Domain Names 101 Without a domain name, websites are specified by an IP address. What is an IP address? It is an identifier that is used by computers or humans to determine the location of a server or website. However, for humans, an IP address, (which is expressed in a numerical format), can be difficult to remember. This is why domain names were invented. With a domain name, a human can locate a website through more user-friendly words or phrases. And although numbers can be a part of a domain name, they usually do not make up all of it, like what is seen with an IP address. In terms of format, domain names have several parts. The first part is known as the URL, (which stands for Uniform Resource Locator). The URL tells the browser what the domain name is going to point to. This will usually be 'http', which means the browser can expect to locate a hypertext document. In layman's terms this means webpage. In the rare cases the URL is not 'http' it may be 'ftp', which means file transfer protocol. A webmaster would opt to use ftp if they would like visitors to download files from their server. The second part of the domain name will be "www," which stands for "World Wide Web." This phrase lets computers and humans know the site the domain name is pointing to is indeed from the Internet. It is followed by the actual domain name, which can be a combination of letters, numbers or phrases. A good domain name will be short, memorable and most importantly, search-engine friendly. In fact, good webmasters tend to concentrate more on a domain name's effectiveness with SEO, (or Search Engine Optimization), than they do its creativity. To do this they make sure to choose a domain name that has a widely searched keyword. The final portion of the domain name has what is known as an extension. This lets a person know a little bit more about a website's origins. For example, take .com, the most common domain name extension. It stands for 'commercial', and was originally intended for organizations in that vein. However, now the extension is used by virtually anyone looking to create a website. And this is for good reason, since most web surfers will think about the .com before they would think about .org, .biz or .net. Yet, don't think the other extensions can't become memorable either. Consider Wikipedia.org which is a wildly popular website despite its .org extension. Domain name extensions can also specify things on a geographical level. An example are country-based extensions such as .fr, (which stands for France), or .jp, (which stands for Japan). They can also be state-based, such as .ca, (which stands for California). Both can serve as excellent tools for localized Internet marketing. To get a domain name, a person can either: 1) get one from their web hosting company, provided they offer that service or 2) get one from a separate domain name company. Price-wise things will vary with both options, though typically the cost will range from $6.50 to $35. Domain Name Tasting A good domain name not only makes people more likely to visit a website, but it can also increase search engine rankings. This is because search engine bots index websites based on keywords found both in its content and domain name. Yet, how does a webmaster know if their domain name is going to be profitable? Usually most don't until they put it into practice. Hence, there is the practice of domain name tasting. What is domain name tasting? Domain name tasting is the process of registering a domain name and seeing how much traffic it brings to a website during whatever grace period the domain name registrar offers, (which is normally five days). If the domain name brings in a lot of visitors, the webmaster will keep it. Otherwise, they will cancel their registration and get a refund. Does this sound interesting to you? Well, before you decide to do domain name tasting for your site, first consider the ethics of the practice. Domain name companies lose millions of dollars every year due to domain name tasting. While some may not feel sympathy for them, if domain name tasting continues without any legal restrictions, DNS enterprises may strike back by making their prices higher. Such a consequence would also hurt customers who intended on buying the domain name outright. Another ethical dilemma involved with domain name tasting is the issue of good domain names not being eligible for more serious customers. Some may feel that in a system of free capitalistic enterprise, domain name testers have every right to access however many domain names they can. Yet, if they aren't really going to buy them, why shouldn't these domain names be available to individuals who may need them more? Many would argue it is better to sell a domain name to a company that is serious about using it as their brand than selling it to a person thinking they can use it to get quick traffic. It is also important to keep in mind that a good domain name is not a sole indicator of whether or not a site is going to be successful. Domain name tasters are fooling themselves if they think their practice of domain tasting is what has brought about their success with website traffic. Granted, an expired domain name might have a little bit of traffic associated with it, but to get one that is of value, a person would have to pay hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars. Many domain name tasters wouldn't have the funds for such a domain name, so they may instead deal with cheaper ones. And most of these cheaper ones probably do not have their own traffic stream. Indeed, the type of website that gets a lot of traffic is one that has: a decent domain name, keyword-enriched content and lots of inbound links. Even if one doesn't see anything ethically wrong with domain name tasting, doing it may not accurately reflect whether or not a domain name is valid. In fact, if a person does domain name tasting and their website did not have the other elements that make for proper traffic-building, they could potentially be throwing away a domain name that could be a gold mine in the future. Domain Name Servers: The Basics Technically, domain names aren't necessary to access a website. This is because with or without them, all websites can be accessed by their corresponding IP address. What is an IP address? It is a 32-bit numerical identifier that indicates what machine a website is on. The only problem is that for a human these numbers, (which come in a series of 4 octets), can be extremely hard to remember. This is why domain names were created. With a domain name a person can access a website through a word or phrase, which offers much more convenience than decimated octets. In order for domain names to work, they must use domain name servers, (also known as DNS). These are special computers that store data pertaining to domain names and the IP addresses they point to. It does this through a process known as reverse mapping. What happens is after a domain name is entered, the domain name server will look up its corresponding IP address in a directory service. It will also correspond with other domain name services to see if they have 'knowledge' of the IP address. This process is known as a distributed database, since no 'official' entity is responsible for updating information on other domain name servers. How can a computer be turned into a domain name server? It has to run DNS software. The most common DNS software is BIND, (which stands for Berkeley Internet Name Domain). This, (along with other types of DNS software), works in a hierarchal fashion. The beginning of the hierarchy contains the character ''. It is called the system's root. Underneath the root there are the domain extension such as .com, .org, .net or .biz. A domain name server must also have client computers to help conduct its operation. These client computers are called nameservers and resolvers. Nameservers are responsible for locating a domain name's IP address. The resolvers, on the other hand, stores a list of all other nameservers on the Internet. This list is used to help contact these nameservers should a domain name's IP address not be stored in the initial domain name server. Should a web hosting company bother in investing in a domain name server? It depends on how large their operation is. Smaller-scale web hosting companies probably won't get much from such an investment. However, if a company wants to attain the type of status that sites like Godaddy.com have attained, it may want to consider spending the money. Companies can get domain name servers from enterprises that sell regular servers. In conclusion, the domain name server can be considered the heart of domain name functioning. Without them there would be no way a domain name would be associated with an IP address, which is what is really responsible for identifying computers on a network. This does not mean it's essential for a web hosting company to invest in one, especially since there are so many cheap domain name services they could use instead. Yet, if they do get a domain name server, they would have the ability to sell web hosting as well as domain names to their customers. Domain Name Redirect Services It's no secret that a short, memorable domain name is what is needed to help visitors to a website. It also helps if the domain name contains keywords that are likely to rank high in search engines. So, what does a webmaster do if they are promoting an affiliate program or a website created from a free web hosting service such as Geocities? The most affordable answer lies in taking advantage of a domain name redirect service. What is a domain name redirect service? It is one in which a long, cumbersome URL is 'masked' by a more memorable domain name. Instead of having to type in the longer URL, the website visitor would type in the new domain name. This domain name would then redirect to the original URL. The visitor would then see the original URL in their browser. However, most won't pay that much attention. Domain name redirect services can be free or paid. An example of a free service is Tiny URL. In order to use this service, all a person has to do is enter in whatever URL they need to have shortened. Tiny URL would then return a domain name that is much more convenient for website visitors. This URL would have 'tiny url' as part of the domain name followed by a number. An example is the following: tinyurl.com/3. Granted, it's not perfect, but it is a lot better than what one would typically get with an affiliate program or a free web hosting service. If a person wants a more customized domain name, they will need to use pay for a redirect service. One of the best is Namestick. The process for using Namestick is similar to Tiny URL except webmasters must first choose the domain name they want to use for their redirect. They can choose any domain name they wish, just like if they were getting it through their web host or a domain name company. Namestick even provides suggestions if a person's desired domain name is taken. Once that is done, a person will have to enter in their URL they want redirected. After about 72 hours, the new domain name will be ready for use. Can a person get away with not using a domain name redirect service? It depends on how they do their marketing. For instance, if a person does a lot of offline marketing, a short, meaningful domain name is essential. However, if a person uses a lot of hyperlinks, a domain name redirect service may not be as important. What are hyperlinks? They are simply words or phrases that are linked to a particular URL. When the visitor clicks on them, they are taken to the website that is hyperlinked within. Hyperlinks can easily be created in HTML editors or by use of the anchor tag. In conclusion, a person's life can be made easier if they decide to hide their long URL with a more normal-looking domain name available through a domain name redirect service. This is if they aren't marketing through hyperlinks, which do not require an official domain name. Bulk Domain Name Registration Most Internet marketing gurus know the importance of using a domain name. However, only the experts use bulk domain names when marketing their website. How do things work if one is using bulk domain names? Basically, with the bulk domain name tactic, dozens maybe even hundreds of domain names point to one site. The practice is completely legal, (since ICANN places no limitations on how many domain names a person can register), and could even boost search engine listings. This is because search engine bots have more URLs they can find that relate to a particular website. So, how can a person get started with bulk domain name registration? Well, if they have money, it's best if they go to a bulk domain name company. These are better than traditional domain name companies, because they are specially designed to help webmaster better manage their bulk domain name campaigns. With a bulk domain name company, webmasters can manage up to 10,000 domain names in just one account. This includes placing them in related groups, alphabetizing them or viewing which ones are going to expire first. An example of an excellent service offering these features is DomainNext.com. If a person doesn't have money, they will need to consider other means of bulk domain name registration. For example, they could try to get maybe 100 or so domain names from domain name registrars charging just a dollar. This would mean the initial fees would be $100, which is an affordable amount for most people. They could also consider getting a series of free domain names. However, they must be aware that many free domain name providers will places ads on a site as well as contain an extension that is not traditional. There may also be a limit to how many free domain names a person can register. Either way, webmasters may want to consider pointing free domain names to a second site that relates to whatever they are promoting. They can advertise the domain name to their main site. With this method they can take advantage of free bulk domain names without having to worry about bombarding their original site with advertisements. It should be noted that if a person does not get free bulk domain names, they will have to pay renewal fees once their domain names expire. If a person got a number of bulk domain names they can handle, this may not be an issue. However, if it is, they can consider selling their domain names on domain name auction sites. They will lose the marketing advantage, but at least they will get an opportunity to save money. In conclusion, bulk domain name registration can be a way for webmasters to help corner the Internet market. They can go about registering several paid domains and/or free domains. Regardless, they should also make sure that their site contains other elements that make for good Internet marketing. This includes being keyword-optimized and containing several inbound links. Without doing these things, bulk domain name registration in and of itself will only bring limited results. Avoiding Trademark Infringement When Choosing a Domain Name Many webmasters erroneously believe that just because their domain name registrar says a particular domain name is 'available' that it truly is. This is not necessarily so. Even if a domain name is physically available, it may not legally be open for use. Why? It's because there might already be a company that has the rights to the keywords used within the domain name. If this happens yet the webmaster claims the domain name anyway, they are at risk of losing it through a domain name arbitration proceeding. They could even be charged with trademark/copyright infringement if things get really ugly. For this reason it's best to make sure the keywords used in a domain name aren't protected for someone else. This article will explain how webmasters can make such a determination. First, webmasters need to check and see if their chosen domain name resembles any existing trademark that is on the books. They will want to do this before actually investing any money in the domain name. To search existing trademarks, webmasters can visit the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which is USPTO.gov. From here they can search a database that contains current trademarks as well as those that are pending. If a domain name is similar to a registered or pending trademark, webmasters need to evaluate whether the domain name is still worth taking. Usually, if a site is not selling the same types of merchandise or services that the other business is selling and the trademark is not popular, a webmaster probably won't get into legal trouble if they decide to go on and register the domain name. To be completely sure, webmasters can run the domain name by a trademark attorney. It shouldn't cost too much for an hour consultation. Of course, if a webmaster would prefer zero percent risk, they can simply try to think of another domain name. When they go about doing this, they need to be more generic and less creative in what they come up with. Using search engine keywords for a domain name is one such strategy. Webmasters can also look into using dictionary terms. If all else fails they can take a generic term and combine it with a term that is less likely to be taken, such as their first and last name. Either way, once a suitable domain name has been chosen, webmasters should consider getting it trademarked themselves, especially if they are using it to help brand their business. With an official trademark, a webmaster has more legal power should another company try to take them to court. And since there's no shortage of domain name bullies, (companies that try to steal profitable domain names from smaller enterprises), a webmaster should use all legal avenues available to protect the rights of their business. In conclusion, by checking whether or not a domain name has keywords that are part of a trademark, webmasters lessen the risk that they will have legal problems in the future. If there are problems, and a domain name arbitration proceeding does not rule in a webmaster's favor, they can turn to The Domain Name Rights Coalition. Domain Name Hacks Traditional domain names consist of a word or phrase that describes a website followed by an extension. Extensions can be .com, .net or country-based such as .fr or .jp. So, if this is the case, how can domain names like blo.gs or del.icio.us exist? It's because a domain name doesn't have to follow a traditional format. When it is created in the manner demonstrated above, it is called a domain name hack. With a domain name hack, a domain name spells out a 'word' by using a combination of periods and less popular country-based or state-based extensions. Now, if you think a domain name hack is a simply a trick created by spammers and/or webmasters with no life, think again. Yahoo obtained the rights to both blo.gs and del.icio.us, despite their unusual-looking format. There are also popular organizations that are actually known by domain name hacks. Examples include who.is, (a site that lets a webmaster know the specifics behind a domain name and their associated website), and whocalled.us, (a site that allows consumers to list the numbers of telemarketers). Even other countries use domain name hacks in their own languages. Consider Germany's popular Schokola.de, (which means chocolate in English). So, does this mean webmasters should consider using domain name hacks? The answer is it depends. It is important to remember that while domain name hacks are witty, many of them can be inconvenient for web surfers. Some may even wonder if the site is legitimate, since the most common extensions are .com, .net, .org and .biz. However, since there are domain name hacks that still receive a healthy amount of traffic, it is possible that website visitors might overlook how a domain name hack is titled if the site it is pointing to proves to be worthwhile. There is also the option of having a second more normal-looking domain name point to a domain name hack. This gives website visitors two ways of being able to access one's website. How can a person think of a good domain name hack? First, they need to get a list of all the extensions that are possible with a domain name. They then need to find a domain name company that sells that sells the extension they are looking for. Then they will need to think of any word or phrase that includes the letters used in the extension. But they will need to make sure these letters are at the end of the word, since extensions conclude a domain name. An exception could be made if a person considers using third-level domains. In this situation the letters of the extension could be used in the middle of the domain name hack. If a webmaster finds they are having trouble thinking of a word or phrase that contains their selected extension, they could use a keyword analyzer to help them. Overture and Google offer keyword analyzers for free, though webmasters might find more use from paid keyword analyzers. This is because paid keyword analyzers offer more information about a keyword than free ones. Domain Name Generators The process of registering a domain name can be quite annoying. Why? It's because many times the domain name a webmaster hopes to register has already been taken. So, they have to ponder again what their domain name should be. But what do they do if that domain name has been taken as well? The best solution involves getting it right the first time with a domain name generator. This is a program or service that suggests domain names that are not likely to have been used by other webmasters. They can work in three ways including: giving random listings, giving listings based on input or using human suggestions. The first type of domain name generator gives random domain name suggestions. Examples of sites that offer these types of domain name generators include Makewords.com and Domain-Generator.net. The only thing a visitor has to do to see a suggested domain name is click a button or, (in the case of Makewords.com), just visit the site. Depending on the complexity of the domain name generator, visitors will be able to see if the domain name has previously been registered and/or how valuable they would be if they decided to buy them. The second type of domain name generator offers suggestions based on user input. 123Finder.com is an example. What happens is a user enters a keyword that describes the purpose of their website. The domain name generator will then return domain names that contain this keyword. A variant of this service could require a user to enter in more than one keyword. From this input the domain name generator would return a domain name that contains a mixture of these keywords. The final type of domain name generator offers suggestions from human creativity. An example of such a service is Pickydomains.com. With this service, (along with others like it), customers have to pay a fee. Part of the fee goes to the person responsible for coming up with the domain name. After the fee is sent, customers must provide information related to their website. Employees will use this info to choose a domain name. When the process is complete, the customer will receive a list of several domain names, each of which came from a human mind rather than a computer program, (which is used by the other types of domain name generators featured in this article). Are there any downsides to using a domain name generator? Well, human-based domain name generators usually require a fee, while automated ones might not seem as creative. Other than that domain name generators are an excellent way for webmasters to determine what their domain name should be. Even if they don't use the suggested domain name in its entirety, they can still use these types of services to generate ideas. From there they can use their own mind to come up with an appropriate domain name. So, at the very least, domain name generators can serve as a tool for domain name brainstorming. They definitely should not be overlooked by any webmaster. Domain Name Arbitration After several minutes of pondering and looking at keyword analyzers, you find the perfect domain name for your new website. You see if it is available through your desired domain name company. When you find that it is, you get excited because it seems that it is going to be quite profitable for your site. So, you sign up for it, thinking that it is up for grabs, since your domain name company has said it is available. Then after a few months you get correspondence from an attorney saying that your new domain name has violated another company's trademark. You are now stuck with a potential legal battle that could cause you to lose your domain name, your reputation and maybe even worse. Fortunately, with domain name arbitration, there's a chance you can get out of such a situation and avoid any possible legal consequences. What is domain name arbitration? It is a process in which the complainant and the original holder of the domain name try to work out a reasonable agreement as to who actually has the rights to the domain name in question. The arbitration in itself is done through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, (also known as UDRP). This is a special arbitration method set forth by the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) organization. It is used for most domain name disputes, because it is cheaper and less time-consuming than 'traditional' litigation. In order to initiate a domain name arbitration proceeding, a webmaster must go through a provider that has been approved by ICANN to handle such disputes. Once the arbitration begins, the provider will first determine if the complainant has merit in their claim. They will do this by evaluating whether the domain name in question is similar to a trademark or domain name set forth by the claimant. They will then determine what rights the claimant has to the title along with whether or not the domain was chosen accidentally or with the intention of taking advantage of the claimant's brand popularity. If it is found the domain name was chosen in bad faith, rights to it will be granted to the claimant. Otherwise, the original owner will retain possession of the disputed domain name. If either party is not satisfied with a domain name arbitration proceeding, they can challenge the findings in a regular courtroom. An example of this happened with Robert De Niro, when he tried to claim the rights to any domain name containing the phrase 'Tribeca.' He is still in court trying to retain the rights to Tribeca.net, which has been claimed by another person. In conclusion, domain name arbitration is a great alternative to avoiding taking a domain name dispute into a courtroom, at least initially. There is the option to go to court if either side feels an arbitration isn't fair. Yet, for most webmasters, the decisions made by the UDRP panel are good enough for them, since getting their consul is a lot cheaper than going to a judge. Cybersquatting and Your Domain Name When it comes to domain names, don't think that you only need to worry about the ones that you registered. This is because with the phenomenon of cybersquatting, domain names that are similar to your company's trademark could be registered to unscrupulous webmasters, intending to use them in bad faith. What happens is once the cybersquatter has gotten sales or Adsense clicks from their domain name, they will try to sell it to the original entity holding the trademark. When things get to this point, the price is significantly higher, sometimes even thousands of dollars. This is despite the fact that the individual or organization buying the domain name originally had the rights to it in the first place. So, how does a company protect themselves from cybersquatting? Well, first they need to be aware of whether or not domain names related to their trademark are being registered and used in bad faith. The best way to do this is to sign up for Google Alerts. This is a service that allows individuals or organizations to track any websites, comments, articles, etc. that are being made about their website or brand. If they receive an alert that shows a domain name that is similar to their trademark, they could be dealing with a potential cybersquatter. The keyword of course is 'potential.' The person may not have any intention on selling the domain name back, though they are still using it in an illegal manner. Either way, website owners can exercise their right to an arbitration proceeding if they found their trademark has been used in bad faith. The type of arbitration proceeding that is the most common for domain name disputes is called Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. This process can allow disputes to be settled out of court through an ICANN-approved UDRP provider. The decisions made through the UDRP panel are legally binding, though they can be challenged in a traditional courtroom if either party thinks things are unfair. Another way companies can avoid cybersquatting is by trying as best they can to register any domain names relating to their trademark. This would include obvious derivatives where their whole trademark is included, as well as more creative derivatives where only a part of the trademark is used. If a company finds they are having difficulties coming up with different domain name combinations on their own, they can use a domain name generator. They should use both automated domain name generators as well as those in which a human comes up with the different combinations. In either case they need to think of combinations for all types of extensions, even free ones such as .tk or .co.nr. In conclusion, no one should have to succumb to a cybersquatter. Too much money and work goes into building a brand to have to spend thousands to a shady webmaster. Instead, website owners should be aware of how their trademark is being used. If there is a problem they can consider a UDRP proceeding. In the meantime they need to try to get as many domain names containing their trademark as possible, so cybersquatters won't have an opportunity to do their dirty work. Choosing the Right Domain Name Domain names are to websites as book covers are to novels. If they are not interesting enough, or don't properly convey what a website is about, visitor will have no desire to enter them in their browsers. Yet, excessive creativity doesn't make for a good domain name either. Why is this so? It's because if a domain name is creative but not keyword-rich, search engine bots won't be able to index it in search engine listings. So, ultimately, your domain name must be both catchy yet search engine optimized. This article will explain how you can achieve both objectives. First and foremost you will need to find a popular search engine keyword that can be incorporated into your domain name. A keyword analyzer can help you in this task. These can be found pretty easily with a basic search engine query. When you find one, enter in a keyword that best summarizes the purpose of your website. The keyword analyzer will return different versions of this keyword. If the more specific instances can also fit within the nature of your website, choose one. This is because when it comes to search engine optimization, more specific keywords are better since they are less likely to be used by other webmasters. Now you can start selecting your actual domain name. Most domain name companies will allow you to see whether or not your domain name is available. If it is not available, it will return a list of recommended domain names. Take advantage of this tool by first entering your selected keyword. If your keyword as a domain name is not available, consider the suggestions the domain name company gives. If the main keyword is still included in these suggestions and it ends with .com, consider it. Otherwise, you will have to be more creative. For example, you can use 'filler' words, numbers or phrases within your domain name to still include your selected keyword. Fillers could be 'a,' 'an' or 'the.' Search engines tend to not look at these words, so you still have a good shot at getting indexed while having a domain name that is memorable and catchy. You can also consider fillers at the end of a phrase, such as '101'. What if you do these things and you still can't get .com? Well, there are some situations where it is better to stick with a lesser-used extension because the keyword is just that popular. Extensions that still get noticed include .net, .biz and .org. Additionally, you can also consider using country or state-based extensions if you don't mind international or local-based marketing. It's better to be number 1 in France's version of Google than to be number 200 or worse in America's version of Google. In conclusion, choosing a domain name that will get the right buzz from both humans and search engines doesn't have to be hard. The keyword analyzer will help you with 90% of your domain name, while your wit with fillers can help you the other 10%. And, if after an immense amount of pondering, you still can't get the .com, you can opt for other extensions. Cheap Domain Names In order for people to access a website, they must first enter in its associated domain name. This is a word or phrase that denotes the name of the site and/or summarizes what it is about. Even free web hosting companies offer domain names, but there's an essential difference. With free web hosting companies, the domain names offered are in the form of third level domain names. This means their domain name must be included when a person is trying to access the third level domain. The only problem with this is that it makes a domain name long and hard to remember. For this reason it's best if a person considers just buying their own domain name. And with the availability of cheap domain names, it is possible to get one that is very affordable. Cheap domain names can range from being completely free to around $6.95. Usually free domain names that are worth anything are included with a web hosting package. So, a customer is technically still paying a fee. The other types of domain names that require a fee can be purchased separately without a web hosting package. The prices for these start at $1.00 and go up from there. When a person purchases a cheap domain name, the overall registration process is the same as it would be for regularly-priced domains. This means that first they would have to see if their domain name is available. To do this they must enter in their desired domain name in a special text box, then select the extension they want. If the domain name is available, they are free to purchase it. If it is not available, they will have to choose another domain name. Cheap domain name companies will offer suggestions on alternative domain names when this scenario occurs. Are there any downsides to using cheap domain names? Unfortunately, yes. If a cheap domain name company is unscrupulous, a person may never receive a domain name at all. What happens is the company tells the customer to wait a few days for the domain name to become active. However, at the end of the timeframe, the domain name still doesn't work. And since the company is unscrupulous anyway, emailing customer service won't do anything. How can a person ensure they don't encounter a fraudulent cheap domain name company? First and foremost they need to check to see if it is registered with the Better Business Bureau. This is an organization that ensures businesses are operating in a legitimate manner. Secondly, they need to see if the company has normal contact information, such as an address and a telephone number. Thirdly, they should see if the company has a bad reputation on message board dedicated to webmasters. Of course, one may not always get an opinion on a particular company but if they do they will know to stay clear of it. Yet, if a cheap domain name company is legitimate, there is no other disadvantage to getting a discounted domain name. They work just like regularly priced domain names, so if a person has one available to them they definitely need to take advantage of it. All About Mobile Domain Names When the Internet first came out it was restricted to a wired connection to a computer. Eventually technology improved, creating wireless Internet. At that point the Internet could be accessible through desktops, laptops and mobile devices without wiring. This means that the Internet was now portable. And as more mobile devices are getting created, consumers are exploring how to increase this portability. In fact, wireless Internet has gotten so popular with mobile devices, domain name companies have created a new extension. It's called .mobi. .Mobi is the extension of choice for websites that are being formatted for cell phones, pdas and other mobile devices. It can be bought from most major domain name companies such as Godaddy or Network Solutions. As far as registering a .mobi domain name, one would go through the same type of procedure that is associated with traditional domain names. This involves first choosing a .mobi domain name and seeing if it is available. If it is not available, the domain name company will offer suggestions on what a person can use. Either way, the customer will be given another chance to select another .mobi domain name. Once they get one that is not taken, they can proceed to purchase it. The contract will last one to two years, depending on what they agreed upon with the domain name company. When the contract is up, a person will have to renew their .mobi domain name if they want to continue to keep it. So, why would a webmaster decide to invest in a domain name that is restricted to mobile devices? Well, it's mainly because they get an opportunity to center in on a market that is relatively new. Since most webmasters or companies are trying to take advantage of the .coms or the .nets, the .mobi has become somewhat forgotten. This means that it is prime for search engine keywords that would normally not be available for traditional domain names. It can also allow a webmaster a branding opportunity for their company. However, since a .mobi domain name means a webmaster is creating a website specially designed for a mobile phone, it cannot have the types of frills that it could have if it was being promoted on a computer. Good mobile websites need to be mostly textual with very limited number of pics, (if any). Granted, plain text is not fancy, but it doesn't require much loading time. Mobile phone sites should also not be very large nor should they be created with frames or other more complicated layouts. A webmaster may also want to consider trying to divert the mobile website visitor to a regular website. One way this can be done is by advertising the domain name that is associated with a traditional website. But it must be made clear that the site will only display appropriately on regular computers. Another option is trying to capture the person's email address by offering them something free, such as an e-book or low-cost merchandise. When they sign up to the email subscription, their first newsletter could advertise the traditional website a webmaster wants promoted. By doing either of these options, webmasters can still take advantage of pay-per-clicks or affiliate programs, revenue generators which may not be promoted on .mobi websites due to viewing limitations with banner or text ads.
Yahoo Domain Names Businesses are fooling themselves if they think they can continue to conduct business without a website. This is because in today's age, having a website makes many think a company is 'official.' But a website by itself doesn't mean anything without a decent domain name. Granted, a company can try to cut costs by using a free domain name or a third level domain name offered by free web hosting companies, but visitors won't view their site as being genuine. Long, complicated domain names are associated with affiliate marketing or even scammers, so businesses need to try and stay away from them as much as possible. The best solution involves getting a normal domain name from a reputable domain name company. One of the best domain name companies around is Yahoo Domain Names. Yahoo Domain Names is a great alternative for individuals who do not know much about domain names or website hosting. In fact, with Yahoo Domain Names, a person can get a domain name free should they decide to buy one of their hosting packages. The cheapest hosting package available is $11.95 a month plus a startup fee of $25. With this along with any other Yahoo Domain Name hosting package, webmasters get an online website builder. Basically, all they have to do is enter in their information and the site is created for them instantly. Another reason one should choose Yahoo Domain Names is because of their domain name locking system. This helps prevent hijackers from stealing the domain name. With Yahoo Domain Names, the process of domain name locking is as simple as clicking a button. Webmasters can check to make sure their domain name has been locked by looking up their Whois information. If it says Status: Registrar-Lock, (which it will since Yahoo Domain Names was used), then they can feel assured that their domain name is safe from unauthorized individuals. Thirdly, Yahoo Domain Names offers private domain name registration. Without private domain name registration anyone can find a webmaster's basic contact information. This is because ICANN has designated that webmasters have their contact info posted in a database that is accessible online. With Yahoo Domain Names, a person can use Melbourne IT's contact information as their own. Any inquires made to the ICANN for a webmaster's personal information will simply point to Melbourne IT. This feature is essential in making sure a webmaster is protected from spam email and even worse, identity theft. Lastly, Yahoo Domain Names offers 24/7 technical support. Many webmasters overlook the importance of tech support when managing their domain names, but it is still important, especially if one is a newbie. This is because domain names sometimes point to 404 error pages if something goes wrong. With 24/7 tech support, Yahoo Domain Name users can pinpoint what is exactly causing the problem and get it fixed immediately. In conclusion, if a company is having trouble deciding both where they should get their web hosting and their domain name, they should consider Yahoo Domain Names. Yahoo Domain Names is affordable, offers great features and most importantly is trustworthy. Many other domain name companies may not even deliver a domain name, but Yahoo Domain Names has too much of a reputation to even think about doing such things. Transferring Domain Names In the olden days of the Internet, domain name registration was handled by Network Solutions. However, after a while, the government decided that it wasn't fair for one company to have sole control over the domain name market. Therefore, it opened up the business to other companies. Since then hundreds of domain name companies, ranging from sole proprietorships to corporate enterprises have capitalized on a market that generates millions in revenue each year. So, for webmasters, this means there's no shortage of companies to choose from when they register their domain names. Yet, what happens if they register with one domain name company, but decide later they want it to be operated by another company? Fortunately, they can get their wish through the process of domain name transferring. This is when a webmaster gets another registrar to handle their domain name. All payments are forwarded to the new registrar, as the old registrar is no longer in the picture, (at least when it comes to the domain name). If the registrar is handling a webmaster's hosting, they still need to make the necessary payments to make sure their website stays in tact. The actual process involved with a domain name transfer will depend on the registrar a webmaster is working with. For instance, if they charge a payment for domain name transfers, this fee must be received before anything can be done officially. Otherwise, the process begins as soon as a webmaster makes a request to do so. Some domain name registrars will require a webmaster to send a notarized letter informing their intent to transfer. Others may allow the request to be done online. Once the registrar authorizes the domain name transfer, it will take 1 to 7 business days for the process to be completed. Sometimes a domain name may not be transferable. This could be for a variety of reasons such as legal issues with the domain name itself or the original domain name registrar. An example of the former could be trademark problems. For the latter such legal scenarios that could cause problems include bankruptcy and/or issues with scamming. There is also a possibility that a domain name registrar simply refuses to transfer the domain name. How can a person prevent these types of problems? The best solution involves reading any fine print the original domain name registrar offers. A person should also check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the domain name registrar doesn't have any outstanding legal issues associated with it. In conclusion, if a person wants to switch domain name companies, there is the option of doing a domain name transfer. If it is successful, the domain name will work as it originally did, with the only difference being who is managing it. However, if a domain name cannot be transferred, a webmaster must stick with the original registrar or consider a URL redirect service. With a URL redirect service, the original domain name becomes masked by a new domain name. It is not as good as an official domain name transfer, but it is still better than nothing if transferring is not an option. Third Level Domain Name A domain name consists of three levels. The first level is the word or phrase that makes up the initial domain name. The second part of the domain name is the extension. Examples of common extensions include .com, .net or .org. The third portion of the domain name, called a third level domain name is an optional part. Like the first level domain name, it consists of a word or phrase to describe whatever webpage it is pointing to. However, unlike the first level domain name, a third level domain name cannot access a webpage by itself; it must contain the first level domain as well as the extension in its syntax. Third level domain names are often used by free web hosting companies to help create distinction among the websites of their customers. If third level domain names weren't used, customers would have not be able to access their website in a user-friendly way. Some third level domains may have the first level domain word or phrase first. An example is Geocities, where a person would have to include 'Geocities.com' before the third level domain name. Other third level domain names may have the first level domain name last. This is the case with Netfirms, where 'Netfirms.com' comes after the third level domain word or phrase. For customers third level domains come at no extra cost. This is in contrast to getting a regular domain name which can range from $6.50 to $35 per year. Additionally, it may take time before the domain name is active. This can be up to 7 days, especially if one is transferring a domain name. Conversely, third level domain names can be setup instantaneously. However, third level domains are far from perfect. Since they require the first level domain name as part of their syntax, they can be quite cumbersome for a website visitor to remember. A person can pretty much forget about getting traffic if they promote a third level domain name in various forms of offline media, such as in circulars or on business cards. In these situations it definitely behooves a webmaster to go on invest in a first level domain name of their own. So, does this mean third level domain names aren't worth anything to webmasters? Well, if a webmaster uses hyperlink marketing, they can still find value in a third level domain name. What is hyperlink marketing? It is simply when a word or phrase is linked to a URL rather than the URL itself. It is commonly used in emails, viral e-books and on websites themselves. A potential visitor never even sees the third level domain name, since it is masked by a hyperlinked word or phrase. And hopefully, they will like the site so much they will bookmark it, rather than trying to remember the full URL. In conclusion, third level domain names offer affordability to both web hosting companies and their customers. They also offer convenience since there's no waiting time associated with their setup. However, if they are used it's best that they are hidden in hyperlinks, since most website visitors would prefer to type in first level domain names. Scam Domain Names Do you think buying something as simple as a domain name means that industry is free from scams? If you do think again, since everyday hundreds of people get milked out of their money thinking they are going to get a perfect domain name. Granted, fraudulent domain name companies haven't received as much press as 'work-at-home' companies or other businesses of that nature, but they are still just as deviant. The two main ways a domain name company goes about scamming its customers involves either selling the domain name at a ridiculously high price and/or not delivering the domain name as promised. The typical price of a domain name ranges from being 0 dollars to around $35. However, if a domain name company is shady they could charge a price that is much higher. This fee could range from $300 to over $2,000. And, unlike legitimate web hosting companies that might charge such a fee, domain name companies of a shady vein do not offer other services such as web hosting or marketing assistance. Their sole sale is of the domain name. The second way fraudulent domain name companies scam people is by not providing a domain name at all. This happens a lot with so-called 'free' domain names, but can also happen with paid ones of any price. The normal turnaround time for domain name forwarding ranges from 1 to 7 days. If this timeframe has passed and a customer has not received a domain name, they probably won't receive one. What does a person do if they discovered they've been scammed? Well, if they fall for the first scam where they pay hundreds for a domain name, they may not be able to do much, if the company does indeed deliver the domain name. At most they could try to get a refund, but this is a long shot since companies that shady probably won't allow for such things. On the other hand, if a domain name hasn't been delivered at all, a person can first file a complaint with the Internet Crime Center, (also known as IC3). This organization has a partnership with the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. So, if they think a domain name company has acted in a fraudulent manner, they could use these entities to help conduct criminal investigations against them. Next, the jilted party needs to consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Although this organization doesn't have as many legal/governmental ties as the Internet Crime Center, it still has a lot of power. This is because many people turn to the BBB before they decide to do business with a company. By filing a complaint with them, a person that has been scammed could protect others from undergoing these same difficulties. Finally, there's the option of reporting the fraud to the credit card company or payment processor. If a credit card company determines fraud has occurred, webmasters will at least get their money back. If payment processors such as Paypal think fraud has occurred, they will proceed with freezing the account of the domain name company. When this happens they cannot do further business until they clear up the discrepancy. Misspelled Domain Names When it comes to search engine keywords, there are some that are potential gold mines that are being ignored. These are ones in which a word or phrase is accidentally misspelled. Usually, the search engine will link to results that contain the correct spelling, but it will still show any websites associated with the misspelled keyword. If one of these websites catches the eye of a surfer, they may visit it. This is why many webmasters will not only create websites around misspelled keywords but also pay money to bid on them in pay-per-click search engine advertisements. But misspelled keywords can help in another venue of Internet marketing... one's domain name. When a popular misspelled keyword is included in a domain name, the search engine bots will be more likely to notice the website. Granted, it won't get listed with the properly spelled keyword, but even traffic from a misspelled keyword is better than nothing. A person will just have to decide whether they want their website to be branded with a domain name that has an improper spelling. So, how exactly can a webmaster make such a determination when they are deciding on their domain name? Well, first they need to look at what their website is for. If they are just doing affiliate marketing or Adsense promotion, it doesn't matter as much if their domain name is branded properly. This is because they are not promoting their own business. However, if they are using a website to promote a company, they will want to try to keep their domain name as professional as possible. Secondly, a webmaster needs to see if there is profitability in a misspelled keyword. Even though a misspelled domain isn't as harmful to a webmaster promoting affiliate sites, they don't necessarily want to make it a first option, especially if the misspelled keyword in the domain name doesn't get much traffic. To determine a misspelled keyword's profitability, a person can look it up in a keyword analyzer. In fact, some paid keyword analyzers, (such as Word Tracker), even have features where a person can see which specific types of misspelled keywords are worth taking advantage of. If a misspelled keyword fits both of these criteria, a webmaster may want to consider putting it in their domain name. From there they will need to decide if they want that keyword to be included in the content. If it is then there's an even greater likelihood search engine bots will index the website according to the misspelled keyword. However, if it's not there's still a chance that the website could be indexed according to the correct keyword, though if this ranking is low, it may not be a preferable option. The webmaster will ultimately have to decide whether their content still looks 'professional' with the misspelled keyword. Some words, (such as mesothelioma), are so hard to spell, that a person may not even notice improper versions of it. If this happens they won't have any issues seeing it so many times in the content, since they didn't really know how to spell it right themselves. In conclusion, including a misspelled keyword in one's domain name could be an excellent way to covertly get website traffic, at least if a webmaster knows what he or she is doing. If they don't a misspelled domain name could cause a person to think negatively about a website. For this reason webmasters must take caution in which misspelled keywords they choose for their domain names along with whether or not they continue to use it in their content. Making Money Selling Domain Names Selling domain names can be quite profitable for webmasters. This is particularly the case if the webmaster sells a domain name that has an existing line of traffic. In these situations domain names can generate thousands of dollars for their webmasters. There have even been domain name names that allowed webmasters to collect millions in profit. With a little bit of basic knowledge, you can emulate such success for yourself. This article will provide that information through an easy to follow step-by-step guide. First, you will need to find a search engine keyword that is highly searched yet not used much by other websites. You can do this by using a keyword analyzer. The best keyword analyzers are those that you pay for, such as Word Tracker or Keyword Analyzer. The reason why these are preferable over free ones is because they let you know how much competition you are facing with a potential keyword. Free ones only tell you how much the keyword has been searched. If money is a problem, try to get a paid keyword analyzer that is offering a free sample, such as Word Tracker. You can upgrade to the paid version once you return profit from the sale of your domain name. With your keyword chosen, you will need to get a domain name and web hosting. Why do you need web hosting if you're going to sell just the domain name? It's because you're going to need a website to drive traffic to that domain name. Without a website visitors won't want to return to whatever domain name you selected. This lessens the main element that gives a domain name profitability: traffic. Anyway, try to get a package that will include both web hosting and a domain name at the same time, since you won't have to worry about transferring anything later. When you choose your domain name, make sure you include your selected keyword in its phrasing. If you find that your selected keyword is taken as a domain name, try making alterations like saying "a1", "123" or "101." For example, say the keyword "Careers" is taken as a domain name. You could say "A1 Careers," "Careers 123" or "Careers 101." Alternatively, you could try searching for a related keyword that isn't taken as a domain name. Either way, keep trying until you get a memorable yet keyword-rich domain name that still has a .com extension. Now, you will need to create a website for your domain name. It doesn't have to be big... even a one-pager could do the trick, if you don't mind a website so simple. Write an article related to the keyword you chose and create a simple site using Microsoft Word, (make sure you save the document as an .HTML file). Sign up for Adsense and/or an affiliate program, so you can offer additional resources for your visitors. You will also earn a commission if a sale is made or a clickthrough generated, (depending on the program you joined). Once your website is uploaded, you need to focus on traffic-building. You can get an initial boost by buying traffic, though make sure the company you buy your traffic from uses expired domain names rather than bots or even incentive traffic, (such as paid emails). But even after this you will need to try to build up inbound links. These are websites that link to you. Post your site on any free site, such as directories, message boards or online classified ads. Also, make sure you submit articles to free article directories. Additionally, try to initiate link exchanges. You can do this by emailing the webmaster or finding link exchange networks such as Link Market. Keep building up your links until you get a steady stream of traffic. If you get enough traffic, you will get an Alexa rating. If the rating is pleasing, find a domain name appraiser and see how much your domain name can go for. This will give you some idea of how much you can realistically get, but don't get discouraged if the number seems low. Why? It's because some people will care more about the traffic your domain name is receiving over the supposed SEO elements of it. Either way, when you feel you are ready put your domain name up for auction. You may even want to include your original website, though this is optional. When the domain name sells, you will need to transfer it over to the new webmaster's account... your web hosting company can help you with this. With your profit you may want to consider doing the venture again with an expired domain name. This will get you a traffic boost without having to go through the actual process of traffic-building, (if you decide you don't want to do that). Local Marketing with Geodomains A webmaster increases their chances of getting a high search engine listing by including a popular keyword in their domain name. However, if a keyword is too popular, including it in a domain name means nothing, even if the website it's pointing to is also optimized. This is why most Internet marketing gurus suggest that domain names as well as their corresponding websites use more specific keywords that aren't as competitive. One of the best ways to do this is to include keywords based on geography. When such a keyword is used in a domain name, it is known as a geodomain. Geodomains are highly used in the tourism industry. For example, if a person visits Maryland.com, they will see a site that offers information on what a tourist can do if they are planning a trip to Maryland. However, this should not dissuade other markets from centering in on a geodomain. As long as a product or service can be distributed outside of the webmaster's location, they should not be afraid to use geodomains that target national or even international audiences. This is not to say that geodomain marketing isn't better for some industries than it is for others. Why? It's because the areas that people live in have their own cultural and sociological needs. Even if one markets in their own country, people living in one state or province may not have as much of a demand for a particular product or service. For example, consider a website that is marketing private boats. If they use a geodomain that encompasses an area that is lower-income, naturally, their efforts won't result in many sales. This is why it's very important that webmasters investigate the general characteristics associated with the location they would like to create a geodomain for. So, how can a person find a geodomain name? Well, chances are state-based or country-based geodomains are taken at least for the most common domain name extensions. If they can't get these types of geodomains with lesser known extensions, they can consider combining a geographical term with something else or look for a more specific geodomain. When looking for something more specific, webmasters will need to consider making geodomains based off of cities, counties and even popular neighborhoods. They need to do this both for their own country and for other countries, provided that their website can meet the needs of an international audience. In conclusion, a geodomain can be a good method for marketing, if a webmaster doesn't mind trying to appeal to a local audience. Research will still be required to make sure a geodomain properly fits what is being promoted, but overall a webmaster will find that with the right geodomain, they will be able to generate more sales with less advertising expenses. This is because the keywords used in geodomains are not highly focused on in the Internet marketing world, especially those that are very specific. And when this scenario happens, a website has a greater chance of ranking higher in search engine listings. Is the .Com Overrated? When it comes to domain name extensions, most people are familiar with .com. Because of this the average webmaster is scrambling to get the perfect .com domain name. Some may even forego registering a potential goldmine of a domain name in favor of getting a less popular .com. Yet, there are dozens of other domain names available, some of which have gained popularity despite not being a .com. How can a webmaster determine if their site is going to be in such a league without the traditional .com? This article will explain how. First, a webmaster needs to evaluate the purpose of their website. If their website is designed to simply direct people to an affiliate page, then it won't really matter what extension it has, since they are only going to visit it once anyway. However, if a website is designed for repeat visits, people may not care about the site not having a .com. Sites that contain updated information, games and message boards tend to be the type of sites that get repeat visitors. Secondly, webmasters need to consider the memorable nature of their domain name. If a webmaster is able to create a witty domain name hack, such as del.icio.us, and their content is good, it may not matter that they don't have a .com. A good site that can allow a webmaster to register unconventional domain name extensions is New.net. This site offers extensions such as .love and .free. By looking at these extensions, webmasters can start pondering ideas for their own domain name hacks. If they need help, they can always type the word or letters used in the extension in a keyword analyzer or search engine. Thirdly, webmasters need to determine whether or not a domain name with an unconventional extension will rank higher in search engines than a domain name with a traditional one. In fact, consider the above-mentioned example of del.icio.us. Honestly, how many people are typing such a domain name in their browser? While it is certainly memorable, all of the periods associated with it are annoying. Yet, the site still has a high search engine ranking, which is probably how it's getting its traffic. Surfers visit it from the search engine, bookmark it and never again have to be associated with its unique URL. This is the type of success a webmaster wants to emulate. Indeed, if a domain name is keyword-rich and memorable, webmasters need to definitely go for whatever extension is available for it. Of course, this is not to say that a person must be limited to just domain name. If they want to still use .coms after using other extensions they can. In fact, the more domain names that point to a site, the more likely a search engine bot will index it higher. So, ultimately, with this strategy, webmasters will have two domain names they can work with. They can use the one with the unconventional domain name in search engine marketing in hopes of getting indexed high, while the other one can be used in printed media, where people are more likely to be concerned with the type of URL they are entering in their browser. Internationalized Domain Names and Homograph Attacks With normal spoofing a scammer tries to get personal information by sending fraudulent emails masquerading as an official website an individual might be working with. While some fall for the deception, many know better since the domain name in the email doesn't resemble the domain name they usually use to access whatever site. However, what happens if a domain name looks exactly like an official website? This, in combination with a more 'professional' email, could trick someone into giving away all of their personal data. And when this happens they will eventually become victims of identity theft. But, how can a scammer acquire a domain name that looks official? It's through the unfortunate practice of the homograph attack. What is a homograph attack? A homograph attack is when a person makes an internationalized domain name, (also known as an IDN), look like a traditional domain name associated with a popular website. They are able to do this because of the way internationalized domain names work. Basically, internationalized domain systems use a different type of coding system than the ASCII-based domain names Americans are used to. However, even with a different coding system, some languages have characters that look similar to characters used in American English. Scammers exploit this by taking these letters and creating domain names that look 'new' to browsers and servers, at least in terms of coding. To the human eye, these fraudulent domain names appear to already be taken, which is exactly what a scammer wants. They cause further confusion by creating sites that look pretty much like the sites associated with the original domain name that the scammers are spoofing. Before and even after internationalized domain names became popular, homograph attacks were expressed through spoofing just English characters. Scammers exploited the visual similarities between 'O' and '0' or 'I' and 'l'. Examples include 'G00Gle.com or 'PayPaI.com.' If a person is not paying attention, they could still become victims, but at least these types of domain names still look unusual. With internationalized domain name homograph attacks, the above-mentioned websites could look just as they are supposed to, fooling even the most vigilant Internet user. So, how can a person prevent becoming a victim of an internationalized domain name homograph attack? First, they should never click on any domain name that is given through an email. Instead, they should enter the domain name manually into their browser. In situations where one is working with a third-level domain that could be harder to remember, Internet users need to copy and paste the domain name into Notepad. This program will help them determine what character set and coding is being used for the domain name. If it's not English and ASCII, a person should be weary. In conclusion, internationalized domain name homograph attacks can cause a lot of havoc for Internet users. However, Internet users should find comfort in the fact that while they do need to be aware of the presence of the homograph attack, the traditional method of spoofing which is much easier to spot tends to be more common. This is because a person must be both clever and lucky to land an internationalized domain name that looks that much like a domain name that is already in use. It's much easier for scammers to try and fool people through email hyperlinks. Hyphenated Domain Names You think of a perfect domain name. It contains a keyword that is found in search engines, has no trademark issues and is memorable for website visitors. You try to register your domain name with a domain name company. It appears to be taken. So, you put a hyphen in it. That version of your domain name is not taken, but should you go on and invest in it? This article will explore what webmasters need to consider if they are deciding to use hyphenated domain names. First, they need to think about their website visitors. Most people are not accustomed to using hyphenated domain names. Even if they like a website, it may be simply a matter of forgetting to include the hyphen. If this happens then the unhyphenated version of the domain name will be what receives traffic, which is definitely not what a webmaster wants. Of course, if a domain name is not hyphenated in the first place, then such an issue would never arise. However, a hyphenated domain name that is keyword-rich has a higher chance of getting a good ranking from a search engine than a non-hyphenated domain that is not SEO optimized. A higher search engine ranking might outweigh the initial disadvantage of how inconvenient a hyphenated domain name is. This is because if a website has a high search engine ranking, people won't need to type in the domain name in order to access it. They can simply click on the listing given in search engine results. And if they like the site, they will bookmark it, an action that is preferable, since it shows they are really interested in what the site has to offer. Webmasters should also consider whether or not their domain name is more understandable if they use a hyphen. Consider the unusual domain name molestationnursery.com. This is actually in reference to a website that talks about mole nurseries, not molestation. Yet, what will most website visitors think if they saw the domain name in that manner? Including hyphens can make such a website much clearer. It would also be better for SEO, since search engines would index mole-station-nursery.com with keywords related to moles. So, basically, there are advantages and disadvantages to using hyphenated domain names. If a webmaster thinks their domain name is going to bring them a lot of search engine traffic, they should go for it. And in some cases, a hyphenated domain name is necessary to make its meaning easier to understand. Otherwise, webmasters should try their best to create non-hyphenated domain names, since these are the types of domain names that rule the Internet world. If they are having trouble coming up with a better domain name, they can consider using a domain name generator. Many domain name companies provide rudimentary domain name generators if a selected domain name gets turned down. Webmasters don't have to settle for these type though, since there are more sophisticated domain name generators that can offer even more suggestions. Get Traffic with Expired Domain Names One of the greatest difficulties in being a new webmaster is trying to acquire traffic. This is because trying to build legitimate traffic requires both time and money. How is this so? Well, if a webmaster is trying to obtain traffic through search engines, they will need to spend a great deal of time with link-building and content creation. If they are trying to get traffic through a pay-per-click program, they will have to invest hundreds to thousands of dollars if they want to take advantage of a high-performance keyword. However, there is another alternative that can allow a webmaster to get tons of traffic without having to invest too much in time or money. It involves purchasing expired domain names. What is an expired domain name? An expired domain name is a domain name that never got renewed by its owner. This could be for a variety of reasons such as disinterest in the original website, lack of funds or something more serious, such as an owner's death. Whatever the reason when the renewal fees aren't paid, the expired domain name sits out in cyberspace still functioning as any other domain name. There is just one difference... an expired domain name doesn't have a website attached to it, so it instead points to a 404 error page. Indeed, it is a waste of traffic when an expired domain name points to a 404 web page. Many domain name companies have realized this, which is why quite a few sell expired domain names either through a regular, upfront sale or through an expired domain name auction. The prices for these domain names can range from less than $100 to over $1 million. Some of these sales may even include a website. So, how does a webmaster know if an expired domain name is worth buying? First, they need to check to see the Google page rank of an expired domain name. To do this they need to download Google's toolbar and then type in the URL of the expired domain name. The toolbar will then let them know what the page rank is. If the page rank indicator is gray, the expired domain name must be avoided since this means the site has been banned by Google. Otherwise, it should be okay, though webmasters should also take into consideration the actual number associated with the page rank. If the number is between 6 and 10, they should strongly consider buying the expired domain name. Secondly, webmasters need to find out the Alexa rating of an expired domain name. The Alexa rating determines how much traffic has actually gone to a domain name. If a website has not received a significant amount of traffic, it will not have an Alexa rating. To determine the Alexa rating for an expired domain name, webmasters need to visit Alexa.com. Finally, webmasters need to see how many websites are linking to the expired domain name. To do this they need to put the command link: followed by the URL of the expired domain name into a search engine. If a lot of links are returned, this is a sign that the traffic coming to the expired domain name originated from legitimate sources. Free Domain Names Without a domain name, a person does not have a suitable way to find a website. The only problem is domain names cost money. Granted, if a person is operating one or two sites, the cost of a domain name, (which ranges from $1.00 to $35), probably isn't too steep. However, what if one is an avid marketer, making profit from hundreds of sites? Even the minimum in domain name fees can add up. This is why Internet marketing gurus might want to consider signing up for free domain names. Three types of free domain name exist: third level domain names, first level domain names with lesser used extensions and first level domain names with traditional extensions. The first type of free domain name is known as a third level domain name. This is a domain name that is commonly distributed by free web hosting companies or affiliate programs. Yet, there is a downside to this type of domain name. This downside involves the first level domain name, (usually the company's name), having to be a part of the third level domain name. For example, consider a website created with Geocities. If a webmaster chooses 'web hosting' as their third level domain name, the following would be the syntax: Geocities.com/webhosting. Such a domain name is not very convenient for potential visitors, so webmasters may want to consider redirecting these types of URLs to other versions of free domain names. The second type of free domain name is a first level domain name that contains an extension that is not as popular in the Internet world. Examples are the types of free domain names offered by Dot.tk or Free Domain.co. The extensions offered from these companies are .tk and .co.nr, respectively. These are far from a .com or a .net, but they are not as cumbersome to use as a third level domain name. The main key is going to be making sure the initial domain name is short and easy to remember, so potential visitors won't be as offset by the unusual extension. Finally, there are free domain names with extensions that are more commonly used such as .com or .org. To find these a person has to do some sleuthing. Sometimes individuals will offer them for free, since they were about to expire anyway. A person can try to find these situations through message boards dedicated to webmasters. Other times companies will offer these types of free domain names because they are getting free ad space. What happens is every time the free domain name is used, a pop-up ad will show up on the person's website. This is how the free domain name company gets their revenue. In conclusion, free domain names can be an excellent alternative for someone needing domains for several websites. The best ones are those in which a person can get a first level domain, though a third level domain name is better than nothing. To sign up for a free domain name, one can search for free domain name companies on the Internet.
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