Cybersquatting Always Going to Harm Reputation

I was chatting with an acquaintance on Tuesday, and out of the blue he told me a brief story. In short, he said he thought about me the other day when he mistyped a web address and landed on some sort of spammy/scammy landing page. I explained that isn’t the type of business I operate, but for all intents and purposes, it didn’t matter. He landed on what was likely a PPC monetized typo domain name and his first thought was of my business.

Unfortunately for the majority of domain investors who stick to generic terms and phrases, cybersquatting is always going to be harmful to their reputation. This doesn’t even consider the people who have ill-will towards domain investors because they own desirable domain names.

Cybersquatting — owning and monetizing trademark infringing domain names — is probably a large revenue source for people who are willing to take on the legal risk. The income makes cybersquatting a profitable business and one that is not going away. This is especially true because there is a great deal of grey area in dispute when it comes to trademarks and domain name monetization.

As much as I try to explain the difference between domain investing and cybersquatting, I don’t think the cybersquatting reputation of domain investing as a whole is going to change. It is unfortunate.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Fair points. But, the negativity is really coming from the one making the comment. If someone wants to disparage someone or make their livelihood seem illegitimate or scammy, they will focus on the one junk page they encountered on the Internet and draw a demeaning generalization connecting you to that. To say he thought if you when he encountered a spam page, but not all the times he has used the incredible resources of the Internet, all powered by domain names, is on him, not you or any other professional domainer investors. Even lawyers get dumped on all the time, people think the cryptocoin market and those who play in that sandbox are shady, on and on. People just gonna hate.

    Yes, the domain community needs to continue to draw a distinction between bad actors (cybersquatters, scam artists) and decent hardworking domain investors. Domain investors can do that but it’s an uphill battle that will, as you noted, never be won. The ICA could be more proactive about educating the general public on the difference between good and bad practices in domain names investing.

  2. Elliott,well i tell people who ask about my business, that I help brands upgrade and get a better name for their business. I am into branding and companies search for their names online and if we own them,we sell,if they meet our price range or we reach agreement one way or the other.

    It is always good if when they type and land on your name ,it can also be for a future development when you have time and if not ,you sell to those who want to build on it .

    Those who tell me they see that I am not using the name and should give to them,I never told them I don’t have plans so that conclusion is their own thinking and not mine .

    I always mention, I am not desperate to sell and their offers is too low,if I chose to let go off my projects and sell .

    I sell brand names to companies to launch their business and its legal . End of story .

  3. The man in the street is never going to understand how a domain that renews for $10 a year can be worth in the millions of dollars.

    I gave up trying to explain it long ago.


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