Ever wonder "what's in a name"? This whitepaper from Microsoft shows how "domain bias" is a new phenomenon as people become more familiar with the Internet. Now that using search has become a habit and a first consideration for solving problems, the mental elimination of domain names has begun.
You already know of the ongoing studies which focus on the bias of placement towards the top on the results page and for those highlighted in bold.
This particular study drills down on the bias of whether a domain name might be popular, well known or its reputation.
"In this paper, we uncover a new phenomenon in click activity that we call domain bias—a user’s propensity to click on a search result because it comes from a reputable domain, as well as their disinclination to click on a result from a domain of unknown or distrustful reputation. The propensity constitutes a bias as it cannot be explained by relevance or positioning of search results." (as found in the introduction of the white paper)
Thus the "unknown" brand new website will need more than a pretty face if it is to be an effective marketing platform. As you read the white paper, you will note that "relevance" remains important.
You can download the white paper here: Domain Bias in Web Search Whitepaper.
The primary reason I share this with you is the fact that hoarding exists behind the doors of many an entrepreneur. Business success because of owning 100 domain names seems almost possible. That next great idea turned into a clever domain name may be the ticket for success so why not by more?
"Since I dreamed up and purchased the domain name, no other business can use it." There are variations and more variations to the domain name. The person with the most domain names at the end of the year does not win, they lose. The domain names sit on the shelves and gather dust waiting for the domain name owner to put them to use. (There is an opportunity for the high skilled online marketer to build niche websites over and over.)
Since the domain names cost about $8 to $12 a year, the minimal cost does not seem significant. The few become many and soon the annual investment is in the thousands of dollars. Those companies selling domain names are very good at creating new reasons for buying six more.
While you may have the disease "Own more domain names", you now have a whitepaper in your hand which shows that your brilliant idea may not have as much power as you once thought it did. The whitepaper is an example of how the real players on the Internet are thinking.
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The whitepaper will inspire you or have you bored to tears. Regardless, it will have you thinking twice about how much you know.
The graphs, data and theories within the whitepaper will change quickly enough as the touchpads evolve, mobile devices dominate and the speeds increase. Trends will change, new data collected and new reports written. Take the higher ground and focus on inbound marketing where you pursue sharing the best of your business via the inbound marketing software.
If nothing else, stop being a "domain name hoarder".
Either sell the domains, let them expire, build sites for them or forward the domain names to pages on your website or social media sites. Don't let them gather dust.
Direct link to download the white paper here: Domain Bias in Web Search Whitepaper.
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