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Are "brandable" domain names overrated?

Is it just hype?

2:18 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is the focus on brandable domain names for content sites that aim for repeat visitors / a loyal readership just a trend? Or can an individual without the advertising budget of a medium to large company still be able to "create a brand" with a "catchy" domain like ouidgdet.com (sorry bad example)?

Can a keyword-based domain still be "branded"? As in "Hey I found a site yesterday called widgetingtips.com" as opposed on "Hey you should check out ouidget.com it tells you everything about widgets"?
2:41 pm on May 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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yes, keyword domains can be strong brand names. think about names like Nashville.com, BestLawyer.com, CellPhoneApps.com, BuyToothpicks.com, etc. etc (all random examples off the top of my head). They are also easier to SEO. It depends on your goals really. If you are trying to be the next facebook or twitter then consider a catchy domain. if this is for a "content site" as you say then i would definitely go with keyword domain. brandable more for applications like skype, twitter, vimeo, etc
8:34 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Keyword domains are the best if they are memorable because with a mid-quality site you will be seen as an authority on that niche. Not to mention the great boost for SEO as Shipintern said...

These two facts are a part of the reason why some single word .com sell for millions
8:58 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If I were aiming for the stars, I'd probably go brandable - Facebook.com instead of SocialNetwork.com. However, if I were just wanting to build and monetize via SEO, I'd go generic domain all the way. In some rare cases where you have the category-defining domain, you can pull off building a brand on a generic name.
1:30 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A lot of people see generic domains as effective category killers. (If you own the generic then you own a lot of the traffic for that category.) However brandable means that people will remember your domain and website rather than the generic word for the niche your site serves. Building a brand is quite different from merely plonking a domain on a PPC parking nameserver and waiting for the money from PPC adverts. A brand is defensible in that it is your brand and it reflects your business. It is also somewhat easier to market. A generic domain name requires a big budget to advertise it properly.

5:36 pm on June 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree with jmccormac, I'm actually in this situation of owning a brand and trade generic names and it seems that people remember the brand more than the generic and I'm damned if I know why the human brain does this. Is it a people thing? Do people actually remember me but not a generic site regardless of whether they know I own it?

I'll give you a good example, think book(s), who do you think of automatically? Now check those two words in Google.com, was that the brand you thought of first, second or third or not at all? Now try book on Google.co.uk...errr...this is where branding wins and where name squatters are losing out and why I'm selling some of my trade generic names since I don't have the time, will nor inclination to build them into a brand.