Buying new domain names is easier than ever, but why are people rushing out to buy multiple domain names for their businesses?
Are people panic buying domain names as they did before the dot com crash? Is this a new trend? Or, are there sensible reasons why companies are spending just that little bit extra to secure multiple domain names?
Here are five reasons why this new rush to buy multiple domain names will be around for a while.
Let’s say you have the .com version of your domain name, and somebody buys the .ie version of your domain name. The other owner could use their version to scam your customers. They could clone your website, or even make up their own version, and trick people into signing in and using their passwords.
They could also take sales, not send the goods, and give out your customer support details to people who complain.
Google will not fall for this type of scam even if the other website isn’t a clone of yours, but that is not how scammers work. Instead, they post to websites in your market sector, they post on review websites, they post on forums, and they even add their version of your website to review articles.
People innocently click the links to the alternate website and are scammed by a website that they think is yours.
If you buy the most popular types of domain names, such as .ie, .com, .co.uk, and so forth, then scammers and cybersquatters cannot scam your potential customers/viewers.
A semi-famous scam was the PayPai scam. Most spam catchers will target emails that ask for payment information. However, scammers were sending PayPai requests where the “i” was capitalized, so the result looked like this, “PayPaI.”
What does this have to do with buying up misspellings? The fact is that some domain names are easily misspelt, and some are easy to misread. For example, here are three domain names, how easy would it be to mistake one for the other if you were to see it on a web page or in a forum?
If your domain has similar problems, it may be worth buying up the misspellings.
This will stop people from buying up the misspellings and using them to scam people by cloning your website. This scam works because nobody has time to check every website link they click, and some misspellings are very easy to miss. Do not be fooled into a false sense of security: Cyber-Squatting, or Typo-Squatting as Microsoft calls it, is up by 20% according to the UN.
It is not always about scamming your customers. Some people will purchase domain names that are the same as yours, as with the examples set out above, and will turn their website into a page that criticises your company. People think they are clicking a link to your website, but really they are clicking a link to a website that condemns your site.
Another method is to buy up alternate domain names that direct people to review sites and comparison websites. Your company will be compared to others in an unfavourable light, and your target viewer then buys from another company and the website owner gains affiliate fees.
Let’s say you own the rights to Sellotape, and you sell your product from Sellotape.com. However, other companies want to sell their sticky tape too, but they cannot call it Sellotape. So, they buy up Sellotape.ie, and Sellotape.fr, and Sellotape.net, and so forth, and wait for people to visit.
People visit wanting Sellotape, but what they are presented with is another company’s version of Sellotape sticky tape. The result is lost sales.
If the Sellotape.com owner had simply bought up the other website domain names and reserve domain names, and so forth, then their competitors would not have been able to exploit Sellotape’s brand awareness.
Many companies will go out and buy a bunch of different domains, set up a bunch of different websites, and then use them in tandem to promote a single thing.
For example, let’s say you have a YouTube video channel that has cartoons, gaming reviews, and so forth. You could set up a fan website, you could set up a gaming website, and maybe even a comedy website, plus a series of different blogs about similar topics.
Each website can stand on its own and probably even makes a fair amount of affiliate money. Despite each of these websites being very different, they each attract the right type of target viewer for the cartoon YouTube channel. Occasionally, the various websites will promote something on the YouTube channel and keep driving traffic towards it.
This seems like a lot of fuss and hassle to do something like promoting a YouTube channel, but it doesn’t have to be a YouTube channel. For example, the Mercedes car manufacturer group owns hundreds of different websites, mostly about vehicles, and they frequently run their own adverts on these websites.
They review other cars against their own, and they find the sort of web traffic that is the most likely to buy a Mercedes car.
Buying new domain names and securing the variations on your website name is just smart business. It protects you from the possibility of problems later down the line. Plus, it helps to stop your competitors buying up similar website names to your own, so they cannot muscle in on your target audience.
Purchasing domain names are very cheap, setting them up to redirect to a single website is easy, and the minor expense is worth it when you consider what may happen if other people buy different versions of your domain name.
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