Safeguarding your domain name and related intellectual property should be a high priority for your business.
Unscrupulous opportunists troll the internet looking for businesses, both well known and not, checking for unregistered misspellings, similar domain names, or expired registrations. There are many scams.
One example that comes to mind is the Woolworths-owned Dick Smith Electronics. Its main website is dse.com.au. However it was discovered in 2007 that another version of their business name had not been registered by the company, and had been turned into a pornography portal.
To avoid such problems make timely decisions about domain names and IP protection.
For the sake of a small domain name registration fee (around A$20), this oversight would have caused embarrassment, possible lost business, and missed internet traffic. People would stumble into the wrong website and not Dick Smith Electronics.
Another example is www.blogspot.com - the Google-owned community blogging website. Check out this very simple typo alternative address: http://www.blogsopt.com. Don't reward them by clicking on any links - they more than likely get paid for clicks.
Allowing a registration to expire is another cause for problems. There are domain name listings websites where people add their expression of interest in a domain name and then wait to pounce if its registration expires, thus capitalising on past traffic and rankings.
Briefly, my advice is:
REGISTRATION: Always try and register the .com version (and other variations) of your domain name if you are an Australian business with a .com.au
MISSPELLING: If there is a common misspelling or typo for a word in your domain, register that as well
TLD's: Register, if possible, other top level domains (TLD) to safeguard your business into the future. These include .net, .net.au, .mobi etc. Speak to your web designer about TLDs.
Deciding on as well as maintaining a strong domain name is critical to your website design strategy. Email or call me for advice on your specific facts. After an initial dialogue to assess needs, I will provide you with fees information for further assistance.
This article was written by Rob from justweb. Email or call Rob for a conversation about building your internet traffic. Ideally do it before you settle on a domain name, website design, or search engine optimisation strategy.
For intellectual property law advice, contact Noric Dilanchian, an IP law specialist for over 25 years.