March 23rd, 2017
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.