The end of The Gruen Transfer?

One of my less exciting daily digital pastimes is keeping an on expired .com.au domain names. Today I noticed that one of the domains that just became available on 01/01/2010 was www.gruentransfer.com.au. So it appears this might be the end for that particular URL (unless somebody forgot to renew it). So what does that mean for the show and a third season? Read on before you jump to conclusions… 

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Below: The URL… www.gruentransfer.com.au nothing to see here.

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Why abandon a URL?
Firstly, there is no obvious record that the ABC actually owned this domain in the first place or that it was actively used. In the instance of The Gruen Transfer, the primary URL for the show is a subdirectory off the ABC website (here) but in my experience it’s usually a good strategy to keep relevant domain names in the back pocket no matter what. Most often, the excuse given for letting a domain lapse is “we weren’t using it” but there are a few reasons for keeping URLs which relate directly to something that is active even if it is not the primary domain such as protecting intellectual property and to form a part of an SEO/SEM and Link strategy. In addition digital consumers are known to occasionally go for a direct punt on a url into the browser address bar so a DNS redirect or meta refresh is an easy tactic to handle traffic from this.

Recommendation:
Regardless of past ownership ABC should register gruentransfer.com.au and thegruentransfer.com.au. $55 for two years is a worthwhile investment for them (if the show is to continue).

Stats:
Every month hundreds of .com.au URLs expire without being renewed in Australia. Here’s some stats from AuDA for 08/09 – hopefully the 2009 results will be available soon.

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Note: There are several services that provide information on expired domains which can easily be found using Google or Bing:

~@eunmac

5 Responses to The end of The Gruen Transfer?

  1. Tim Bendall says:

    What if this is a ploy by the show to see what happens to their domain name, see if it gets picked up by a cybersquatter or by someone trying to advertise something?

    That would make for an interesting first episode in 2010.

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    Wow. This blog is amazing. Its not only interesting but also enlightening. I have not come across such an interesting article for a long time. I m happy to know that good writers like you still exist. Congratulation on your amazing work.

  3. Asher Pratt says:

    As at this date, gruentransfer.com.au is owned by Zapruder’s Other Films which is Andrew Denton’s production company, the producer of The Gruen Transfer.

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