Domain names are integral to a company’s online presence and to a degree, its success, and revenue as well. A good domain name should be unique, flexible enough to appeal to a large demographic, and short and phonetic so that it’s easier to recall over time.
But choosing a good domain name and registering one can be confusing because of the risk of getting distracted by various myths about domain names. So, let’s take a look at the five most common myths about domain names to avoid any misconceptions:
5 Common Myths About Domain Names
1. You Can Own a Domain Forever
Getting a domain name registered in your name does not mean that you are its owner. They are actually rented from The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) or through registrars accredited with the ICANN. This means that whoever rents a domain name has the exclusive right to use it or sell it to someone else.
Also, you can rent a domain name only for a certain period of time and renew your registration at the end of its registration period. It is important to renew the registration on time, otherwise, the registrar can auction off its ownership to the highest bidder.
2. You Don’t Need a .com
It is always advisable to use a .com extension if you want to build the credibility of your domain name. Because people often type .com while searching for a website instead of a .co or .biz extension, for example. They may consider your website as spammy and not click on the link on their search engine results if your URL does not have a .com extension.
However, there are some extensions that can only be used under very specific conditions and they help in building the credibility of that domain name in such cases. For example, .edu can only be used by educational institutions, .gov can only be used by various government departments and municipalities and .org can only be used by non-profit organizations.
If your organization falls under such special categories, then it makes sense to use the special extensions. But, in other cases, it’s advisable to use the .com extension to generate the most amount of traffic to your website.
3. You Can’t Buy a Domain That’s Already Taken
If you’ve decided on a domain name and find out it has already been taken, then it’s absolutely possible to buy that domain name from the current owner. You can either personally approach the domain owner to sell the ownership to you. For that, you’ll need to find out who the owner is, determine your budget, contact the owner and negotiate the purchase.
Or you can use a domain buy service that’ll help you contact the domain owner, negotiate a price within your budget and facilitate the whole transaction. Either way, domain names that are already taken can be bought if you’ve got the right budget for them.
4. Your Domain Name Needs Keywords for SEO
While adding keywords to your domain name for SEO purposes can make sense to a degree, they don’t have much of a purpose in the long run. This is true considering you have a live site because, without one, your keyword research is not valid in the first place.
Generally, search engines don’t look for keywords in a domain to determine its authenticity. And they constantly change their algorithms after every few years. So, even if the keywords might help your SEO performance now, they won’t be of much help in a few years.
Additionally, people often consider domain names filled with targeted keywords to be budget websites where they won’t get the value they are looking for or even spammy in some cases. So, in short, it’s not all necessary to put keywords in your domain name for SEO purposes.
5. You Need the Perfect Domain Name
The perfect domain name doesn’t exist because domain names on their own do not have any value. The value of a domain name increases over time due to the increase in the value of the organization associated with that domain name.
For example, the domain “google.com” during the formation of Google did not have any inherent value because there was no relation between the functionalities of a search engine and a meaningless word like Google back then. But over the next few decades, due to aggressive branding and the enormous success of the company, the domain name has become probably the most valuable in the world. So much so that the word “google” in itself means to search for information online these days.
One of the Editors for Tech on the Go, I love covering mobile tech and social media. I also manage the reviews we cover so all the writers stay on my good side!