Domain Glossary

The following are common terms used within domaining:


404 Error
Page not found error code, these are normally redirected to the root domain when using a parking service.


ACPA - Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
US Federal law for domain name disputes - 15 USC 1125(d), this provides for legal remedies unlike the dispute services which are generally limited to transfer of the domain name only. The court has discretion to award damages of not less than $1,000 and not more than $100,000 per domain name.


http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/usc_sec_15_00001125----000-.html
(d) Cyberpiracy prevention
(1)(A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person-

(i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and

(ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that-
(I) in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark;
(II) in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark; or
(III) is a trademark, word, or name protected by reason of section 706 of title 18 or section 220506 of title 36.



ADSENSE
An advertising program operated by Google whereby the ads displayed on a content site are automatically generated to match the content and revenue is shared with the site owner on a pay per click basis.


ADWORDS
The advertiser side of Googles advertising program where keywords are bidded upon for the advertisers advert to be shown when those keywords are referenced with the google or google partner networks (including adsense).


AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Third parties who offer revenue to those who help them generate a sale - usually on a revenue share basis but can also be on a pay per click basis where revenue is tied to volume of visitors sent rather than their actual spend.


ALEXA
A site traffic ranking tool that uses a sampling approach where data is gathered from alexa toolbar users to rank websites by estimated volume of traffic. Caution should be taken when using Alexa data as the basis of decisions as the data is sampling based and Alexa can group sites.


BID
Amount paid by an advertiser for each visitor delivered to them, usually in response to a click on their advert under a pay per click model. Bids are made in an auction environment where higher bidded adverts are displayed before lower bidded ones.


BIN - Buy It Now
This is the price to buy the item now rather than bidding in an auction/make offer type format.


CCTLD - Country Code Top Level Domains
These are domain extensions (tld's) that represent geographical regions e.g. .uk for United Kingdom and .de for Germany. A full list is available from Iana.org:
http://www.iana.org/cctld/cctld-whois.htm


C & D / Cease & Desist Letter
In a domainer sense, these are letters sent out by companies usually via lawyers or legal departments asserting rights in a domain name and requesting that the domain name be handed over or cancelled with an implied/explicit threat that further action will taken if this is not done. They often reference the $100,000 max per domain penalty allowed under the US Federal ACPA legislation.


CP - Control panel
Area of a website/service that allows control over aspects of that service - eg a registrar control panel allows changes to nameserver delegation, contact details etc.


CPM - Cost Per Thousand
Although this means cost per thousand impressions, it is usually used in domainer terms to mean the revenue earned from 1000 impressions. Impressions usually means non-unique views rather than views by unique visitors.


CTR - Click Through Ratio
The percentage of visitors (usually unique) that click through to an advertiser. For example, if 100 people visit a site and 10 people click on an advertisement then it is said to have a CTR of 10%


Direct Navigation (linked with type-in traffic)
Where visitors to a site access the site directly rather than via an intermediary site such as a search engine e.g. via typing a url into the address bar. They may be doing so on-spec without knowing the actual content they will encounter.


DNJ - Domain Name Journal
A popular website that lists verified and reported domain sales on a weekly basis, including a specific new tld chart. The site is at www.dnjournal.com


DNS - Domain Name System
Devices on the internet route data to each other using IP addresses which are numerical "locations". Sitting on top of these IP addresses are the more human friendly domain names that we know and love - like google.com. When a domain name is registered, nameservers have to be specified which have authority to control what IP address is given in response to a domain name. Different subdomains can resolve to different IP addresses so alpha.domain.tld can be configured to resolve to a different IP address than beta.domain.tld for example. Wildcard DNS can also be employed where everything.domain.tld is configured to resolve to a specific IP address. Round robin systems can also be employed where a domain name resolves to a specified list of IP addresses in a predetermined order to spread the loading across multiple servers.


DRS - Dispute Resolution Service (UK Names)
A dispute service that all .uk registrations are subject to. The complainant lodged a complaint with Nominet (the UK registry) and the respondent gets to answer this upon which an informal mediation period begins where a solution is attempted to be brokered. If no solution is found the complainant can pay a fee (currently £750 plus VAT) to have the case heard by an expert panel who can request the domain name be transferred if found in favour of the complainant:



http://www.nic.uk/DisputeResolution/DrsPolicy/DrsPolicy.html

a. A Respondent must submit to proceedings under the Dispute Resolution Service if a Complainant asserts to us, according to the Procedure, that:

i.The Complainant has Rights in respect of a name or mark which is identical or similar to the Domain Name; and The Domain Name, in the hands of the Respondent, is an Abusive Registration.

b. The Complainant is required to prove to the Expert that both elements are present on the balance of probabilities.



DS - DomainSponsor (also used as an acronym for DomainState)
Common abbreviation for DomainSponsor, a popular company that offers domain parking monetization services.

EPC - Earnings Per Click
The average earning per click.


ESCROW
A third party service that acts as a buffer between buyer and seller - the buyer sends money to the escrow company who then releases the funds to the seller once the goods/services have been delivered to the buyer. Escrow.com is one of the most popular services for this.


GOOGLE
No need to introduce the site itself, but google [page] count is often used to show how popular a term is. This is simply the count Google gives at the top of the search results page to show how many pages containing the search it has indexed e.g. "Results 1 - 10 of about 271,000,000 for cars". When looking up multiple word terms, the term should be enclosed in double quotes (")to make it meaningful as otherwise it simply returns the number of pages that contain all the words but not necessarily together as a term.


GTLD - Generic Top Level Domain
Domain extensions (tld's) that are not linked to a specific geographic region and were originally intended to represent a specific usage e.g. .com (originally intended for commercial) and .biz (intended for business usage).


HIT
Used in a wide variety of ways making it meaningless unless qualified - some use it to mean a non-unique visitor, others to mean unique visitors and others to mean each element of a page sent (eg each graphic on a page can count as a "hit").


ICANN - Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers
The body tasked with managing the domain name system, they accredit registrars, registries and they implemented the UDRP.


IMPRESSION
A single (usually non-unique) view of either a page or an advertisement (eg banner ad).


IP ADDRESS
This is a numerical address on the internet which is used to route the actual data and is what domain names sit on top of. Domain names resolve to IP addresses via nameservers.


KD - KeywordDiscovery
This is another tool to look at the volume of searches a term has had - the site is www.keyworddiscovery.com. When no additional data is given, the count is usually the number of searches in their Global Premium database.


KW - KEYWORD(S)
The word/words used to describe a specific interest. It is used in several ways, the "domain keyword" is the the domain excluding the tld (extension) e.g. the keyword of domain.com is "domain", keywords can be the descriptive category/links on a page in parking terms or they can be terms searched by search engine users.


NAMESERVER
These are the servers that issue an IP address for a given domain name.


NDA - Non-Disclosure Agreement
A contract where the parties agree to not disclose details of a second contract - typically used in connection with sales where the buyer/seller do not want details of the sale, especially price, made public.


NEW TLD's
Typically used to refer to the generic top level domains that were launched after the original .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov and .mil tld's - examples include .info and .biz


NOMINET
The UK registry operator - their site is at www.nic.uk


OPTIMIZATION
In a domain parking sense this means showing content (ads/keyword links) that are the mix of relevancy and revenue delivery - this can either be done manually or via an automated and algorithmic approach that extracts semantic data from the domain and/or analyzing site visitor behaviour.


OV / OVERTURE / SUGGESTION TOOL
Now part of Yahoo!, overture is the advertising division and is more often used to represent the "suggestion tool" count. This is data provided by overture to show the number of searches for a term performed in the previous month via their network of sites. It is also commonly used to look up full domain names (with extension) as a form of sampling to see how many times a domain was entered into the search box to give an idea of how popular a domain name may be for direct address bar type-in traffic.


Caution should be taken when using overture, it groups like keywords (plural/singular etc), treats hyphens as a delimiter (the same as it treats spaces), can be influenced by outside factors (especially on freshly deleted domains) and can just plain "glitch".


There is a thread going into more detail on overture in relation to traffic here.


Update: Yahoo rebranded Overture as Yahoo! Advertising and the suggestion tool was eventually taken offline in 2008.


PARKING
A complete traffic monetization service where the revenue generating content is provided by the park company and revenue is earned by displaying advertising to the visitors and sharing the revenue generated with the domain owner. Parking is generally designed to convert existing traffic not to create new traffic. Examples include DomainSponsor, Sedo, Fabulous, GoldKey and NameDrive. Parking is generally designed to convert existing traffic, not to generate new traffic.


PPC - Pay Per Click
A model where revenue is calculated upon the volume of visitors sent to advertisers rather than a revenue share approach.


REDIRECT
This is where someone accessing a domain name is routed to a different domain name/URL. There are different methods of doing this, the most common are:

Header redirect - this is where the browser is instructed to leave the current url and move along to the new site, the url displayed in the address bar is that of the new location.

Javascript/META refresh redirect - this is where code on the page instructs the browser to leave the current url and move along to the new site, the url displayed in the address bar is that of the new location. META refresh redirects also include the option of a timed delay before the redirect takes place.

Frame/Stealth redirect - this is where frameset code is used which loads the new location into a frame on the existing page. This page is normally configured to be 100% so in effect it means the entire screen. This has the advantage that the url displayed in the address bar remains that of the typed url.


REGISTRAR
An entity that offers registration services, usually within various tld's (extensions) - examples include Enom and Network Solutions.


REGISTRY
The controller of the tld's eg Verisign with .com


ROUND ROBIN DNS
This is where a domain name is configured to resolve to a specified list of IP addresses in a predetermined order to spread the loading across multiple servers.


RPM - Revenue Per Thousand
Usually means revenue per thousand unique visitors, but can also mean revenue per thousand non-unique impressions.


RPC - Revenue per click
The average revenue per click (aka EPC - earnings per click).


SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
Using a calculated methodology to influence the position(rank) within the search engines for targetted terms to generate traffic.


SLD - Second Level Domain
Reading from right to left, and splitting a domain into separate parts using the dot as the delimiter, this is the second element e.g. in domain.com "domain" is the sld, in bbc.co.uk the SLD is "co". Domain.com is said to be a second level domain because the identifying element controlled by the registrant is "domain", with the ".com" top level domain being controlled by the registry.


TLD - Top Level Domain
Sometimes referred to as the "extension", this is the first element of a domain name reading from right to left before the first dot e.g. in domain.com the tld is .com. These are further broker down into gtld's which are generic top level domains such as .com /.info etc which do not have a geographical association and cctld's which are country code top level domains such as .uk/.de which do have a geographical tie and are usually operated by agencies within the country referenced.


TM - TRADEMARK
From the UK Patent Office: "A trade mark is any sign which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A sign includes, for example, words, logos, pictures, or a combination of these. Basically, a trade mark is a badge of origin, used so that customers can recognise the product of a particular trader."

Trademarks can be registered with a trademark office or they can be common law where the usage as a source of origin alone can create rights. Trademark strength is on a sliding scale with descriptive/suggestive at one end and coined/fanciful/proprietary at the other. Trademarks are not intended to provide ownership amd prevent third party usage of a descriptive term in a descriptive capacity. Trademarks are registered in classes (categories) and with geographic offices, although these factors are not always included in dispute resolutions. Links: US Patent and Trademark Office and UK Patent Office

Again from the UK PTO: "Why shouldn't my trade mark be descriptive? You cannot use everyday words which say what your goods or services are, as everybody dealing in them should be able to use these words for their goods or services."


TRAFFIC
Visitors to a site - can originate from the search engines, links from other sites, bookmarks or direct address bar type-ins.


TYPE-IN
Where visitors to a site access the site directly via the address bar rather than using links from an intermediary site such as a search engine. They may be doing so on-spec without knowing the actual content they will encounter.


TYPO
Where a person enters an incorrect term/address usually through incorrect spelling.


UDRP - Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (Most gTld's like .com)
Dispute service that most gtld's (e.g. .com) are subject to. Remedy if found against the domain holder is the transfer of the domain name. There are several forums that offer UDRP services, WIPO and National Arbitration Forum being 2 - the complainant chooses the venue.


http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm
Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

(ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

(iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.



UNIQUE
Commonly used to identify a unique visitor to a site, usually in a defined period like 24 hours, but can be an algorithmic system to determine uniques (eg using cookies).


URL - Uniform Resource Locator
The address of a resource on the internet - usually used in connection with a full website address like http://www.domain.com/docs/page.html. This includes the protocol (eg http://), the domain name (eg domain.com) and possibly a page name and path to it(eg /docs/page.html).


VERISIGN
Operator of the .com and .net gtld's, they also own several other companies such as GreatDomains.com and operate several other registries including several country code marketed as gtld tld's like .tv (the cctld for Tuvalu).


WEB SERVER
A program running on a server that issues the page code (eg html) and page elements (eg graphical images) that are rendered via browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox into the web pages we see when browsing the web. Requests are routed to the web server via the DNS. Common web servers include Apache and Microsoft IIS.


WILDCARD DNS
This is where the domain is configured to resolve anything.domain.tld rather than the traditional www.domain.tld and just domain.tld. The configuration is performed in the nameserver that has authority for the domain name and the web server also needs to be configured to accept the full domain when the data is resolved to it for correct functionality.


WordTracker
This is another tool like KeywordDiscovery.com to look at the volume of searches a term has had from the Infospace search engine - the site is www.wordtracker.com


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