Cybersquatting: Why You Must Keep Your Site’s Domain Current

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How often do you think about your website’s domain name? Probably not very often, especially when your days are filled with other tasks and responsibilities. Not to mention, you probably bought a customized URL so isn’t it yours to keep?

Domain names are purchased for a specific period of time, often one year. At this time, you need to re-purchase the domain name or else someone else can purchase it. This is called cybersquatting.

What is Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting is when someone registers, trafficks in or uses an internet domain name in bad faith. They do this because they want to profit from someone else’s trademark. Unfortunately, cybersquatting happens and even involves big names like BBC News, Dell, Kodak and Verizon.

Domain names are cheap, but they’re sold on a first-come, first-served basis. With this in mind, cybersquatters watch for domains to be expired and sweep them up before their owner even realizes it. Then they’re able to make a profit.

You’ll know your domain name has been claimed by a cybersquatter if you see a parked website, a site under construction or a ‘domain for sale’ landing page.

Why Cybersquatting is Bad for Websites

Cybersquatting is more than an inconvenience. It can affect your website and your brand. Here are the main issues with cybersquatting:

  • Reputation. Once someone else owns your domain, you can’t control what they host. Your site might be full of ads or host negative content.
  • Legal costs. If you can’t reach an agreement with the cybersquatter, you’ll have to go to court.
  • SEO ranking. If your site is full of ads or harmful content, you’ll obviously lose your rankings.
  • Organic traffic. With lower rankings and poor content, people might think you’re no longer in business, stopping the flow of traffic to your site.

How to Avoid Cybersquatting

Some platforms make it easy to keep your URL by sending you notifications. Be sure to stay on top of them so that your domain name does not expire. Magna Technology can assist with all of your domain needs and challenges. We like using WordPress because subscriptions are automatically renewed, reducing the risk of cybersquatting.

If you’re concerned about cybersquatting or any other domain name issues, contact Magna Technology today.