It’s two terms that should never be used together in the same sentence but all too frequently are “Domain Investors” (or “Domainers”) and “CyberSquatters.” The funny thing is, many cybersquatters have never heard of Domaining and don’t even know there is a domain industry, yet all Domainers know about CyberSquatters. These kind of generalizations are what make the entire industry look bad when so many people are doing amazing and creative things.
So I thought it was time to provide a top three list of differences between Domain Investors who legitimately buy and sell domains, and cybersquatters who ruin it for the rest of us. Reporters, take heed and make sure you know the difference. Just like an investor that owns 100 homes but only lives in one isn’t a home-squatter, neither is a domain investor who does the same. It’s digital real estate and just like most home investors don’t steal homes from other people and sit on them, neither do Domain Investors.
- CyberSquatters buy known Trademarks Domain Investors do not. CyberSquatters seek out new companies and then buy as many domains as they can with that company name in it. They also squat on well-known brands and sometimes even try to sell these to the brands themselves. Squatters may also own typos of major brands, they aren’t thinking creatively, instead, focus on what can make them money right now. Domain Investors buy generic domains that are meaningful words or phrases that can be the foundation of an online business.
- CyberSquatting is not an industry, Domain Investing is. People don’t build CyberSquatting businesses and attend CyberSquatting conferences. People do build Domain Investing businesses and attend Domain Investing conferences like TRAFFIC and DOMAINfest. Domain Investing is a real, viable investment strategy that people all of the world have used to build very successful online businesses. CyberSquatting is a way that people make a quick buck online, just like your average scammer, CyberSquatters don’t have a consistent way to make money so hop around from one thing to another. Domain Investors build and scale real businesses providing jobs for people in the US and abroad and pay taxes just like the rest of us!
- Domain Investors are proud of what they do, CyberSquatters hide what they do. My friends and family all know I invest in domain names and I love sharing my updates with all of them. You won’t find a CyberSquatter out there who will have family or friends excited to hear that they just bought some company’s domain and are holding it for ransom. Domain Investors all over the world are running successful and growing online businesses, they are proud of what they do just like any other investor would be. CyberSquatters are rarely honest about what they do and will often hide where they really make their money.
I’ll be the first to say, “I can’t stand CyberSquatters!” They make us all look bad. The best thing you can do as a reporter is help people understand the difference and as Domainers just keep building creative and innovative businesses and show the world what a great asset class domain names are. For years investors have made money buying gold, stocks, bond, houses, it’s 2012 and domain names are a real asset class and Domain Investors pioneers chiseling out there space in a new investment world.