This is the title of an article from Henry Cooke over at Stuff.co.nz. No doubt the title was created to draw attention but his article doesn’t stray very far from the headline. In a nutshell, he states the more generic the domain, the more irrelevant it is. They are TOO generic. Add to the fact that most of the generic terms lead to ads and bad content, users no longer are giving extra credit to the super generic. And I can’t say I completely disagree. But
Henry Cooke is just stating his opinion without much knowledge about the value of a solid generic. He didn’t even know about the SEO value of a domain. He relies on on David Castello’s comment to inform him of basic info and examples.
David J Castello #1 11:27am
You missing the reason why certain generic domains can be very, very valuable. Branding. For example, HotelReservationNetwork.com was already an extremely successful business when they acquired Hotels.com for mid seven figures. The immediate result? A 15+% jump in revenue.
To which Cooke reponds with the “oh well then” type comment
@1 This is true, and that %15 stat is incredible. The SEO power of a good domain is obviously very important, and probably with more traditional type buisnesses (like hotel booking) the generic domain can be much more important, rather than pure web services.
So now he realizes they may have more value than just vanity names. Yes, he calls them vanity names
Generic word domain names are all right, but I would class them more as vanity purchases (think “weather.com” for The Weather Channel, or “news.com” for CNet) than an essential marketing strategy. Just think – Apple don’t own “apps.com”. If you are starting a new web service and you want to spend millions of dollars on a URL like “cameras.com” then stop, build a better product, and sort out an excellent SEO (search engine optimisation) team. Note: Yeah they spell optimize with an “S” in the land down under.
So here is what I agree with. A brand can be just as competitive and successful without a generic domain. It all depends on what you are trying to sell. Kayak.com would certainly rather have had Travel.com And OutdoorPlay.com would rather have had Kayak.com to sell their kayaks. But you buy what you can afford and build from there. So I agree that generics aren’t necessary, but he missed the point that they add incredible value to your SEO and brand memorability. Also, I do agree that a super generic can be boring. Its like the can of beer from the 70’s that said “Beer”. They can come across as cheap and bland without the branding. The same can be said about some generics.
I also admit that all the parking and holding pages on some of the great names is slowly eating at respect level of the net’s user base. Originally people assumed that a great name had to be owned by a big company. A category leader. Now they are starting to realize they are owned by all kinds of people. Most of whom have no idea about the business of the domain they own. But it doesn’t matter. There were lots of people that owned beach front property that didn’t like the beach or do anything special with the land. Its an investment. And a damn good one.
So Mr. Cooke. Don’t be jealous. Just because you don’t understand the value is no reason to say there is none. Google gives generics preference for a reason. I would imagine that someone else owning your very common name started the “rant”
This was kind of a rant – but it just seems like a silly practice. The only domain squatting I approve of is grabbing your kid’s one when he/she is born. Because someone owns “henrycooke.com” and they don’t even use it.
I didn’t get as many shares of Apple as I had liked when I was younger. I would have liked to pay $25 a share again. Cooke would just bitch about how Apple is too expensive and doesn’t have value while I am still buying shares because I realize that anyone that is a big part of how and what we do on the net is something I want to be part of. And yes, domains are a big part of how and what we do on the Internet.
Read the original article.