If you let a registered domain lapse, you can run the risk of it becoming a “zombie domain.” Visit any of the domains below to see what I mean:
http://www.gbstation.com (once The Game Boy Station)
http://www.khava.com (once the inane writings of a girl named Khava)
http://www.edeh.com (once an interactive webcam site)
All of these domains now point to a mysterious “web directory” that often fools users into browsing to sites that appear to be a directory listing. Ever wonder how this works? What diabolical purpose would someone want to have with your lapsed domain?
The answer is simple – legacy placement in search engines. Established domains still turn up in search engines and in hyperlinks on other sites that don’t know the domain is gone. These domains generate huge amounts of web traffic even though the domain is dead. Targeted Traffic Services like this one offer a confirmed number of visitors to any site you choose – just pay them $69, for example, and you get 10,000 targeted users to your website of choice. The domain that you let lapse is now an undead “zombie domain,” serving the targeted traffic provider with hits while they rake in the cash from those who need traffic to their website. They simply redirect the zombie domain to anyone who pays for the service to generate targeted traffic.
The moral of this story? If you’ve ever registered a domain, go ahead and pay someone like GoDaddy the $8 per year to hold on to it. You might want it for something again someday. If the thought of your once loved-domain now lumbering about like a drooling, undead corpse whose only purpose is to chase droves of screaming users to other sites while someone else pulls in the profits doesn’t bug you, then let ’em lapse.