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"I want to protect my brand from competitors."
"I want to try to get more listings on page one in Google."
These are the two most common things we hear when we're talking with a client about whether to buy multiple top-level domains (.com, .net, .info, etc.). Watch the latest episode of 2013 in Review to see why Dave and I feel this is NOT in your company's best interest.
Dan: Alright, for years there's been a limited number of domain names, top-level domain names. Everyone's familiar with .com and .gov and .edu and .mil and all that, .net. Now there's talk, and it looks like a reality, of a lot of other top-level domain names becoming available pertaining to vertical markets, all the way from .xxx for adult sites to .blog, .shop., .online and all. This can be a very expensive and resource-intensive approach for businesses because they want to lock in their companies’ names with all these extensions. Do you guys have any thoughts, or predictions or advice for businesses who might want to branch out into one of these new top-level domains?
Dave: Yeah I mean, we've seen firsthand, folks who fell into that trap because it was really, really a big concern for a lot of years. You wanted to have everything covered, so you bought the .co, the .com, the dot-this, the dot-that, and then it became a mess; especially for us if we're managing for somebody. We had somebody who was up over 300 domain names for their company and managing the renewals, and figuring out where they're all pointing. When it was all said and done, it didn't really get them any extra value.
It just got them a lot of extra headache, a lot of extra cost and their two main domains continue to chug along the way you'd expect them to, like a normal website. They'll still come up first in search and competitors weren't really vying for these alternative TLD's [top-level domains]. They just kind of wasted a lot of money, in my opinion. And, all these new ones, we've already seen a lot of, especially big brands, they're really paranoid about protecting their intellectual property. So, Pepsi and Coke and Nike, they're going to buy every dot-whatever they can and they're stuck managing that. And really, you know, like you aren't still going to try and find “.com.” You know, Nike.com is never going to get overtaken by a competitor looking to buy “nike.xxx”. Google's pretty savvy about that kind of stuff and isn't going to…doesn't want the wrong thing getting served at the wrong time, anyway. So, to me, I just don't see the value of having all of them. Pick one, make it successful; put your energy there.
Dan: So Matt, it sounds like it's more of a protective thing than actually building a brand and a marketing strategy.
Matt: Yeah, as Dave alluded to, it turns into an administrative nightmare. So, not only are you wasting all the money to buy all these domains, but if you do want to try to manage or maintain, or try to get these other domains more visible in the search results, what you end up doing is just spending all this time and energy on something that's, ultimately, not very likely to work. So we definitely don't recommend all companies jumping in and buying all these top-level domains.
Dave: Yeah, if we do anything, we have other top level domains, even here at Aztek. But they have other purposes, so they don't ever compete with our main Aztekweb.com domain. So we have other things for development purposes, or maybe just for our own personal use, or micro-site, stuff like that. That's kind of a different story. What we're talking about is take your main TLD and then buy all these other ones up just to be kind of protective. It's just a lot of extra, wasted energy.
Dan: Alright, be sure to check out this channel for more web marketing and creative content from Matt Mesenger and Dave Skorepa of Aztek, Aztekweb.com, A-Z-T-E-K-W-E-B.com.