My hijacked domains Nov06

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My hijacked domains

I seem to have lost my two most profitable domains this week.

I logged in this week to check that links were working, and found someone else’s strange site there! My sites were christmas.best-australian.com and best-australian.com – and as you can imagine, there starts to be a lot of Christmas and online shopping traffic at this time of year.

I had put a lot of effort into getting my Christmas site ranking well – it was position three at Google for “Christmas Australia” all year, and had even been position 1 for a long time last year.

So I looked at the registration details – and it no longer had me as the owner. However it was unusual looking – my original registration date of 2003 was still there, but it had been updated in November, which is obviously when the new person’s site was loaded.

I had registered the domain through my host, so i contacted them. But they were just a reseller for Godaddy, and suggested that I contact them. So I lodged a support claim to both Godaddy, and WildWestDomains, the new registrar, who is actually a kind of sister site to Godaddy. No news yet.

I did a bit more research, and yes the expiry date on my credit card was out of date – even though funds were available, and the card number hadn’t changed.

But I did not receive any warnings that my domain was about to be transferred to someone else.

The (wry) twist is that I had just rebuilt a new more improved Christmas site at a new domain – Christmas Australia. But I had been planning to use this as a case study on transferring sites – using 301 redirects etc. Well I can’t do that now. But I do have all the details on my old incoming links, and you can bet I will be contacting them and asking them to link to my new site.

It may be too late to rank well this Christmas.

But it has taught me a few lessons. Centralise domain registrations, so you don’t have lots of email addresses to check. Hide your domain registration, so you don’t get spammed to death. Lock all your domains. And use captcha’s to stop automated robots from spamming your addresses.

I was in the process of doing all this anyway. But I wasn’t quite fast enough. Wish me luck in my new domains.