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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Domain Name Reputation Management

Looking at this Google search result:

domain name reputation management search

I believe I'm the first to use the term: domain name reputation management. Since many people will type a domain name into a search box instead of a browser address bar, it's important to manage the search engine results for a given domain name. I consider domain name reputation management a special case of search engine reputation management.

I've been thinking about domains lately, primarily in terms of separating parked domain traffic from search engine advertising traffic on AdWords. I've also noticed many advertisements, on TV and in print, with custom domains. Consider the case of When I first saw the Fedex Kinko's commercial with that domain at the end, this is what a Google search looked like: Google Search
I wondered how many other people would type that domain into a search box, so I ran a PPC advertising test. The point wasn't to generate traffic but to measure impressions. Over the course of a week, from 3/25-3/31, that AdWords PPC test generated 203 impressions. So, 203 people searched for the domain via Google. While that's not a high number, it's not zero. It would be useful to compare that number to the actual number of people who typed into a browser address bar instead of a search box. Of course, I don't have access to the server logs, so I can't know that number.

Still, if I owned a domain name that wasn't showing up in Google searches, I'd run a PPC test to measure the impressions. I'd want to know how much "direct navigation" traffic I was losing to Google searches. That's a part of domain name reputation management - using PPC advertising to measure and/or influence search results. Standard SEO and "new" SEO tactics (social media) can also help with domain name reputation management.

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Anonymous Frank Michlick said...

Somehow trackbacks don't appear to work (probably a problem on my side/site), so here's a manual trackback ;-) The cold war on direct navigation

[...]While I might not always agree with Richard Ball, I enjoy reading his blog and his latest post is once more of interest to Domain Investors.[....]

Sat Apr 07, 07:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi Frank. You're probably aware that I read both of your blogs. ;-)

I found your post on types of direct navigation traffic very informative.

Yes, we disagree on quite a few points, but that's ok. You're approaching this from the domain industry perspective and I'm looking at things from a search marketing perspective and trying to protect my clients' interests.

Sat Apr 07, 10:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Stephan said...

The real evaluation test is why an ad agency would want to use a domain that really WORKED. As in, high traffic, popular trend terms.

Madison Ave. agencies don't want this to happen, because a good domain steals the ad agency's ability to sell their "marketing campaigns". When a company can spend $500,000 for a domain that automatically brings them 200,000 visitors a month, what $5million ad agency can compete with that? NONE.

Andrew Miller said "Domains are the Madison Avenue of the internet" back in 2005. He wasn't wrong.

I've noticed a lot of major corporations, under the control of their ad agencies, feature LAME domain names on their commercials, because the ad agency wants to push the traffic from it's ads, NOT the power of the domain.

Recently, I saw a commercial with Country Spread margerine, a major seller in their market, but the ad agency put this domain name on the bottom of their ad: "". Uh huh. That's a real typein magnet. I think it had something to do with charity and the commercial and Country Spread, but I didn't get it.

What if Country Spread margerine owned "" -- had to pay $2million for it? All the typein traffic for the first year would probably destroy the amount of traffic the ad agency could produce. The company Country Spred shells out an intial buy price of $2mill, but the next year, it only shells out $10 to renew.

So now it has MARGERINE.COM for $10 a year. Do you think Madison Ave Agencies haven't figured this out?

Trust me, they have. I used to work for Foot Cone and Belding on their Mazda account. They aren't stupid. They have our number. Anyone who attempts to sell domains to an ad agency is uninformed and wasting their time. Ad agencies look at the domain industry as their enemy.

Mon Apr 09, 08:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Stephan, I think you are missing the point. These "slogan domains" need to be unique so agencies can track the results of the offline ad campaigns. Using a generic domain would confuse the stats.

Wed Apr 11, 07:14:00 PM EDT  

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