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Keyword or Brandable
domain question
mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 2:31 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Head Honcho wrote:
>>Easily brandable. You want "google.com" and not "mykeyword.com". Keyword domains are out - branding and name recognition are in - big time in. The value of keywords in a domain name have never been less to se's. Learn the lesson of "goto.com" becomes "Overture.com" and why they did it. It's one of the most powerful gut check calls I've ever seen on the internet. That took serious resolve and nerve to blow away several years of branding. (that is a whole 'nother article, but learn the lesson as it applies to all of us). <<

Do you still believe so? If so, what are the benefits of brandable domains? From what I've seen, keyword domains appear to be more effective when targeting specific keywords.
I'd appreciate any imput on this.

 

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 2:44 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I never really understood this quote by Brett.

Goto changed their name to Overture because they were in a legal battle with another company (Go2).

Sure, they claimed they wanted to be seen as an advertising company rather than a search engine, but this change was primarily forced upon them.

AS far as the question goes, if you can find a brandable domain, go for that.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 2:52 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

keyword1-keyord2-keyword3.com is out. If you find a keyword domain that is brandable then you should do that. widget-blue-green.com doesn't help. I think the quote is about the future of the web. If you want a site to have staying power you need a name that is not only used because of search placement.

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 2:56 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Korkus,

What would the name Goto have accomplished in the search engines?

Marketing Guy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 2:57 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Targetting keywords is really only a short term solution for a business - in some cases as little as a month of benefit.

Although some would say the traffic is pre-qualified, in most cases this simply isn't true (from a business point of view).

Branding is a long term solution - your brand will convey your professionalism, etc to new users.

More business will be generated via type in's.
More business will be generated from publicity.
More business will be generated from referals.
Higher sales conversions can be achieved (added trust / loyalty / repeat sales).

The difference between targetting keywords and branding is the same difference between someone searching for a service that you happen to offer and someone searching for you in particular.

Although it is entirely possible to do both! :)

Scott

cjtripnewton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:05 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brett's statement was prescient.

The value of the keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com domains came from their impact on the Yahoo search results when Yahoo was using its directory to feed its search engine. Yahoo counted words in the domain name when sorting its search results. So, a company with the url keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com would do better on Yahoo for searches including those keywords. Since Yahoo switched to Google, it no longer matters. The value of those domains has dropped significantly.

There is still value in them. Many webmasters are buying keyword-keyword-keyword.com domain names and calling their companies "keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com." This enables them to have the phrase "keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com" as the TITLE of their company in their directory listings on DMOZ, LookSmart, and others.

Personally, I agree with Brett. Build a brand. Keep your perspective on the long-term.

Which would you more likely click:

google.com
or
1-internet-web-search-engine-internet-search.com

One looks like a company. The other looks like a joke.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:06 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of the reasons I think Overture changed is because of the meaning of GoTo. It means that they are a middleman. I think it has psychological implications that are not good for a serious web brand. It just doesn't say we are something substantial, but something to move passed. IMHO Overture is easily brandable and it doesn't bring a lot of psychological baggage.

I think even though widget.com is a keyword I would be able to brand it. I think it just depends. If you look at it overture is a keyword for music, so technically it is a keyword, but not for their industry.

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:13 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Build a brand<<

This applies to many big boys with deep pockets. I'd never want to see Google changing their URL to search-engine.biz, but the majority of clients are small businesses, like a realtor, or a construction contractor. These people are not going to be doing any sort of branding campaigns.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:25 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of the largest brands in the world is keyword1-keyword2; Coca-Cola. Coca and Kola nut were both ingredients. In 1886 that didn't have the effect that an Internet keyword brand does, but it did help the product.They started out trying to let people know what was in the "nerve tonic" so that it wouldn't be considered "snake oil". People would ask for Coca remadies in their local apothocary. Of course the brand had the keyword in the name making it a first choice by drugist.

In 41 they started advertising as Coke. Today both brands are recognized but which one is stronger? I find it interesting that we are debating a marketing question that Coke did over a hundred years ago.

kevinpate

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:33 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh, I gotta disagree with the idea small business don't or won't care about branding.

Look at any hom or commericial construction project in your area. You don't see signs saying "house builder" "office builder" on the big sign at the edge of the project, on the trucks, on the office trailers. no, you see signs & logos like
Able Builders Inc.
Aztec Construction
McShannahey Homes

Even professional service providers like dentists, doctors, lawyers, rarely ever use signs that say merely
Dentist or Dental Clinic
Doctor or Medical Center
Lawyer or Law Office

These folks are into branding, though they may not even know that particular marketing term.

Just my .02

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:36 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

google.com
or
1-internet-web-search-engine-internet-search.com

This is totally unfair. One is a junk domain. If comparing keyword to brandable, let's keep it fair:

Google.com
Or
Search.com

Drugs.com
or
VHN.net

Jobs.com
or
Monster.com

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:39 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Look at any hom or commericial construction project in your area. You don't see signs saying "house builder" "office builder" on the big sign at the edge of the project, on the trucks, on the office trailers. no, you see signs & logos like
Able Builders Inc.
Aztec Construction
McShannahey Homes

Even professional service providers like dentists, doctors, lawyers, rarely ever use signs that say merely
Dentist or Dental Clinic
Doctor or Medical Center
Lawyer or Law Office

These folks are into branding, though they may not even know that particular marketing term.

Just my .02

Of course they aren't doing that offline. I never said they aren't interested in brand recognition, I said they aren't dedicating the money to do it ONLINE.
The Las Vegas realtor would get more traffic from Las-Vegas-Realor.com than he would get from JohnDoeRealty.com

Grumpus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:47 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ummm....

Jobs.com
or
Monster.com

[google.com...]

Funny thing is, when I run a search for "monster" jobs.com doesn't even show up....

;)

G.

cjtripnewton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 4:32 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

mosley700, I appologize. You post clearly indicated that you're asking about keyword.com vs. brand.com, and not asking about keyword1-keywor2-keyword3.com vs. brand.com.

As far as keyword.com vs. brand.com goes, keyword.com can be brand.com, so I guess I don't get the point of the question.

My reply addressed the issue of hyphenated keyword domains. There is plenty of time (infinite) left to establish keyword.com as your brand.

<added>
Since we're not talking about SEO or Google here, does a moderator want to move this to [webmasterworld.com...]
</added>

born2drv

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 7:37 pm on Feb 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

We were having a discussion about this very issue in the private forum :)

I think keyword domains are good if they are 1-word and easy to spell.

Like money.com, style.com, phones.com, whatever. But not a keyword like hypochondriac.com or something. 2 words I'm not crazy about... hyphens, .net, more than 2 words, forget it.

I'm hoping to brand a new site where the word is 6 characters long, short, relatively easy to spell, etc. It's not a keyword, just some abstract non-english word.

If you're lucky enough to get a 1-keyword domain that is short and relevant to your industry obviously that would be better, but I doubt you'll ever get your hands on one unless you're ready to shell out thousands or perhaps millions just for the domain. :)

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:07 am on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Funny thing is, when I run a search for "monster" jobs.com doesn't even show up....

Are you looking for monsters? Or jobs? I would be a bit concerned if I was looking for Godzilla info and Jobs.com was in the SERP's.
?

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:31 am on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I tend to think Brett's advice is bad, at least in that it isn't qualified. Keyword domains are much better than brand ones for a site that doesn't have the aspiration or possibility of become so large that it can develop brand identification. If you sell blue widgets, and blue widgets aren't a big enough commodity that any company selling them could develop a brand that many would ever come to recognize, blue-widgets.com is ideal. Not only for search engine reasons, but on a SERP if I am looking for blue widgets then blue-widgets.com is a link I'll more likely click on than somebrand.com if somebrand.com is not already familiar to me.

Interesting irony here. The name of this site basically is keyword driven. From the name you know webmasterworld.com is going to be about webmastering on a comprehensive scale.

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:46 am on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brett's advice is good for serious Internet entities, IMHO. Google is a great example. But it may not apply well to the majority of my smaller clients.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 10:04 am on Feb 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

My cent worth - people develop trust for the company - not the domain.

If you got something for free - by all means keyword it, but if there's a salable product or service the domain name should be the company name, the product name (or service) or a close proxitiy to that affect.

A recent quote made to a client liking keyword domains:

His Name - a little like: what came first - the chicken or the egg? Does company deal with ...... information, products/services or is this provided by another company?

Keyword domain helps define the topic of discussion nothing more. It is simply an advertising/distribution channel, which is no different than a company brochure with a mail-out order form.

However, the company brochure doesn't normally receive special recognition as a brand entity simply because it offer a specific product line or information of that product line.

The domain itself does not offer any copyright material itself, doesn't go court to defend any copyrights, no disclaimers, products, services, warranties, guarantees, product shipping, return or privacy policies, and the domain is not liable for any legal matters the physical company is.

Searchers knowing a company name or product/service name (brand) can easily find the domain (website) even if that domain name is not remembered. A precise company name is best for a domain name but sometimes not practical (or available).

Some of the most successful companies are successful because of their brand recognition like:

Adobe (in addition Acrobat), Apple (in addition Quicktime), IBM (in addition Websphere), Macromedia (in addition Shockwave), Microsoft (in addition MSN) knowledge of the company means you can quickly find the domain for the content you are looking for.

These companies are successful because of their company brand or product/service brand was consistent and not because keywords got them to the top. This isn't consequence.


rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 6:10 am on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Brett's advice is good for serious Internet entities, IMHO. Google is a great example. But it may not apply well to the majority of my smaller clients.

Right. And for fathom, for a lot of web businesses, they may not be interested in building up brand identity. This doesn't work very well if the idea is just to sell one kind of limited product.

johnraphone

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 7:18 am on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Keyword1-Keyword2.com is really useless. Keyword.com can be very valuable though. If I saw the two domains ABBR.com(abreviated) and Keyword.com before I even visit Keyword.com, I will know what its about. As with the abreviated one, your left guessing unless you heard of it before.

Some company names really have nothing to do with what they do but it works for them. Its hard to esablish a good brand alone with just "Keyword". Keywords may work for internet but I wouldn't try it in the real world.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 10:21 am on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

They may not be interested in building up brand identity. This doesn't work very well if the idea is just to sell one kind of limited product.

Why do you think that quality may not apply well to the majority of your smaller clients. You really don't understand what branding is if you think that.

Brand is quality of service, quality of product, quality in whatever you do. Brand image, and brand recognition isn't just reserved for companies like Google or other successful ones.

I can't think of one example where a large corporation started out that way... they were all like the majority of your smaller clients at one time but set themselves apart with quality of something and brand trust grew from meek beginnings.

Try and look at it this way... a single testimonial, a single excellent review, a single customer saying "man that guy gave excellent service" to a single friend (or word of mouth), these are all examples of branding at the core or the beginning.

What you choose to do what that beginning defines how your company grows... in saying that a company that believes they are not able to brand is a problem.

WebmasterWorld didn't start with all of us here, and didn't start with all the forums it has today, and today it is the most used forum on the Internet.

The most recognizable brand (in forums), and brand trust in webmastering.

sachac

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:24 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I manufacture and market my brand both offline and online. Twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to the brand, the name I came up with was really not that important. In today's over-communicated world, naming the brand to say exactly who it's for, is absolutely critical.

Today, I agonize over the fact that I did not have the foresight to come up with a better name, since I cannot afford a huge branding campaign.

Recently, I was browsing a list of domains for sale and saw a six letter .com which made me almost fall out of chair. It is not a generic English dictionary word but one of our "new" vocabulary words which has come to define a huge section of my target market.

I immediately bought it and began conceptualizing a new brand, for this target market. The lesson here is that, with the right name, you have a chance to build a really successful business, online of offline.

On the other hand, a great product with a lousy name is a guaranteed loser. Generic names such as "Best-Computers-Online" may help you with the search engines but will never be successful brands. Similarly, "Flu-therapy", as a brand will never be as successful as "Theraflu".

Just my 0.02 worth.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 3:43 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Excellent points sachac!

Agree wholeheartedly.

The single greatest disadvantage that keywording a domain name has in favor of an easily brandable one is the search engine users are generally not repeat customers.

A keyword domain name is difficult to remember - a search query may develop new customers but suck at repeat customers.

Once people buys and has a good experience with you if that product/service is renewable, serviceable, disposalable, or anything that has a satisfied customer coming back to get more (this could be 2 year later) they will go to you - you have brand trust.

But like you said "Best-Computers-Online" is anybody - not memorable - thus any competitor will do - and the sad part about that - if the brand is compusave.com they will have your original customer for life.

ulstrup

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 8:28 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Confirmed!
- Brand with most impact 2002

Q: [Google.com] What's a "Google"?
A: A "googol" is a huge number: 10 to the power of 100. That is more than the number of atoms in the universe. The company info page says: "We liked the spelling 'Google' better. It sounds cool and has only six letters."
[webmasterworld.com]

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:31 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Why do you think that quality may not apply well to the majority of your smaller clients. You really don't understand what branding is if you think that.

But one can develop a reputation for quality if the product/service is good also with a keyword1-keyword2 domain name. As has been pointed out, it worked for Coca-Cola long before there were computers.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:44 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

a bit different coca & cola (kola) is brand yes but the brand developed doesn't have people looking for plants or plant extracts :)

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 9:55 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is my opinion that with the right marketing and PR (not PageRank) you can brand anything. Give me a quarter million and I'll brand
discount-buy-shop-cheap-and-fly.com and create a boy scout image around it that'll make Google look fascist by comparison. The Pope might even canonize our CEO, and people will be placing bumper stickers on thier Volkswagens "Save the environment by shopping at discount-buy-shop-cheap-and-fly.com"
A brand name is just words. The trick is to create an image around it that makes consumers feel justified, or even morally obligated, to buy from you.

korkus2000

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 10:06 pm on Feb 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>a bit different coca & cola (kola) is brand yes but the brand developed doesn't have people looking for plants or plant extracts

Not today because they don't market it as a nerve tonic either. After they removed the coca(cociane) it change to what we have today. In the early days they did brand it for plant extracts. It was classic keyword1-keyword2 marketing just using the seller as the search engine.

I agree with mosley700 to a point. I think the harder the language is to remember or brand in peoples minds the harder your campaign will be. The shorter the easier to brand, but with enough money you can brand anything. Look at naacp or aspca. Those brands are household in the states(although they are orgs), but are not the best roll off the tongue names.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1924 posted 12:34 am on Feb 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those not familiar with the history of Coca-cola, it was first marketed at a time when coca-wines, which were wines with added cocaine, commonly were sold. Thomas Edison was a fan of wine with cocaine added. Coca-cola was marketed as a "temperance" beverage. By drinking Coca-cola, you could get the health benefits of cocaine with evil alcohol having to touch your lips. At this point in history, alcohol tended to have a worse reputation of a drug than cocaine did. Coca-cola indeed was very much a keyword1-keyword2 brand name in the early days.

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