You have the primary domain for your website, and now you’re curious if you should purchase all of the similar domains, right? We get questions about this a lot, and today we’ll give you the truth about domain names and the importance of owning more than just your domain when it comes to your business. Owning your primary domain is an essential first step for any website. However, there are instances where people will try to take advantage of other similar domains close to your company website name and use it for their own purposes. Since cybersquatting can be a significant issue among businesses and even individuals, we want to let you know about the practice and how it relates to your veterinary business so you can make better-informed decisions about protecting yourself from those looking to cause harm. Cybersquatting is defined as registering, selling, or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. Is your business name trademarked? If yes, you have a case if you are the victim of cybersquatting.
Is there SEO value in owning more than one domain?
We get the question often – “is there SEO value in having multiple domains point to a single domain?” The answer is an unequivocal no. Google is quite clear that there is no “tie-breaker” benefit of ranking multiple domains over a single domain. In fact, from an SEO perspective, it’s best practice to have a single domain name for any given website. Now that the SEO information is out of the way let’s discuss cybersquatting. While not common in veterinary medicine, we are finding more and more competition with veterinary businesses springing up everywhere, and at some point, domains will be like currency. Most websites use .com, .net, or .org, and you may want to be sure to own all three for your brand. However, there are some more interesting domains that you may wish to purchase as well. Not only is it possible to buy these types of domains one-by-one, but many companies will sell all their domains together in packs. Once you’ve purchased, you can go to a site like GoDaddy and see the prices on all versions of your domain. Some may be just a few dollars a year and will help you keep them safe.
Cybersquatters tend to use these domains for spam or malware. If you are worried about the cost of owning multiple domains, at least register your domain name with an “s” at the end. So if someone tries to squat on your domain, they will find themselves in cyberspace with an unregistered domain that probably won’t be taken seriously by anyone who visits it. Cybersquatters often go after keywords related to their profession (such as “doctor,” “veterinarian,” etc.) and business names (topcityvet, bestcityvet). Still, they may try to acquire any relevant domain combinations (for example, www.bestvetinmiami.com).
What to do if you are the victim of cybersquatting.
According to Novo.com, you have two options when it comes to fighting a cybersquatter:
- sue under the provisions of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), or
- use an international arbitration system created by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Should you purchase all related domains to your business?
If you aren’t worried about the cost of owning multiple domains for your business or for premium domains that competitors could use in your area, “best[city]vet.com” or “top[city]veterinarian.com,” – we recommend picking them up. If you don’t, someone else may get them before you can. Regardless of the value they bring to your business; it may be better to play defense in this case.
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