2008-02-09

Clever Domain Names are now Worthless

Clever universal resource locators (URL) are now worthless. Brought to you by Internet Explorer 7.
 
Alternative titles: Microsoft's gift to Google. Or Tim Berners-Lee's mistake finally corrected.
 
You'd think Internet users would know how to type an address to pull up a web page. But you would be wrong. After helping thousands of customers, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of Internet users NEVER type a web site address. Never! They Google it, Yahoo it, American Online it or Microsoft Network it but they don't URL it.
 
Remember the days when you actually had to type http:// , and the joy when you discovered you didn't have to anymore? Then you realised that most sites (but not all) will work without the www.
 
Well, join the masses, forget the address bar! Want to go to your online banking site, just type the acronym in your search engine . Go ahead, try it: td, cibc, bnc, caisse, bmo, scotia...  They all work (the full names also work). In fact, because some malicious programs can change your favorites (bookmarks), security experts at those banks recommend you access the banks via a search engine. Typing addresses will lead to typos and ending up at the wrong place. But search engines rarely bring up malicious sites among the first suggestions.
 
Now I'm not saying you shouldn't put the name of your organisation in your domain name. I'm just saying you don't need to worry about it. For example, there would be zero point for me to register altavistagoogle.ca, altavistagoogle.com, altavistagoogle.tv or altavistagoogle.org because people who want to read my blog simply search for altavistagoogle. If fact, that is the way I get to my own blog!  Having the search word in the domain name does help with the ranking, but you clearly no longer need to worry about the suffix .com anymore.
 
I enjoy reading We moved to Canada, a blog about an American from rural New England who ends up in Mississauga via New York. Getting to her blog is a bit of a hassle as I can never remember the address. So I usually get to it by clicking on the link on my links page. But I just discovered I could get there even faster by typing "we moved to canada". Quotes unnecessary. And that even isn't quite the name of her blog. Close enough, Google knows what I want (for you Microsoft shareholders out there, don't worry, Yahoo works to).
 
Tim Berners-Lee (if the Internet was God, Berners-Lee would be Jesus) once said that his only regret about inventing the World Wide Web (not the Internet, that was Al Gore*) was http:// Problem solved. Granted it took 19 years and a couple of 200 billion dollar companies, but a solution is a solution.
 
 
*Al Gore created the Internet:
 
During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
 
Gore was responding to the question: What do you have to bring to this that he (Bill Bradley) doesn't necessarily bring to this process?
 
Incidentally, Bill Bradley took the initiative in creating basketball. Thankfully, he never bragged about it during a CNN interview. I helped create blogging. I also created Geocities as I was one of the first members, I was also an early adopter of hotmail and typed akebono, many times, as part of Yahoo!'s url. So I feel a tad responsible for the new multi billion dollar conglomerate about to be created. Unfortunately, just like the Governor of California and the Governor of Michigan, I'm constitutionally barred from running for President of the United Stated as I was born in Canada (I'm also to young and don't meet the citizenship or residency requirements).
 
 

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