One of the blessings and curses of the Internet is the utter simplicity involved in registering a domain and putting a website online; anyone can do it. It’s amazing how simple the process is, but in the same breath it’s amazing how simple the process is. There are also very few restrictions involved in how an individual exercises this freedom. What we’re getting at is one of the back-alley facts of life online these days: anyone can register any available domain and put virtually any content they choose on that domain.
The best way to protect your brand is to ensure you own all the popular Top Level Domains (TLDs) for the brand. In other words, you want the .com / .net / .org for any domain related to your business. Who do you think owns hostgator.org, or google.net? Ever notice how amazon.net loads straight to amazon.com?
It is incredibly easy to forward multiple domains to your primary domain within cPanel. That way whatever TLD iteration someone types into a browser, they will arrive at your same website. And it prevents a competitor from doing as they choose with any available TLD related to your brand.
This logic can be applied in other ways as well. For example, a quick WHOIS search for amazonsucks.com shows the domain is pointed to amazon.com nameservers, thus preventing any potential angry individuals from utilizing that domain for any nefarious purposes that might then show up in google searches for amazon.com. It also forces any “haters” to have to scoot further off the beaten path before stepping up onto their virtual soapbox.
One more example regarding the wisdom of owning multiple domains to protect your brand. Type fcaebook.com into your browser and see what happens. Clearly FaceBook registered that mis-spelling of their domain and pointed it to their primary domain.
Whether to protect your brand from frontal attacks, or prevent others from attacking from the flanks, your best defense is to simply own any domains that could be used against you. Be they alternate TLDs, or any alternate spellings or even “<inster_your_brand>sucks.com” as Amazon taught us.
Now is the time to scoop up those alternate TLDs and alternate spelling domains. Choose your domains wisely, think through what domains you should own from a strategic standpoint, then head on over to http://register.hostgator.com and protect your brand!