In July 2008, Internet Incorporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced a new resolution, effectively ending domain name tasting. Domain name tasting is the act of registering domains, observing the traffic and hits to the registered domains and then deleting a mass quantity of unwanted domain names.
Domain name tasting when at first, seemed harmless, became a problem when the practice led to an increase of cyber squatters.
Previously, ICANN permitted domain name registrars to cancel an unlimited number of domain name registrations at no cost, so long as the domains were cancelled within five days of registration.
This resulted in companies registering copious number of domain names, testing them for internet traffic during the five day period and thereafter deleting the ones which did not make enough money to cover the annual registration fees charged by ICANN.
However, due to much pressure from brand owners, ICANN has now adopted a new policy whereby they will charge 20 cent on every domain registered, whether or not it is deleted within 5 days. The new fees implemented by ICANN are also based on a 10% limitation basis whereby if a registrar deletes more than 10% of the domains it has registered at any one time, ICANN will charge the 20 cent per domain fee. However, if less than 10% of the domains are deleted, the respective Registrar fees will not be charged.
Those in the domain name industry are of the view that domain tasting will still occur despite ICANN’s new policy. The difference now will be the recklessness of the way the Registrars choose the domains. As the new policy means the Registrars are charged on a per domain basis, in order for domain tasting operations to be profitable, the deletions should be minimum or limited. Registrars would now have to exercise more thought when choosing a “tasty” domain.