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March 06, 2007



"I wonder what would happen if every visitor to 'my network' who typed Google.com into my 300,000 search boxes got Yahoo?"

If you type in google.com in to pretty much any yahoo based ppc page you won't get a link directing you to google. It will be some kind of error message with a bunch of ppc links for other sites. I don't think google isn't doing anything that domainers aren't already doing.

With antarctica.com I get "We could't find any results for:google.com. Try these instead:"

***FS*** Thanks sincerely for pointing this out Snoopy.. This post's title (and my hamming it up) is in part intended to illustrate that this just isn't good for anyone. I am wondering what would happen if everytime somebody typed the Google.com domain, we automatically loaded Yahoo.com. We used to return 'any' domain typed in our search box as a link. Then in Q3 2006 we modified it (when Goog started doing it on theirs, to ours) tit-for-tat. Today we refresh generic results related to the name originally typed. Ultimately I don't think this is good for the user tho. In a perfect world I'd prefer all search-boxes (parked page search boxes included) to return a link to any URL typed, just as the browser's address bar does. That way there's a redundancy to the browser. It reinforces domain name based direct navigation and .. I just inherently believe its better if everyone links to everyone, giving users the choice to easily go where they want. I'm actually putting my money where my mouth is and changing all my sites in the next month to make that easier. But that's just me. I'll blog about it when I make the change.

(note: to avoid confusion.. I've edited the title of the post as well.. thanks again Snoop ;)


Well first of all I have to congratulate on a nice blog, I try to came here on daily basis and find always some interesting read.
Regarding the subject of this post I am glad that I found something about it. I have felt Google's change and I have felt it harder than most of domainers ... why, let me explain in few words. I am building my own e-commerce site, let's call it mybrand.com, that is completely powered with direct navigation. Now, like you put it in your post it is quite nice and relaxing to not depend of the Google and the others and to allow yourself to not care about page rank, page optimizations and so on ... However some things you can not avoid. When I check ICA's direct search white paper traffic growth graph and compare it with my own version, with the difference that on my own I am tracking sales not traffic, the change from Q3 2006 is much more notable. Why is that, well the reason is that ignorance of Google's rules in building my own mybrand.com cost me to loose Google's searches for "mybrand.com" and those hits convert to sales at significantly higher rate. Hits from Google's search "mybrand.com" are not just simple visits, they are almost 100% buyers. So some comparison shopper which find him self in the situation when he did not find my site easily is going to competition and do not care what had caused the problem, at least this is what I would do in such situation.
So, where we are. We can wait until the Q3 2007 and growth will come back to normal and we can continue with ignorance of Google's rules, but the branding effect will always suffer, at least for those of us who are trying to develop something on their domains. However another positive side like you noted is of course that surfers will bit by bit learn to differentiate between address bar and search box, I've been so many times on the phone with less experienced friends who where telling me that there's nothing at the "example.com" in their words "only a page loaded with text" end the first thing to check with them is always "where exactly did you type" :-)
And for the end, of course from the position of a domainer I am certainly not the right one to complain about unfairness of the internet and talk about the surfers that did not come to the place they wanted to, my portfolio is far away from the clean one, but then again I'm also not the one who proudly put on my web page "do no evil" :-)

***FS*** Thank you very much for adding color Damir. I thought twice when writing the "feels evil' part because we now block searches to Google on our network; but however childish this might sound: "They did it first". I honestly think when Google did this, their clever programming talents decided to "improve the user experience".. unfortunately when you start screwing around with navigation .. thats the A-Bomb of user intent shaping. I had talked about developing a browser or a search engine .. or blind branding a search engine like MSN or a9.com ...people have asked me if I'm worried about the Google search thing happening in the browser. You can see by my example if the browser did what Google does the Internet would end: but beyond that, if I the browser closed in on the world I would band together with the 6 or 10 largest portfolio owners and get behind (or create) a browser that gave people the right to choose. 300 million uniques a day encouraging their visitors to download IE, or FF, or opera. Nobody has the "Reach" that a large domain network like that has.

Rob Sequin


Great blog and contribution to the industry. What I have found (and you certainly don't need any advice from a little cheese mouse like me :-) is that my domains may not show up as a link in the search results, they do show up as text in search results because I have ALL my domains listed for sale across 20 pages at my SearchDomainsForSale.com site (sorry to promote my site but I think it's a good example of how people might want to design a site so their domain names show up in search results)

For example, try my CapeHelp.com or HandheldSolutions.com or any other name listed for sale on my site. Every name that I just tried shows up in the text of search results with a link to my SearchDomainsForSale.com page because it is content on that page.

So, maybe if domain portfolio owners made a directory or list of their domains for sale, at least the search engines would pick up the page that they reside on.

***FS*** First thanks .. and I'm a cheese mouse too.. just have a bit more cheddar ;) I notice that my names (as text within pages) come up in the algo results.. just not the navigation link. I will try restructuring the pages and stop blocking SE spiders.. still if google has a one-box for "pounds to ounces" they should be smart enough to undserstand that their users who type a domainname.com, want 'that' name. I think they know what they're doing. They look at the paid-search content and make a judgement that they don't want to display the link. That judgement is the slipery slope.. (I know you get this.. just making you my foil so I can repeat it)

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