Social Media

.uk Rights of Registration

The .uk Right of Registration period ended on 25th June 2019.

All registrars who applied to be part of the release process and met the criteria to participate were contacted by Nominet via email on Wednesday 26th June with their allocation.

The final list of domains was published on 26th June. Those domains were made available in batches from the 1st of July- 5th July to participating registrars. This phase of the release process is now complete.

Domains still available after the stage one release will become generally available from 8th July for any registrar to register, including those using WDM.

What is the ‘release’ process?

It is the release of .uk domains where rights were not exercised by the deadline date and the domain can now be registered by someone other than the rights holder.

What is happening to the unclaimed .uk rights?

Reserved .uk domain names which were not registered by 25th June 2019 at 06:00 BST (UTC+1) were subject to a first phase release process that took place between 1st July and 5th July 2019.

Participating registrars were informed.

Any domains not registered during this period are available to all registrars via normal systems (EPP and WDM) from 8th July.

When will the domains become generally available using the standard .UK EPP and WDM?

Domains that were not registered in batch 1 (from 1st July) will become generally available through the standard .UK EPP connection and WDM one week later, i.e. on 8th July between 14.00 and 14:30 BST (UTC+1).  Batch 2 on 9th July during the same time period, batch 3 on 10th July etc.

The release schedule for Stage Two is as follows:

8th July – Batch 1: Domains beginning 0-9, a-b
9th July – Batch 2: Domains beginning c-f
10th July – Batch 3: Domains beginning g-m
11th July – Batch 4: Domains beginning n-s
12th July – Batch 5: Domains beginning t-z

Once the domains become available, they will then remain available until registered.

There is no sign-up process to take part in stage two of the release. This is a general release between 8th July and 12th July via the normal EPP and WDM systems.

Has Nominet run any awareness activity to registrants?

We ran a series of awareness activities on the lead up to 25th June targeting a broad business and consumer audience, influencers and selected vertical sectors. Our awareness campaign included national press and radio, tube advertising, social media and PR.

Has Nominet contacted registrants directly before the 25th June deadline?

We contacted registrants during the reservation period, including some targeted outreach in recent months. We wanted registrants to be aware that they had a right to their corresponding .uk domain, without feeling pressured into registering a domain they did not want.

Over the last five years our direct communications have included emailing or sending letters to rights holders. Most recently, we did this if we were unsure whether rights holders had received sufficient communication from their registrar.

A series of promotions were available to registrars to encourage take-up, supported by toolkits to support registrar messaging.

The following FAQs are all specific to stage one of the release process that happened between 1stJuly and 5th July 2019.

Can I sign up now? 

The deadline for participating registrars to meet the release process criteria for the main release phase has ended.  Unfortunately, registrars that did not sign up or meet the criteria were not be able to participate directly in the first phase of the release.

Where a RoR domain name is not registered through the main release phase 1st – 5th July, it will be available to register through the standard registration systems seven days later.

When will the release process take place?

The rights period ended on 25th June 2019 at 06:00 BST (UTC+1). The domains begin to be available to register from 1st July 2019.

What was the process for signing up to participate in the release process?

Registrars were given the opportunity to sign up to take part from 8th April to 3rd May 2019. The sign up has now closed and only those who registered by the deadline and have met certain criteria were able to participate in the release.

If I signed up to the release should I have received a confirmation email?

Yes, every registrar who signed up should have received a confirmation email on Friday 10th May. The email was sent to the email address as indicated by each registrar during the sign–up process. All registrars who signed up to participate have since been emailed on 26th June to confirm whether they met the criteria, and if so, their allocation of registration requests.

What is the mechanism for the rights release?

Registration of released domains during the release period (1st – 5th July) could only be made through a separate Right of Registration EPP connection. Those registrars who have signed up to the release and have met the criteria to participate were able to use the Right of Registration EPP connection to register the .uk domains.

EPP is instant and responses are received in near real time. As such we have chosen to provide an EPP mechanism that supports domains to be released in a manner that protects systems and ensures continuity of service for normal domain name operations. We provided advanced notice of the release mechanism so registrars who only use Web Domain Manager have had opportunity to arrange to use EPP.

What credit had to be met in order to participate?

Registrars needed to ensure that they had sufficient credit available to qualify for their tier. Remaining credit can be viewed within Online Services via the Billing Summary.

The amount of available credit also needed to take into account any normal registration and renewal levels.

We asked that any funds added to an account to increase the available credit were done well in advance of the 21st June. If funds were added via BACS, we asked that registrars included a reference such as account number and ‘RoR’ so we could ensure it was allocated to the relevant account in time.

Registrars were given the opportunity to also ask for an increase in their credit limit for the duration of the release to ensure that they could meet their anticipated demand.

*This figure was in addition to registrar standard registration and renewal activity and only applied to Nominet members. Non-members were asked to deposit multiples of the £80 +VAT registration fee per domain, per two–year registration. Minimum available credit figures include VAT​. For those who don’t pay VAT, registrars were only required to have the amount on the account as specified minus VAT.

How were allocations/registration requests decided?

To ensure the stability and reliability of our systems a finite number of registration requests per minute were available.

Our approach was to allocate a registrar to a tier that corresponded to the number of registrations they indicated they would be pursuing.  Registrars were asked to ensure sufficient funds were available to secure access to each tier.

We applied a 5% tolerance to the credit limits (reflecting a registrar’s ability to delete up to 5% or 5 domains, whichever is higher, prior to invoicing), and where available credit still falls short, we allocated the registrar to the next appropriate tier.

Are the requests per minute the same as originally set out?

The allocations were subject to take up and the number of qualifying registrars.  For the top tier, the requests for registration per minute remained at 150.  For tiers 2, 3 and 4, they increased to 75, 12 and 9 requests per minute respectively.

Is that different to the original approach?

We specified that only registrars who met the following criteria would be able to connect to the release system via a dedicated EPP connection:

  1. Had sufficient available credit on their account for their original allocated tier by Midday BST (UTC+1) on the 21st June​
  2. Connected to the .uk testbed and performed a login, contact create and a domain create operation against any domain

Our team got in touch with registrars who applied to help as many as possible take part in the release.

In what order were the domains released?

All domains with rights that were not registered by the rights holder were put into five batches in alphabetical order. Each batch was released at 14:00 BST (UTC+1) from 1st July to 5th July 2019.  All domains in a batch became available at the same time (14.00 BST UTC+1). Once the domain became available during the release period it then remained available throughout the release period.

The release date and time for each domain name with expired rights was available in Online Services on 26th June.

The release schedule is as follows:

Batch 1: Domains beginning 0-9, a-b

Batch 2: Domains beginning c-f

Batch 3: Domains beginning g-m

Batch 4: Domains beginning n-s

Batch 5: Domains beginning t-z

Domains released in batch 1 (1st July) became generally available through the standard .UK EPP connection and WDM one week later, i.e. on 8th July between 14.00 and 14:30 BST (UTC+1).  Batch 2 on 9th July, batch 3 on 10th July etc.


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Company Branding Website Changes in 2018

Google Maps Billing Platform Costs

Google is changing the way that they access to Google API’s which could affect your website so take note.

Starting June 11th 2018, Google is rolling out a new pay-as-you-go pricing model for Google Maps Platform API usage. To help with the integration to this new model they are giving an additional month until the new pricing goes into effect. This means officially as of July 16th 2018 the new costing plans will be taking payments

How Much Does Google Maps Cost?

As of July 16th 2018 the for using Maps JavaScript API, Maps Static API, or Street View API will be 0.007 USD per each Map load which works out to be 7.00 USD per 1000 Map loads for the first 100,000. If your usage is between 100,001 and 500,000 then you pay a reduced cost of 0.0056 USD per each Map load which works out to be 5.60 USD per 1000 Map loads. For usage above 500,000 you need to contact Google sales team for volume pricing.

For each billing account that qualifies to use the Google Maps Platform SKUs will receive $200 USD Google Maps Platform credit available each month. This will be automatically applied to the qualifying SKUs.

Does Panning, Zooming, or Switching map layers

No user interactions with the maps such as panning, zooming, or switching map layers will not generate additional map loads, these are always free.

What Was The Previous Pay-As-You-Go Usage Limits and Pricing

Until July 16th 2018, the Maps JavaScript API allowed for FREE 25,000 map loads per 24 hours. After exceeding the free usage limits then billing you need to enable pay-as-you-go billing to unlock the higher quotas which are then charged at $0.50 USD / 1000 additional requests, up to 100,000 per 24 hour.

Does social media help with SEO Ranking

The question around “Does social media help with SEO Ranking” is something that many want answering. So how do we know Social Media really has any positive or negative impact on Search Engine Optimisation and will the use of Twitter and Facebook help with rankings.

Does Social Media Influence Google Rankings?

This video with Matt Cutts was created in 2010 and he confirms that Google was using social media back then which is 8 years ago. Since this video has been made the likes of Twitter and Facebook have continued to grow and then grow some more.

So in 2014, Matt Cutts explains further, 4 years on:-

In this video, Matt Cutts explains Google doesn’t take into account the number of followers and explains about crawling issues Google face and why they do not use specific social signals. It is interesting to understand the limited access Google’s robot has to crawl the social platforms. Then when you add fake profiles or ‘bought likes’ this makes the social signals difficult for Google to understand.

Social Media Takes Up So Much Time

To carry out social media properly to add value you to users you have to put a lot of time in. So if it takes so much time, what is the benefit of doing it if Google doesn’t really use the data. Whether it adds value or not, it is important for Brand Authority and then also Social media does appear in search results which means your social media presence will have some impact on your SEO in terms of presence.

No one can give you the definitive answer to working hard on social media will have an amazing impact on the SEO results for your website so we have decided to set up test sites and will compare the results in a few months.

Site 1 = New domain + website with unique content + local citations
Site 2 = New domain + website with unique content + social media
Site 3 = New domain + website – unique content + social media + local citations
Site 4 = New domain + website – unique content + social media + local citations + backlinks

This testing will be very useful so follow us on twitter for updates on our findings.

How To Get Top Of Google