Should I purchase domain names proactively?

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This past week, The Donald made headlines when it was uncovered that his company owned thousands of domain names that are simply being parked in what it deems as a defensive move.

Says Trump’s son, Eric, “For a company like ours, it’s incredibly important to protect ourselves, and it’s incredibly important to own our intellectual property.”

Here’s why this doesn’t make financial sense, and why it also a futile effort:

Yahoo lists some of the domains owned:

  • DonaldTrumpSucks.com
  • TrumpCorporationSucks.com
  • TrumpOrganizationSucks.com

It typically costs anywhere from a few dollars to about $15 to keep each domain per year. Let’s say it’s $10. And let’s say they have 50,000 domains. That means they are paying $500,000 a year to park these domains. Chump change for a billion-dollar corporation, right? Well, after 20 years, that’s $10 million. Not to mention the lost return on capital the $500,000 would generate on a annualized basis.

The Trump organization is probably also (over)paying an agency to manage these domains on their behalf… perhaps another $50,000 – $100,000 per year.

When asked, I have never recommended purchasing domain names to thwart potential slander. And I’m asked this same question at each company I work. The reason is pretty simple, you just cannot purchase all the combinations of potentially scandalous domain names. In fact, there are 36 to 245th power which is basically a 2 with 381 zeroes following it. That’s a lot more than a google, and a lot of $10 bills each year. For example, here are five domain names I could purchase that they haven’t yet:

  • DonaldTrumpSucks1.com
  • DonaldTrumpSucks123.com
  • DonaldTrumpSucksABC.com
  • DonaldTrumpSucksNYC2016HellYeahEveryone.com
  • DonaldTrumpSucks3000.info

See my point?

Not only is this a waste of money, it’s a waste of time.

Proponents of this futile activity will claim “it’s worth it if we even thwart one attack!” But you won’t. If you know search engine optimization, you don’t even need Trump in the name of your website to talk about the organization. I’m talking about them now, and if I had good content and SEO, then I won’t need a Trump-specific domain name to spread my word.

And, let’s say you are slandered, if another person is using your trademark and/or slandering you, there’s a really good chance you can shut them down through the legal system – and it’s typically not a big company fighting you, but an individual that lacks sufficient legal resources to counter attack.

So save some time and a lot of money and stop buying domains you don’t need.