Every now and then, whilst making a site online, you get a lesson on “how not to do things” and it normally hurts. Either it will be a loss of time or money, or maybe both. Recently I receive one of those lessons. A lesson in organization (or lack there of, on my part) which has cost me both time and money.
Let me explain, a while ago I set up a site to exchange links, for other sites to list themselves as available to exchange lists with others. It used a great piece of software, which did all the buy email list canada work for me and was 100% search engine friendly. After a period of a year or so, it had a number 5 listing under: “link exchange directory” in Google and happily continued building itself. It had reached a PR (Page Rank ) of 5 in Google and was doing very well.
During this time I was buying other domains and had sold a couple of those that were spending money on Google Adwords. My sites saved them money as they were at number one for the words they were advertising on.
Anyway, I took some time out to check my exchange links site ranking- Yes, was still there, so decided to take a look around as a normal visitor would. This is where the shock started….
As I clicked into the site, the pages were not mine! They were holding pages from the company I purchased my domain from (godaddy.com)
On contacting godaddy, they informed me that they had contacted me via my email address I had listed and got no reply. Now it would cost me $80 to relist the domain. I realized the email listed was a domain I had sold and therefore, I never got the messages. (Yes it was a “Homer Simpson” moment)
Ok, having almost no choice, I agreed to pay, only to find out I was too late. The domain had been bought by someone else! Ok, some more digging….and found out the new owner was based in Canada. Or was he? The Address was in China, the name was of a Chinese likeness and the contact phone number didn’t work.
Finding his site was the easy part: expiredtraffic.com -At which he has a project, in which he buys expired domains, and puts payperclick links up. So I emailed him, then after no answer, went to his site to contact him again -still no answer. I was keen to buy the domain back at a healthy profit for him, but it seems there is no interest, and he seems to be hiding from contact.
The guy is a traffic vulture, someone, somewhere is paying for the worthless PPC traffic! I only reveal his domain to make sure that others are aware of what this guy is doing and to keep clear!
The lesson for me? Keep a much closer eye on domains I am using, email addresses and also enable “auto renew” for domains for payments, using either a credit card, or more likely pay pal.
On the good side, I still have a database of the sites listed on the site and will contact them to let them know what happened. Happily the domain is losing its ranking- Google is not stupid…..
I will set up another domain with the goal of having many more users than the original, providing a valuable service, including some free software to manage links for the sites listed. I will be back, stronger than ever!