Death of the Domain Name – Long Live Search Engines

by keif on June 8, 2009

Reading on SlashDot about buying a domain name from a cyber-squatter it made me think of the constant issues people/new businesses have before they’re really even on the web.

What Domain Name Defines Me, as a Person?

I Am Jack

I Am Jack

I can’t help not thinking of Fight Club when I sue that line. It’s strangely very accurate, as people tend to go a little overboard with their names, and feel that if it can’t be that, then it changes everything. Khakis do not define us, neither do our domain names.
Of course, I’m unable to find the japanese poster now, but it’s been referenced that foreign markets have quit screwing wiht domain names, and instead focus on the search terms to lead you to them. Really, that’s what you want, isn’t it? People finding you by your content, and not ending up at someone else’s site because they can’t spell your domain?

A Doubel Edged Sword – SEO Domain, Generic Notability

The “cool” factor comes with the right domain. For example, was a cheat sheet repository for web developers (ignoring the fact that it’s changed domains since Jack Daniels doesn’t like nerds). No one in their right mind would associate “web development cheat sheets” with “I love Jack Daniels” (or ilovejackdaniels, if we want to go into semantics of how search engines see domains). What if it was simply, (or Certainly, we may stumble on it, and it makes sense – but it’s not notable as or something equally creative.

Balance the “Cool Factor” with “Smart Business Move”

If you feel your business depends on your domain, you’ve all ready failed. Your domain does not define you – ever. No one finds my site by researching me – they turn up searching on terms for jquery, mootools, seo, and various other topics I’ve written about. They’ve come here by clicking on my (hopefully) insightful comments on another person’s blog post. Will they remember to come back? Maybe. Maybe they’ll remember the simplicity that is or maybe they’ll think:

What was it? Some site with mootools, jquery, social media, seo… I’ll just throw a few terms in and see what comes up

Hey, maybe I’m not in the first page of results, but then again, until my digital life needs to be on the front page, I don’t need to be.

  • Jason

    One thing I would add to this is the number of internet users who forgo the address bar completely and type domain names directly into google itself. While this is generally on accident, it also proves to devalue the importance of a domain name if even the domain name itself isn't used to directly link to the site. I use this method occasionally simply to verify that I have typed the domain name correctly and to avoid ending up at a typo-permutation pr0n derivative of a legit site.

  • Andrea Hill (afhill)

    >No one finds my site by researching me

    ah, how I wish clients recognized this. If someone already knows you, they don't need a search engine. If you want new people to find you, then you need to be aware of keywords and content that are topically relevant.

  • dom

    For most of us on the web keywords in the domain name is a necessary part of SEO,

    for those of us that have a large client base maybe its not so important however it would probably increase your sites exposure to more customers

  • keif

    I still feel that keyword-rich domain names seem kind of spammy. I suppose
    the key is making sure that the company name is visible as well, but there
    is also the opportunity to use additional domains that can have a custom
    landing page on another site (giving the benefit of no duplicate content and
    a keyword rich approach).

    Regardless, even if a site has a large client base (mainstream apparel,
    heath and beauty) they could still have a benefit by being keword rich and
    having well-structured URLs to allow for easy deep-linking and logically
    paths to product discovery.

  • CristianStar

    Let's not forget about the pay per click program which can really help your sales if you have some money to invest.

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