"Google effect" reduces need for many domains.
January 14, 2002 2:49 PM   Subscribe

"Google effect" reduces need for many domains. Dan Gillmor says effective search engines can and should stop people from freaking out that "Wah! All the good .com names are taken" and compulsively registering all the .biz, .info, .tv, .to, and other .crap domains which the registrars would like us to believe are vital. Bob Frankston agrees, [link via Ev] adding that reducing our dependence on semantic (i.e. keywordy) web addresses will improve the stability and usefulness of the web. (I agree too!)
posted by Tubes (5 comments total)
Misses the point. It's not important that the domain be guessable, but it is still very important that the domain be memorable - assuming you will want to promote the site off-line. Given that the last time I checked off-line promotion is still the most viable way to get people to your site, memorable domains aren't going to go away any time soon.

I just can't picture an ad for coke with a url like www.a1edrinkablebeverage.com or an instruction to go search for Coke in Google to get to the site.
posted by willnot at 2:56 PM on January 14, 2002

The problem with this is that most search engines are seeking additional revenues by allowed sponsored search results and allowing for companies to pay to get their names show up higher in the results. That, and any website solutions provider worth its salt has an emarketing department devoted to figuring out how to jigger their clients' websites to show up better in engines, including Google. And thus we move further and further away from the diversity and democratic promise the internet once promised, as those with the cash become those with the visilbility and traffic.
posted by drywall at 2:58 PM on January 14, 2002

Maybe next time I'll proofread a little more carefully....
posted by drywall at 3:08 PM on January 14, 2002

Misses the point.

Gillmor is at least half right. Part of the reason for domain name popularity is because there has been real value in having the best, most obvious domain name. Google and another factor -- changes in how Internet Explorer deals with users who type a word into the Address bar instead of a URL -- are taking away a lot of that value.

For example, my parody site at drudge.com used to get thousands of hits from people who typed the word "drudge" into the Address bar. Now, IE 6 sends those people to the Drudge Report site because drudge is a RealNames keyword. Another example: Dave Winer lost a lot of traffic because the word "scripting" now goes to an MSN Search page for the term instead of loading scripting.com.

Eventually the value of a good URL will only be marketing -- mentioning it in ads and the like. Although I had some fun with the old system, I'm glad that Google and other things are loosening the chokehold on the namespace (along with new generic TLDs like .info and .biz). It's insane for a TLD like .com to have so much value when there are no technological barriers to having hundreds, if not thousands, of TLDs.
posted by rcade at 7:44 AM on January 15, 2002

This guy usually says good shit, but now he totally misses the point.
posted by kchristidis at 12:41 PM on January 15, 2002

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