The Boston Herald ran an article yesterday about how companies are using domains to cash in. It took a look at the recent sale of candy.com, but also interviewed long-time owners of generic .com domains.
One was John Ebb, who registered suitcase.com in 2005 for his luggage shop. He said having the domain was great because it brought in a good deal of free type-in traffic.
There was no surcharge for it at all. It’s very key, because for the organic search engines it actually picks up very quickly. If somebody goes into Google and types ‘suitcase,’ we come up first every time.
Owning a good generic domain is a huge competitive advantage, but many domainers still believe that such a name is the key to getting good search engine rankings. I’ve ranted about this SEO myth before.
Ebb think his domain is the reason why his site ranks well on Google for the term “suitcase.” It’s not. Search engines could care less about suitcase.com. What matters are the number and quality of the links to his site as well as the content of his pages.
This myth is a problem because it is being used to help justify the purchase of expensive domains. A name like candy.com is definitely worth the £1.8 million it sold for. It will get a lot of traffic from people, who, looking for sweets, are too lazy to conduct a web search and just type “candy.com” into their browsers. It does not guarantee a good rank for “candy” on Google, however. Take a look at the search results for the term and you’ll see the site is nowhere to be found.
Domainers need to get this myth out of their heads.