Opinions & Advice

Who Owns Your Dealership Domain? Are You Being Squat On?

We all know that most dealers are good at selling and servicing cars.  Turning toward a computer; not so much.  We rely on our vendor-partners for that.  Sometimes our partners try to take advantage of our computer-naiveté and that just isn’t right.

When it comes to domain ownership some web hosting companies purchase a domain for the dealer they just contracted.  What the dealer doesn’t realize is that the contract states ownership of the domain actually belongs to the web hosting company.  If the dealer decides to change companies, then that domain stays with the old web hosting company.

What is a domain?

A domain, as referred to in this article, is more commonly known as a URL, link, or website address.  When not using your Google bar, it is what you type into your browser to get to a particular website.  DealerRefresh’s domain is www.dealerrefresh.com.

Domains (URL) have become so important today that some would argue you should change the name of your business depending on what domain is available.  That is the argument if your proper business name plus “.com” is not available.  Hopefully we don’t have to sell you on how important the Internet is and that over 60% of your customers are using it to find some sort of information about you.  Just like your investment in a good piece of real estate near the busiest intersection, your online address should be easy to find, be designated with a “.com” – not .net, and contain the name of your business.  This is not done solely for SEO purposes or anything fancy; this is simply because a lot of people type yourbusinessname.com as a way of finding you.

If you own the trademark to your name you can claim it under the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (ACPA).

Domains are real estate.  Don’t let someone steal your land.

This article is here to serve as a reference for any dealer who is being taken advantage of by their current web host or a previous one.  Please throw this in their face because they need to stop immediately.  Holding your domain hostage is just wrong.

Here are a few web hosting companies that have publicly denounced the practice of cybersquatting:
alphabetically listed

AutoRevo: Your Domain Name is YOUR Domain Name
Squashing Domain Squatters
Who Does Your Domain Name Belong to?
Domains the DealerFire Way
DealerOn: Don’t Lose this Contest.  Be the Master of your Domain.
DealerSkins: Protect your Online Identity with Proper Domain Name…
eCarList: Master of Your Domain$

**If your a dealership website provider and would like to be added to this article, please contact us with a link to your article, and we’ll get you added.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • B
    Brian Pasch
  • March 4, 2011
I would also like to add that you should purchase the .net and .org versions of your domain for a higher POD Score. You can place a blog on each of those domain names (.net and .org) to increase the branding consumers find when they search your name. Purchasing them and not placing a blog or website on them does nothing to help or harm you.
  • D
  • March 8, 2011
i agree with Brain, and i would like also to add that you should register the typos of the domain name of your dealership. like missing characters or the wwwdomain.com etc.. and redirect them to your website with a 301 redirect. if your main site generate type-in traffic , your domain name typos will generate traffic also.

Deskins Motors