Domain Names are the basic building blocks of the internet, and if one has ambitions of creating a successful web-based business selecting the right one, before you start online, is essential.
And when it comes to domains a ‘premium’ domain is the best of the best because they work on a number of SEO/SEM levels.
So what are the unique characteristics of a ‘premium’ TLD (Top Level Domain Name)?
Basically they should:
1) Include popular search keyword/s
2) Be capable of turning into a brand over time
3) Sound (at least vaguely) like what the website actually is
4) Be similar to existing sites/trademarks in the same business
Now before you go thinking someone who has been actively acquiring domains for over 10 years has all the answers, let me relate an upsetting development I was involved with just this week.
And to say I’m pissed off would be under-stating the matter, but hopefully my telling the story will at least help some WOL readers to learn a valuable lesson.
It all started many years ago when I came up with what I thought would be an excellent name for a comparison website in Australia and promptly checked it out. Found that no one had ever registered the domain name before and purchased it on the spot for a nominal amount.
What was so good about the name?
Well, see above, and although I briefly experimented with a concept – part of Your Online Community portals – I never really used the domain name but kept on re-registering it year after year.
That is up till this year. It seems when I got the usual email reminder to rollover (less than $30) instead of doing so immediately as per usual I must have delayed for some reason … and then promptly forgot to re-new.
So you know what happened next?
That’s right, my domain expired, became available to the public, and was immediately snapped up. And then on-sold. Check it out it’s a great looking site.
In fact, there’s an after-market solely to monitor expiring domains including in this country, www.Drop.com.au and www.Netfleet.com.au, and for a fee both these websites will track any domain names you might be interested in … on a daily basis.
Anyway, I’ve learnt my lesson the hard way and that is definitely not going to happen for the ‘jewel in the crown’ of all my premium domains which is, for the first time, being made available exclusively through WollongongOnline.
But first some history about www.smartpages.com.au
BTW, a local version is still online see www.wollongongsmartpages.com
This domain should be extremely valuable for one simple reason – the Dot com version www.smartpages.com which now re-directs to www.yp.com – was for many years a major US directory website and part of the ‘SMART Yellow Pages’ brand originally developed by Pacific Bell Directories.
Since being taken over, first by Southern Bell Communications and then by AT&T (i.e. #1 Yellow Pages in the US), the brand was shelved – although AT&T still maintain strict control over the Dot com domain and obviously don’t want to lose the traffic.
Given the increasing importance in this country of ‘smart’ phones generally, and for telcos in particular, it also seems an obvious cross-over .au domain name by merging smartphones and yellowpages-type directories.
Interested parties can contact me direct for details.
EDITOR – Andrew M Connery: A pioneer in social media and active online since early 2001 heads up the Editorial team. Andrew is currently undertaking doctoral research at the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Wollongong. A B2B marketing practitioner by profession his specialty area is local search and until July 2011 he was a Senior Trainer for the Federal Government’s Small Business Online program.