Did you know that Domain Registrars can snap up a domain for 5 days, see if it gets enough monetizable traffic, and release it back within that time-frame and not get charged for it. Apparently it’s a pretty lucrative business for domainers along with Google AdSense for Domains.
I’ve been a victim of this a few weeks back when two separate domain tasters registered my name. They eventually released it after 5 days. I guess a few hundred searches per month for my name isn’t worth it for them.
Some Registrars like Network Solutions have recently been reported to sniff out domains you query on their whois search and register it ahead of you.
The Domain Tools blog has the scoop that Google is putting a clamp on all this:
A confidential informant says Google will stop monetizing all domains if they are less then five days old. This potential new policy change by Google could stop all Domain Tasting in its tracks. The Add Grace Period (AGP) is a time period when registrars can delete a domain at no cost, but in this time frame a registrant could register millions of these temporary domains and place Google Adsense for Domains on them. The result is the ability to produce millions of temporary websites that literally generate millions of dollars in income per week for Google. It was disclosed in court that one partner that Google had was generating as much as $3 million dollars a month from the practice and that was after Google’s revenue share.
Finally, an end to domain tasting? Not totally, but it sure does help in weeding out a whole bunch of them.