How important is a domain name?

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by Kuffy, Aug 12, 2017 at 9:32 AM.

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  1. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    I'm having a radical rethink about domain names and the way end users should use them. Ultimately this affects our profitability, and the value of our investments. I tried 3 searches - " car insurance ", " bank loans", " watering cans ". In all cases the sub-directory of the search result was significant, and the domain name had little relevance. With omni-boxes being used for both direct navigation and search entries, and Google "correcting" spelling and deciding what the surfer should see, rather than what he has asked for, I think it may be worth our while to start to educate surfers in better ways to navigate the web. I can see a time when a name may be irrelevant, and companies will use a numbered directory in a Google cloud for their sites. Especially if this gives them priority in the SERPs.
     
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  2. garptrader

    garptrader Active Member VIP

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    Companies use all kinds of advertising medium to promote their products and services - billboard ads, magazine and newspaper inserts, 15-30 second tv and radio spots, ads before movies, ads plastered along the side of buses or their own leased vehicles, billboard ads pulled through town by rented trucks, ads pulled behind planes when there is a big event below, booths at trade shows or major holiday events, etc. If you are driving along the road you may not even pay attention to a billboard ad. When that tv spot comes on you may flip the channel, go to the restroom or grab a drink from the fridge. I recall one assignment I was on where the division of a company was spending five figures monthly on Google Adwords campaigns and I really questioned whether that ad spend converted into incremental business to the company. Website development and SEO can cost five to six figures depending on the nature of the project. Yet the budget for a domain often ends up being $XX. But when these other mediums promote the business they often will refer to the company's website or social media name. If the name is not memorable, will the customer find it or just forget about it.

    I had a company inquire about a .COM domain of mine twice. Initially they were using some weird extension I had never heard - not even a new TLD just some odd CCTLD where the keyword they wanted was available. Later they came back and offered high $XXX and I noticed they were operating on the equivalent .CO of my domain. Their site references the phrase of my domain as well as their app. They mention having done over $100 million in business. Yet they cannot fathom spending $XXXX for a domain. Such is the business world we still face even twenty years after the internet became mainstream.
     
  3. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    I understand all that. My point is that Google and others seem to be trying to reduce the significance of domain names, and are trying to suck surfers into their controlled world where they are directed to Google's preferred sites for sales and news. With them sucking money out of national economies like the US and the UK, I think it is time we saw the approaching problems, and tried to at least slow them down.
     
  4. fatter

    fatter Active Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I don't think there is much we can do about google and search engine placements, on the other hand more articles/blogs news stories on the benefit of having an easy to spell, memorable domain for repeat visitors and savings on add dollars for those who pay for advertising should be shouted from the rooftops.
    Joe T
     
  5. nicholas

    nicholas Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The original question conflates domain names and their relevance in search results as a metric of their importance.

    TL;DR : Google serves relevant information and knowledge sources, regardless of name. Domain names on the other hand, identify resources by mapping host names to numerical IP addresses. While those are related, they are very different animals and have different purposes. Apples to oranges.

    The long:
    Generally speaking, domain names are as important as your name would be to you. You'd wish you had the best, greatest, badass name there is, but you make do with what you've got. Ditto for company names. Companies live and die by their operation and all the myriad business factors for which company names are but one among a long list. But doggone it sure wouldn't hurt to have a nice name, would it? An identity no one else can have.

    I see OP's point about domain names as it relates to SERPs, and in this case, it is a totally different point. Looking at it from this narrow lens, Google is not in the business of vanity names or in caring about domain names. It's people who care about names, and this is why it's important, not for Google, but for whatever help names give in stacking the odds on your favor for identifying things like websites.

    Google itself has a very different objective: serving answers, info and knowledge to its users of the utmost relevance, context and authority at the point of the search. This includes divining a searcher's true intent across misspellings or contextual cues (e.g. When you search for 'apple' it has to disambiguate if you mean the fruit, or growing the fruit, or the tech company, or its stock price, or its many products for example; and displaying the most likely items you are actually looking for). And Google isn't the only source of this information or traffic. Social media and other sources drive millions of traffic, and these don't take away nor vice versa, necessarily enforce the need to use domains.

    So domain names will be very relevant for a long, long time to come. They are not "needed," as an absolute point, but are extremely important for its purpose, and to simplify and identify things much better as far as universal resource locators/identifiers go, cloud or otherwise. Using numbered directories, for example, would be having it backwards.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 11:35 AM
  6. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    I agree with that in theory, but that doesn't help if the surfer types in the domain name with the extension, but google gives him a load of results, and the index pages is on page 3 or later. This has happened to me a few times, and it's why I've started to use duckduckgo. If this continues, then the domain name could be redundant. If a sub-directory on a Google cloud site is more significant, where does that leave us?
     
  7. DTR Alex

    DTR Alex Established Member

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    I will say, don't base on Google, it is a company. It may be that few years later, there will be other top search engine. And people are already noticing Google's greediness too.....
     
  8. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    The problem is that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Ebay and a few others are now super-national, and unless people reduce their use of them, we will lose all the alternatives. ( and the revenue they generate).
     
  9. Kate

    Kate Thinking inside the Box™ VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Domain names remain important for branding.
    It's just that some end users are more branded than others.
    The problem is that people do not always realize that advertising a domain name that is not memorable is wasted advertising.
    The whole point of advertising a domain name is that people go straight to your website, thus bypassing google.
     
  10. hawkeye

    hawkeye Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    And like it or not, agree with it or not, but like it's counterpart, Big Brother, 'Big Browser" is and will be, what the world of tomorrow...will be!
     
  11. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    I agree with you Kate to a certain extent. A good word or phrase is important for branding. The domain name is/was important as a path for the surfer to get to your website. My concern is that this may become less important. If a sub-directory is more significant than the actual domain name on the SERPs, then any old cheap name would do. For example a sub-domain on wordpress hosting.

    For some time I've felt that we should be educating surfers about direct navigation, but if Google is going to redirect this, then we are starting down a difficult road.
     
  12. garptrader

    garptrader Active Member VIP

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    In downtown West Palm Beach there are some elderly communities - assisted living and retired individuals. So I see a truck which seems to cater to elderly clients. On the truck is a four-word .net domain. Legit business which obviously has customers and a truck -reg fee domain.

    That is common whereas aftermarket domain sales are not - particularly above low $xxx.
     
  13. Smiles76

    Smiles76 Established Member

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    I think the real question is are the domains that the average domainer owns and their asking prices worth it in the eyes of end users? I think many end users would say no.
     
  14. toughdomains

    toughdomains Business Member Business Account

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    omni boxes has killed many sites. think of all the blogs that answer the question better now replaced by the omni box. even bigger think of all the medical info provided by mayo clinic and replacing the webmd...these boxes are scrapping and pulling in content and displaying in the search result. robbing the site of any traffic...its horrible and has cost sites millions...
     
  15. toughdomains

    toughdomains Business Member Business Account

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    many end users and companies have the same mentality as someone who has lost their phone. You just found their phone and rather than be grateful they feel you are somehow involved in the lost phone. many companies think that they own a right to your name and there is no reason they should pay you more than a few hundred to retrieve it.

    one of the companies i worked for was looking for the #1 recipes domain around 2006 and they decided to not purchase recipes.com because the owner wanted over 1 million. he claimed to be making 70k a year in parking so there was little incentive to reduce his price...
    I was also the media buyer at that company and I saw us pour hundreds of thousands in ads to try and get visibility for this second rate name they had purchased.

    In my opinion there are 2 people in the world....people who see the value in a name and people who dont...and for ever there will be both...may only the later make offers on your names.

    domains are a great digital asset. its a way for someone to own digital realestate without taking out a mortgage...i have certainly made great returns on names and happy with the portfolio we have. I feel everyone should have some domains in their portfolio...just like stocks, bonds and property everyone should have some % of names.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 6:31 PM
  16. WINNA

    WINNA Established Member

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    Rule No. 1

    In order to launch any Website you need a Domain Name.

    Rule No.2

    No Domain Name; No Website.

    Rule No. 3

    Refer to Rule No. 1
     
  17. 1Darko

    1Darko Established Member

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    A short story. I think it was 1996. I was at lunch with a high executive at the headquarter company restaurant of a premium german car producer. Over lunch our conversation touched a hot topic about a report he had to prepare and that it will involve some data research on the internet. He was so frustrated about it because it was very time consuming to find the data on the internet. He was prepared to hire someone to do this and I can remember like it was yesterday that he was prepared to pay an amount of 600 DM (Deutsche Mark) for this internet search. Remember at that time there was no Google yet and either him or me couldn't predict that such powerful tool like Google will ever exist. Probably at that time we couldn't even imagine the internet will be such a powerful platform in the future.
    This was 21 years ago and look at where we are today. My 9 year old son could find tons of sites with the relevant data in seconds using a wireless connection with his mobile phone while playing in the backyard and jumping on his trampoline.
    Back in 1996 I can remember that I had a list of IP Adressses which I typed into the browser to access some websites. I was using e-mail but common business communication was via Telefax and landline phones.

    If you're asking now what all this has to do with Kuffys question?
    My answer: In 20 years from now a lot will have changed. Technology will be available that some of us never had imagined of. Probably the internet will still be around but for certain the search options will be different. I think that as long as humans will be involved in the search process there will be relevance to domain names. Bots will not need domain names but it looks like they probably could dominate the internet in future. But the real question for me is if the bots are taking over how will this affect the human evolution?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 2:26 AM
  18. E-Promote

    E-Promote Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Less time in your head, more in your sales :)
     
  19. RegBoss

    RegBoss Business Member Business Account

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    The search giants have been filtering your search returns for years. With an AdWords campaign you can bid on keywords and your traffic magically increases 200 fold as long as one of your keywords is relevant and you are paying the most per click. I have done a few. This takes money of course. It is the old rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. Amazing how the traffic gate is opened as long as your wallet is open. :xf.grin: Google quite putting serp on keyword domains long ago. I believe Bing still gives them relevance in search.
     
  20. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Google's fundamental objective is to make money, so yes, currently that is their best way to do it - as long as there are free competitors they have to outperform.

    Once they crush all competition their behaviour could change radically, and still make their shareholders very happy and very rich.
     
  21. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    That has never been true. In the beginning you could use IP addresses, and you still can. Then there are subdomains. and sub-directories referenced by Google.

    This is the market site that I created to be specific for the travel industry -
    http://marketsites.namesilo.com/site/712/

    it's just a number of somebody else's sub-domain. I was going to use one of my domain names for the site, but I decided that was just a waste of a domain name that I could sell. I'm aware that I'm building traffic for somebody else's site, but I want to get max exposure in the short term for minimum effort. I might create some sites in Google space, and I'm not sure if I will use a domain name with them. If the web site title is more significant than the domain name for Google, why should I pay an annual fee, when the better result can be obtained for nothing.

    So what can we do? Well the first thing is to stop thinking about what it was like in 1999, or even 2016, and think about 2018 and on. If we allow 4 or 5 companies to dominate the Internet, then we will have to lick their boots and beg for money. You can help by letting surfers know that Google is not the only search engine, and it may no longer be giving the most relevant results. Include links to alternatives like Duck Duck Go. Educate users into using direct navigation, and if this gives search results rather than the site they wanted, then explain how they can bypass the search engine intervention.
     
  22. mad409

    mad409 Always thinking outside the box! Business Account VIP

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    I too have started using duckduckgo because of the results on Google. You might want to look at what presearch.io is trying to do.
     
  23. Kuffy

    Kuffy Established Member

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    I'm also considering putting together site to show users howto create their own homepage, and include a box for direct navigation that bypasses the search engines.
     
  24. Silentptnr

    Silentptnr PRYCR.COM Business Account VIP

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    I continue to receive large amounts of organic traffic from G. I agree that the omni boxes do result in some diminished traffic but organic traffic is still strong for me and SEO is still very relevant.

    A good, memorable domain name is still a valuable asset. I am even seeing increased numbers of individual end users pay more for a good domain in the aftermarket.

    I think the key to successful domain investing, despite enhancements from G, is a quality portfolio of domain names. Also, reasonable yet profitable pricing is important.

    I tend to see domain investors sock away their best domains when the market slows, and instead try to sell their lower quality names.

    I believe the future is very bright for those who make wise domain name investments. I plan on a $50 investment on a good domain in order to age/hold it for 5 years if necessary.

    I could make many comparisons that validate the important role of a good domain.
     
  25. Silentptnr

    Silentptnr PRYCR.COM Business Account VIP

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    Not a bad idea, but I believe that more people need to think of domains themselves as profitable investments without web pages. I would love to teach more people that you dont need web pages to have domain names. Many people dont understand the distinction between a domain name and a web page. They think the two are the same. When i explain that they can have a valuable name without a website and how it works, I get the "wow! I didnt know that.".
     

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