[HELP] Best Way To Make This Domain Change?

29 replies
Hey guys,

Here's the story - a month or so ago I started a site, I registered a domain name regarding an affiliate offer; it is:

companynamekeyword.net

Within a month it is now ranking top 5 for a 15,000 searches a month keyword, but is also a PR3 - more importantly it has made me $1100 clear profit in the last 10 days.

Now the issue is, I just got a message from my AM saying I need to change the URL because it contains the trademarked name.

What can I do to maintain rankings, PR and use the same content/layout on the new URL?

Perhaps a redirect - any advice?

Also, the affiliate campaign did not mention ANYTHING about not using the company name in the URL, so will there by any issues with getting paid what I have currently earned?
#change #domain #make
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by jemmyjack View Post

    you can use godaddy
    Use Godaddy for what? That wasn't the question.

    @OP
    Buy a new domain and try redirecting the old domain to the new domain. I don't know if your AF will allow that, but it's worth a try. This is one of the big problems with registering trademarks ... you build something that can disappear in an instant when the trademark owner or affiliate network gets wind of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author neilward
    You need to do a 301 redirect. If you have cpanel or something similar this is a simple task. It is highly likely you will not retain all of your rankings but a 301 is your best bet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    I don't think this company is playing fair with you. Are you promoting their product through clickbank, you should check the terms of service of the affiliate program you are using properly and if you are making such profits you should protect your interests, perhaps by talking to a lawyer especially if you cannot find anywhere that their TOS stops you from using such a tactic.
    :confused:

    The OP should have contacted the company and asked for permission FIRST. Does not matter if it is a Clickbank product or what ever - and a lawyer isn't going to help.

    Anytime you want to use a product name in the domain, you want to get permission from the company.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post


      Anyway I learned the lesson and from there on I decided to always protect my material the right way.
      Whether it is trademarked or not - if I want to establish a good relationship as an affiliate, I'm going to contact the company first.

      Any company can ban you as an affiliate for any reason they want.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

        for any reason they want?!

        absolutely not!!! -

        if you're using a third party affiliate program like clickbank both the promoters and product owners have to abide by the TOS
        "Without limiting the foregoing, ClickBank shall have the right to terminate immediately Your access and use of the ClickBank Services, or any portion thereof, in the event of any conduct which ClickBank, in its sole discretion, considers to be unacceptable." (Source)

        Let me highlight portions of that for you.

        "Without limiting the foregoing, ClickBank shall have the right to terminate immediately Your access and use of the ClickBank Services, or any portion thereof, in the event of any conduct which ClickBank, in its sole discretion, considers to be unacceptable."

        So, they've pretty much covered in their TOS that they can ban you for any reason they want. Other programs typically include similar language.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          He has no leverage and no weapons to fight with. A few minutes of research before registering the URL would have enlightened him. An AM can easily say he didn't understand the url question or the company can say the AM does not give legal advice.

          You cannot force an affiliate company to let you do what you want - you are expendable as an affiliate. Continuing to argue he can fight this or that he has "rights" is not helpful.

          He's in Australia - you don't know where the trademark is registered or where the affiliate company is based. The only "win" for the OP is to do what he's been asked to do - perhaps do a redirect if allowed - and move on.

          kay
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

          One more thing... the OP stated in a later thread that he has a direct communication from the mother company stating that his website was 'okayed' by them and suddenly they changed their mind.
          They didn't sue him; they told him to change it, which would satisfy notification requirements.
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    • Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

      Not necessarily if they didn't register a trade mark on that particular name they have no right to ask him to take it down
      That would be a great argument if the OP hadn't said:

      I need to change the URL because it contains the trademarked name.

      I know you're posting a lot of replies to WF threads this morning, but ya might want to slow down.

      fLufF
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      sorry - posts not showing up when posted caused duplicate post
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Not sure what the story has to do with it - if you don't register a trademark, you don't have trademark protection...of course.

      BUT - what's the point of saying "not playing fair" when the OP's post clearly mentioned this IS a trademark issue?

      You can try a redirect - but you could also lose your affiliate account if you don't comply in full with the request. It's the chance you take.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

      ...so i spoke to a lawyer friend of mine and he stated that i have absolutely no chance of winning if i had to sue them since i failed to register the trademark or try to copyright the material included....
      Find a different lawyer. Copyright is secured upon creation of a work. Registering it gives you additional benefits. Also, if it is not registered, you can register it before initiating a lawsuit. I'm not a lawyer, but a lawyer should know stuff like that.

      Trademark works similarly. Registration is not required in order to file a lawsuit over someone infringing upon your trademark. Like copyright, registration will give you additional benefits. Not being registered, however, may limit the geographical scope in which you can sue. Still, one would expect a lawyer to know stuff like that.
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

      Not necessarily if they didn't register a trade mark on that particular name
      Trademarks FAQs

      Must I register my trademark?

      No. You can establish rights in a mark based on use of the mark in commerce, without a registration. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several important benefits.
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      David

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  • Profile picture of the author danielgb123
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    I don't think this company is playing fair with you. Are you promoting their product through clickbank, you should check the terms of service of the affiliate program you are using properly and if you are making such profits you should protect your interests, perhaps by talking to a lawyer especially if you cannot find anywhere that their TOS stops you from using such a tactic.
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    Not necessarily if they didn't register a trade mark on that particular name they have no right to ask him to take it down or to insist that he does so if he is not infringing on the TOS of the affiliate provider.
    They have however registered a trademark, in that is it a very big company (the advertiser). The issue however is I have run the URL by the AM, they approved it saying it looked good, etc - even in the promotion details it does not mention any issues with TM bidding or TM in URLSs, etc.

    In saying that, I have not degraded the company, nor am I trying to build a site that poses competition to the advertiser, it is promoting THEIR affiliate program and generating genuine leads.

    I'd imagine the outcome is that I cannot use the domain, I will buy another and I will receive payment. I have however stopped my PPC investment for the time being, fingers crossed.
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  • Profile picture of the author David G Ford
    A 301 redirect will ensure that the search engines recognise the name change and move reputation with the name change but if you have to stop using the domain name immediately that wont help. It will take a few months for the old name's status on google etal to transfer over.

    If they dont have a registered trademark the name is yours but obviously they can refuse your affiliate status. Personally I would hop on the phone and talk to them. It may be they are ok with you holding the name and continuing on for, say, 3 months - by this stage the 301 redirect should have worked for you.

    Good luck ) .. use the phone. Emails are very impersonal and easy to send off - if you speak to them it may be harder to shut you down in person.
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  • Profile picture of the author David G Ford
    A 301 redirect will ensure that the search engines recognise the name change and move reputation with the name change but if you have to stop using the domain name immediately that wont help. It will take a few months for the old name's status on google etal to transfer over.

    If they dont have a registered trademark the name is yours but obviously they can refuse your affiliate status. Personally I would hop on the phone and talk to them. It may be they are ok with you holding the name and continuing on for, say, 3 months - by this stage the 301 redirect should have worked for you.

    Good luck ) .. use the phone. Emails are very impersonal and easy to send off - if you speak to them it may be harder to shut you down in person.
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  • Profile picture of the author JenMorgan
    use 301 redirect, and next time don't buy trademarks it's too risk
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  • Profile picture of the author equanto
    Originally Posted by danielgb123 View Post

    What can I do to maintain rankings, PR and use the same content/layout on the new URL?

    Perhaps a redirect - any advice?...
    it's hopeless...

    start website with a new name, it means start a new hardwork..
    like a music band, if they were separated, and make a new band again with different name, they still have to make it fame with hardwork again.. (It's just analogy
    but do not count as it's from 0
    do the same as you did with the last effort at your previous website
    and you will find out that was just... unlucky
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by danielgb123 View Post

    the affiliate campaign did not mention ANYTHING about not using the company name in the URL
    They really don't need to specify this, Daniel: it goes without saying that you shouldn't ever register a domain-name for commercial use which includes someone else's trademark in it.

    The theory that "they shouldn't mind if you're helping them to make sales" is a mistaken one. This is about trademark renewal privileges: if it can be shown (when they apply to renew their trademark) that they've knowingly condoned breaches of their trademark, that can be held against them. So some companies are very protective of their trademarks. However, if seems that you may be let off lightly, here, if only the affiliate manager rather than the trademark owner's lawyer is in touch with you about it.

    Originally Posted by danielgb123 View Post

    so will there by any issues with getting paid what I have currently earned?
    Perhaps not, especially if they haven't said anything about it?

    They could actually have done a lot more, here, than just told you to change the name. A cheap lesson, really - especially if you actually get paid to date, which it seems you may. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author AnnaMolly
    I'd do anything possible to get a new affiliate product surrounded around the same niche to not lose your ranking. You will certainly lose your ranking if yo change the domain. Ther are always alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author JerrickYeoh
    The content you have atleast will give you a specific ranking if it quality and unique enough but need time to reindex again if use new domain name.
    Domain might play a huge role in influence your SEO and PR even you did so much redirect , you might in risk to get the same result back .
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  • Profile picture of the author danielgb123
    Just an update on the situation since I see this gained a lot of interest.

    My AM has sent an updated list of marketing terms which are ridiculous, there are so many guidelines to abide by that what was mentioned in the affiliate window looks so miniscule.

    The best case scenario for me is that I can do a redirect if allowed; but honestly if I get the money it is a win - I may have to surrender the domain name and my marketing of the offer; but at least all the time and money invested was not a waste.
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