Brand Protection company Fairwinds in a blog post today, told it big brands clients, the Fortune 500 companies they represent to pay attention to and try to acquire domain hacks.
For those that don’t know a domain hack is a domain spelled out using the letters of a ccTLD and soon some new gTLD’s that form words.
Domain names like bi.ng which is owned by Microsoft in support of its Bing search engine.
.Ng (Nigeria)) , .Ly (Libya) are two countries which has popular hack domains.
“Last week, as phablet fans in the United States awaited the arrival of Samsung’s Mega this Friday (it was first released in South Korea, Europe and Russia), an intrepid analyst here recently discovered that samsu.ng is not owned by the tech manufacturer. ”
“Instead, according to the WHOIS database, samsu.ng (which takes advantage of the ccTLD .ng of Nigeria) is registered to Howard Ku and resolves to a pay-per-click site that showcases links to the “latest Samsung phone,” and to “Samsung Galaxy apps”.
So do all brands overlook the last two letters of their name when capturing key Internet locations?”
“Of the top 100 brands we researched, only three companies have used ccTLDs to create clever and intuitive domain names: pep.si points to the Pepsi Pulse page, ninten.do points to the Country locator for Nintendo, and phili.ps points to the official Philips homepage”
“Other major companies do own domain names containing ccTLDs such as swat.ch and vi.sa, which match their brand names; however, the given domain names do not point to relevant official content.”
“We did find instances of domain names that contain both a brand name and, thanks to the dot placement, a ccTLD, that is used by either a different company or a third party who may be attempting to capitalize on the brand’s image. Here are some examples:
- The m.tv site features a pay-per-click site with links to cellular providers and deals. This could be costly to MTV in the future, particularly if it hopes to build a stronger online presence. A WHOIS lookup confirms that the registrant is Tien Chau, not MTV.
- The domain name b.mw points to a hosting site, which indicates that the given domain name is for sale for US $1,250,000.
- Pampe.rs points to a blank page, which alerts the viewer that he or she is “Executing in an invalid environment for the supplied user,” and the registrant information is privacy protected on DomainTools.
And finally, the domain names of other brands in the Fortune 100 with ccTLD ‘endings’ are already registered by the corresponding Fortune 100 brand but do not resolve. It’s possible that the owners may not know the intrinsic value of these domain names – like cocaco.la, adid.as, and hyund.ai.””
Its an interesting story and a rare time where a Big Brand protection company chats about domain hacks.
There will be some interesting opportunities coming up in the new gTLD space for domain hacks as well.