Domain Kiting

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Domain Kiting is the practice in which a registrant returns a name just before the five-day period expires and re-registers it again as soon as it becomes available.[1] This practice is similar to Domain Tasting, thought it has a different purpose.

Overview

There are many definitions related to domain kiting but the core idea is the same one: a practice which takes advantage of the add grace period whereby someone decides to register, subsequently cancels, and then re-registers the same domain name. The term "domain kiting" was first used by Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of GoDaddy.com. "Kiting" comes from the illegal practice of check kiting.[2]

How Does It Work?

Domain kiting involves the following three actions:

  1. Registering the domain name
  2. Canceling the domain name within the add grace period
  3. Re-registering the domain name

The entire process is done by the same person - the domainer or the entity who owns it.

In order to perform domain kiting it is necessary to purchase a well-indexed but expired domain. During the 5 day grace period a temporary website is created; paid advertisements as well as search engine links for optimization can be added. Income is earned by the registrar during this short period, as the site is functional, though the normal registration cost is not incurred thanks to the grace period.

Before the domains are re-registered, they are dropped by the registrar who will ask for a full refund.

Reasons for Domain Kiting

The main reason for domain kiting is earning extra money from advertisements and marketing methods while not paying any fees for the domain. If the kiting is continuous it is possible that the registration fee for the domain is never paid, since the registrar keeps canceling it before the grace period ends; thus, the registrar can earn profit without any costs incurred.

Another reason is to see which names generate traffic and income, with the eventual intention to legitimately register those names; i.e., "taste test" the name.

References