Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.

1/18/06

Everyone Thinks They Are Domain Name Experts

Found an article on the web titled 10 Tips For Choosing Domain Names. I believe it should have been titled My Top 10 Opinions Due To Lack of Experience in Choosing Domain Names. I'll post my opinions along with the author of the article's opinions and let you decide. The author's opinions will be in blockquotes.

1) If you are buying a .co.uk domain name (e.g. newbusiness.co.uk), make sure you also buy the other main TLD's (Top Level Domains) for the same prefix (e.g. newbusiness.com, newbusiness.net). This will ensure that no-one else can come in at a later stage and capitalise on your brand name using another major domain name type. Although there are dozens of TLD types available, we've always purchased the .co.uk, .com, .net and .org variants to protect our brands. There's no harm buying more variants, but do make sure you take care of the important ones.
Due to ICANN limiting namespace to just a few TLDs, this is a common myth that businesses have. If I find a really good domain name that has generic keywords that specifically match a well search for keyphrase I want to target, I might register it in more than one TLD, but I don't register all my domain names in every TLD there is.

To protect a brand is called getting a trademark. To register everything in multiple TLDs just further limits namespace and is an unnecessary cost.

2) If you do a domain name search and find only the .co.uk is available for your chosen prefix (e.g. newbusiness), it may be worth your while choosing another domain name prefix where most or all of the TLD's are available. We spent quite some time researching suitable domain names before deciding on Bytestart - dozens in fact.
So they are saying that if you find a good .com or .co.uk domain name you should not register it unless all the less used tlds are also available? That makes no sense whatsoever. If a good domain name is available on the most preferred tld, grab it.

3) It is possible that your small business may grow into different areas of interest, or even change tack altogether. For this reason, it may be an idea not to make your domain name too specific to one area of your expertise.
Totally wrong. If you want to target specific keywords and phrases then you should choose a domain name that is exactly and specifically targeted toward that keyword or phrase. If you expand into other areas of interest, get another domain name.

While domain names are not the only thing that helps you with search results, it is one of the factors. The titles of your webpages, the keywords in your metatags and in your alt tags, the names of your images, as well as the keywords in your text all work together to optimize a webpage. The domain name is just the first step because you usually choose it before you build the website.

Nonspecific domain names like the author suggests are like saying "I'm going to spend $5000 to have my website developed by a professional to optimize it for the search engines, but I won't spend $10 to register a domain name to aid in the process."

4) Keep your domain name as short as possible and simple - it needs to be memorable, and preferably not contain hyphens.
This statement is so 1995. The author may have slept the last 10 years, but the search engines have not.

Some experts even maintain that hyphens could HELP you because it seperates the words out. However, I don't agree with that, since search engines are now capable of seperating the phrases into seperate words on their own.

I also disagree with the author. I would much rather have the specific keyphrase I am targeting with hyphens between the words than a domain name that does not have the key phrase I want without the hyphens.

As far as short domain names go, only if you plan to advertise your domain name offline on the radio or tv, etc. is this that important. People click links on the web. They bookmark your site if they wish to return. They do not need to remember your domain name no more than you have need to memorize all the phone numbers of the people you call. You either use the list in your phone or speed dial.

It is nice to have a short domain name and if ICANN ever allows the creation of hundreds more TLDs, then everyone can have a good short one-word domain name. But as it stands, there aren't any left in the major TLDs.

5) A few web promotion firms suggest inserting your major keywords into your domain name wherever possible to help with your search engine rankings. We do not subscribe to this view. Sure, there may be some small benefits in having some keywords in your domain name (e.g. "the-best-web-designers.co.uk"), but your web promotion effort should come later. Your domain name should be chosen to best represent your company's interests rather than to please the fickle search engines!
Yeah, let's not try to please those fickle search engines dammit! Besides they are only the way 80% of the users find what they are looking for. I only need that other 20% to be able to find me anyway.

Thats like me trying to give you a dollar and you saying, "No thanks, I already have one." Plan to optimize your website from the very beginning, starting with your domain name choice. Don't wait until later. Optimize your website as you build it. Don't build it then worry about optimizing it. The author is trying to make a 10 step process here out of something that is really all one step. Maybe they get paid to do each "phase".

6) Allowed characters - Domain names can only contain letters, numbers, and dashes. Spaces and symbols are not allowed. Domain names are not case sensitive.
Finally! I can say I agree with something the author wrote, even though this can barely be called a "tip" since you would find this out as you register your domain name anyway. I could have just said "Well, Duh!"

7) Choose a reputable domain name supplier. A company which has been around a while and is well known is a good bet. We'd also recommend choosing a company which provides a user interface so that you can manually edit your domain name details (email forwarding, transferring your domain name elsewhere).
Okay, here is where I'll say it. Well, Duh!

8) If you intend to buy a sizeable number of domains, try to 'park' them with one single domain name company. Domains are far easier to administrate and keep up-to-date if they are in a single place you trust.
I really really want to say it again, but I won't.

9) You should ensure that your domain name is not a commonly known brand name or trademark. Something like "Microsoftwebdesign.co.uk" would not be a good choice!
I have to, I really do. Well, Duh!

10) Make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date. Although your domain name supplier is bound to contact you when a domain name comes up for renewal, it is your responsibility in the end. Going back to point 8) again, for this reason, having a single domain name supplier will help.
I see now. The author didn't really have 10 tips, so these last few were sort of filler. Yes keep your info up-to-date. Good tip. *Yawn*. Thank you.

I'm sure this author wants to be helpful and they probably have that all-necessary college degree that we all know is final proof that you are a good webmaster and know all about domain names, however, some real-life practical web experience might be a little more useful if you are going to post as an expert on domain names.

by Chris McElroy aka NameCritic
More things that just piss me off

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger