1/26/2008

Google combats domain name loophole

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 2:09 am

Google Inc. said Friday it would help make it less lucrative to tie up millions of Internet addresses using a loophole and keep those domain names from legitimate individuals and businesses.

Over the next few weeks, Google will start looking for names that are repeatedly registered and dropped within a five-day grace period for full refunds.

Google’s AdSense program would exclude those names so no one can generate advertising revenue from claiming them temporarily, a practice known as domain name tasting - the online equivalent of buying expensive clothes on a charge card only to return them for a full refund after wearing them to a party.

“We believe that this policy will have a positive impact for users and domain purchasers across the Web,” Google spokesman Brandon McCormick said.

The company said it notified participants via e-mail Thursday.

Name tasting exploits a grace period originally designed to rectify legitimate mistakes, such as registrants mistyping the domain name they are about to buy. But with automation and a burgeoning online advertising market, entrepreneurs have generated big bucks exploiting the policy to test hoards of names, keeping just the ones that turn out to generate the most revenue.

The practice ties up millions of domain names at any given time, making it more difficult for legitimate individuals and businesses to get a desirable name.

 

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