You’ve seen them before and wondered what the heck they were thinking: small businesses with domain names like eallylonganduniquebusinessname.biz. Half-out-loud you say: what, was reallylonganduniquebusinessname.com taken? A new advertising technique of “illegal” casino websites helps prove that your snickering is absolutely justified pragmatic play.
Cheapskates and Johnny-dot-Com-Lately’s
If you’ve consulted for small business websites as long as I have, you have probably encountered more than a few whose owners decided to save three dollars at Godaddy by buying a dot-biz domain name. Or a dot-net, dot-info, or dot-whatever was on sale that week.
Whatever it is, forget trying to tell them that they may have lost out in thousands of dollars of business from type-ins. That is, from all the people who will type in the dot-com version and get an error message–or a parked domain advertising naughty-naughty pictures. Nor should you tell them that everyone who knows a dot-biz from a dot-com knows that the former is usually offered on sale and is the beast-mark of the most extreme kind of penny-wise-pound-foolish cheapskate. The obviousness of the truth of the observation will only make them hate you more.
Then there are the netrepreneurs who wanted that keyword-perfect domain name so badly that they took a dot-biz, dot-org, dot-cc, or dot-what-the-heck-does-that-stand-for? when the dot-com version was already taken. You know what I’m talking about: a one-man-band bookstore that buys the “book” domain with the Vatican’s top-level domain extension because Barnes & Noble has book.com, and every other possible variant was also already
Again, don’t bother telling these people they’re just sending type-in traffic to Barnes & Noble. You are arguing against a cottage industry. Pitcairn Island, population under 100, has its own top-level domain name extension. No doubt they can cut back on their rare coin and postage stamp production thanks to the hundred bucks (US, not Pitcairnian) per domain paid by wishful Johnny-come-lately’s. And GoDaddy is no doubt raking in the credit card digits from .us domain names that are worth their weight in gold pixels. This is the web version of small business owners paying thousands to put their kids in their TV commercials. If you’re a business consultant, you correct their error at your peril.
Why Casino Sites Know Web Businesses Need Dot-Coms
In case you have some justification for a dot-whatever lurking in some self-destructive corner of your brain, let me write this as clearly as possible. For a US or international business, the only suitable domain name extension is dot-com. Nonprofits can get by with dot-org, schools with dot-edu. Non-US country-specific businesses can use their own national domain name extensions. No, my fellow Americans, there is no justification for dot-us, even if your shipping area does exclude Canada and Puerto Rico and military addresses to boot.