Stop and think about it for a minute. What would happen to you, to your business, if you had to start from scratch with a new domain? All the link building, all the brand building, all of your credibility down the drain as you try to reinvent yourself. Sounds pretty terrifying, doesn't it? Well, chances are good that if you are a small business and you have hired a company to build your web site, you may be risking that very thing.
Matt McGee pens an excellent piece over at Search Engine Land today titled "How to Protect Your Domain Name" that is a must read for any small business owner that farms out their web site work.
True story: A small business owner, who was not a client, called me one day with a problem. Let's call him "Dave." His web site was missing. Not missing from the search engines, missing completely. Gone. No longer reachable at his domain. It was nothing I could help with since he wasn't a client, but we kept talking. I wanted to learn more.
Dave had a disagreement with his web developer over money. The web developer took the web site offline. But he didn't stop there. He also took ownership of Dave's domain. And there was nothing Dave could do about it, because the web developer had listed himself as the administrative contact for the domain when he registered it on Dave's behalf.
I've seen this happen as well. Back when I worked at an agency, it wasn't uncommon for us to hear from a potential client that had left their old agency and were shocked to discover that the old agency could hold their domain name "hostage" because it was the agency, and not the site owner that "owned" the domain name.
That's why it's absolutely essential that if you don't know if you are the contact person on your domain registration that you read Matt's article and remedy the situation immediately. It's one of the smallest actions that can have the biggest impact
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