A blogger recently accused Go Daddy of misusing customer domain name search activity for profit. The process is called domain name front running and it means a registrar monitors customer searches and then registers the domain names for their own purposes.
Let me say, unequivocally, Go Daddy never has and never will front run domain names. Ever.
So why would someone believe they experienced front running? Sheer volume. As the world’s largest registrar, the volume of domain name activity, both in terms of availability searches and registrations we see, is significant. Go Daddy performs tens of millions of availability checks for our customers each day, many of which are searches for the same domain name by different customers.
In fact, more than six percent of customer searches for available domain names are performed by more than one person each day. This overlap in domain name requests happens every day. As unique as customers believe their domain name ideas are, there’s more “innovation collision” than many people realize. With so many domain name registrations happening every day, there is a good probability a domain name you searched for is also being searched by someone else.
We take our customers’ privacy and intellectual property seriously. To protect data from being intercepted over the general Internet, our website is protected by SSL Encryption. This prevents electronic eavesdropping on all transactions relating to domain searches and purchases. Even our internal availability and registrations systems are sequestered into secure networking environments for an added measure of privacy assurance.
Below is a typical example of how front running misconceptions can occur.
The same domain names are often searched by multiple people in a short period of time. The example we are using above is not an exception.
As the Internet expands, so will the competition for domain name registrations, and situations like this will happen more and more often.