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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Alternate Domains Reply with quote

I wanted to check something about Tansy's property before replying to one of her posts here, and I mistakenly typed in "normandybeachrentals.com" instead of the singular form.

And it occurred to me -- what are people's opinions on registering alternate domains like this? I have experienceburgundy.co.uk registered with network solutions and pay $30 per year for a 301 redirect to our primary site (301 is apparently the type of redirect that search engines don't penalize for).

I have a vague recollection of Tansy saying that all the properties on their beach are second properties or holiday properties, and it would be a shame if someone on that beach took a domain so close to Tansy's.
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Brooke
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternate Domains Reply with quote

vrooje wrote:
I have experienceburgundy.co.uk registered with network solutions and pay $30 per year for a 301 redirect to our primary site (301 is apparently the type of redirect that search engines don't penalize for).

I have a vague recollection of Tansy saying that all the properties on their beach are second properties or holiday properties, and it would be a shame if someone on that beach took a domain so close to Tansy's.


Hi Brooke,
OK. I'm back and thank Paoloand everyone for their kind and supportive words.

Brooke,
I'm not aware of the different kinds of forwarding options, but I would not recommend network solutions as a Registrar. They are not a good company. The registry for .co.uk is Nominet, and they will have a list of other Registrars who sell their domains, which you can check out for the URL forwarding option. The cost to me sounds high @ $30 and I would compare with Godaddy.com. Do not attempt to transfer Registrar with less than about 45 days to go on your registration, especially from Network Solutions, who will put up a fight.

The purpose of buying extra domains is two fold - not only to drive extra traffic, also to put a ring around your own name to stop someone else getting a confusingly similar name. The problem is where to stop.

I would definitely want the .com version if you have any US clientelle, as well the plural .com version and plural.co.uk version. These do not need to be forwarded to your main website if Google is going to penalize for it, they can just be parked, in which case $30 pa ought to cover all of them

Since I have about 15 different names pointing to our site just for the fun of it, (including some common misspellings) am I being penalized by Google? How can I find out?

ETA: There's a .EU launching soon. Personally, I don't use the .co.uk. and now I'm wondering why you do Brooke, since neither you nor your property are in the UK?
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Waves from America
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Ciapolin



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 440
Location: Cossano Belbo, Piemonte

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 'outlaws' have a very successful .com property site and recently a local competitor has has 'copied' (although cleverly so that we can't do too much about it). The main issue is they have used a very similar domaine name. I suppose the problem is where do you stop. I have registered 2 names (and got another 2 free with 1and1), but someone could still come and do something similar. I have taken the decision not to spend any more money and take the risk.
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Carole-Anne
Cascina Ciapolin
www.piedmont-holidays.com
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Alan Knighting



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 4170
Location: Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne, France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna,

Quote:
OK. I'm back

I am so pleased to hear it! 600 minus 1 was not good news for me.

Alan
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna,

Thanks for the tip about NetSol... I had no idea. I'll look into alternates.

We have the .co.uk because most of our clients are British and I wanted to make sure that if .co.uk vs. .com made a difference on UK search engines, that we wouldn't suffer. Plus, I would be very, very peeved if someone built a site with the .co.uk name and built up a property rental site on it. We've also got experienceburgundy.net registered, but we didn't bother to redirect it. If they start .eu we'll probably register (but not redirect) that also.

When I researched how to do it, I found a lot of material on 301 (permanent) vs. 302 (temporary) redirects. Apparently if you do a 302 redirect, Google will think you're trying to cheat by having multiple websites with the same content and will penalize all the domains you've registered. But if you do a 301, Google knows that all the domains point to the same site and it won't care how many you have pointed there. 302 is more standard than 301, though, so you have to specify which one you want.

My parents have a real estate website and they have about 6 different domains all pointed to the same page. It's done with a direct DNS pointing from each site -- again, supposedly very bad from a Google point of view. I've been wrestling with our host to get them to change it, but it looks like I'll have to transfer the domains to a different provider who will use 301.

Of course, Google isn't the only search engine, but it never hurts to do right by them! Smile

Cheers,
-Brooke

P.S. - Welcome back, Joanna!
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome back. I can see why the .co.uk makes sense for you Brooke.

The URL forwarding is handled by the Registrar, not the web host, so why would you be wrestling with the host over this? Are you using Netsol for hosting as well as registration? (I sure hope not!)

When I do a redirect, I go the Registrar account and tick "URL Forwarding" The only choice is "masked" or "unmasked". Is that the difference you're talking about? Is one 301 and the other 302? I use Godaddy and Dotster as Registrars, both reputable. My hosting is somewhere else.

The domain extension to watch is the .travel domain. I know whoever got approval passed it almost immediately to a private travel company, but their application was approved on the basis of opening it up as a portal for the whole industry. It would be interesting to find out how the listing sites are dealing with it (I did give H-R the heads up). http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=198&highlight=travel I hope somebody did some lobbying, but it wasn't me.
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Waves from America


Last edited by A-two on Tue Jul 26, 2005 6:09 am; edited 3 times in total
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ciapolin wrote:
My 'outlaws' have a very successful .com property site and recently a local competitor has has 'copied' (although cleverly so that we can't do too much about it). The main issue is they have used a very similar domaine name. .


Sorry to hear this. Actually, you may be able to shut them down on the basis of the "confusingly similar" domain name. What they may be trying to do to your outlaws is called "reverse hijacking" and this is just the first step. The next stage is to claim your outlaws domain name for themselves, then point it at their site. Obviously, I don't know the domain names, but reverse hijacking is quite common.

The first and most important thing I would recommend is for your outlaws to file the trademark for their domain name if not already done. With that, you can then send the other people a cease and desist letter to take the site down, which also requires them to transfer the domain name to you, for which you will reimburse their original registration cost - find out whatever their current Registrar is charging - $30 max and do not offer more. You are not buying it from them. Your argument is that they were not entitled to register it in the first place.

If they will not agree to this, then you file a claim with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) using the UDRP (Unitary Dispute Resolution Policy) system set up by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). You claim that the only reason they registered the name was to pass themselves off as you and they are damaging your business as a result. This is called a "bad faith registration" and its a slam dunk provided you have the trademark - you win. If they have the trademark - you lose. It's really that simple.

The detail about how this works is in the small print on your domain name registration agreement . Search the document for UDRP. It's a standard part of the agreement and the same for every registrar. Everyone who has ever bought a domain name agrees to abide by it, including the other person against whom you will be claiming, and the Registrars who sold the names to both of you are also bound by it.

It depends how determined everyone is to defend their business as to how far you want or need to go, but you don't need a lawyer and WIPO filing fees are $1,000. That's what it will cost to shut them down all being well (plus trademark costs if you don't already have it), and hopefully you will get costs awarded if matters go that far.

I would not attempt a WIPO Claim without out least an application for the trademark having been made. With the TM, you can expect to win in one short hearing, which the other side will not even try and defend if they are smart. The Registrar will take the domain name away from them and give it to your outlaws, even if the other side refuses to cooperate with the proceedings. A WIPO ruling is as good as a Court Order. The Registrar will act on it immediately, within 24 hours.

If this all sounds too much hassle, you may want to forget all about this post and that's fine, just remember one thing.

*****The trademark is king of the domain name world*****

Possession of the trademark is 9/10th of the law and overrides the fact that your outlaws were first in the domain name space......too bad...that's what reverse hijacking is all about and people do this for a living. Just like Identity theft, it's big business.

Disclaimer: IANAL (I am not a lawyer,) and this is not legal advice. (If it was, I would be charging you for it). However, I used to sit on various Committees at ICANN when they were drafting all the domain name user/ transfer agreements, so that's why my head is full of all this stuff.

Be careful and good luck!
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Waves from America
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Ciapolin



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 440
Location: Cossano Belbo, Piemonte

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks Joanna. This is really useful. We had decided just to put it down to experience, but perhaps there is something we can do. I'll let them know.

P.S. Glad to see you back Wink
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Carole-Anne
Cascina Ciapolin
www.piedmont-holidays.com
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3931
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna,

Glad you stuck around! Very Happy
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tansy



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 2106
Location: La Manche, Normandy, France

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you guys want me to get the plural version or leave it as is?

Joanna - I did say you have given some sound advice...wow!
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would get the plural version even if you don't forward it to your site -- just to make sure nobody else can!

But keep in mind, of course, that once you've bought one extra domain, it can be very easy to buy another and another and another.... until you have all possible misspellings and mis-punctuations of your domain, with every reasonable extension.

I haven't the first clue how to begin trademarking a domain name... but obviously that's a major oversight on my part!

Quote:
The URL forwarding is handled by the Registrar, not the web host, so why would you be wrestling with the host over this? Are you using Netsol for hosting as well as registration? (I sure hope not!)

When I do a redirect, I go the Registrar account and tick "URL Forwarding" The only choice is "masked" or "unmasked". Is that the difference you're talking about? Is one 301 and the other 302? I use Godaddy and Dotster as Registrars, both reputable. My hosting is somewhere else.


Nope, don't worry, NetSol only has the one .co.uk domain registered -- and the .com is hosted by a different company, which also manages and hosts my other sites. I'm actually quite satisfied with that other company, except for their apparent inability to do a 301 redirect.

I don't think masked or unmasked has anything to do with 301/302, but I can't be sure. I believe masked forwarding means that the user will never know they've been forwarded because the URL in the address box will continue to use the forwarded URL they typed in, whereas unmasked forwarding will switch it over to the domain that actually hosts the site. I'm sure Microsoft uses unmasked, because someone who goes to microsuft.com should not be given the impression that this is the correct url. Smile I use masked for the .co.uk because of the British clientele -- keep the illusion up for a while, though it's probably very apparent from the site copy that we're American.

Of course I could be wrong about all of that, but a quick e-mail to technical support would confirm whether your forwarding is a 301 or 302 redirect.

Cheers!
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Brooke
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vrooje wrote:
I would get the plural version even if you don't forward it to your site -- just to make sure nobody else can!


I agree.

Quote:
I haven't the first clue how to begin trademarking a domain name...


OK, this is another whole topic. I don't know much myself, but there's plenty of information online. Start by doing a search for your name at the US Trademark and Patent's Office (uspto.gov) using "Tess". Results will tell you instantly whether anyone has filed for your name, or similar name. Some of the results you get may be inactive - old applications.

I think something similar to Tess is available online at the UK Trademark Office, but not sure.

The US has an agreement with the EU (The Madrid Protocol) which means TM's covered here can extended to the EU. This may require additional filings/ fees. Not sure (lot of not sure's on this one!)

Trademark attorneys do this all day every day, and plenty of them advertising online, also anyone who handles company formation usually handles TMs as well and there are a squillion of those agencies online.

As well as US Federal Trade marks, you can also get a US State only Service Mark, at least here in NY. This is much simpler (and cheaper) and requires 3 examples of established useage, then $50 filing fee.


Cheers!
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Waves from America
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I just deleted this from the above reply because I thought I had something wrong, so it's now a separate reply)

Brooke:
Quote:
Nope, don't worry, NetSol only has the one .co.uk domain registered -- and the .com is hosted by a different company, which also manages and hosts my other sites. I'm actually quite satisfied with that other company, except for their apparent inability to do a 301 redirect.


Confused ..... I don't get this, sorry. I'm fairly sure redirection of an alternate domain has nothing to do with the web hosting company for your main domain. It's done from the other end by the Registrar of Record for the alternate domain isn't it? Perhaps your web hosting company is also a domain name reseller? If so, maybe you need to contact the Registrar of Record instead, which may be another company? This info would be available on a WHOIS search, which will also have a tech support contact for your domain name administration. Are you the Admin and Tech contact for your domain? (You should be)

ETA: I just looked up your main domain and your hosting company is a domain name reseller for Tucows, so you might need to go direct to their tech support to sort out 301/302 problem. They're a good company.

Cheers
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanna,

Thank you! And apologies for asking a question whose answer I could probably have found myself -- you shouldn't have to do the work for me.

Searching around the USTPO website, I did find a document that explains (sort of) those things particular to domain names... they have a link to it here. I'm trying to read it and going a bit cross-eyed, but it seems to be explaining more of what doesn't count.

I will keep researching...
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A-two



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 2110
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vrooje wrote:
going a bit cross-eyed...


Brooke,
I'm not surprised. That document is far too intense! A trademark without the .com part may be a better way to go anyway. This company looks like a good starting point. and has Robert Shapiro's name behind it. Their online questionaire lays it all out very clearly, and at $149 plus filing fees of $300, seems reasonable. I am not affiliated.

But before you get too involved in this, I would find a friendly 1-800 number to call, because if you're thinking of your main domain name, there may be a problem with the burgundy part of the mark, being a place name and/or a generic word for a wine varietal. If so, you can still trademark the logo/design regardless, but not the text alone, which is really what you want if you can get it.
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