Have you got your domain names covered?Written by Gim Yeap
The story of domain name dispute between etoy.com and eToys.com uncovers an important issue facing all webmasters, should we register domain names that are similar to ours? In eToys debacle, a group of artists registered domain name "etoy.com" in 1995. Then in 1997, an online toy store bought domain name "eToys.com" and in 1999, chose to sue etoy.com for use of a similar name. At first, etoy.com was forced to shut down it's site but thanks to public pressure eToys.com dropped it's lawsuit in January. (For more on this, please read http://www.rtmark.com/etoyline.html) Of course, not all domain name disputes will lead to court but there are reasons why webmasters should consider registering similar domain names. Firstly, we spend a lot of time and effort marketing our websites. It would all go to waste if someone registered a similar sounding website and all your traffic went to them instead. Worse, if this site's focus was completely irrelevant to yours, then users would be totally confused and will probably not return again. For example, if you had a site called AboutBigApple.com dedicated to city of New York and there's another site called AboutBigApples.com all about apples. A visitor expecting to find pictures on Central Park or Empire State Building would be served up photos of Grannys and Galas instead. Rather disorienting don't you think? Another good reason for registering similar domain names is to use them as doorway pages to help improve your search engine position. So you could have each domain name pointing to a single doorway page which is optimised using META tags and descriptive titles. The doorway page then links to your original site either automatically or via a link or button which users click on. With this, you would have protected all permutations of your domain names AND helped improved your search engine rankings.
So how do we decide which similar domain names to register? It's entirely up to you but following guidelines can help. Say you have a domain called xxxxxx.com, possible high-risk domain names would be :
Dot-Com Will Always be King!Written by Wayne Ford
Look out! The new domains are coming! “Dot-biz is going to be next coming of dot-com,” I recently read in an article in Denver Post. The buzz has begun. Seven new top-level domains have been approved by ICANN, organization that governs domains, and could be available as early as spring of this year. The new domains approved are .biz, .info, .aero, .coop, .musuem, .pro, and .name. Pre-registration sites like, PreRegisterYourDomains.com, already have begun taking applications claiming “3 million domain names will be registered in first five minutes.” That same Denver Post article later says ‘If predictions from analysts hold true – that dot-biz will rival popularity of dot-com – startups will no longer have to settle for second-tier domain names.’ Hogwash! – To put it gently. Dot-com will always be supreme ruler of all domain names. Here’s why:
Word Association. Ask anyone first three words that come to mind when you say ‘Internet’ and one will almost always be ‘dot-com’ along with ‘web’ or ‘surfing.’ Dot-com is forever chiseled into our brain directly associated with Internet.
‘Old habits die hard.’ The new domains will confuse average everyday web surfer. With so many suffixes it will be harder to find information they are looking for. Out of frustration they will, most likely, resort to old standby, dot-com.
Marketing. Big businesses like IBM and Microsoft have already spent billions promoting their dot-coms’ in print, and media advertising. Is Microsoft going to switch to promoting Microsoft.biz instead of Microsoft.com? This is highly unlikely.
Brand Protection. The same people who own corresponding dot-com will most likely buy up most of dot-biz (said to be restricted to business only) and dot-info (open to anyone) to protect their valuable brand. Someone with fishland.com is not going to want someone else to own fishland.biz and fishland.info. The real winners here are lawyers, who should be kept busy for years with trademark infringement suits.