Domain Manage

Positives & Negatives of Generic Domains

Discussion in 'Domain Research' started by markb, Feb 24, 2011.

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  1. markb United Kingdom

    markb Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Just been thinking about this for a while and wanted to know your comments.

    We all know the positives of premium generic domains names, for example they can give your website more authority by having a decent name; they can get direct type in traffic; they can be easier to rank in search engines for their keyword etc.....

    Do the negatives outway the positives though?

    Lets say you bought a premium .co.uk generic domain name lets say for example "wines" and you created a website selling wines. Obviously it would be a good domain name for this and help you rank better. Let say you ran the website for a few years and it got popular and your business got a good name for itself for excellent service, but what would happen when someone bought the domains wines (.com) or wine (.co.uk) and started to compete against your business. Because the name is a generic name and not a brandable one, people could get confused between which is your website and one of your competitors.

    Therefore do you think it would be better to build a buisness around a unique brandable/trademarkable name rather than a generic?
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. websaway United Kingdom

    websaway Well-Known Member

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    Yes probably better, but much more expensive, and then you would probably want to buy the generics when your success allows.
     
  4. markb United Kingdom

    markb Active Member

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    Maybe when buying a generic domain name you should factor this in to the amount you pay for it. i.e. check who owns and what is happening with the similar named generic domain names.
     
  5. Blossom

    Blossom Well-Known Member

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    If all this talk about Google shifting away from favouring exact match domain names is true, then generics may not be as valuable as they are now.
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Offline offline offline offline offline!!!

    There's so much focus on the web that too many people forget a top notch generic is 100x easier to promote offline.

    Think of billboards, fleet livery, newspaper and magazine ads, tradeshow stand banners, Tv and radio ads, bus shelter posters, direct mail mailshots, conversations in a crowded bar, letterheads and business cards, and the myriad of other places a URL can appear.

    In every single case, you'll be better off with the generic than trying to gain mindshare with a "brandable".

    And then there's recall (ie how many people will remember/be able to visit an URL at a later date after they've glimpsed it or heard it briefly)

    And that's even before you touch the laundry list of SEO, PPC, credibility and other online-related benefits of a generic.
     
  7. doodlebug United Kingdom

    doodlebug Well-Known Member

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    People bang on about SEO etc, but as Edwin said what is easier to remember a related generic or some made up jumble ?

    I don't care to much for SEO but would rather have fishingrods.co.uk than andysrods.co.uk :cool:
     
  8. Blossom

    Blossom Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to put that much effort into marketing a website, then chances are you have a business around it anyway. In that case, you'd most likely want a unique name for trademarking, legal and business registration reasons surely.

    Sure, you could have both. But you want people to remember you before your product when you take it beyond a website. If you have a big enough budget or become known in your industry then SEO/ranking isn't a problem. As long as it's a short, catchy name then out of the affiliate bubble it stands a good chance of doing well for a business.

    The problem is that it's much easier to pick a bad domain name than a good one.
     
  9. websaway United Kingdom

    websaway Well-Known Member

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    Firstly one thing is certain and that is that nothing is certain, there are not many things that you can bank on, however because things are changing all the time something that causes a loss can often be compensated for by some other change that creates a gain.
    If you are lucky enough to own tools co uk you are not going to lose sleep over what might happen to g--gle search in the future.
    Some companies ( I'm not talking about the coke c-la's of this world ) will keep on real world advertising week in week out month in month out with a name that frankly, if someone paid you to call up their website you would not be able to fully recollect the url, surely they would have so much more recognition and customer acquisition by registering either a simple brand domain or a generic memorable domain.
     
  10. Blossom

    Blossom Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of it in the context of buying a new domain rather than valuing an existing one.

    Would the cost of buying a generic be worth it in comparison to buying a name for under £500 and spending the rest of your budget on development and marketing? Guess it all depends.
     
  11. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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    You're of course right that generics hold value outside of google value, but this is as true now as it will be should google change its stance on generics. I don't see where the other 'change that creates a gain' is?

    I think the gain is apparent now, and in the knowledge that changes may (or may not) occur sometime in the future. If people hold valuable generics, they have a great opportunity to develop successful sites around them 'right now' due to the current SEO benefits. If they fail to do so, and a change does eventually take place, their domains may vary in if or how much their value goes down, but I fail to see how it will be compensated by anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  12. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can explain marketing values in such a definitive manner. In an ideal world - the marketing execs would want both a TM trading name and then a whole bunch of memorables for various marketing strategies.

    It's very easy to get blinded by your own sense of "best-fit" but I've certainly sold far more what I would call 'wordplays'. These tend to take the form of key word with another. Shortness and wordart come into play.

    To me this question is almost like 'what is the best colour' Well we all know it's a preference, fab, style, fashion,.etc etc and these will be in constant flux, I wouldn't worry too much about what Google do or don't do - they will go where ever the popularity/income ratio takes them , and that won't be defined by them. I always like to read opnions that state - they can come-up with something similar at reg cost - they don't want something similar they want what they want full-stop
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  13. wb United Kingdom

    wb Well-Known Member

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    You could of course elimate the problem by using a generic domain for a brandable company name, and I suspect this is the way many brands will develop in future. Plenty of companies are doing this already with redirected domains (Edwin's list includes many) however equally there are brands basing their website around a generic such as B&Q with DIY.com.
     
  14. markb United Kingdom

    markb Active Member

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    This is very true, i didnt think of it this way, i knew b&q owned diy.com but i didnt realise they used it as their main site. "Farm & Cottage" do this also with their domain holidaycottages(.co.uk)
     
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