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Sendori Takes Domain Squatting Further

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, May 21, 2007 at 10:07 am

Domain squatting is becoming more sophisticated. Companies like Sendori are going beyond parking AdSense ads on good web real estate, instead opting to lease their in-demand domains to the highest bidder. The winner of a Sendori auction gets the domain to redirect to his own site.

It’s a service big brands will want to take advantage of (this being the next best thing to actually being able to buy the domain from the squatter) but I have a real problem with it.

The domain owner is basically just a parasite. They add nothing of value. Sendori has no interest in selling the domain, because they get to hold on to all the control. It’s not like the other company will want to build links or brand recognition for that URL since it doesn’t own it and that would be doing the equivalent of major remodeling on a rental unit — not a good investment.

Companies like Sendori are basically just holding those good domains hostage. Well… on the bright side, at least if they are redirecting to other sites those URLs won’t just be ugly, AdSense-stuffed (and often misleading) landing pages.

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Comments (4)

Category: Domains,Industry Buzz

4 Comments

Comment by Anonymous

Made Monday, 2 of July , 2007 at 1:13 pm

This is a posting from Ofer Ronen, the CEO of Sendori. Thank you for writing about our company. To comment on a few of the items you mentioned:

- Sendori does help sell domains. Advertisers can try out a domain, track conversion, and then decided if they want to buy the domain. Sendori then takes a small cut on the sale of domains.

- We have one advertiser that is getting hundreds of thousands of domains sending traffic to various parts of his site, and the visitors are converting well. Without Sendori this would not have been possible, as these domains would cost millions of dollars to buy, or to lease exclusively.

Comment by David Weldon

Made Wednesday, 1 of August , 2007 at 6:44 pm

Hi – I’m the co-founder and CTO of Sendori. I’d like to address a couple other issues raised in your article.

First, good point about redirecting users away from parked pages. Our goal is to get users to someplace useful and relevant. In that sense we are improving the overall user experience for people who reach these domains.

Second, the term “squatting” has many meanings. We avoid misspellings of trademarks, popular websites, etc. at Sendori. We discourage domain owners from adding these domains to our service and we actively ban them from reaching our advertiser network.

The bottom line is that Sendori deals in keyword domains. It’s hard to argue that Sprint or Verizon has any more right to own cellphones.com than the person that owns it. If those companies are willing to pay for traffic from that domain, great.

Comment by Melanie Phung

Made Thursday, 2 of August , 2007 at 3:39 pm

Thank you both for responding. Your clarifications do help me understand your service a bit better.

Could you expand on what you mean by “We discourage domain owners from adding these domains to our service”?

Also, do you have any data or estimates on how many people/how often people generally type a domain name like “cellphones.com” into a browser address bar, instead of searching for the term “cell phones”?

Comment by David Weldon

Made Saturday, 4 of August , 2007 at 2:30 am

Our service is designed to work fantastically well for generic keyword domains. Visitors that misspell popular sites like myspace.com simply will never get to our advertisers.

There are legal issues surrounding typo-squats, and frankly they don’t convert well for obvious reasons. While we won’t kick you off the service for owning such a domain, we will guarantee that its traffic will always be parked. Of course you don’t have to have superstar names to use Sendori but you will only see a revenue increase if you have legit domains.

As for your question about quantifying type-in traffic, the global numbers are not well known. Do a search for “direct navigation” and you will find some articles with statis. Also check out quantcast.com for stats on some great keyword domains like cellphones.com, autoinsurance.com, etc. Granted not all of the traffic to those sites is type-in but much of it is.

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