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Alternate Domain Names
Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:30 AM
Quoted and modestly paraphrased from the client:
"I attended a fantastic seminar this weekend about online retail businesses. One of the things I learned was that I should have variations of my domain name registered as "insurance."
Already I found that people want to type in some_name (singular) gift shop.com. I should have all those names with extensions registered. Also misspellings of domain names should be registered. Like some people probably don't know how to spell 'whatever'.
Bob says to client in so many words, "you are solving the wrong problem". You need to concentrate on better content, links, participate blogs, even social networking thingies, perhaps some PPC. Your business name isn't branded, so why should folks who don't know of you use the business name in a keyword search?"
Client still wants to get all sorts of variations of the busness name registered. Bob says, I'll run in by the smart folks just to be sure. Over, Bob
Posted 28 February 2007 - 08:59 AM
The only reason to snap up additional domains IMO is if you're trying to protect your Brand or your Trademark. In other words, for purely Business reasons.
There is no SEO advantage. And the only traffic the other domains are going to get is if someone already knows about the domain and tries to go directly to it but mistypes the domain. Trying to capitalize on type-in traffic by guessing which of the myriad ways people can muck up typing in a domain name simply isn't a good business strategy.
Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:03 AM
You'll want to connect all the domains to one site and redirect them to your main domain name.
If it costs $X per year to register a domain, ask yourself how many people (N) are going to type the alternate domain, and then decide if you'll willing to pay $X/N per click.
Randy, some domain names are very prone to misuse. For instance, if the company name is Joe's Discount Furniture, but the domain is www.myjoes.com, it's probably a darned good idea to register www.myjoe.com, www.joesfuniture.com, and www.joesdiscountfurniture.com. I've seen brands that had common misuses of their name registered for use by pornography. This creates huge branding headaches. $10 to register a domain is way cheaper than $3,000 to file and prosecute a UDRP arbitration.
IMHO registering extensions like .net and .us is silly. If you have the .com, there is ~0% chance of somebody typing some other TLD by accident.
Edited by jehochman, 28 February 2007 - 09:18 AM.
Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:42 AM
In my mind this is a misunderstanding of how the internet and search engines should be used. If someone has already been given the name of the business (but can't spell it out correctly), this is not a search. Setting up 10 or 20 alternate domains to help this person does have some limited value, but not SEO value - and yes I understand about the unethical practice of camping on domains.
Funny thing - I have sat over folks' shoulders while helping for one reason or another and seen them repetitively enter a domain name in the google search field rather then in the URL bar. It is kind of a different but related problem.
Posted 28 February 2007 - 09:59 AM
Part of the equation might be (as Jonathan alluded to) how likely it is people would misspell the business name and how many highly likely variations there might be (myjoes.com versus myjoe.com, for instance).
And, as Jonathan wisely pointed out, there is extremely little value in snapping up all the non-.com variations, no matter what the registrars might tell you when you go to register a new domain. Remember, they're in the business of getting you to register domains. They don't really care whether those domain names turn out to be useful to you or not...
So what the client needs to decide is, will the number of people a year who mis-type the domain name be great enough, and the amount of purchases they will likely make be high enough to be worth the cost of those 10-20 additional registrations? In other words, will those people likely purchase enough to cover the cost of the product, the cost of the domain registration, any profit margin needed to keep the shop open and still allow enough left over to contribute to the companion animal charity?
If so, then it's a good idea to purchase the domains.
If not, the purchase will simply absorb money that otherwise could have been donated to the charity (or reduce the profits of the store, thus potentially jeopardizing the business itself), and that makes it a bad idea.
Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:17 AM
I still have trouble recommending this route. I also 'wonder' whether the folks who give this advice through the seminar are tempering it with the background of this thread.
Any further recommendations for me to her? Better advice to get an entry-level eCommerce site on the maps? -Bob
Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:36 AM
In fact, we've had more than one occasion in the past where someone has come here to check up on advice they'd received in a paid seminar, only to find out the seminar presenter was either an idiot or a terrible communicator, since their advice -- if implemented as the attendee had understood it -- would not only have done no good, but could have caused actual harm.
I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here, but the advice the seminar presenter gave -- while potentially appropriate for a company with a strong brand -- is, as you yourself have pointed out, not necessarily universally applicable. The danger -- as you've seen -- is that people to whom the advice doesn't apply will latch on to it as some sort of "magic bullet" that will solve their problems... and use it to attempt to avoid the potentially harder work of doing what it takes to make a truly effective, well-ranking website.
Our Tips for New SEOs thread pretty neatly summarizes our best advice on improving rankings and traffic. Once you get that traffic, it's a matter of converting it to sales. There are a number of resources that specialize in this. Two I personally find particularly useful are MarketingExperiments.com and GrokDotCom.com (the archives are full of interesting articles).
Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:48 AM
Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:25 AM
Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:15 PM
Bob, as you correctly surmised, this "advice" is simply wrong and bad. End of story!
Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:50 PM
A company I'm doing some work for hasn't decided what domain name they want to go with - though they've narrowed it down to 10 or so candidates. Their new web-based product will go live in a few months and I've pointed all the domain-name candidates to a temporary site filled with relevant content and keywords.
Will this hurt or help search engine placement?
Will the placement be for each of the domains such that the one that's settled on eventually will get the appropriate listing in search engines?
I've forwarded and 'masked' them in the godaddy panel as a temporary redirect. Is this the right way to go?
Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:48 PM
Yes. The search engines can't read any info on a site that is redirected. They simply see the resulting site.
You are really wasting your time getting a bunch of domains and pointing them to some pages with keywords. That has nothing to do with SEO and won't help you in the least.
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