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Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The Internet is very large, and constantly growing.  One of the by-products of our beloved Internet is that often times businesses of all sizes can lose control over exactly what information is out there and where it is displayed.

There are numerous sources from which a directory or local search engine can get data for it’s listings.  These are called “data aggregators.”  Generally speaking, there is very little control that can be exercised over these data aggregators.  A quick Google search for your business will likely return results that you didn’t even know existed, containing information that is either out-dated or incorrect.

This can best be illustrated with the following graphic by David Mihm from his article A Closer Look at the Local Search Data Providers:

Looks convoluted, right?  This is where Yext steps in and simplifies the entire situation.  What Yext offers to it’s PowerListings Customers is total control over the information displayed about their company throughout this entire “ecosystem.”  In other words, you tell Yext what you want displayed throughout the Internet and Yext does the rest.  The result changes the above image to something more along these lines:

Looks much cleaner, right?  Ultimately, Yext offers more control over the way your business is presented throughout the Internet.  Right now Yext is offering a free, no obligation business scan to HostGator Customers.  This business scan will show you where your business currently fits (or falls) within the above ecosystem.  There is no purchase requirement; this is a courtesy service to verify that your business is listed correctly in as many places as possible.

To receive your free business scan from Yext, simply visit the following URL and enter the basic information about your business:

For more information on Yext, visit

World Backup Day

Written by Sean Valant

Friday, March 30th, 2012

All hard drives will crash; there is no such thing as a crash-proof hard drive.  When (not if) this happens, how much data will be lost is a flip of the coin.  It could be 0%, or it could be 100%.  World Backup Day is March 31st. and encourages you to maintain current backups of your data: financial information or other important documents, digital media collection (music/movies/ebooks), and perhaps most importantly your memories (pictures/home movies).

One in ten laptops will be stolen in their lifetime; one is stolen every 53 seconds.  Fifty percent of all hard drives will crash within five years.  Couple those statistics with the fact that 89.1% of PC users do not perform regular backups.  This is essentially a recipe for massive data loss.  A recent study found that 90 percent of companies that experience data loss go out of business within two years, with 70% of companies going out of business following a major data loss.  These are significant numbers.

Are you able to place a dollar amount on your data?  Exactly how much value does it have?  For many people, their data is priceless.  If the only pictures of your children that you have are on a hard drive that crashes, they’re gone.  Forever.  Unless you have a small fortune to pay in hopes of having the data professionally recovered.  This situation though instantly becomes a non-issue the moment you have a safe backup of the data.  Ideally, you’ll maintain current backups of all important data locally and at a remote location.

Texas, where the HostGator offices are, has been hit by both hurricanes and wildfires in recent years.  If a computer and the external hard drive that contained the backups are both within a house that is destroyed, that data is gone.  This is a catastrophic circumstance regardless, but there are many ways to ensure that even under similar conditions your data will remain safe.  HostGator customers are encouraged to visit for a free trial for cloud storage.  Come what may, with cloud storage you can be confident that your data remains safe.

Please visit for more information and tips on backing up your data.

Hostgator Dotcom (aka Billy the Billboard)

Written by Chad Bean

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Many will remember “Billy the Human Billboard“, who we covered in our previous blog post after he received a HostGator tattoo on the back of his neck. Billy’s HostGator tattoo has sparked a range of responses from: people asking to get this done, outrage, and even proposed boycotts.

Someone even went as far as to compare HostGator with human traffickers as you can see in the video below:


Billy has gone on to receive additional tattoos from other companies (27 and counting), moving him closer to his goal of having the most tattoo advertisements in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Since then, Billy is no longer “Billy the Human Billboard”, as he has legally changed his name to “Hostgator Dotcom”.


Hostgator Dotcom’s driver license:

Hostgator Dotcom’s certificate of name change:

DomainSponsor Review, Domain Parking and Tasting

Written by Chad Bean

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It seems like no matter what business industry you’re looking at, there’s always room for shady activities. Web hosting and the domain industry are no exceptions. However, most people are totally unaware of one such practice known as domain tasting. Domain Tasting is essentially when a someone buys a domain name for the sole purpose of seeing whether or not it can generate ad income. The domain registrant puts ads on the domain, and if the ads don’t make any money, the registrant has five days to request a refund.

There have been many big companies involved with Domain Tasting, and since they can pull off the above example on a much larger scale, they have been able to reap insane amounts of profits. This had affected us and our clients because millions of domains were getting tied up by ‘tasters’ and would appear unavailable when someone actually went to register their domain name.

To help curb this problem, since April of this year, ICANN has made their $.20 domain transaction fee non-refundable. So if a company wants to sample 50,000 domain names, for instance, then they’ll have to shell out $10,000 in registration fees even if they get a refund for the domains within the five day grace period. This change hasn’t eliminated the problem altogether, but it’s certainly helped.

Obviously domain tasting wouldn’t have gotten as out of control as it did, had it not been for the huge profits that people were reaping in. At HostGator, we don’t have that many domain registrations, since we specialize in web hosting. However, it’s still evident that there are major profits to be earned with a decent domain portfolio. One such way to monetize domain names, that we’ve explored recently, is via domain parking.

When you first buy a domain, the domain will be using the default name servers of the registrar generally. The default page you see, usually with ads all over it, is a good example of a parked page. What most people don’t realize though, is that even if they aren’t going to develop the domain right away, they can still make money from the domain while it waits to be developed.

The company we’ve been using for domain parking is DomainSponsor. Basically we use their name servers on inactive domain names in our account, and all traffic gets pointed to a domain parking page where relevant ads are displayed, giving us a percentage of the revenue made from the ads.

So just how much money can you make with Domain Parking? We were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Domain Sponsor Affiliate Check

The above check was for the month of May. We’ve been using Domain Sponsor for the last 3 months, and are consistently getting over $25,000/monthly with the domains that we have. Now these results may be unique since we do have roughly 12,000 domain names in our DomainSponsor portfolio, but many domainers have much more domains than this and can stand to make much more money.

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