Take .com, .org, and Other Popular Top Level Domain Names of Your Site’s URL
This is a quick tip for traveling webmasters. When you purchase a new domain name or want to use a domain that you already own, be sure to also claim a few of the various other top level domain names for your chosen address.
A top level domain name — also referred to as the suffix or extension — is the .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .whatever designation that goes at the tail end of a web address.
For branding purposes as well as to be sure that all traffic and links that are meant to come in to your site get there, be sure to own at least the .com and .org top level domains for your chosen address.
The address of this site is VagabondJourney.com, but I was also sure to own rights to VagabondJourney.org and VagabondJourney.net to prevent another site from using the “Vagabond Journey” branding and confusing visitors. Typically, the various other top level domains that I own for VagabondJourney should automatically redirect to the proper .com address (though I must admit laziness on this).
I was sparked to publish this tip because I went to make a link for the WWOOF program on my Work Abroad page. I automatically typed in www.WWOOF.com in the link and then stopped short: the Willing Workers on Organic Farms program is probably a .org.
I checked it out, and, sure enough, it was a .org site.
But what was of relevance here is that www.WWOOF.com is a scrapper site. It is meant to “look” like the proper WWOOF page but only has links for ads and other bullshit. This .com page is meant to trick people by riding on the WWOOF branding and taking in traffic that is trying to reach the Willing Workers on Organic Farms .org site and referring them to ads.
[adsense]A large portion of internet prowess is based on branding and getting all the traffic you can get. So if I want to brand VagabondJourney.com I do not want someone else out there able to own and use VagabondJourney.org or other popular top level domains, as this impedes upon my “brand” of the VagabondJourney web address. Also, I do not want to lose visitors who are trying to come to my site but accidentally type .org or another extension into their browsers.
Keep in mind that so many internet users still default to .com when trying to reach a website. You can tell people that your top level domain is .org, .net, .eatme, and they will still try to access your site via the .com extension. The .com suffix has been drilled into people’s minds as being the top level domain of the interent, and it is beneficial for webmasters to comply with this tendency. Even if you want to use a .org, .net, .whatever extension for your website be sure to also own the .com version and have it redirect to the proper homepage.
Also use caution when purchasing a domain name where the .com extension is already owned by another party. It is money in the pockets of scrappers to use the .com version of a popular web address to trick and fool would be visitors into thinking they are on the proper site. If your site becomes even somewhat well known and you don’t own the .com extension, expect a scrapper site to be put up to piggy back off of your success. Don’t allow this to happen, own .com.
Tip for traveling webmasters: own multiple extensions of your domain name and do not try to establish a web address where the .com extension is already taken.
For those of you who could not care less about webmastering, well, return tomorrow for your regularly scheduled travel articles.