10 million .co.uk domains registered … but just how many are squatters?
As Nominet reaches its 10 millionth .co.uk domain name registration, businesses begin to beef up their protection against cyber squatters.
When Nominet took charge of the .uk suffix in early 1996, no-one could have predicted the tremendous growth the internet has had today.
Arguably, the biggest cause of this growth in the industry was the launch of global search engine leaders Google in 1998. Search marketing and search engine optimisation was recently hailed the hottest internet marketing tool of the moment, with many business owners consistently reliant on search result formations to drive traffic and increase conversion rates.
A huge shift in consumer behaviour has meant that the majority of businesses also have an online base, a first port of call for many modern consumers. With access to global products and services at the click of a mouse, the desire for businesses to be ‘number 1’ in Google is ever-present.
Unfortunately, the increase in the popularity of the .co.uk domain name has left many business owners feeling frustrated. An influx of cyber squatters on the web has posed risks to the brands of certain corporations, who were unable to register multiple domain names of a similar kind. The launch of the new GTLD’s (generic top level domains) such as .london and .pepsi were expected to curb the demand for .co.uk’s, but many view the suffix as trustworthy and the desire for ownership for UK companies shows little sign of slowing.
Many domain name registration companies such as UK based Domaincheck have been advising customers to register their domain name before they even register their brand at Company’s House, to avoid disappointment when it comes to the internet rat-race. Interestingly, Domaincheck have been registering .co.uk ‘s well before Nominet got involved, and look to improve on the 70% 2 year renewal rate that often sees unused domains fall by the wayside. Domaincheck has the facility to park your unwanted domains, or re-direct them to you main site, which is a great way to deter cyber-squatters.
Domaincheck are currently hosting a mega-sale for webmasters looking to setup sites and multiple domains. With website hosting from as little as £20 per year, and .co.uk domain names just £8.99 for a full 2 year registration period, there’s little excuse to fall victim to cyber-squatters. For more information, visit http://www.domaincheck.co.uk. The site also has a free domain checker, so you check to see if your brand has already been claimed.