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Type-In Domains

How exactly does this work?

     
2:16 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How exactly do type-in domains work?

If your domain is redexample.com, does that mean if someone searches for "red example" they automatically go to your site?

Or is it if they type in "red example" into the url field of the browser? Or do they have to type in "redexample"?

If in the browser, do they have to do the .com? If they don't, what about .net, and the rest?

And which would be better? redexample.com or red-example.com?

[edited by: Jordo_needs_a_drink at 2:20 am (utc) on Oct. 28, 2006]

7:43 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"How exactly do type-in domains work?"

Type-in traffic is where the domain, with extension, is typed directly into the browsers navigation bar. Then, when entered, goes directly to that domain without any further intervention.

There's a lot of people that use Overture to gauge "type-in" traffic potential... that works a bit different and when you really think about it, isn't a honest indicator of actual traffic BUT it does give you some degree of insight into the search habits of Yahoo customers. That is, they have YAHOO set as their default webpage, the one that opens when they open Explorer or any browers... then, instead of typing the web address they want to visit into the NAV bar, they typ it into the SEARCH bar by accident.

This gives you the OVT with extension results that so many follow with cultish ferver.

To be certain, there is only... really... TWO ways that type-in traffic can happen.

1 - People KNOW where they want to go (they've seen an ad, have been there before, been referred to it, etc) and type it in to get what they want to see.

2 - The destination is generic enough that when the visitor thinks of say "apple pie" they may just type that into the brower to SEE what/if anything is there, rather than try the search engines.

As for your next question... there are actually several :)

1 - Typing in the domain with extension in the SEARCH bar, doesn't take the visitor straight to the domain. In fact, it doesn't guarnetee that they will even GET your domain. Search engines like Google, use algorithimes that don't always give preference to search results with extension. Rather, it keys on the keyword relevance.

But if Google has found your site and indexed it, when someone types in the domain name with ext., they will see your site in position #1 or more if more than 1 page was indexed. Then, the viewer simply needs to click on the link to get to your site.

2 - it USED to be that both Netscape and Explorer defaulted to the .com extension when something was entered into the Nav bar (URL field bar) without any extension. Since the advent of Pay Per Click advertising, the latest versions of the browsers now go to "search" pages when that happens. So originally, YES, the .com sould be the page showed when a simple word or phrase was entered without ext. Now... you might have well have searched it. Nice short cut for searching now that you know, though :)

finally... your question "And which would be better? redexample.com or red-example.com?"

Type-in traffic is known as "natural" traffic... which means that the words typed in are done how you would naturally type or write the words or phrases...

Since it's Halloween, I'll use the ubiquitous pumpkin as an example...

jackolantern is NOT natural... that's not how you would type or write that word. jack-o-lantern is natural. The way that it is usually done.

So, in this example, typing the domain WITH the dashes WOULD be natural and more sense. Conversely, words that are NOT normally and naturally typed with a dash are NOT likely to be entered into the URL/NAV bar for a domain.

So "redexample" versus "red-example" isn't really enough of an example to answer the question... jack-o-lantern is a better example.

I hope that helps. Good Luck and have fun!

GoPC

9:35 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Brutally honest answer:

Type-in depends on users being so stupid that they will just guess at a domain name and type it into the URL bar in hopes of finding a useful site at that address.

Looking for examples? Oh, well, there MUST be a site called examples.com, and, surely, it is THE authority site on examples!

There are variations - misspellings, etc. but this is the basic premise.

More often than not, though, what they find is a parking page. Most users ultimately move-on to more productive search techniques. Some don't.

1 - People KNOW where they want to go (they've seen an ad, have been there before, been referred to it, etc) and type it in to get what they want to see.

Wouldn't this more properly be referred-to as "direct navigation"? In any case, it's useful to distinguish traffic that comes as a result of advertising, word-of-mouth, etc. vs. guesswork. "Parking pages", MFA ("made of ads") sites, etc. are dependant on the latter.

10:26 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And in fact, some of the higher end parking sites won't pay for linked traffic of any kind. So if you get traffic via a SEARCH, your SOL.

GoPC

1:08 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thats not true gopc - the higher end companies are actually starting to use quite advanced CSS designs in order to rank for search engines. And since it is Google/Yahoo ads anyway, either of them are happy.

And thinking users are stupid sounds like someone angry/bitter/jealous. There are quite a few sites established on on an extension (and not just .com but also ccTLDs). A person must be unsatisfied with other methods (eg) search when they turn to direct navigation (or happy with their current results). If you think about it, someone typing in 'engagementring.com' is rather qualified traffic.

1:29 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess I was referring to Fabulous specifically... I've heard that ActiveAudience doesn't either. I used Sedo Pro for most of mu undeveloped or yet to be developed domains... they pay.

It's nice to hear that more of them are starting to accept search and link traffic. After all, that is just as targeted (if not moreso).

GoPC

2:33 am on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hehe say they are more targetted and you will send them frothing :)

Sedo Pro, Fabulous, DS, Trafficz - they all have SEOed pages (DS is getting upto speed on those). Go to any TRAFFIC and you will see it.

5:15 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...Type-in depends on users being so stupid that they will just guess at a domain name and type it into the URL bar in hopes of finding a useful site at that address.

Do not feel that is appropriate or correct to label them as 'stupid.' In fact, some may think of them as being smart by doing that. Many educated and knowledgable web-surfers (including experienced domainers) type-in a url and sometimes guess at the ext, mostly com or org.

Some people often typein words phrases and terms, i.e. facialsupplies, eyebrows, onlinetrading, commoditytrading, fruggle, hauntedhouses (especially at this time of the year), seattlewashingtonrealestate, etc.

Are you perhaps saying that because you are bitter (ahmedf also thought so, see above) from having mostly brandable names and non-typein names yourself?

In fact, come to think of it, I do typeins myself so am I also stupid along with everyone else in your view?

6:39 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are you perhaps saying that because you are bitter (ahmedf also thought so, see above) from having mostly brandable names and non-typein names yourself?

In fact, come to think of it, I do typeins myself so am I also stupid along with everyone else in your view?

I'm neither bitter, nor do I think those who have typein domains are stupid. But I seem to detect some bitterness on the part of some type-in domain holders. It seems to be a sore point when somebody mentions that such sites are really not useful.

I *am* frustrated, as an end-user, with the general uselessness (maybe YOURS are useful...) of typein sites. Sometimes I do get fooled by search results, and wind-up on one of these useless sites.

They are usually easy to spot, and then I high-tail it out of there. (Most consist of gibberish in some pidgeon-English, and/or "articles" that state the obvious, and, of course, ads. Of course, this doesn't apply to the sites of anyone HERE! :) ) A quick visit to the (non-existent, in most cases) "about us" and/or "contact us" page can then clarify any remaining doubt.

I just wish the search engines had a way for me to indicate my preference not to see those kinds of sites.

It's hard to make an argument that experienced or sophisticated users make a conscious decision to use type-in parking sites, though. It's not an effective way to find what you are looking for, and it's simply a mistake made by new web users.

I'll go so far as to suggest that the uselessness of most typein parked (call them parked, call them MFA, call them "mini-sites" - whatever - you know em' when you see em'...) degrades the value of keyword domains that go to real sites. The public has built-up a distrust of keyword domains.

I know that I always do an extra bit of checkup on any company that I deal with that turns out to have a keyword domain.

I don't discount them completely - in fact, I found a great local source of soundproofing materials, and a wonderful mailorder source of water filtration equipment which both happen to have keyword domains. In order to deal with both, though, I had to first overcome my distrust of keyword-domain sites. (The knowledgable people on the other end of the phone dispelled any remaining doubt.) I have to assume that others think the same way.

Anyway, I was just trying to boil-down in understandable terms just what typeins are about. We can argue about the usefulness or uselessness of sites that target this traffic. Bottom line is, somebody typed a guess at a URL that they think might get them somewhere useful into a browser bar.

If you want to make a business out of catching that traffic, use your own judgement as to the demographics, intelligence, and level of sophistication of your "customers", and tailor your offering to that.

10:06 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Here's an interesting exercise, and, I might suggest, a good sanity check:

What percentage of the top/biggest/most respected/authoratative/most profitable/trusted domain-industry-related websites (registrars, forums, news/information sites, blogs, etc. etc.) use keyword domains and what percentage use brand domains?

Do domainers (or, more precisely, those who cater to - and profit off of - them) eat (domainers) own dog food?

6:35 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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of course the opposite could be true.

how many dumb often silly sounding sites as a percentage do you see at the top of the rankings over lovely, finely honed, to the point, beautifully sensible sounding generic domain name sites?

The sheer joy of seeing people turn up day after day to your site for ..... no good reason other than it's name cannot be over estimated. The real wonder is how sites with such unlikely names as listen to this .... youtube manage it. The sad fact is that where they succeed millions apon millions of sites with equally meaningless names don't.

I am almost moved to lend you one [a good generic domain] let you take it home with you and let you grow to love it.

6:54 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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how many dumb often silly sounding sites as a percentage do you see at the top of the rankings over lovely, finely honed, to the point, beautifully sensible sounding generic domain name sites?

Did you do the exercise? What are the top domain names in the domain industry itself?

I think the best domain names combine the two concepts: they have a keyword or two in the name, but they aren't generic type-in domains. That is, people wouldn't be likely to type them in when taking a wild guess. They are memorable, unique, yet do evoke their purpose.

YouTube is, in fact, a perfect example. MySpace is another. ;)

7:36 am on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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you you you
my my my

More darlings of the marketing world than keywords.
Such er.. subtle appeals to self interest.

How they can rise above the solid foundations of a good generic name is completely baffling. Personally I cannot imagine starting a site under any other flag than one that clearly holds out the promise of quenching the thirst for particular information or a service. I did use a domain at a time when putting an e (probably now an i, or you, or my) in front of everything was mandatory. It turned out a small but very convincing demonstration why using a good type in generic name is best.

5:35 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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you you you
my my my

Such er.. subtle appeals to self interest.

But thats EXACTLY what those two sites are about!

6:27 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Dueling wordsmiths?

How unlike the rest of my life. ;-P

6:44 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Which is your preference (which would you buy, which do you like as a name, what shop would you go into, what is more appealing, etc. etc.) from the names below:

Kleenex
Puffs
tissue

Morten's
Ruth's Chris
steak

Ralph's
Von's
A&P
food store

Toyota
BMW
Ford
car

The New York Times
San Jose Mercury-News
Washington Post
newspaper

AAA
Allstate
Geico
car insurance

Pure Platinum
Deja Vu
Hustler Club
naked girls

There was a "generic" fad in the 70's or 80's. It didn't last very long. Even budget "store brands" have names today.

The public has learned to associate generic names with low-quality and cheesiness. Conversely, they associate certain brands with high quality and desirability. (And other brands with low-quality.) As there is no way to distinguish generics, they are universally seen as low-quality.

Now, the legal system and technolgy throw us a twist with generic domain names: it is possible to get a "franchaise" on a generic name in the domain name system - something not possible in the brick-and-morter world.

Imagine for a moment that it WERE possible in the brick-and-morter world. Let's say the patent and trademark office had a sudden change of heart, and allowed registration of generic names. Would it be desirable? Would there be a rush to register generic names? Would we suddenly see stores once-again fill up with white-box products branded "frozen dinner" and "coffee"? Somehow I doubt it.

Sure, it's possible. And generic names get traffic, for various reasons. But is it where people go for authority or quality?

Naw, too much real-world baggage to overcome. Generics known for quality do exist, but they are few and far between.

 

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