When Parking a Domain Can Land You in Hot Water


Parking a domain can prove to be one of your most valuable assets ever – in fact, parking a domain has been likened to the 21st century’s interpretation of real estate. This is closer to the truth for some people than you would think – people like Dad, Chris Clark, who sold his domain name not so long ago for £1.3 million [British pounds, not dollars]. My math isn’t good enough to work out how much that is in US$ – but I am sure I could live comfortably on it, whatever it is! As a 23 year-old Chris looked into parking a domain and clearly liked what he saw – or perhaps he saw something that passed the rest of us by – but he purchased the domain name ‘pizza.com’ and, paying $ 10 per year, continued to park this domain until the time was ripe for selling, catapulting him into millionaire status before the ink was dry on the paper.

Chris Clark is certainly no isolated case – there are thousands of people just like Chris, parking a domain in the hope its value will be realized at some point in the future. It’s not too late to get a slice of the action, if not the pizza, but when you consider that 150 million domain names have been sold and many more are snapped up each day, you need to be particularly canny to snap up a money-maker. However, if parking a domain can be likened to a rainy-day investment, perhaps you will have hit on the next big thing circa 2030!

Dirty Tricks and Threats of Legal Action

We have all heard of long-tail keywords and optimization but fewer people realize that, to be fully optimized your website needs to include optimization in the titles, sub-titles as well as the domain name if at all possible. It can also lead to threats of legal action such as the case of Wayne Rooney and the case of his fan who already owned ‘waynerooney.com’. I wonder if Huw Marshall is still a fan of Wayne Rooney after being ordered to part with this domain name that he bought in good faith in 2002 – in the days prior to Wayne Rooney’s rise to stardom.

Similarly, Donald Trump’s lawyers are still attempting to get Hayley Cook to part with her domain name ‘trumpgolfclub.co.uk’ that she was foresighted enough to register in anticipation of a luxury golf complex being developed in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire in Scotland. She has been warned by the lawyers not to sell this domain name and has been branded a criminal for infringing Donald Trump’s trademark [what trademark?]: they have accused her of cybersquatting.

I doubt that Hayley Cook intends to sell this domain name anytime soon – if I was in her shoes I would continue her policy of parking a domain in anticipation of the opening of the golf resort when, I daresay, the Trump enterprise will purchase the domain name from her for an undisclosed sum rather than risk too much adverse publicity that, if Hayley Cook has anything to do with it, would prove too detrimental to getting a toe-hold in the lucrative golf market of the UK.

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