back to article You've got to be shipping me: suggests the comedian has diversified into freight forwarding

Comedian Katherine Ryan has found her eponymous website redirected to an Australian shipping company following a domain expiry. It's normally the certificates that catch people out, but it seems Ryan had a chum deal with the website – an ideal arrangement at the time, we're sure, but less than handy when things turn sour. In …

  1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    website redirected to an Australian shipping company

    Ahhh, another benefit of an Australian-style Brexit! Getting in the spirit, earlier I see.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: website redirected to an Australian shipping company

      In Boris-speak an Australian shipping company is one that has been contracted by Chris Grayling.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: website redirected to an Australian shipping company

        I assume she gives Canadian conditions... which are apparently superior????

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: website redirected to an Australian shipping company


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: website redirected to an Australian shipping company

            She's Canadian.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: website redirected to an Australian shipping company

              Eh? :-)))

  2. Silas S. Brown

    Can somebody explain the economics?

    I find this hard to understand: why would someone pay good money to buy an expiring domain and then redirect it to a completely irrelevant business? Yes there might be a small number of new customers from those "oh look where my old link or bookmark takes me now" moments, but are we really talking about enough profit to justify the cost of doing this? And if what they really want is to sell the domain to a higher bidder later, then they don't make it at all obvious it's for sale. Or could the redirection just be a front for some more clandestine operation that somehow requires a long-established domain?

    The same thing happened to in 2017. That one used to be a hobbyist dynamic DNS site for home servers (with 105 users), but when it expired, DropCatch sold the name to a certain resident of Kiev who somehow thought it was worth bidding 2,060 US dollars just to redirect it to a list of hotels in Vienna. Apparently that buyer paid similar amounts to win other domains and redirect them to random other hotel sites. And yet I don't think any of the old Homenet users are going to say "wow, I should book a trip to Vienna" instead of "bother, the server I wanted has moved". How can it possibly be worth paying thousands of dollars per domain to redirect that kind of traffic?

    (I suppose buyers might think there is a small possibility of gaining a little extra Google PageRank from other sites that fail to update old links to the domain they bought, but is this negligible PageRank really worth over 2000 dollars? How many non-updating incoming links did they think HomeNet had?)

    1. ThomH

      Re: Can somebody explain the economics?

      I've always assumed it's a way for the domain-name squatters to earn an extra few pennies, presumably there's some service somewhere you can throw a small amount of money at for them to redirect some of the domains they're sitting upon for some period of time?

      The one domain name I've ever given up, which I didn't even use, is now under the ownership of such a company and would apparently cost me $2,400 to buy back. Given that I'm not interested, and I don't imagine anybody else would be, maybe this is how they'll squeeze back some of the £10 or whatever that they invested in the hope that I might pay?

      1. Silas S. Brown

        Re: Can somebody explain the economics?

        I can understand why they'd do that if it cost them £10, but I still don't understand how anyone thinks it's worth $2,060 to do that. Unless they plan to do something else later, but is still redirecting to Hotels in Vienna after more than 3 years. Seems like the catcher companies have a good business from highly-speculative investors though.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Can somebody explain the economics?

      I wonder if some of them are hoping that the expiration was in error and that someone will come to ask for it back. They might redirect it for a minor ad or SEO benefit so that a nontechnical user can't find their contact information. This means that many users would use one of those domain-negotiation services to ask for its return, which could be more likely to result in a sale. That's supposition though. Some people may think they have a foolproof plan and instead found a foolproof hole into which they're throwing their money. I note that the last domain I let expire hasn't been purchased at all and could be easily obtained by anyone. It seems the squatters realized correctly that I have no intention to pick it up again.

    3. General Purpose Silver badge

      Re: Can somebody explain the economics?

      Maybe they think they can defend against a UDRP claim by showing the domain's in use?

  3. Dabooka

    I'm glad you asked this question

    I was thinking I was missing something really obvious but apparently not.

    I can see the logic if the name was similar, if it was the same but a different TLD, even if it was a competitor (for sport and general amusement) but otherwise what is the point?

  4. CT

    Boringly, winkel = shop in Dutch

    and domein = domain obvs.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I believe having links from a popular website that ranks well on Google search pointing your own relatively obscure website, will give your obscure website a boost in Googles ranking.

    So I suspect that with Katherine Ryan being relatively well known now her website would have be well ranked on Google and thus this shipping company would find its website doing better in Google searches after getting all those links now pointing to it.

    I am not expert on SEO but I remember reading that a while ago, and with Googles search algorithm changing all the time this may no longer be the case

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Any potential benefit would probably be negated by Google downgrading websites that have multiple domain names pointing to them unless the only differ by TLD.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Would you trust your shipping to a company that thinks domain squatting is alright?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Honestly

      You're presuming they have something to do with it.

  7. six_tymes

    comedian or not, yuk to drama.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Very unprofessional

    I don't know the name of the person who was managing her website, but to let personal issues override your professional duty is sloppy at best.

    Not someone I would want to work with.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Very unprofessional

      From the way it was described, I don't think it was his personal issues that caused the problem, but rather her treating him as an "enemy" and refusing to contact him when the issue became apparent.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Very unprofessional

        Still very unprofessional. What should have been done, if the situation is that bad, is that the website developer should have contact Katherine Ryan and said "I no longer want to be associated with managing your website. Please organise for it to be moved elsewhere. If you havent done anything in 2 weeks, I'll be releasing the website and someone else will then be able to buy it."

        Boom done. You've maintained your professionalism, ditched a website you dont want any contact with, and moved on. If she didnt do anything in that 2 weeks, you can point out, hey you provided the necessary information, if she didnt act on it, not your fault. But based on the currently available information, it just comes across as a case of extreme unprofessionalism. I certainly wouldnt hire this developer, would you?

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Very unprofessional

          Again, the impression the article gives is that the lack of communication was entirely one-sided. There's nothing to imply he didn't want any involvement with the site, and as far as we can infer, he was maintaining a professional stance by keeping his work and personal life separate. The issue is that she didn't want his involvement, but she did nothing to actually explain that to him. She just ghosted him and then acted surprised when it all fell apart. I'd be willing to speculate that she probably stopped paying, too.

  9. Bitsminer Silver badge is available! Register it today!

    Seems like her friend's ex is trying to make a point.

    Can't wait for her next show, to see how she handles this one!

  10. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

    Website redirection

    So, I'm not sure if I'm proud of this or not... some years ago I parted with my ex in rather less-than-ideal circumstances. I dealt with the domain for her small business, and in a fit of pique redirected it to the Wikipedia entry for adultery. It was like that for weeks before she noticed...

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Website redirection

      "I'm not sure if I'm proud of this or not"


      Didn't post revenge porn

      Didn't throw acid in their face

      Didn't kill them



    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Website redirection

      > I'm not sure if I'm proud of this or not

      What reason could you possibly have to be proud of that?

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Website redirection

        Soy un perdedor

        I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

        (Double-barrel buckshot)

        Soy un perdedor

        I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

  11. Peter Clarke 1

    Exports to Oz

    One news story yesterday was about £44m of MDMA being shipped to Australia in an excavator boom. Maybe the crooks used this company?? They were caught when the dark web mail server was cracked earlier this year.

  12. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Better than reality

    I wish comedian Katherine Ryan would take over Brexit shipping, plus trade deals with Australia, from comedian Boris Johnson.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Better than reality

      No one wants that gig.

  13. cipnt

    Strange, domain has no SEO value it seems:

  14. quartzz

    tenuous link alert, but @Davetvchannel has sort of kill'd my enthusiasm for the half dozen or so staple diets of the channel. (seeing the 50th repeat of Rob Beckett or Jon R'son has sapped my 'want' to see any of their (new?) material

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      You may of not noticed, but there was an illness that went around for a couple of days that made filming stuff white hard.

      1. quartzz

        Davetv channel has been about the same since 2016

  15. TheProf


    I'm not familiar with the oeuvre of this particular artiste but I'm assuming she is of the current 'topical humour' genre.

    That being the case I'm sure she'll be able to produce side-splitting commentary and observations on the trials and indeed travails she will undoubtedly encounter during the long and tedious efforts to regain control of her website.

    Comedy doesn't just write itself you know.

  16. Richard Cranium

    Why redirect there?

    It could be a strategy to make it harder to dispute ownership because it's not being used to Katherine's detriment, like hosting derogatory content about her or masquerading as her official site.

    If the name was pointed at a page saying "name for sale" it might be possible to argue that the registration was vexatious. GDPR has meant that the registrant's contact details are no longer "public", it's not supposed to be possible to find out who the owner is. That does make me wonder how The Register has a trail of recent owners.

    This is what Nominet say about domain expiry:

    "Once you’ve gone over your expiry date, you’ll still have time to renew your domain before it gets cancelled, so there’s no need to panic. But if we don’t receive a renewal request within 30 days of the expiry date, we’ll suspend the domain name. This means all services that use that domain name, such as your website and email, will stop working. We’ll send you a suspension warning seven days before this happens, and will also send you a suspension notice when it takes place, unless your registrar has opted you out of receiving these. It’s still possible to renew your domain during this time.

    When your domain has been suspended for 60 days without being renewed, we’ll schedule it for cancellation. We’ll send you one final reminder to renew your domain 83 days after the expiry date. As this is just seven days before your domain is scheduled for cancellation, you’ll have to act quickly if you wish to renew it at this last stage."

    The way I read that, there's a 30 day period of grace then 60 days of suspension i.e. the address will not link to the web-site or email so it must have been unavailable but nobody (including katherine) noticed between 17 Sept and 17 Nov. (or did notice but didn't take appropriate action) so losing the name is no big deal, there are plenty of suitable variants.

    If the friend's ex- was proving uncooperative during that 60 day period Nominet could probably transfer control even if the registrant name was "friends ex" (I needed to do something similar a couple of times and it worked).

    In terms of traffic redirection, I guess search engines will have been getting an error for 60 days and either removed the name or allocated it much lower position in results so little value to the new owner - at least until there's news coverage like this so everyone goes to take a look...

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