19 June 2016

News Review: ICANN, New gTLD Domain Names, Consumer Fraud

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Domain Mondo's review of the past week and look ahead [pdf]: 

Consumer Fraud, ICANN, and new gTLD domain namesA lot of misinformation has been propagated about new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains), by both ICANN and its domain name industry partners a/k/a ICANN's customers, and at the same time, important information for consumers (domain name registrants) concerning universal acceptance issues in new gTLDs--new gTLD domain names "failing to work as expected on the internet" or "break stuff,"--has not been fully disclosed by either ICANN or its partners.

New gTLD domain names and Google Search Rank: here's the truth--What The New ICANN Domain Names Mean For Google Rankings & SEO: Nothing | SearchEngineLand.com--read that June 20, 2011, posting for all the particulars. But below is an example of the misleading, deceptive, false, unfair or fraudulent claims that ICANN's partners are still pushing in the marketplace to an unaware, uninformed consumer public:

False claims about ICANN's new gTLDs exposed--new gTLD hucksters slapped down again by Google's John Mueller--
"Google says keywords in the TLD part of your URL are ignored for ranking purposes | SearchEngineLand.com: "Google’s John Mueller confirmed yesterday in a Google Hangout that keyword-rich TLDs, such as the new top-level domains that have keywords in them — like .LIVE, .NEWS, .ATTORNEY and so on — do not count for ranking purposes. Mueller said Google completely ignores that for ranking purposes. He said this at the 12:45 minute mark into the hangout: “The TLD is not something we take into account there,” he said, and added that they [Google] “completely ignore the words in the TLD portion of the URL. There was some controversy recently around a sponsored article published here on Search Engine LandCan moving to a new TLD boost search rankings? That article [purportedly] showed how one lawyer switched from a .COM to a .ATTORNEY domain and saw a nice lift in organic traffic. Both Mueller and Gary Illyes from Google said this is not true and urged webmasters not to switch from their current TLDs to the new TLDs for “vague promises” of ranking boosts." (emphasis added)
If you dig down into that "sponsored article" cited above and its underlying "report," you 'discover' how the results are tainted by comparing a stale .COM website and a redeployed new gTLD website utilizing a SEO (search engine optimization) content strategy:
"In addition to the relaunch, Eric’s team concentrated on posting blog entries (initially about seven per month) containing keywords they hadn’t yet been ranked on search results. Very quickly, Jacksonville.Attorney started seeing fantastic results in organic Google listings." (emphasis added)
That's no surprise to anyone familiar with search engine optimization and improving Google search rank by regularly posting fresh original content. When it comes to "Google search rank," having a new gTLD (new generic top-level domain a/k/a domain name extension) will not help you. No matter how many times the new gTLD hucksters try to mislead you, no matter that ICANN does nothing to stop this misinformation from being propagated by its "partners," no matter how much Akram Atallah or others at ICANN, or Rightside, or Donuts, or Afilias, or ARI Registry Services n/k/a Neustar might wish it to be true, it just isn't. Listen to what Google and others have confirmed over and over again. Don't listen to the people trying to make a buck by misleading you. For ICANN and the hucksters, it's all about the money.

ICANN doesn't care about consumers (domain name registrants or internet users) other than to help its "partners" exploit domain name registrants for purposes of monetary gain. See also Consumer Trust? Not at ICANN Compliance | circleid.com and ICANN Fails Consumers (Again) | circleid.com"The Compliance department of ICANN is an unmitigated disaster when it comes to earning the consumer trust."

I doubt this will be the last time Google has to "correct the record" concerning search rank and new gTLDs. The new gTLD hucksters continue spreading this same big fat lieover and over again. Eventually the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) or state consumer protection agency(s) or one or more state attorney generals, or some Attorney in a court of law, will hold them accountable via an award of money damages or imposition of fines and penalties for consumer fraud. One would think that new gTLD hucksters realized by now that their phony baloney about new gTLDs and Google search rank just paints them as pathetic liars.

Today, even when a domain name registry operator representative tries to impart useful information for domain name registrants--see, e.g., 7 Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Domain Name Extension | circleid.com--she (or he) is immediately attacked by one or more new gTLD trolls--my published comment to the article cited above:
"Useful information Jeannie, particularly for domain name registrants (and please ignore the new gTLD trolls). But you could have also added "pricing predictability" in renewing .COM domain names compared to new gTLDs. One issue you did raise, known as the "universal acceptance" problems of new gTLDs "failing to work as expected on the internet" and "breaking stuff" is very problematic for both domain name registrants and end users. ICANN tried to absolve itself of all liability for universal acceptance problems in its registry agreements with new gTLD registry operators. One or more class actions on behalf of new gTLD domain name registrants may be forthcoming once the IANA transition is complete." (link added)
See also on Domain Mondo:  New gTLD Domain Names, Defects, ICANN Liability, FTC Complaints and ICANN, Domain Registry Operators, Monopoly, Antitrust, FTC Statement.

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•  Different strokes for different folks re: IANA stewardship transition--
  • Bloomberg | BNA.com"[Larry] Strickling told reporters June 9 that NTIA is also studying a provision in pending appropriations legislation that would prohibit the agency from spending money to effect the transition. But he said the contract will expire of its own accord Sept. 30, and he didn't believe allowing the contract to expire would violate the prohibition." (emphasis added)
  • The Battle Over Obama’s Internet Surrender | WSJ.com"... Time is running out for Congress to insist that the U.S. continue to protect Americans and everyone around the world who values the open internet."  See also Opinion Journal: Adios, Internet Freedom? (video) | WSJ.com:  Columnist Gordon Crovitz on the Obama Administration's decision to give up control of the Internet's domain name system.

Map and List of ICANN Hub Offices & Engagement Offices
ICANN Hub Offices & Engagement Offices (source: icann.org)
• ICANN & Online Censorship: Other than LA, ICANN also has "hubs" in Istanbul (Turkey) and Singapore (both selected while Fadi Chehade was ICANN President & CEO--he planned on "moving to Singapore")--both of which appear to be actively censoring the internet: Singapore cuts off web access for government workers | CNN.com"... The move was criticized online as being a retrograde step and one that could lead to wider restrictions on internet freedom in the city-state."  As for Istanbulsince 2013, Freedom House ranks Turkey as "Not Free."

• Shuffling chairs on the deck of the TitanicChanges to ICANN’s Global Leadership Team | ICANN.org.

Governance RiskICANN's Board of Directors should be held to the standards of a fiduciary (stewards of a global public resource). Unfortunately, ICANN Directors fall far short in executing their duties as fiduciaries--Three Ways to Identify Governance Risk | cfainstitute.org: "The recent tribulations of Zenefits, a San Francisco start-up operating in the health insurance and human resources space, demonstrate how analyzing a firm’s culture can help identify potential red flags. Earlier this year, Zenefits’s replacement CEO announced that the company suffered from issues with its culture and tone, writing that “our internal processes, controls and actions around compliance have been inadequate.” One month later, Fidelity announced that it was marking down its investment stake in the company ... As a fiduciary, ... once you’ve identified something as a risk, you have no choice but to look at it.”--London-based Newton Investment Management recommends before investing conducting thorough research to analyze and understand a company on three particular levels:

•  Cybersquatters bewareCyber-pest ordered to pay $1,946 in legal costs to Donald Trump | NYDailyNews.com"... Yung sued Trump to overturn a judgment by the World Intellectual Property Organization to transfer four domain names he owned bearing the real estate mogul's name: trumpindia.com; trumpmumbai.com; trumpabudhabi.com; and trumpbeijing.com. Trump counter-sued under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Federal Judge Dora Irizarry ruled in 2014 that Yung was trying to profit off Trump and ordered him to surrender the infringing domain names plus $32,000 in legal fees ..."

•  Still no word from ICANN about the new RZMA (Root Zone Maintainer Agreement) with Verisign.

•  Still no word from ICANN about date/time of its webinar re: Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement (comments close 13 Jul 2016 23:59 UTC).

•  Comments close this coming week at ICANN on Revisions to ICANN Expected Standards of Behaviors 25 Jun 2016 at 23:59 UTC.

•  U.S. Court of Appeals affirms FCC on net neutrality - next stop Supreme Court? Maybe not.

•  Russian State Censor Can Now Un-Delegate Website Domain Names Extrajudicially | Global Voices.org.

•  Intellectual Property Rights? Jack Ma Says Fakes “Better Quality and Better Price Than the Real Names” | WSJ.com"They are exactly the same factories, exactly the same raw materials but they do not use the names.” Mr. Ma’s comments caused social-media outrage among some who felt he was dodging responsibility for the longstanding presence of counterfeit goods on Alibaba’s online bazaar Taobao [taobao.com]..."

•  Apple $AAPL & ChinaThe intellectual property regulator of Beijing orders Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus | WSJ.com.

•   Nothing Succeeds Like Failure--at Yahoo--“Her core mistake was this belief that she could reinvent Yahoo”--Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Stumbled After Secret Truce With Investor | WSJ.com:  "As tough as her job was from the start, Ms. Mayer made things even worse ... She failed to produce the pledged cost savings, plunged even deeper into her turnaround efforts and clung to the idea that she was going to save Yahoo, even when it became clear to insiders and other observers that the company was beyond saving ... If Yahoo is sold and Ms. Mayer is terminated as a result, she stands to receive about $55 million. Since joining Yahoo, she has received $118.2 million in cash and equity compensation ..." See also: How Yahoo derailed Tumblr | mashable.com and Here's What Happened To All 53 of Marissa Mayer's Yahoo Acquisitions | gizmodo.com.

• Bad Bots BehaviorOn Artificial Viewers, Followers, and Chat Activity | blog.twitch.tv"We at Twitch are well aware that view-bots, follow-bots, and chat-impersonation bots are a persistent frustration ... For those unaware, these bots are used to artificially inflate the apparent view count, follower count, and chat activity on a Twitch channel ... Other times, bots are used to harass other broadcasters in order to attempt to deny them partnership, or get their channel suspended. All of this is enabled by bot services offered by a handful of sellers who make misleading claims for their own commercial benefit." (emphasis added)

•   Brexit Vote is Thursday, June 23read more at:  Brexit: EU Referendum Was A Terrible Mistake by David Cameron (video) | DomainMondo.com.

•  Five most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
•  Other Reading Recommendations:
  1. Internet of Things (IoT): Nest’s Biggest Problem Wasn’t Tony Fadell | technologyreview.com"... most of us still aren’t convinced that we need or want all of our home appliances to be connected to the Internet."
  2. Why Startups Are Struggling | technologyreview.com: "...“Even as the number of new ideas and potential for innovation is increasing, there seems to be a reduction in the ability of companies to scale in a meaningful and systematic way.” As many seeds as ever are being planted. But fewer trees are growing to the sky."
  3. Dinosaur watch4 Reasons Microsoft Wasted $26.2 Billion To Buy LinkedIn | Forbes.com.
  4. Easy Come, Easy GoLi Ka-shing’s Fortunes Slide - China Real Time Report | WSJ.com: "Mr. Li was once Asia’s richest man, but is now third behind Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma and Dalian Wanda Group Co.’s Wang Jianlin, according to Bloomberg."
  5. " ... This Looks Terrible | WolfStreet.com"... the Fed’s Industrial Production Index has been falling since November 2014. In May, it dropped to 103.6, down 2.9% from its peak in November. It has been in decline for 18 months! Every time this kind of decline occurred in recent decades, it was associated with a recession ..."
  6. The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity | Bloomberg.com"... eight massive shifts coming soon to power markets. 1. There Will Be No Golden Age of Gas ... costs of wind and solar power are falling too quickly for gas ever to dominate on a global scale ... rock-bottom prices won't be enough to derail a rapid global transition toward renewable energy ... peak year for coal, gas, and oil: 2025 ... 2. Renewables Attract $7.8 Trillion ... 3. Electric Cars Rescue Power Markets ..."
  7. How to Psychologically Prepare Clients for Bear Markets | AdvisorPerspectives.com"... it helps to understand that you, your clients and all the investors who are panicking as the bear claws its way through the markets are operating with three very different brains: (1) the Neo-cortex; (2) a set of ganglia below it that has the processing power of an unusually smart cat; (3) below that at the top of the spine, a cluster of neurons which, together, possess roughly the thinking power of a lizard ..."
  8. Ego is the Enemy: The Legend of Genghis Khan | farnamstreetblog.com"No matter what you’ve done up to this point, you better still be a student. If you’re not still learning, you’re already dying."
Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo


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