Monday, 07 February 2011 11:25

Zoupon brings in the deals, companies buy misspelled domain names

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How do you spell Zoupon? Deals.com.au. How do you spell Qantas.com.au? With an extra u if u want!

Having an easy name to say and spell is of benefit when it's turned into a domain name, but sometimes you have to give the people what they want.

Sometimes, that means buying an entirely new domain name, while other times it means buying a range of domain names that are common misspellings of your existing domain name, just so you can make things easier for the people that fund your business - your customers.

An article over at the Daily Telegraph has the story of group buying site, Zoupon. Its MD, Jeremy Same, is quoted as rhetorically asking how Zoupon is spelled, and even though its visual similarity to 'coupon' is obvious, Zoupon's executives knew they needed something easier.

So, they paid $100,000 to buy the 'deals.com.au' domain name, and clearly hope that this will be a big boost to their business. No doubt Zoupon hopes to be the Groupon of Australia, although there's tough competition, with Jeremy Same's business partner, Adam Schwab, telling the Daily Tele that their site is the 'fifth or sixth largest' group buying website in Australia.

But what about companies like Qantas, who struggle with customers typing in Quantas.com.au when they're searching for the company online?

Fairfax Media has reported that Aussie companies are buying misspelled versions of their domain names to cater for those typing typos.

Continued on page two, please read on!



This means that not only does Quantas.com.au work in getting to Qantas, but that domain names such as Mier or Myers with a .com.au at the end gets you to Myer.com.au. Another example was Weather.com.au, all too frequently misspelled as whether.com.au or wether.

It's a clever tactic that stops ambush marketing or those who wish to place a page of clickable ads in front of someone looking for the genuine website, as opposed to a page full of spammy ads.

Of course, it does cost extra money to register these domain names, but it's not that expensive when compared to a myriad other business expenses, and if it does make life easier for your customers it could easily be paying for itself.

The Fairfax report also says that Australia's Domain Name Administrator has banned a number of domains from ever being registered, such as BigPong.com.au, FightCentre.com.au or Kommbank.com.au.

Heck, it almost makes you want to register a business name such as BigPong (as a cleaning company that fixes your messes) or FightCentre (as a martial arts company) just to see whether these banned names can be challenged, and while I won't be engaging in any such pursuits, there are the mischievous out there.

So'¦ if you're already in business with your own domain name, you might want to consider buying up domain names that are easy mistypes of your own, whether through a slipped finger, Freudian slip or some other faux pas - you could be missing out on business just because your customers aren't touch typists or were distracted when typing in the name for your site!

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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