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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    My domain "taken" with slight change after 2 years
    Hi, this issue is bothering me so I posted it to another forum but I would like to see if anyone here has any advice as well.

    I've had a domain name created with two "regular" words separate by a hyphen since March 2005.
    Someone has mooched my name by placing the two words together without the hyphen. Both sites end with a .com and both sites sell similar merchandise.

    I looked up the "new competing domain name" and mine in whois.domaintools.com
    Here's some data (without listing the exact url) to prove that I've held the dot com name longer.
    I will refer to my site as "word-word.com" (apologies if that is a real site, I'm just using the word "word" for illustrative purposes).

    My site:
    domain: word-word.com [my name has a hyphen in between the two words]
    created: 21-Mar-2005
    last-changed: 22-Mar-2007
    registration-expiration: 21-Mar-2008
    Title Relevancy 60%
    Description Relevancy: 100% relevant
    Keywords Relevancy: 26% relevant
    SEO Score: 87%
    Plus there is a wiki article about my site that I didn't know about.

    The competing site:
    domain: wordword.com [no hyphen]
    Created on: 23-Apr-07
    Expires on: 23-Apr-08
    Title Relevancy 0%
    Description Relevancy: 0% relevant.

    I am dismayed that someone else has registered a domain so similar to mine and I can see that these two sites could create confusion in the minds of Internet users/searchers/customers.
    My site's domain name is not a registered trademark and I guess there could be a proliferation of these names just as many people can use the name "Websters." I'd like to send a "cease and desist letter" to the webmaster of the competing site that took my name after I've had it for two years, but that might take too much energy from me for naught.

    What advice would you give a webmaster like me? Please give me some advice.

    I know that the site needs work. I intend to develop this site and I hope to create a better site than the one who now is ahead of me in Google by one position. I think my site is already better than the competing site at the moment and I would really want to whip the pants off the other webmaster. I will not relinquish my beloved domain name with the hyphen in the middle. I created the domain name on the spot because it came in my hosting package and I could have had the same name without the hyphen at the time.
    Some people buy up all options of a domain name upon registration but I didn't. Frankly I might very well drive some business to my competitor but the competition will see that it works both ways (I think people looking for that site will stumble upon mine).

    I remember a merchant from my childhood days with a brick & mortar store whose name consisted of two words. Two other confusingly similar stores would open up [on the same major street] each using one of the words of the original. The situation was so confusing that the mail would be delivered to the wrong store. I just thought of this as an example of "there's nothing new under the sun."

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

    Rhia
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  2. #2
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    I would have gotten the domain without the hyphen. But anyways are they just common words? Something along the lines of -
    cheap-shoes.com vs. cheapshoes.com

    You did say regular, so I don't think you would have a case against something like that.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your situation. It's a bummer.
    But, you have no case against the other webmaster at all.
    There is no illegal, or even unethical, behaviour in what s/he did.
    Frankly, you had more than 2 years to get the name without the hypen.
    And, anyone with a half-brain would laugh at such a "cease and desist letter", if you were to send it.

  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Trust, you got it.

    Sam, I said "that might take too much energy from me for naught" and I know that the combination of the two words has not been trademarked.
    Have you ever felt like bopping someone but you know you can't?
    That's the way I feel

    I thought the domain was cuter with the hyphen; frankly it's hard to read without the hyphen. I purposely chose the hyphen in this case.

    I won't give up now I have incentive to really polish the site
    The site has taken on new dimensions for me now that competition has chosen the same name. I loved the site anyway -- there's always some issue with my sites.

    Any advice on how I can "turn the situation around" anyway and do well with my site in spite of the "new site?" The "new site" is #1 in Google and I am #2.
    Last edited by Rhia7; July 15th, 2007 at 06:41 AM.
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  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    At least I found some neat features with whois.domaintools.com that I was not aware of before.
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  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    One lesson that many of us learn the hard way... Always register any confusingly similar versions of your important domains. Sure, you'll only use one variation, but you can redirect all of the others to that variation.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
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    Don't fret, Rhia. Just beat them.

    Make your site better and friendlier (to the search engines and to users), and focus on what you need to do to succeed. You're probably doing this already, and the other site may never even get close to your success.

    Update your site regularly, and you'll beat the other one in the search listings, too.
    [URL=http://themoneyforums.com]The Money Forums[/URL]

  8. #8
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I can see your point but I don't think that the similiar domain is something you can call yours. You chose to register it with the hyphen end of story.

    I may register word1word would you call that yours also or word2word.

  9. #9
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    And just write a note in your calendar to review the whois a week or two before it expires and see if they renewed it.

    Anyways you can always backorder it with snapnames. Or give me more information on who the registar is and I might tell you to try another service. Many people dont make money with a url and drop it after a year. But getting it is tough if it has any traffic or Google Pagerank. Damn Domain Parkers

  10. #10
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    @Michael Coley, the domain was registered "on the fly" when I first signed up with 1&1 as a host and I didn't see it buying variations of the domain as necessary although you have a very good point.

    @DoctorMike, I really like your advice and it was the type of advice I was hoping for I've already built up some goodwill for my site and I feel this site is "cashing in" on the goodwill I've built but I just hope that if I develop my site and continue to improve it that it will be successful in terms of traffic and in terms of search engine ranking.

    @NYFalcon--I knew I couldn't claim wordword.com as mine but it just feels ironic that once my word-word.com began to do well someone comes in with wordword.com

    The two words smushed together don't look that great, that's why I used a hyphen. I didn't think of the ramifications of the hyphen in terms of SEO when I initially registered.

    @andbeyond, thanks for your tips.
    What would the registrar info tell?
    They used Cheap-DomainRegistration.com and ICANN Registrar: WILD WEST DOMAINS, INC.

    I used 1&1

    When I said "I'd like to send a 'cease and desist letter' to the webmaster" I was really referring more to my feelings. I know the two general words together do not form a trademark.

    My site looks better anyway
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  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike
    Don't fret, Rhia. Just beat them.
    While I want to do that, I need to proceed with caution because as I add value to my site by default because of the confusing similarities in the name I am adding value to their site.

    The thought crossed my mind that perhaps they'd like to sell me their domain but I am not interested in buying the name at a jacked up price.

    I still feel that my domain has enough value for me to retain the domain.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  12. #12
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Rhia I have a hyphen domain also but I did it because of seo reasons and two years later I noticed the wordword domain was registered. It bothered me for about 10 minutes, you know what my site gets 10 times more traffic and I could care less about the wordword site. That is where my post was coming from earlier. Work on your site and backorder the domain since it only cost abot $15-20.

  13. #13
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    That's a good tip, nyfalcon.
    Thanks

    What is the procedure to backorder a domain?
    Could I backorder through a registrar such as 1&1?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  14. #14
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    (deleted)
    Last edited by knight01; July 15th, 2007 at 07:36 PM. Reason: re-read original post, reply is not relevant.

  15. #15
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I know godaddy has it but I never used it. Actually getting a good domain is easy so I never needed it.

  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    What about a sub domain strategy to increase popularity?
    I read somewhere that search engines almost treat sub domains as separate sites.
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  17. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    That's a good tip, nyfalcon.
    Thanks

    What is the procedure to backorder a domain?
    Could I backorder through a registrar such as 1&1?
    Never done this myself, but I just saw an ad here on ABW for this site:

    http://www.pool.com/index.aspx

    And apparently they offer a free backorder service. Good luck.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I just thought of something

    I'm going to turn "the hyphen around" by referring to it in a slogan repeatedly.

    Hey, at least this didn't happen to a domain I paid big $$$ for -- the domain had to be created on the spot when I signed with my 1&1 package. The domain was included (bought & maintained) through 1&1 with my hosting package that I pay $10 a month to continue, you can't beat that!

    This will help me make a better decision with my next domain.

    Thanks for the link, rematt, that looks interesting
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  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I like hyphens Too bad the SEs don't
    A couple of my domains have hyphens but one not yet developed doesn't.
    I'll have to get the non-hyphen site up so that I can compare visitor/customer response.
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  20. #20
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    That hyphen thing is fairly recent search engines used to love them, then they didnt really care, now they think they are more likely to be spam.

    As for backordering the domain I think godaddy might be best as they are a partner with wild west. They probably will get first shot at it.

    See about it here, the top service DomainAlert PRO Backordering:

    https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/Domai...ng.asp?ci=9001

  21. #21
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, andbeyond -- that is helpful to know

    As I mentioned before, too bad the SEs consider hyphens to be spam, I thought the hyphens made the words clearer at a quick glance.
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Any more when I register domain names I not only get the hyphenated version, I also get any thing similar. Say for example I was getting OnlineWidgets.com, I'd also get:

    Online-Widgets.com
    WidgetsOnline.com
    Widgets-Online.com

    Buying domains is so cheap these days it just makes sense to get all the variations. If any of those variations are already taken I usually pass on the domain.
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  23. #23
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    The more you develop the site, now, the more return traffic you will lose to wordword dot com , increasing the sales for that individual, and thereby making that domain more valuable. If you have plans for your domain, you need to bite the bullet and try to acquire the wordword domain now, IMO. A one time expense will not effect your long term goals, if you have the proper commitment to that site.

    Always register wordword dot com if you can, as a defensive measure, if nothing else.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  24. #24
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

    I e-mailed my cousin and she wrote back that maybe I could make hyphens popular again
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    While I want to do that, I need to proceed with caution because as I add value to my site by default because of the confusing similarities in the name I am adding value to their site.

    The thought crossed my mind that perhaps they'd like to sell me their domain but I am not interested in buying the name at a jacked up price.

    I still feel that my domain has enough value for me to retain the domain.
    Hmm. How much of your traffic comes from direct access (i.e. the user typing in the url)? I imagine that's the main problem area, and if most of your traffic isn't coming in that way, but instead by links or search engines, then maybe it won't be too big a hit?
    [URL=http://themoneyforums.com]The Money Forums[/URL]

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