Domain tasting in its current form may soon become a thing of the past.
The blogs and mailing lists have been buzzing for most of today following on from ICANN’s announcement that they were going to try and axe the AGP (Add Grace Period) which has been abused by registrars.
While initially it wasn’t 100% clear when the change would come into effect a press release from ICANN in the last hour clarifies the situation:
The proposal will be part of the ICANN budget process for the fiscal year starting 1 July 2008. The early draft version of that budget will be released for and discussed at ICANN’s New Delhi meeting later this month. After public discussions of this proposal and other budget issues, the proposed budget will be released for addition discussions by 17 May 2008 and be voted on at the board meeting to be held during the ICANN meeting in Paris in June. ICANN accredited registrars representing two-thirds of fees collected will be asked to approve the proposal.
While most of the blogs seem to be focussing on Google’s policy changes Adam Strong over at DomainNameNews.com brought a much more astute voice to the conversation.
Unlike other bloggers that rely on hearsay, Adam Strong is more than happy to get the word from the “horse’s mouth” and was in direct communication with Google and other parties involved.
His final paragraph sums it up nicely:
the ICANN fee and Google’s efforts will not prevent tasting of expiring domains. At roughly 20,000 expiring domains coming through daily, the total ICANN fees if someone picked them all up would be small in comparison to the amounts that are being spent currently to acquire these premium generic domains. A registrar who wanted to grab them all up and run them through a tasting operation would not feel a significant pinch in their pocketbook by this fee. Registrars with multiple connections are in a great position to do this and outfits like Enom/NameJet and SnapNames are in an even better position as they can offset the tasting by auctioning off some of the domains.
Bid for a dropped domain via NameJet or SnapNames and you’ll soon see that there is a healthy margin to be made. It’s a bit like spamming – the more you do the less it costs you ….
Of course the ink isn’t dry on this yet. As ICANN pointed out in their press release, the proposal is merely that. A proposal. And while many may wish to see the proposal become part of the policy it is not a given, as the politics of the domain industry will surely come into play yet again.