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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Acquiring Recently Dead, Developed Domain

    A developed site I have my eye on went expired with the registrar about a month-and-a-half ago. The domain was in use over ten years.
    If the owner does not intend on keeping it, I would be happy to carry on with it. But:

    a) I'm wondering how much time could be left to get the domain back up and running without significant damage occurring to its current reputation with the search engines. - Can't seem to recall specifically at what point in time domains become available to other consumers.... but I do recall that domain name holders have at least some right to call the name back to themselves within a given period.

    b) I would like to have the prior owners blessing, however can't seem to get in contact with him or her since privacy was chosen on the name. Believe the link has been severed to the actual nameholder ever since the name became no longer active.

    I see no reason in using the prior sites, basic page tags - but would not re-use the actual content again of course. Isn't this generally an acceptable practice? Is using all of the sites page tags "a duplication of structure" and can this only be done in moderation or by full force, as long as no duplication of content occurs?

  2. #2
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    It happens all the time--when domains expire, others can register them after the registrar's grace period ends. Each registrar can specify the length of the grace period, so it could range anywhere from a day to a year, depending on the registrar that the domain was originally registered with. Though typically, it hovers around 14 or 30 days.

    As far as legal stuff, if they let it expire and you then buy it, you own it. The only catch is if the domain name is also a trademark, the original owners can obtain a court order to reclaim ownership of the domain. The original company can potentially file a lawsuit to reclaim ownership for other reasons, such as if the domain is the same or very similar to their company name.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force Flow View Post
    It happens all the time--when domains expire, others can register them after the registrar's grace period ends. Each registrar can specify the length of the grace period, so it could range anywhere from a day to a year, depending on the registrar that the domain was originally registered with. Though typically, it hovers around 14 or 30 days.

    As far as legal stuff, if they let it expire and you then buy it, you own it. The only catch is if the domain name is also a trademark, the original owners can obtain a court order to reclaim ownership of the domain. The original company can potentially file a lawsuit to reclaim ownership for other reasons, such as if the domain is the same or very similar to their company name.
    Thx for the reply Force Flow. And what do you think about re-using the same page tags?

    Again, I won't cannibalize the old content.

  4. #4
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Not sure what you mean by 'page tags', but I'd be wary of this whole situation. Unless you are offering something quite different from the previous owner, I'd consider talking to them first to make sure they aren't going to come back to bite you for something.

  5. #5
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Unless you are offering something quite different from the previous owner, I'd consider talking to them first to make sure they aren't going to come back to bite you for something.
    And if you are not using the exact same pages then the domain age is effectively set back to zero so the only benefit you get is that you get that specific domain name.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy
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    Clearly you are only talking about buying the domain, not the site. In that case, the issue of "significant damage occurring to its current reputation with the search engines" doesn't apply. Given you will be creating entirely new content, it is that new content that the search engines will be concerned with. You will not get any direct benefit from any reputation that the old site enjoyed. It's true that there might be some existing links pointing to pages on the old site, but unless these happen to have the same URLs as your own pages, that won't be relevant.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    And if you are not using the exact same pages then the domain age is effectively set back to zero so the only benefit you get is that you get that specific domain name.
    You make a great point, along with notable others.

    I'm still trying to contact the owner. To my benefit, I misread the whois data -- it expires Dec 2014 so at least domain privacy still might put me in contact. Out there lights some sliver of possibility, no?

    Even though the site went down weeks back. I really want to make a deal with him, to have his blessings and have all info transferred above-board. The only way I'll do it.

    I guess in my mind, while I won't scrape anyones content (while this has been done to me) -- I was trying to establish when there might be some form of 'creative rights' ... by way of numerous page tags only, and at the same site? Duplicate tags are commonplace, but at what point do these become a 'creative whole'. Partly when belonging to the same url, partly by an accumulation of them being in-common with another site?

    Hence, my need to resurrect the tags alone and put up my own content.

  8. #8
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by datadriven View Post
    I misread the whois data -- it expires Dec 2014 so at least domain privacy still might put me in contact.
    That sounds like a deal breaker to me. The domain is not for sale, then, unless the owner doesn't want it any more.


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