As a hobby I like to buy and develop under used domains. If I have 10 minutes I might sit down and randomly search terms that come to mind or ideas which have popped into my head.
Personally I am not a fan of neither patent nor domain trolls and do not endorse the practice of hoarding Intellectual Property in the hope that it might one day make you a dollar.
But one day when I was aimlessly searching for interesting names or things to test I came across “googleplay.com”
How could one ever say no to this kind of opportunity?
My goal with googleplay.com was never to make any money. In fact I was pretty certain that if I ever made a cent off of it there would be some very angry people with law degrees banging down my door.
So instead I set out to do two things.
1. Show that with the right strategy you can outsmart even Goliath
As Sun Tzu would perhaps put it an army on the march can bee seen from a distance of many ri. Google is a vast army and if you follow the news there is no question that it is on a conquering mission.
In other words if you choose study it and prepare yourself you can be in the right position with a fortress built once they arrive on the stage.
I knew Google Play was just a question of time.
If it had been Google Medicine (and yes, I predict this is coming) or Google Cars then perhaps I would have had to be more patient for the outcome but Play just fits so well into their contents strategy that I knew it should not be too long.
And it was not, in 2011 I received a reclaim order from ICANN telling me I was being sued for the rights to the name.
Since I always knew I had no rights to it I just handed it over but I have learned many a lesson along the way about the concepts of “fair use” and am sure to apply them to the next interesting domain I find.
So In conclusion, yes you can beat Goliath with strategy and tactics by being at the scene first and having the higher ground as well as a prepared defense.
I did not have my defenses prepared which is why I lost but learned an important lesson along the way.
2. Investigate whether the google algorithm would punish my little adventure.
The answer to this question was much simpler, NO!
To make sure I really angered the algorithm (if one can think of it as a being) I created something that I know is being punished during the last changes made.
A contents farm.
I created a site which just pulled contents from all kinds of places around the web and re-posted it. Google likes “original” contents, whatever that is, and is said to lower the ranks of contents farms.
But what happened was I was number 1 in the search rankings for google play, even above www.google.com/play (which they incidentally launched without owning the name) up until the day I gave it up.
I am sure someone got shout at for not securing the name before the site went up but all that did was put a smile on my face.
|“When deep space exploration ramps up,
it will be corporations that name
everything. The IBM Stellar Sphere.
The Philip Morris Galaxy. Planet
~Narrator from Fight Club~