Should You Buy All Your Domain Name Extensions/Variations?
You just registered your main domain but you are not sure if you should buy the other extensions (.net, .org, .info, etc) or close variations for your domain so you can protect your brand.
So, should you buy all your domain extensions and variations? Unless you are a multi-million dollar company, it is not wise to buy all your domain name extensions (.org, .net, etc) and variations. You should focus on buying the .com extension and your country domain extension (.fr, .de, .uk, etc) if your target audience is local.
I actually did a small survey of checking big companies and smaller ones to find out what they really do with their domains. Keep reading to find out more about this survey and a more in-depth explanation about my arguments.
Ok here are is why I don’t suggest buying different domain name extensions and similar domain misspellings:
1.) The cost in the long term would be hundreds of dollars. Domain registrars offer some initial discount for the first year but afterward, you need to pay for each year of registration. For example, if you register the .net, .org, and .info version of your domain you will pay around 65$ dollars per year! **This would be the cost if you use Godaddy.
2.) Usually what happens is that .com version gets traffic from other domain extensions. For example, if someone owns a .net domain will lose some type-in traffic to the .com version. So, even if someone registers the .net or .org version of your domain he needs to make a great effort to compete with you.
3.) If your company name is trademarked you can actually file a Uniform Domain Name Dispute if someone uses your brand name in a different domain extension. This is more successful if your brand is not a generic word or a combination. For example, if twitter files a UDRP for twitter.net or twitter.org probably they will win the case.
If you have your brand name is fastcar.com then it would be harder to win a case like that. You can check more details here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/trademark-infringement
4.) There are over 1000+ domain extensions available right now! Just imagine if you try to register all of them. You should focus mostly on evolving your online brand than worrying if some spammer or not registers some variation of your domain.
Ok, let’s see the arguments in favor of buying multiple extensions and variations:
1.) Sometimes people mistakenly type the domain wrong on their browser. In that case, they will be redirected to a different site. That applies to sites that get a lot of traffic. For example, popular websites like Facebook might have these issues. Some users can type faacebook.com instead of facebook.com.
2.) If you choose to use commercial intent words combination for example buyinsurance.com there is an argument to buy some other popular extensions too. That way you can prevent other competitors of getting these domains rather than improving your brand.
Let’s move on to my small survey results. After the table, I will explain in detail the approach each of the below companies followed. The table shows if a company owns different extensions or common misspellings of its brand.
Simple is a medium-size finance related company that owns a domain based on a generic 1 word that doesn’t indicate necessarily the finance industry. On other extensions, we see even totally different companies, so simple didn’t buy the other ones or even common misspellings. They own the .com version (simple.com) only and they have a strong and memorable brand.
Labbatt food is not a company that relies on the web presence to promote its brand. They just use labattfood.com and they haven’t purchased any other extension or variation. They have over 1000 employees and the decision of not registering multiple domains, it didn’t affect their growth.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (hikma.com) is a big company with over 5000 employees and its headquarters is in the United Kingdom. They only use the .com version and the surprising fact is that they don’t even own any uk extension such as .co.uk or .uk. Another company that prefers to register only the .com and don’t bother with the rest.
Google (google.com) is a multi-billion company that relies on the web for its users and customers. There are many people that type directly the domain of google on their browser. Google has purchased a lot of domain extensions such a google.net, google.org ,google.info, and google.biz.
They have also registered common misspellings like gooogle.com. For some of the extensions or misspellings they choose to redirect them to google.com and for others, they just own them so no-one can use them. The cost of having so many multiple extensions and variations is minimal compared to their revenue so they can afford that approach.
Facebook (facebook.com) has followed a similar route with google. They own facebook.net, facebook.org, facebook.info, facebook.biz, and every domain except facebook.net is a redirect to facebook.com. They also own faacebook.com which is a redirect too.
Walmart (walmart.com) has bought the .org, .info, .net and .biz domains. They actually use walmart.org for the Walmart Foundation. They don’t own the common misspelling waalmart.com.
My last example is EquipmentShare (equipmentshare.com) which is a company with over 500 employees. They own the .net, .org, .info domains but they haven’t applied any redirect to the main site.
This survey reveals that even medium-size companies don’t bother to register different domain extensions and misspellings. More tech-savvy companies usually try to register multiple extensions. So, it seems if you are a big company and you rely on the web for your services and products then it makes some sense to follow the approach of multiple domain name extensions (google, Facebook, etc).
I hope that my short analysis and my arguments helped you with your decision of registering or not multiple domain extension and variations. If this post achieved that goal, please share it on social media!