Recently we let her personal website and domain name expire since she is relying on the site I built for her Institute. Unfortunately, someone purchased Amadea’s name-based domain and posted an old site with outdated info.
Since beginning my professional web design career in 1998, I’ve never before had a problem with cybersquatting (which is basically registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent), but sadly, the days of cybersquatting have arrived. 🙁
In Amadea’s case, rather than go through the hoops of fighting this cybersquatter, we bought an alternative domain: amadeamorningstar.net and created a quick HTML page to compete and submitted it to Google. I’m linking to her several times in this post as a way to help the situation. Please click the link: Amadea Morningstar to help her ranking improve.
What to do for you: If you have any name recognition at all, the time has come to buy the domain names associated with your name. In this case, at minimum, I recommend that you:
- Purchase the .com, .net and .biz versions of your name, as well as any common misspellings.
- If you are outside the US, include your country’s domain extension, like .uk. Assign the new domains as permanent 301 redirects to your main domain name. Your domain registrar and/or host should be able to help you.
- If your current domain name does not include your personal name, be sure to have a page like an About page that features your name in the Title tag, meta description tag, and H1 tag at minimum. This can help you rank for a search for your name, hopefully ABOVE your cybersquatter’s site. You can also create a separate website just for your name, but this might be overkill.
There are many steps you can take, depending on your situation. Here is a comprehensive list: http://www.betterwhois.com/cybersquatters.htm Don’t spend more money than you can afford and don’t go nuts with this list unless you feel strongly that someone has it in for you, and/or your company could suffer badly from a cybersquatter.