Jumat, 11 Juli 2008

Is Your Domain Costing You Traffic?

You visited a great website some time ago that had some fantastic information on it. It is not easily found in search engines results so you decide to type the domain name into your favorite browser. The problem is that the url spells out something like keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com.

Does that sound ethical to you? It maybe helpful with those search engine rankings but for many visitors that can be a pain in you know what to type out.

For years I worked in an internet café and was surprised to know that many persons can't type in a hyphen. Instead of finding out how to do it, they just move on to an alternate site hence a loss of traffic.

The average computer user can be a lazy fellow indeed. That's why there are so many keyboard shortcuts. He needs to complete his task as soon as possible.

Ever wonder why the Googles, Yahoos, Amazons and Ebays of the online world are so successful? It's because there domain name play a significant role in there branding.

There are countless persons logging on for the first time each day in search of information that can assist them in the iniation process. It is imperative that your domain name play a major part in creating a bond with your viewers.

For almost four years I marketed a free website that was hosted on Geocities. My "domain" spelt out Geocities.com/Myname which made marketing feel like running with an anchor tied to my legs. I can't even imagine the amount of traffic and credibility that I lost due to that single factor.

Does it work? It can and sometimes it won't. I believe that having a domain with too many words in it can be a turnoff just like having a Geocities site. It seems unprofessional for a company to have a name that contrasts the credibility that they are trying to create.

Some domain names are like a cargo train several comportments long. Why? Since some search engines do not give any significance to the meta keyword tag, some webmasters fill their domain with their keywords.

A good domain does not guarantee success as I found out. But a memorable and easy to spell name can be beneficial to both you and your visitors. You can have an easier time reaching them and they will have an easier time finding you with a quick type in of your domain.

I think it is best to put your keywords for each page in your file name. That way you, the search engines and your viewers all win.

By Nicholas Dixon

Good Domain Names Make Your Dreams Memorable

"What was the name of that website? It was good. It has something to do with..."

Is your web site like many others?

Domain names always on the tip of a visitor's tongue, but not quite memorable enough?

Your choice of domain name needs to be easy to remember, as well as focused enough that your visitor will know right away what your site is about.

A Few Rules

Some rules do apply when deciding on a domain name:

Domain names must be at least two characters long but no more than 63 characters, not counting the TLD.

You can use any combination of letters, numbers, or hyphens, but you can't use a hyphen as the first or last character.

Domain names are not case-sensitive, so my-home-based-business-advisor.com is the same as My-Home-Based-Business-Advisor.com.

Choosing A Domain Name

Choosing good domain names is almost as important as choosing your actual business (see our Startup Ideas page).

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to picking good domain names.

Some say to choose a short, concise name.

Some like numbers in the name, some don't.

Hyphens and underscores -- as opposed to words all running together -- are another debated topic. It's mostly a matter of easier reading for your human visitors. Which do you find easier to read?




Generally, the hyphens between words make domain names easier to read for most people.

While search engines don't rank domain names, a keyword-rich name will let your visitors know what your web site is about before they get there. This makes them more comfortable because they know what they're getting in advance.

Also, when you get other sites to link to yours, that link is usually based on your domain name. This means that your main keyphrase (which you used as your domain name) will be the actual anchor text and search engines do give additional ranking for that.

Domain names play a major role in making your dream memorable to the world.

Take the time to do it right and your dream of a home-based business will be seen all over the world!

For a more detailed explanation of domain names and domain registration, and more great advice for your home-based business, please visit My Home-Based Business Advisor.

By Terry Nicholls

Warning: Your Domain Name Could Infringe On Trademark Rights!

If you have or are about to purchase a domain name, YOU could be in trouble and you don't even know it yet...

See, what the domain sellers won't tell you is that the domain name you are purchasing or have purchased can possibly infringe on trademark rights and you can lose that domain name or even worse.

Trademark and servicemark laws apply not only off-line but on-line as well and they even apply to domain names.

Now, a trademark generally applies to goods where as a servicemark applies to services. For the purpose of this article I will refer to trademarks as the same rules apply.

A trademark can be a word, name, symbol, or device and it is used to distinguish and indentify the goods and services from one person or company from that of another.

The purpose of a trademark is to prevent confusion in the eyes of the consumer relating to particular goods and services. Basically, they are in place to prevent unfair competition.

So with that said, just because you purchased a particular domain name it does not necessarily mean you have exclusive rights to it.

If there is a trademark in your domain name, the mark owner has a legal right to send you a "cease and desist" letter and possibly take that domain name away from you.

If you don't believe a word I've said so far then I offer myself as proof because it happened to me. I recently lost one of my domain names under this exact same circumstance.

For legal reasons I can't tell you the domain name as I agreed to make no further references to it, but there were two words in my domain name that were associated with a trademark.

Now, I wasn't aware of this when I purchased the domain name. And I definitely wasn't aware of trademark laws.

Don't be ignorant on the subject like I was. You can avoid any potential problems by educating yourself and thereby preventing the samething from happening to you.

Don't make the same mistake that I did!

Do your research before you buy a domain name and make sure there is NO trademark associated with that name.

There are trademark search engines where you can type in a word or a phrase and it will tell you if it is a trademark.

You can visit the United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) website to do a trademark search:


Now, in my case I chose not to fight the trademark dispute and gave up my domain name voluntarily. I felt it just wasn't worth the time, money and headaches to launch a fight over this.

If this should ever happen to you, you do have rights and there are proper channels to go through to settle the dispute. Contact a lawyer who specializes in this field.

And don't even think for one minute that this sort of thing can't happen to you. Trust me. If you have a trademark in your domain name it is only a matter of time before you get that letter in the mail like I did.

There are numerous cases all over the internet concerning disputes over trademark and domain names.

Don't you be one of them...

If you would like more information on the subject of trademarks and domain names then I highly recommend you visit this website:


This article and any links associated with it are for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice. As always, speak to an attorney who specializes in this field in the event of a dispute.

By Al Martinovic

How To Really Profit from Domain Names

Have you heard about domain names that sold for over a million dollars? Inspired by this, you imagine registering a great domain name, hanging onto it for a while, and then selling it off to become the next multi-millionaire. It could happen, but don`t count on it!

First of all, many of the truly great domain names are already taken. Second, the dot com bust took some of the wind out of inflated domain name prices. (If you sell your domain name for millions of dollars worth of stock in a publicly traded dot com flop, what is the name really worth?)

The cybersquatter buys domain names totally on speculation. Sometimes he will register names of famous brands, companies, or individuals. Time and again, these domain name speculators learn the hard way that they must respect intellectual property rights. They hope that some large corporation will pay big bucks to them for the use of the company`s own (already trademarked) name. Instead, they end up with threatening letters from a law firm for their attempts at extortion.

However, you can still make money from domain names if you are sensible in your approach. Here are some suggestions on ways to profit.

1. Affiliate Programs: Use your domain name to promote an appropriate affiliate program. Either redirect to the affiliate site or write a review that links to them.

2. Informational Sites: Create content and then profit from it by earning advertising revenue through Google AdSense or a similar program.

3. Redirect to Your Own Site: Some reasons you might want to do this include preventing competitors from using a particular domain name and benefiting from searches some users perform by domain name. (For example, if they wanted to order flowers, they might just type "flowers.com" in their web browser. You could get some traffic and sales this way.)

4. Product Sites: Create your own or sell someone else`s product appropriate to your domain name.

5. Park Your Domain Names: You might feel that your name has real potential for resale value. There are companies that will allow you to park your domain on their servers, advertise that your name is for sale, and split advertising revenue with you.

The trick is to generate traffic for your domain name. That traffic in turn will create revenue. Then, when you go to sell your domain name, you will have a few things going for you.

First, you will have a fully developed website. A fully constructed building on a piece of land increases the value of the real estate property. Similarly, the value of your domain name is enhanced by a complete and operating website.

Second, you have traffic. Just as a shopping mall with no traffic results in no sales, so a website must have traffic to generate income.

Third, you have income. An income property, such as an apartment building, can be appraised on the basis of its income (as well as other factors). Similarly, the gross income, net profits and cashflow of a website have value. For example, if someone offered you $1,000 for your domain name and website when it was generating $10,000 per day in profits, you would likely laugh at him.

You really can profit from your domain name investments by adding value and properly developing your web properties.

By J. Stephen Pope

The Value of a Good Domain Name

Domain names to the internet are the as necessary as wheels on a car. All websites need a domain name; it is how your website is found on the internet by your potential customers. It is your unique identifier and two organizations can not have the same domain name. Your domain name is not really purchased or bought; it is actually leased for a year to 10 years.

Choosing a good domain name requires some thought, because picking a good name may be an important factor in getting return visitors to your site. You will want to keep it short and to the point, no more than 14 letters. This can help reduce the chance of a visitor mistyping your site and ending up on another site.

It is a good idea to choose a domain name that reflects the type of business you plan to do. You will use the name often in your website and if done right it can help you with promote your site with the search engines. What are some tips for choosing a domain name?

Tip 1 - Buy it early. Take a day or two to decide on your name. Think it through, but, don't procrastinate. Over 30,000 domain names are sold a day. Don't let someone else beat you to a good domain name.

Tip 2 - Buy your name in .com and .net. Let's say you buy domain name KCBBQ.com. Your competitor, who also sells Kansas City BBQ sauce, knowingly buys KCBBQ.net and maybe even KCBBQ.biz. Why would he do that? Isn't he limiting his own business by getting a name similar to yours and won't he confuse his customers? Don't think your competitor is innocent. He has just engaged in a domain name trick! He is not planning on conducting his primary business under these names. He bought those names to TAP into your business! Avoid this common newbie mistake and buy all the necessary domain names to protect your interests.

Tip 3 - Buy alternate domain names. Domain names are so cheap that it is affordable to practice this tip. Let's say you decide that you want to also buy KCBBQ.com and .net why not purchase KC-BBQ.com and .net. These other sites won't go to waste. You can point these sites to your main domain name KCBBQ.com and increase the traffic to your site.

Tip 4 - What if all good domain names are taken? You should consider buying a previously owned domain name. As we mentioned before domain names can be purchased for multiple years. Sometimes the lifecycle of a website comes to an end and the domain name already has a good page ranking with search engines. You can effectively buy yourself traffic without any work.

Tip 5 - If at all possible don't choose a domain name that is close to competitors, just because you like the name. For example, if there is a web hosting company called domainexpress.com, it is not recommended that you pick domain-express.com. Take some time think it out, but, don't wait too long picking your internet identity. It is a necessary exercise in defining your buisness and it can be fun. If you don't like it, the worst thing that can happen is that you -sell it; There are profits to be made in doing that too!

By Tariq Giaziri

1-800-Get-Rich Can Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?

The toll free number 1-800-Get-Rich belongs to the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Perfect vanity number for a casino, right? Well apparently not. Their website shows the actual numbers, 1-800-438-7424 for the marketing department of Resorts Atlantic City. Those NUMBERS are nowhere near as memorable as is the mnemonic device of letters representing those numbers on the telephone keypad. It makes you wonder, did the casino have bad luck (no pun intended) or receive bad publicity for their 800-Get-Rich phone number?

Doing a Google search for 1-800-GET-RICH returns several spoof articles using the toll free number to make light of get rich quick schemes. Seems as well suited to a casino as to satire, since gambling represents the ultimate get rich quick scheme.

But on the web there's a another element to toll free numbers you must consider. 800 numbers are used as domain names which seem to stick in our memory as a web address just as well as a phone number. Resorts Atlantic City Hotel Casino should buy the domain name www.1800getrich.com from the current owner and assign their marketing department toll free 800 vanity number to the Casino instead.

The domain name www.1800GetRich.com is for sale as of this writing if you visit that web address. You can be certain that the current domain owner knows that the toll free vanity telephone number is owned by Resorts International Hotels www.resortsac.com which matches the domain www.1800getrich.com. It has to be enticing to think a large international hotel corporation may want his domain.

The casino owns the toll free number but isn't using the mnemonic for the numbers (GET-RICH for 438-7424). Makes you wonder about the history of the domain name, since WHOIS records show it was reserved only this past May of 2004, AND the history of the vanity number since it is going unused, at least on the web site. Hmmmm...

There are vanity phone number resellers online that actually specialize in providing 800 numbers with matching domain name for those seeking the consistent branding for their business. Clearly this is simply a marketing ploy by savvy 800 number vendors, as those domains may be full of hyphens and may cost more than they should due to the perception of value-added.

An interesting aspect to toll free numbers as domain names is that of 1-800 copyright and trademarks. Take for example, the well known flower retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.com where they use both the domain name and the toll free number. Both are copy- righted and trademarked names and essential to the business.

Legal precedent allows trademark owners to confiscate domains from "cybersquatters" who buy domain names containing trade- marked or copyrighted words and phrases hoping to sell that domain back to the trademark holder. But it is less clear an issue when it comes to descriptive toll free and vanity phone numbers. How about 1-800-PINDROP.com - which you would think would be registered to Sprint Communications? Curiously, as of October of 2004, this domain was available. What do they use? www.pindrop.com (without the 1-800) goes to Sprint.com.

It appears there are wide inconsistencies in using toll free 800 phone numbers as domain names but they can be memorable, which is one measure of a good domain name. They also aren't limiting as to word length. I've always felt it's a bit odd to type in 1800keywordphrase.com as a domain name, but only because there is no hyphen in it. 1800 looks like eighteen hundred and is just as strange as typing 247 for domains as a suggestion they are always open, more often seen as 24/7, but domain names can't have that slash mark in them.

As a matter of fact, I've always disliked numbers of any kind in domain names - especially those using numbers in place of the words "to" (up2me.com)& "for" (good4you.com) But, as owner of http://website101.com I'm at odds with the dislike for numbers in domain names. Still, it works better than 1800website.com or 1-800-website.com, both owned by Verio Web Hosting and both purchased in August of 1996, but neither have web sites configured at those addresses. They must not have been a worthwhile domains, yet they keep them.

If it offers you another option for a memorable web address, 800 number domains may be worth considering.

By Mike Valentine


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet"
-Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)

A rose perhaps but not your domain name!

Welcome to the dotcom bubble! Here, any successful e-tailer should tell you that there's more to a name than just the name itself. This article serves precisely that purpose -against the backdrop of quality domain naming strategies and styles, auctions, speculators and court conflicts, to convince you why your online endeavor needs that perfect domain name.

There's no point in coming up with that absolutely fabulous idea for online selling plus a perfect site to launch from, as long as you don't have 'the' name you need. Choosing a name that will eventually contribute to your brand equity, profits, internet marketing and above all -your online credibility, shouldn't be done haphazardly. Especially, since it's so easily purchased (for a low startup capital), easily maintained and one that, if you choose, may be disposed off at a substantial amount. Intentionally or otherwise, your domain name becomes your de facto brand name, a location or an experience your visitors relate to in the long run. Even if you plan to sell it later on to prospective buyers, it is only an asset! Your challenge is to come up with that one name to funnel visitors through.

Brandmeisters today seem to understand the significance of site names, especially since the emergence of a number of me-too sites. Like a Washington Post reporter put it - "feature for feature, service for service, discount for discount, even annoyance for annoyance", a number of sites may turn out to be a close match to yours. Quoting Rebecca Saunders, author of the Big Shot series, "Names have to sound fresh and new even if the site duplicates one already on the net. Names should stir the imagination or otherwise gain the surfer's attention. Further site name should be as simple as possible, they should be believable, and they should be easy to pronounce, pleasing to the ear, easy to spell and therefore easy to look up on a search engine." Here's more on building your handle.

The 'aha' name

Domain name consultants will serve you innumerable dos and don'ts on internet domain naming - a feat that could leave you grumbling with limited choices. Personally, your domain naming methodology need not be absolutely conventional, as long as your imagination is not slave to impractical logic and common sense.

Begin with a paper, pencil and loads of patience. Consider seeking the advice of kith and kin, while you scramble ideas in your brain. Follow closely on what you ought to and ought not to consider. For example, consider characteristics, features, advantages and possibly anything that relates to your products and services. Now try to come up with a domain name that either addresses that one fundamental concept of the site, or that weds two or more key concepts in a single name. All the while, keep in mind, your site's goals, the image you wish to portray and your target audience. Don't compromise on your image-how you want your company to be perceived and it's relation to your core business memorability. Jot down your list of ideas. Then narrow it down to those names you think are most reflective of your products/services. Most importantly, determine if the domain name you like is available and that it doesn't violate any existing trademarks or copyrights. The last thing you'd want is your hard thought idea of that domain name accidentally offending a fellow netizen. Make sure that it doesn't mean something entirely different in another language and that you don't spare chance for the public to associate anything negative with it (easier said than done!). Care for the ins and outs of classic and non classic approaches in domain naming? Read on.

Unless you are a domain name squatter or a start-up capitalizing on domain names - save those tongue-twisters, masqueraded phrases and unpronounceable names.

Your creativity levels, thought and effort should be directed towards one that's short and sweet. Though, a long name, embedded with your major keywords, can get your site a high search engine ranking, there is no reason you should take advantage of the 67 character limit provided for domain names. Besides, you are too late now. The record of the longest domain name has been set by a Welsh village, with its registration of llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com.

Concentrate on your visitors comfort levels. Leave them no scope for confusion and no loophole to err. Give them a name they can easily guess (without having to quip over the spelling and the location of hyphens) and hopefully, they'll reciprocate with more clicks.

You could always rely on those prefixes (e, i, net, web, the, my) and suffixes (world, business, company, store). The power of vowels unleashed, you'd generate a potential brand name. E.g. ebay.com, ivillage.com, pcworld.com, smallbusiness.com

Lucky the business if it's creator has that perfect proper noun to lend his site a name. Atkins.com named after Dr. Atkins and Dell.com after its founder and CEO Michael Dell. A traditional business moving online could capitalize on it's established brand name. Even acronyms could yield quick domain names. Microsoft is an acronym for MICROcomputer SOFTware and so is Yahoo for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

Targeting search engine rankings - e.g. Yahoo that follows alphabetic classification of websites - consider site names beginning with the digit 1 or the letter 'a'. Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon.com, cites this as one of his reasons for the name's choice.

But for those of you driven by the age old myth - that search engines have a liking for words that are separated by dashes- wake up! Today, when search engines focus on the site content, hyphenated names have no influence. Domain names with or without hyphens is in itself a topic for a forum. A good idea is to register both options if possible and redirect visitors to one site. Walmart.com never let go off it's original registration (wal-mart.com), even after it changed name. Now both names take you to the same site.

Think of it on a broader angle. A few dollars spend to secure all possible variants of your name (with alternate extensions) will secure your visitors, otherwise likely to contribute to competitor site traffic. More - register possible names your visitors are likely to associate to your domain. The retailer Buy.com registered the domains: "10percentoffamazon.com," "10percentoffreel.com," and "10percentoffegghead.com". Proctor & Gamble is an extreme case of this blanket approach. It registered hundreds of generic domain names relating to all aspects of personal hygiene and healthcare: pimples.com, badbreath.com, underarm.com, diarrhea.com etc. They advertise only one, but use the others to bring traffic, and point all the domain names to one site.

Though generic names can't be trademarked, are sources of controversy and usually unavailable (if not, costly), your prospective domain name could sound of the genre of women.com, Hotels.com, Furniture.com, Art.com and shoes.com. Nonetheless, the loss of uniqueness in generic names is a serious reason for their unpopularity among namers. Now guess why Amazon was'nt named book.com and ebay not auction.com.

So, if the dictionary lets you down, do not fret to think of words that are arbitrary, previously unheard of and totally unrelated. Yahoo, Google and BlueTooth.com don't owe their origins to the thesaurus. Sometimes it pays to be whimsy!


In just around 2 years, the number of website names registered has grown from 200 to a voluminous 125,000 per month. And as yet, already over 1.6 million domains have been registered, including the subtitle above! Chances of you finding a 3 character .com domain name unregistered (not on sale!), are thin? very thin.

Here's the good news. Everyday, around 20,000 domain names expire and get deleted. In addition to the generic domain extensions such as .com, .net, etc. there are approximately 250 different international domains each with their own two-letter country code extension. Speculations of new TLD (Top Level Domain) names include .firm, .store, .arts, .info, .nom, .biz, .pro, .aero, .coop, .museum and .name.

So, don't settle for the first domain name you think of! Although the supply of domain names is diminishing daily, it's better to expend more thought at the beginning and save money later. Don't let the gold rush skate your decision (and later leave you to regret over an unmarketable name). Then again, don't sit just hatching ideas. Even as you read this, someone halfway across the globe might be beating you to your choice!

Some are just registered by entrepreneurial opportunists hoping to make a fast buck by selling it on. If your choice is taken, the easiest, cheapest and most reliable solution would be to register another name. Did you know that the auction site eBay.com was the second choice of it's creator after his initial pick EchoBay.com was taken? A good name is a legal name!

Nonetheless, if you own a successful site, that just can't do without that colonized ideal name, you better ensure your pockets are deep because the owner at the other end knows that there's nothing quite like the commercial value of a domain name. The highest publicly known sale of domain name was the sale of Business.com for $7,500,000 to eCompanies, a business incubator.

Domain names have been turned into a marketing bargain with its parking capability. A business can register or buy a name for later use. And there are sites that do nothing but park potential names mostly sold for fire-sale prices later on! A Belgian doctor, Dr. Lieven P. Van Neste owns well over 200,000 domain names. It's a fine pursuit, if you care to keep your distance from brand infringement. In the past, speculators have faced legal charges on trademark violations from the bigwigs (including Microsoft) for having registered microsoftwindows.com, microsoftoffice.com, AirborneExpress.com, CitibankMasterCard.com, HewlettPackardss.com, and Wall-Mart.com. Domain name conflicts that grabbed headlines - Yahoo vs. "yahooka.com" (a marijuana site), Nissan Motors vs. Nissan Computer Corporation. One that caught my personal appeal - Archie Comics company's trademark driven domain dispute with Veronica.org, a website set up by a loving dad in honor of his 2-year-old daughter Veronica!

From McDonalds to MTV, a lot of press on online brand infringement ( the hijack of popular brand names) has filled the air. Even as I write this, Google Inc. is being challenged the right to use the name "Froogle" for its online shopping service (a New York based carpenter owns Froogles.com - web shopping site).

Each year, about 250,000 cases are decided by the US federal courts. If you have no time to sort it out the good old fashion, you should consider devising a strategic approach for domain naming, reflected in sound corporate policy and executed with effective management. Toady it's a topic of senior boardroom meetings where competent professionals are assigned to conduct name searches (a less costly venture compared to the possible consequences of dealing with a complaint of infringement.) Take lessons from corporate folklore on the long term effects of a carelessly chosen domain name. People who learnt things the hard way include Art-U-Frame.com that paid $450,000 to acquire the name art.com.

The crux

Your domain name is more than a ubiquity. You have no other billboard or bypass to your site. Statistics prove that direct navigation or guessed URLs account for majority of the traffic to a site (64.43%), much more than the search engines can bring (35.55%). Eat, drink and sleep on your idea before you move to register that killer name. Don't hassle, thinking there are nodomainnamesleft.com (that's taken too!). Your share of homework should save you a lot of misery down the road.

Besides, if you can't trademark your design scheme, product idea and marketing strategy, here's something you can. Your domain name is perhaps the only thing that you can own on the Internet. Remember, there's always more to a name than just the name itself! Happy naming!

By Liji