Nepotism Barbie is trending on Twitter right now, and the domain name NepotismBarbie.com was registered at GoDaddy in January of this year. It doesn’t look like the registrant has done anything with this domain name, but that is not really the point of this article.
Have a look at NepotismBarbie.com, a domain name that resolves to the default GoDaddy nameservers. This looks like the standard GoDaddy default landing page. Here’s a screenshot of what you would see if you were on your desktop computer and typed in NepotismBarbie.com:
As you can see, there are some links to internal products/services from GoDaddy, and there is even a small “Get this domain” link to GoDaddy’s Domain Buy Service in case a visitor is interested in buying the domain name. This may be helpful because GoDaddy recently removed Whois records, making it more difficult to directly contact a domain registrant.
Now, have a look at NepotismBarbie.com from your mobile device and notice the difference. Here’s a screenshot I took from my own iPhone:
The landing page in this case is full of pay per click advertisements instead of a GoDaddy landing page. I presume GoDaddy itself is reaping the benefit of this monetization. This is not really any different than what other registrars do with domain names that utilize their default nameservers, but I don’t recall seeing GoDaddy do it – at least for a long time.
What is very different is highlighted at the top of the page. “Our Domain Broker Service may be able to get it for you.” Just like the small for sale link on the desktop landing page, clicking the link at the top of the mobile landing page brings the visitor to the Domain Buy Service page.
Mobile users will land on a page that looks similar to domain names in NameFind’s portfolio. The differences in this case are that the domain name is not owned by GoDaddy and the domain name is not listed for sale as far as I can tell. It sure looks like it is for sale though, and that seems to be out of the control of the domain registrant.
This is not happening on all domain names parked with GoDaddy default nameservers. In fact, I was looking around at quite a few pages parked on the default GoDaddy nameservers after someone brought it to my attention this morning. My guess is that this is some sort of test.
I wonder if any domain owner has lost their domain because the registrar published PPC links which were deemed trademark infringing? The practice should be prohibited, imo, without the explicit consent of the owner.