Domain tasting is the practice of registering a domain with the intention of taking full advantage of ICANN's “Create Grace Period” (CGP), holding those domains for up to five days, analyzing traffic and revenue statistics over the course of that 5 day period and discarding them for a full refund if they have a lack luster performance. Domains which have the potential to earn the minimum of the registration fee are kept and parked or littered with a smorgasbord of ppc ads.
Now, this term has been around for some time, but there has never really been any solid evidence of this practice that I am aware of.
The following is an excerpt from Bob Parsons (CEO and founder, Godaddy.com) Online Blog.
“DirectNIC registered more than 8.4 million domain names in April 2006, but only permanently registered — or paid for — 51.4 thousand of those. The trend was the same in March, when DirectNIC registered 7.6 million names and only permanently registered — or paid for — 52.5 thousand. Whatever could DirectNIC be doing?”
This is sadly as close to actual proof that we can get, not definitive by any means but very interesting none the less.
We as webmasters must take the right precautions to avoid such a detrimental set back to a new project. The loss of an amazing keyword domain or perhaps worse the best possible brandable domain could mean your project is “chewed”.
The following are a couple of tips to help you avoid domain tasting and register the domain you want without any hassle.
1. Do not search for your new domain without having the funds to purchase it readily available, you want to avoid tipping anyone off to an unregistered name that you have your eye on so make sure you have your credit card handy if you do choose to search, if you find a domain you want or even 10 domains, register them then and there, this way you are not giving anyone the opportunity to taste them, and use the CGP to your advantage, cancel the 9 that don't seem to fit and keep the gem.
2. If you do choose to search without taking the necessary payment precautions and your domain does get registered while your off looking through the washing machine to see what pair of khakis you left your wallet in, don't blame us, but do take the correct steps to get it back.
If you think it was a taster because the odds of it being registered by anyone else are almost incalculable, leave it alone, thats right leave it. If you think about it, tasting domains is to see the traffic the domain receives, if you view it over and over again you'll never get it back because the taster will think they have a keeper. So abandon all searches for 1 week, after 1 week go to a different registrar, search for it, if its there congratulations, register it and move on, if not sorry about your luck you did everything you could.
So to everyone reading this, remember, if you think you have found “the” domain, make 100% sure you have the funds to register it and do so without thinking, it may be your last opportunity.