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Grow Your Domain Portfolio

Protect Your Brand Identity When You Register Your Domain

You’re walking toward the entrance of a well-established restaurant and you encounter signs out front that read “I got food poisoning here” and “The staff likes to spit in the drinks.” Would you second-guess your decision to have dinner there? You certainly would pause for a second, right?

Now think about the consumer who’s searching online about your company and finds negative content on sites like yourcompanysucks.com or fakeyourcompany.com right next to your company’s own website. Not ideal for your company’s brand and overall reputation, correct?

In today’s cyberworld, the possibility of being attacked is a reality of doing business online. And a popular vehicle for attackers – whether it’s an aggressive competitor, a malicious cybersquatter or a vindictive ex-partner – is utilizing negative domain names because they’re available to anyone and cheap to register.

So to protect your corporate brand identity, you need to be proactive and register negative domain names before your attacker does. A few simple tips to follow are as follows:

Protect your brand identity and register all your domains

Register all your domains

If you don’t register all your domains, someone else will. So if your company’s URL is mommabagelshop.com, register other top-level domain extensions that are available, like mommabagelshop.net, .cc, and .name. And if you don’t have enough content to support separate websites, redirect them to your main site’s URL. In the grand scheme of business investments, this is a relatively inexpensive one that will provide substantial brand protection in the future.

Register all negative domains

Register all your domains + (any negative word)

Take your business name and add words like, “sucks,” “ripoff” and “scam,” and register these and other negative terms too. It’s easier and cheaper to proactively register 50 negative domain names (and just park them) now, versus the time, effort and legal expenses you’ll incur in the future chasing down negative domain names that you have not registered.

Register domains for all aspects of your company

Register all your domains related to all important aspects about your company

Register the domains of key figures’ names, brands, products, and high profile employees too. So if your brand is centered around a lovable, popular bear named Fluffy, you’ll need to register all domain names, both valid and negative, associated with that character. Again, you don’t want consumers to find a URL that reads fluffykills.com next to your legitimate site.

Own all your social media

Own all your social media

Make sure to reserve your brand name on all social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Your brand could be greatly affected if another entity creates a profile on a high-ranking social site in your firm’s name. And then used it to post negative feedback!

Check if anyone has registered negative domains

Check to see if anyone is registering negative domain names

Search for your brand through sites like KnowEm.com and Namechk.com, where you can check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over hundreds of popular and emerging social media websites. And then take advantage of registering all of these available domain names at once, even if you don’t use them initially.

Register associated domain names

Register associated remaining domain names if existing negative sites do exist

So if www.yourcompanyishorrible.com is out there, register yourcompanyishorrible.net, .cc, .name, etc.

Register misspelled domain names

Register domains with misspellings

A common typo of your name, brand or product is an easy way for attackers to create negative content, so if your company’s site is glitteryeffects.com, go ahead and register glitteryaffects.com too.

Most important, make sure to search your name through sites like www.talkwalker.com/alerts and www.mention.com because it’s critical to know what people are and aren’t saying about you, how to respond and make changes, and to know what your competition is doing.

There’s no question what a powerful tool the Internet has been for commercial business – the market reach has no perimeters, advertising is relatively inexpensive, and word of mouth does go a long way. But the flip side of doing business online is that it’s just as easy for someone to strike against you.