registered the .net instead and even though the .com has become available again, I haven't bothered. We don't have enough of a budget to justify it.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 25th, 2012 03:23 pm (UTC)
The fact that some overseas company did a buy-and-squat makes me think that hoarding my domain names might be worthwhile.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 27th, 2012 02:52 am (UTC)
IMHO a FEW essentials perhaps
I don't know the prevailing wisdom, but I'd drop some or most. The place I work has had me register many domains over the years (including a few of our publication names) but we don't use 99% of them. (Thankfully we might be letting a few expire here and there.) The rest seems like a waste to me, except maybe com/org/net (I'm old school ;-). We host our own stuff, so our ISP handles DNS for us and makes whatever changes I ask for -- no hosting service involved -- so we point some of them at our main site.

That's a very different setup from yours, so I don't know your options, which probably depend on things like (a) your registrar (do they include a no-cost redirect option?), (b) your hosting service (would they take DNS duties to just point domain X at host Y, without charging, since you don't want more hosting -- just pointing a few more domains at the same site?), etc. I see jcpbooks.net redirects to the .com; does that cost extra?

I'm skeptical you need to worry about traffic skimming, etc. since you've never USED the other domains (how would people find them?). I have first-hand experience with losing a domain (a local club -- not my job; long story, not our fault, ultimately for the best anyway) and having to get a new one -- and someone snapping up the domain and copying a few of our (now outdated!) pages and linking random words to spammy things. So yeah it can happen, but...they dropped those links (perhaps to improve Google ranking and sure enough, sigh, Google's stupid and ranks them first), so their biz model seems to be "pay for domain name, host a few pages, make NO MONEY" (no ads, even). HUH?! ;-)

Despite that (and it's just one anecdote), IMHO there's little danger, especially since you aren't using (some? any?) of your "extra" domains. How would people find the other sites, if they sprung up -- everything links to your real site. In our case we had plenty of links to our old site, though I tried to get as many as I could updated (THAT was tedious and not 100% successful), so I understand Googlebot's stupidity. It just seems unlikely you'd have the same problem -- but if so, Google has a tool for reporting problems and it looks like they'll even file DMCA notices for you if you're the copyright holder, though you could file your own; admittedly, I'm not sure how well that actually works.

(Our case is tricky since our club's web site graphics are owned by someone I can't speak for, but now that I see Google's ranking is F'd up -- so glad you posted this Q and I took another look at our ex-domain! -- I'm going to do something about this.)

You'll probably read my very abbreviated stuff (e-mail for more info) about the local club and figure you should keep all those domains. Hopefully you are renewing for long periods at cheap rates, if so. ;-) I'd at least drop the more obscure ones since folks are likely to try com/org first, methinks.

Sorry if my comments are disjointed and/or unhelpful; I'm tired and not at my most coherent.
jordan_c_price
Mar. 27th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: IMHO a FEW essentials perhaps
Oh, ack, the thought of a variant of my domain google-ranking above my real site fills me with dismay.

But you're right, there won't be anything in there for them to link to since I've never used the domains.

I was thinking of what I consider to be the really obscure domains, like .info or .mobi (and who knows, maybe in 5 years they won't seem obscure at all.)

I already grabbed the .net and discovered it's simple to redirect it to the .com, though I don't think I have a way of tracking that redirect. Maybe it doesn't matter much.

You're right, though, I'm now leaning toward keeping all domains "just in case."
(Anonymous)
Mar. 28th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
Re: IMHO a FEW essentials perhaps
The first thing I thought of, since I just read something about Harry Potter ebooks now available in epub and Kindle formats, was the .mobi ebook format. I forgot .mobi exists. I had to Google it to see what it was. ;-) I'm a bad tech guy.... I wonder how much companies/folks use .mobi.

Kendall
(Anonymous)
Mar. 27th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
P.S. that long rambling comment...
...was me. Sorry, forgot to sign it!

Kendall
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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