The One Mistake I See Big Brands Make Often
This morning something caused me to look up an old client online. It’s how I am wired; I get thoughts like that and I act on them. I had recalled that they had been acquired but something just told me to do a Google search, and it was probably to produce this article. I found the company by doing a Google search which led me to their old domain; the one they spent lots of money with my former firm to get lots of page one search engine rankings which led to lots of revenue for them. What I did not see, was the website – or any website.
The company that purchased them apparently thought so much of themselves, that they disregarded one of the assets that this company brought to the table, which was a very nice online footprint. Today, that footprint still exists, however someone in the Bahamas running ads on a splash page is now the benefactor. I’d love to be able to do an analysis on the lost revenue from losing all of that targeted web traffic.
It reminds me of one of the biggest blunders in this arena, and it happened with an Internet based company of all things. Does anyone remember a company called GoTo.com? It was a highly successful pay per click advertising portal back in the late 90’s; long before Google AdWords was created. In fact, in it’s day, they were the go to source for pay per click advertising and the companies that used their services got great results because it was far less competitive than the online landscape today. It was eventually rebranded as Overture.com, then acquired by Yahoo.com (you can read the story on Wikipeida). Today, the domain GoTo.com is owned by a marketing firm and displays a splash page with an ad for Nokia phones. But here is the kicker; the site has some very strong stats from it’s history including a Google Page Rank of 6 and an Alexa rank of 503,000.
Just because a company has lots of money, it certainly does not guarantee they will hire the right people to make the right decisions in favor of profitability. It also doesn’t mean the company will realize that desirable domains still have lots of value in the domain name marketplace. In fact, domains are so much a part of the online branding equation that companies are named around available domains and many Venture Capital backed companies are required by the VC’s to spend significant money (often in excess of $100,000) just to secure the right domain name.
If you are looking to acquire a firm, don’t miss out on the value of the online footprint of the company you are seeking to acquire. And if you decide (for whatever reason) you don’t need or want that domain, contact me and I will most likely be able to help you liquidate it. Brokering domains and websites is the fun side of our business!