Be Better Than Google, Dell and Marketo — Renew Your Domain Name
Yesterday, the post that popped up in my News Feed on Facebook looked fake — it said Googlers forgot to renew Google.com. It turns out, they had back in 2015. It’s something so basic it can even be automated, but so many marketers continue to forget to do so. And it can be costly in more than the obvious way — which is loss of revenue while the site is down. So let’s do a little Friday morning schadenfreude, shall we?
Here are three biggies:
- The day before Americans tuned into the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, one of the richest sports entities in the world lost its domain for 24 hours, writes Medianama. (The Board of Control for Cricket in India may not be a household name here, but it matters to more than 1 billion people.)
- In October 2017, the FCC fined a company $3 million for failing to renew its domain name — and leaving deaf, hard of hearing and speech-disabled people throughout the U.S. without video relay service (AKA, phone service including emergency lines) for three days while Sorenson’s site was down, says Naked Security by Sophos.
- On Feb. 8, InspireMore.com published the article that is the landing page for the clickbaity News Feed post I saw about Google. But what the site zombied is true — in 2015, a former Googler bought Google.com for $12. He immediately sold it back to the search giant for $6,006.13, reports Business Insider. (Squint at that number.)
So in addition to assigning a staff member or department to renew the domain names, brands can auto-renew or, in extreme measures, do things like check the GoDaddy auctions to ensure none of their domain names are on there. (While remembering domains like Google.com may seem obvious, Dell’s flub may be a little more difficult to catch, making auction checks seem necessary. For instance, possible cybersquatters owned DellBackupandRecoveryCloudStorage.com from June to early July 2017, reports MediaNama.)
At best, forgetting to renew domain names is just embarrassing.
“Marketing automation provider Marketo failed to automatically renew the Marketo.com domain,” Target Marketing reported in July 2017.
— Travis Prebble (@TravisPrebble) July 25, 2017
It’s even worse, though, if one of your competitors buys your domain name or if an entity that might sully the brand does so.
- President Donald Trump bought JebBush.com when the then presidential candidate failed to renew the domain in December 2015. By February 2016, when Target Marketing checked on JebBush.com, the site redirected to DonaldJTrump.com.
- “Ketchup king Heinz did it with a label-design contest, Fundorado.com, that wound up as a porn site,” Naked Security writes.
But marketers may find comfort in the fact that plenty of brands have met the same fate: The Dallas Cowboys, Microsoft and Foursquare—while analysts were predicting the web brand would go IPO and get bought out, reports WhoAPI.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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