Published October 11, 2010
A domain name industry veteran has cautioned people considering the registration of what he calls "cutesy" domain name hacks.
With the plethora of country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) now available for registration, creative people are using extensions as part of the name, for example, bit.ly or deli.cio.us. However, recall of these domain names can be touch and go says Elliot J. Silver.
The problem occurs when the "dot" is not emphasised in branding and Internet users type in the name as one word and append it with .com as that is the domain extension with the highest awareness among U.S. users (but in the case of Australia, .com.au would also have a high awareness level).
In some cases, this tendency to gravitate to .com or .com.au can mean a competing service receives the wayward traffic.
Mr. Silver advises registering a .com equivalent to ensure this traffic is also scooped up. In the case of Australian businesses registering "domain hack" type names, to register a .com.au domain name would also be advisable.
Using the popular URL shortening service bit.ly as an example, the company has headed off this issue by also registering the .com version; bitly.com.
Mr. Silver recommends individuals or companies wishing to use a domain hack should so only if they can secure the .com. He says if they can't secure the .com but must use this hack for whatever, it's critical to highlight the "dot" in offline and online marketing materials.
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