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The Google Effect And Domain Name Speculation

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the mix-it-all-up-and-throw-it-together dept.

The Internet 285

A reader writes "Google brought us the age of high quality searches, and with that may come the end of domain-name speculation. Good thing we paid for all those laws to punish cyber-squatters. Read the article and learn more."

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FP Biznatches (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854154)

Suck it Trebek!

Re:FP Biznatches (-1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854164)

Back at you, TBJ. Mad propz, and another excellent effort at keeping the AC out of the FP business.

Re:FP Biznatches (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854224)

Well done sir - the day is yours!!

By the way, Slashbot censors suck my ass. Michael and Taco and Hamie can keep trying to censor us but they will fail.

Re:FP Biznatches (-1)

Tasty Beef Jerky (543576) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854310)

Thank you sir.

I had a strange dream this morning. I was in a house I lived in several years ago, and a bunch of friends were visiting me. Suddenly, we had like an inch of snow on the ground, but everything ground to a halt like there was 3 feet of snow on the ground. Several cars ended up abandoned in my driveway, none of my friends could leave and we had to rough it.

That was it, shortly after I noticed the cars in my driveway my alarm clock went off. That was the end of that.

Reading (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854380)

Perhaps it is an omen of things to come if we do not act against the zionist conspiracy now. The snow represents the cold and miserable conditions that we will all be living in when the jews enslave us once they achieve global domination, and you "roughing" it is the anal penetration that you will have to endure. The cars in your driveway is the Jewish secret police here to pick you up, just like in 1984 when Emmanuel Goldstein ran his dirty operations against the people.

Re:FP Biznatches (0, Offtopic)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854451)

The censors are at it again!! After floating back upto it's rightful moderation of +5 the entire thread [slashdot.org] has been mod'd to -1. Again. Having no had over 100 moderator points spent on it surely the janitors would have put 2 and 2 together?

first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854156)

fist porst / fist

(last post)

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854158)


The reason why he's wrong? Stupid Marketing Depts. (2, Interesting)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854183)

If you and I can quickly locate the Web address we're seeking, who cares what it's called?
Uh, possibly the dumbs marketing departments of every company in existance.

Re:The reason why he's wrong? Stupid Marketing Dep (1, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854200)

I'm not so sure, I don't think I'd do a search on http://sweatywebmonkey.com

Marketing is everything.

Re:The reason why he's wrong? Stupid Marketing Dep (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854360)

unless we are looking for sweaty monkey pr0n?

many shared resources (2, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854471)

Marketing is everything.

Must work for MS [joke]

OTOH, alot of search engines use as part of their results inputs from places like Open Directory, and others. The results are going to be uniform in many places. the end result is some sort of consolidation of resources.

Yahoo got started by a couple of college kids building the first big bookmark list into something useful. There would be a distinctly different flavor if this had originated in ussr or china or something.

Goddamned daylight savings time!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854271)

If I ever meept Ben fucking Franklin, I&nbsp WILL&nbsp KICK&nbsp HIS&nbsp GOAT!!!!&nbsp

It's not all web, you know (4, Insightful)

RC514 (546181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854199)

Never underestimate the appeal of a nice email-address. You don't want to print a google search url onto your business card, do you?

Re:It's not all web, you know (2, Insightful)

envelope (317893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854262)

Never underestimate the appeal of a nice email-address. You don't want to print a google search url onto your business card, do you?

This is true now, but probably won't be for long. I foresee "swipe-able" business cards that read your info right into the contact list, including your not-human-readable email address.

Re:It's not all web, you know (3, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854303)

They already have em. You know why people still have normal cards? Because until everyone you could ever care to give your card to has one of these special readers, you're gonna want paper cards and a human-readable, easily remembered email address and domain name.

Re:It's not all web, you know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854369)

American Psycho is a great movie...

Re:It's not all web, you know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854406)

Funny that you mention it. I was thinking the same thing (actually I was thinking of the much better book by Bret Easton Ellis). They really go nutts over their business cards.

Re:It's not all web, you know (1)

friscolr (124774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854433)

...until everyone you could ever care to give your card to has one of these...

and a cuecat to scan in any url/email address from stuff we buy, and a webtv that will auto-get information on stuff on the teevee, and a wearable computer to scan in the billboards we look at and monitor the covnersations we hear, radio stations we listen to, etc for those funny, non-momorable urls.

Sure google will help me find the number one pants manufacturer [google.com] in terms of marketting, but what's an upstart with an immemorable name to do?

Re:It's not all web, you know (1)

The_Mighty_Squid (551687) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854343)

There is so many ways to do that even in the free e-mail arena. Bob_Smith@thecompany.com is easy to remember, true. So is Bob_Smith@mail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, ect. True, many of the good names have been taken but there is always room around that if your creative.

net shrinking before 2k??? (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854205)

Apparently, I wasn't the only domain registrant to make this kind of decision lately. An Internet research firm, Netcraft, reported that the number of Web sites shrank slightly in November, for only the second time in the past six years.

second time???? When was the first?

I think Google is getting a little too much credit (4, Interesting)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854210)

I mean, "the Google effect"?

I think the most likely cause of the shrinking market for domain names is simply the internet bubble bursting - it's been clearly shown that such trivialities as domain names (among other things internet-related) are of dubious real value.
And as for Google searching, while I'm happily using it as my primary search engine, it's by no means perfect, and the author claiming that Google is an example of "search tools that unerringly bring you to the page you want" is total nonsense. I suppose your odds might be better than typing in a domain name blindly, but I'm not so sure.

If I'm looking for a company, I always try the domain name directly *first*, and only after (and if) that fails do I use Google. Seems to work most of the time.

Re:I think Google is getting a little too much cre (1)

RC514 (546181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854250)

It is the exact opposite of the internet bubble bursting which reduces the value of domain names. With more and more small businesses entering the web, the domain namespace just isn't as identifying as it used to be. The authors example of viatech hints at the problem: The more companies and individuals share similar names, the less likely are you going to find a specific one by guessing the domainname. Since there isn't much room in the domain name system for additional identifying information, a search engine is better suited to aid you in finding. If you know the address, that's a completely different story.

Re:I think Google is getting a little too much cre (2, Funny)

Mercaptan (257186) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854253)

Clearly the author is viewing things through Google Goggles.

Re:I think Google is getting a little too much cre (4, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854274)

Actually, if I know what page I'm looking for (ie, I've been there), Google is 98% successful with my searches. The Via Technologies example is a very good one. There are lots of other (mostly asian technology ;) companies that don't have the benifit of www.theirname.com domains, and Google will get me the right page on "theirname homepage" almost every time.

Obviously, if you don't know /what/ you're looking for (ie, you know what you want, but not where it is), obviously, Google is not going to be as effective in this case, since you probably don't know a unique set of words appearing on the page on which you'll eventually find what you want (or maybe it doesn't exist!)

Also, I think the "google" effect is more of a Kleenex thing (where a brand name becomes a common slang for the generalized technology) than it is credit, although I also use opera and have configured it such that I only have the google search box on my toolbar. Google's all /I/ need, although I realize there are some other kick ass search engines out there too.

not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854278)

since i am w2k, i use the google toolbar very often to find companies. the company name does not very often reflect the url, and i have found that it saves a lot of time finding something. not only that, but if i am looking for product information, the best sites are not the marketing gibberish provided by the producer but the fan sites... but, i have to agree, that a good address is a luxury that can very well be worth paying for.

Re:I think Google is getting a little too much cre (4, Insightful)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854375)

it's been clearly shown that such trivialities as domain names (among other things internet-related) are of dubious real value.

Even on the internet, domain names were never important. Think about it, who is the best-known web-based book retailer, bookstore.com or Amazon? The biggest ISP isn't isp.com, it's AOL or MSN. Even Google or Yahoo, not search.com.

I blame NSI et al - they should have been a lot more rigorous with registrations, as the NICs in some other countries are - no registering of .com unless you are a legitimate business, no generic words, and so on.

The only sites unaffected by this... (4, Insightful)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854215)

... would be the search engines themselves.

I have a feeling awesomesearchenginefortheinternet.com wouldn't do very well, know matter how good the underlying technology.

At some point maybe you could just do away with domain names themselves... As long as you can get to the search engine, you just pull up raw IP links. It would sure make the Internet safer without all those DNS vulnerabilities.

Re:The only sites unaffected by this... (4, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854247)

As long as you can get to the search engine, you just pull up raw IP links.

I would like to introduce you to the idea of virtual domains. It's this nifty idea where one IP address can host thousands of different websites - all with their own domain name.

Now unless you are suggesting that they come up with a different way of putting distinguishing information in the header then I think your idea is fairly moot.

Re:The only sites unaffected by this... (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854351)

Now unless you are suggesting that they come up with a different way of putting distinguishing information in the header then I think your idea is fairly moot.

It was just a toy idea, kind of interesting to think about. In reality there are stronger reasons than that why it would be unworkable.

If you tossed out Domain Name Servers, finding another way to implement virtual domains would be the least of your problems.

The fundamental problem with such a scheme would be the introduction of weak central failure points on the Internet: the search engines themselves. If we depend on them for navigation in lieu of DNS, you can bet they'd become the most attacked targets on the Internet in a real hurry.

Re:The only sites unaffected by this... (1)

fractalus (322043) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854386)

Not only that, but you would be tying sites to specific IP addresses, preventing them from being moved between service providers because the service providers generally keep the IPs. If I don't like my current host, having a domain name lets me choose another host and change where the name points, without invalidating all the addresses used to refer to my site.

This would apply not just to search engine links, but also links from other web sites. To eliminate DNS and just use search engine URLs would mean routing EVERY link on the web through a search engine, in order to centralize the index and allow changes to where sites are to affect all links at once. And if you consider multiple search engines (to provide the competition that is good and keeps one search engine from being an unfair gatekeeper) then the advantages of a DNS-like system become clearer.

Yes DNS (well, BIND) has security issues. But we need something like DNS to keep the net flexible.

One Quick Point (3, Informative)

iGawyn (164113) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854217)

On several recent occasions, Web sites critical of big companies -- using domains called, generically, companynamesucks.com -- have had their names revoked and given to the companies that claimed trademark violations. It's still outrageous that the companies can win these cases, but maybe the victories are transitory if the critics' sites, by other names, can still be found easily.

The point that he either neglected to mention or totally missed was the freedom of speech. Some people [2600.com] just prefer to use it as free speech, which is perfectly acceptable.

Either way, it's a good article, and judging by the increasing prominence of "Register yourname.com!" advertisements everywhere I go, he's right. People are registering less, and the companies are getting worried that they won't get as much money.


Re:One Quick Point (2)

bfree (113420) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854296)

Just take a look at this page [errorcom.com] or even this [pinkbubble.com]. Basically the company Eircom [eircom.ie] who is Ireland's primary telecomms company (see my previous post [slashdot.org] for more of an explanation) intimidated offline a parody website called errorcom.com (not linking as it points elsewhere now). As anyone who had seen it thought it was absolutley brilliant it is now permanently stored online all over the place.

..The good and the bad (5, Interesting)

tolan's my name (234431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854223)

Google is a wonderful tool, but there are times and situations were it fails. Its at its very best at [say] finding every article ever written on a line like 'ORA12345 Oracle', as there is only one possible meaning. It is weaker however when one wants to buy something, because often people have only partialy defined needs for what they want to buy before they engage in the buying process.

A search of 'Bicycle shop UK' will produce many hits, almost all of them not online bicycle retailers. which is why bikes.co.uk will always have worth.

Now my own view is that all retail should be stuck on a separtate domain [.shop par example], and the rest returned to the 'good ol' days', but it aint going to happen

Re:..The good and the bad (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854284)

Try this Search [google.com] using "Bicycle Shops" UK. By putting the phrase Bicycle Shops in quotes I look for that exact phrase. I keep the UK out of the quotes though. Sometimes it is just a matter of knowing HOW to search.

Re:..The good and the bad (2)

WhyteRabbyt (85754) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854326)

I'd also put the UK first, which should help a bit as well...

Re:..The good and the bad (2)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854400)

which is why bikes.co.uk will always have worth.

I don't see it. Does anyone bang in random URLs containing a search word as a means of finding sites?

Even "x".com is not usually a useful site if you're interested in "x", much less "x".anyotherdomain.

Short, obvious URLs do have value, but I think it's the "legitimacy" (such as it is) of the short name, not the url-searching potential.

We paid for what? (1)

Fly (18255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854225)

How much do you think we "paid" for the laws that protect against cybersquatting? I guess Congress could have been passing really useful laws at that time, so the opportunity cost is there, but it's just as likely that they would have been passing laws limiting free speech instead of the anti-cybersquatting laws---oh, wait. ;-)

Where this comes up short... (4, Funny)

adlam.bor (547789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854226)

It'll be hard to have TV ad campaigns for a website that say: "Okay, first, go to google, and then type in the following keywords, and then click the fifth entry that comes up!"

If nothing else, you'd have to update the silly ad every month depending on how google indexed you this time around...

How long before... (2)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854229)

...there are laws passed to prevent people from "tweaking" search engine results so their page comes up with or even before one of the "big guys." I mean, what if more people link to a Ford sucks [geocities.com] page than Ford [ford.com]?

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854312)

If you bothered to try it, you would notice that there are links above Ford. They are called advertisements. The Ford link is the first in the real results however and I think it will always stay there since it is an exact, 100%, no doubt result.

Re:How long before... (1)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854438)

I did try it. Ford Motor Compnay is the first on the list for a search for "ford" and the other website is first on the list for "ford sucks." You're missing the point. What's the difference in Ford objecting to a domain like "fordsucks.com" and not a website that comes up in the #1 slot when someone does a search for "ford sucks"? The fear that Ford has with someone screwing around with funny search strings is going to be a lot more than someone screwing around with funny URLs.

The domain name market will not end (2, Insightful)

ralphb (15998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854231)

...but it will be slowed down considerably. There will always be a market for domain names that are nouns. Some people just don't know any better than to put what they're looking for in their address bar. I am continually amazed by the number of ordinary (read: AOL) net users who haven't heard of Google yet. Every time I find one, I change their home page.

I hope this convinces some people that competition beats regulation, at least most of the time.

Um, gee? (4, Insightful)

Masem (1171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854236)

IIRC, the idea behind TBL's vision for the World Wide Web would that all sites would be intralinked and indexed by search engines, such that the normal end user would never have to enter URL directly into the browser, instead clicking through a series of links or through bookmarks to get to the end site; thus, there would have been no need for the DNS system explosion that we saw and the need to continue to push it further (And most likely it would have remained uncorrupted by the WIPO policies and similar). URLs could have been entered by the power user, of course.

I wouldn't say Google is part of fixing the problem; search engines before Google could have just done the same. But now that Google is pretty much the only search engine in town, and that people tend to stick to whatever their default portal advertizes to them, the trend in the article is only natural, and really shouldn't be associated with Google directly.

Re:Um, gee? (2)

benwb (96829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854416)

Yes but other search engines were pretty bad back in the day, and really haven't gotten any better. I occasionally throw caution to the wind and press the "I'm feeling lucky" button. I wouldn't dream of doing this with another search engine even if they presented me with the option. For instance, searching on MSN for poland spring (I have a bottle sitting in front of me) the top two results are Poland Spring campgrounds and Elan Schools. Google ranks the water company number one- makes more sense to me than a college prep school in maine or a campground.

Re:Um, gee? (1)

Covener (32114) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854421)


Let's leave The Dude out of this. This is not Nam, this is the web -- there are rules.

Re:Um, gee? (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854436)

Yeah, this was essentially the idea behind the Gopher protocol. Remember ... heirarchial bookmarks to resources, including links to other gopher sites? Very similar to what you described. Personally, I think that method of indexing data is far more succeptable to corperate ownership than DNS is, as links (ie, destinations) could 'disappear' at any time, and most people wouldn't know how to reach a destination directly. I think the whole DNS thing was a very important fight in the battle to keep some level of individual power and right on the web. To me, it is amazing that I could theoretically own www.sirslud.com .. just as easy to remember for my friends than www.ford.com. So, even if that fight it winding down (I feel confident enough to say that the individual has not been obliterated as in so many other mediums), it was an extremely important one to have; otherwise the idea of the URL and www.domainname.com would have always remained under the popular vote's radar, and people would be more dependant on the googles of the world to remain unbiased in their indexing services. Conversely, if google.com ever sells out, either more search engines will slide in to replace it, or people can shift back to storing and managing URLs (maybe the pervasiveness of handheld organizers that can store all your bookmarks, for instance, will herald another shift back to direct methods of reaching your destination). The beauty is, both technologies are in place and functional for the people, which I think it's extremely important.

Compare that to phone numbers, where the ease of remembering personal phone numbers depends more on how /lucky/ you were when you were assigned one.

This is a good thing... (0)

BTWR (540147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854241)

I am very happy about this...
I remember during campaign 2000, someone was selling georgewbush.com for $500,000. The Bush team rejected the offer, using such sites as bush2000.com, etc. Well, later in the campaign, of course, georgewbush.com was their official website. I was NOT a W fan (or voter), but this is still pretty awful to do. Just checking in November 2000, Gore2004.com, Lieberman2008.com, Bush2004.com and EVERY possible combination I could think of were taken. Cyber-squatting is so lame, IMO.

Re:This is a good thing... (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854328)

Did you ever think that maybe a lot of these may actually be registered by the parties themselves.

I should also note that my not-so-common family name is registered by nameplanet.com. Since I don't have any existing trademark in my name there is not a whole lot I can do.

Slashdot Effect vs. the Google Effect (0, Redundant)

Elwood Blues (127255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854242)

Here's the link to the google cache:
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:0r0qLUS_G3oC: www.siliconvalley.com/docs/opinion/dgillmor/dg0113 01.htm+%22google+effect%22&hl=en [google.com]

While it's a good methodology, everyone still wants name recognition. I would propose the best marketing ever would have to be 1800contacts.com. I remember both their web address and their phone number, in one fell swoop.

While we're on the topic (0, Offtopic)

NiftyNews (537829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854243)

Here's a handy web tip my girlfriend actually showed me:

Next time you are typing in a .com URL, just type the domain name in and press CTRL-ENTER. IE will automatically fill in the "http://www." and the ".com" for you!

Re:While we're on the topic (-1, Offtopic)

Captain Salad (513537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854304)

You, sir, are a gentleman and a statesman. I thank you, my father thanks you, and my father's father thanks you.

Re:While we're on the topic (1, Offtopic)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854338)

even better, get the "web accessories for IE" [microsoft.com]. this says IE 5, but works fine for IE6. It adds a quick search applet, that lets you type "y search terms" and run a yahoo search. Google isn't included, but you can customize it easily to make "g search terms" search google. It rocks.

Uh, I Guess... (2)

CrazyLegs (257161) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854245)

The article makes an interesting argument and it's probably valid to a point - if you mostly rely on search engines for your surfing. I find, however, that my behaviour is dependant on whether I want a specific site or just general info (e.g. on a topic, product, etc.). When a specific site is what I need, then I typically try to 'guess' the URL. After a few tries I'll fall back to a search engine (and curse at what a pain it is - which is kinda pathetic for sure).

For commercial sites, I think site naming is still important and it's a matter of branding. Google may take away one's attention to naming at first, but once you find a site you want to re-visit, naming is still important.

Yes, but are they are a GOOD company? (1)

xSterbenx (549640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854246)

I don't know about others, but if I go to a company's website I expect their URL to be, in some form or another, the company's name. How much faith can you put in a company when they cannot acquire their own name for a URL? For instance, wouldn't it make you think a little if instead of www.microsoft.com its www.itsmicrosoft.com? When I see URL's that instead of being either the _name_ or _abbreviation_ of a company, i start to wonder how good of a company they really are. First Impressions are still important, even with GOOGLE.

Re:Yes, but are they are a GOOD company? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854450)

This might be fair for larger companies but what about the small mom and pop store that is just getting on the internet. There are tons of stores with the same or similar names out there so they might have to call their website something else - like eCornerDeli.

DNS is for pansies (0, Flamebait)

cyb0rq_m0nk3y (262090) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854251)

I just memorize every IP address in the first place.

ooo... organic DNS... just plug in your head... I think I can get venture funding for this...

If you do, I will sue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854373)

Lemme know when you get the venture capital. I'll sue you for patent infringment, you're VCs lose, the company tanks and we split the cash.

Free domain registration? (1)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854258)

stage one: make people uninsterested in registering domains for exorbaent prices.
stage two: make domain registration free
stage three: watch the internet colapse
stage four: relax and dial you local BBS.

Yupe I have been googled... (1, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854261)

I agree with the article 100%. But I would go even further and think about Peer to Peer. Right now something like GnuTella is used for MP3's. But after having read the specifications I could see how GnuTella and google together could be absolutely cool.

For those wondering what GnuTella has to do with searching it lies in the protocol definition. Whereas most P2P search for filenames, GnuTella considers everything a search on a distributed network. Add some smart routine and replication and we have a killer network... Maybe this could topple Google

Pack your carpet bags, squatters (5, Insightful)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854273)

As reported earlier [slashdot.org] domain registrations have declined steadily. Many hoarders and sheisters have packed up for a new scam, I suppose. Even the ordinary registration fee can add up eventually, especially if the squatter is not receiving any interest in the domain which they hoped to sell for big bucks just a year or two ago.

I say good riddance. I'll keep an eye out now for the few domains that I was interested in back then. But I still wont pay a squatter. Not one cent. If I dont use google to search for my desired name once in awhile, maybe I'll try the Verisign Waiting List Service also discussed quite recently [slashdot.org], so long as I can get my money back if I get tired of waiting.

In general, I think this is a good thing. It seems that demand for and profitability of the service that lives on the domain name is just as important as the domain itself. What a surprise.

The Google effect. (2, Insightful)

13Echo (209846) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854279)

This is interesting, and very true. For a long time, I have just used Google to search for a web page instead of trying to make a guess. Often, the closest guess are wrong. Even some less experienced computer users, like my parents, use a search engine, and almost never type in an address.

True, but (4, Insightful)

NiftyNews (537829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854280)

That's nice and all, but what happens when Google (and the other 1 or 2 decent search engines that will exist) stop being free?

It seems to me that the current trend in internet marketing is to offer a great product free of charge for a few months, then slowly tighten the screws. Take a look at Hotmail, for example. A few months ago they started pushing their Pay Upgrade more and more. Then they started slicing off quota space (down to 2.5 now) and lowering the window for you to login before they kill your account. In fact just today I got an email from them informing me that I must now login once every 30 days or my account will lose all emails and contact lists.

Unless I opt for the $19.95 Paid Upgrade of course...

Re:True, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854356)

Isn't google among the few internet companies who are already profitable?

Anarchist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854388)

Pay for Google?

Jesus Christ man, what are you trying to do, kill the internet?

Real danger (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854402)

The real danger is that Google already wields too much power on the web. Just like so many other companies that own the majority of the market.

All we need is for Google to start charging or dictating so change to us and they will be little different than ICAAN or Microsoft.


Google or bad shape economy? (3, Insightful)

GdoL (460833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854287)

Google is one of the greatest tools on the internet. I use it all the time to look for work on my thesis, commercial sites, phone books, order flowers, buy laptops, books, etc.

But to say that Google is the reason whu you don't give so much importance to domain names is a bit too strong. I think the mature age of the www and the bad shape economy are greater factors of the less importante domain name factor. You don't see so many fight around domain names because people have major concerns about other survival things.

slashdot.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854292)

A good domain name will always have strong value.

There is a difference between finding the right information (like a company web site even if you don't know the domain name) and a coherent company marketing strategy, in which a 'matching' domain name is crucial.

Just imagine Microsoft Corp. having forced to have slashdot.com as domain name...

A Subject (not Content) Directory? (5, Interesting)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854300)

Something I've been talking about for years is the concept of a "subject based directory." Pretty much all the web search engines work based on the content of a page, not the more abstract subject matter of the page. Some of the directories Google, Yahoo) get close to a good subject-based lookup, but they're not quite what I (think) I've been looking for.

What I'd like would be to go to a search engine, type in "ford," and get a list of websites, with a brief description of each. Not pages on a website, but a list of things like "Ford Automotive," "Ford Aerospace" (are they even still around?), "John Ford", "Ford's Theatre," etc. Maybe in decreasing order by some kind of popularity rating.

Or are the directories now pretty good at this kind of lookup? Google Directory did a passable job with "ford," but it's not well organized and still (apparently) takes its description information straight from the web page, rather than from a carefully crafted, entered-directly-into-the-directory abstract of the site. The "Realnames" service looks like it might have been a solution, but I think it's just moved the problem from a for-pay DNS issue to a for-pay keyword issue. (use "ford" there, and you get FordVehicles.com, no other choices).

This'd be easy enough to implement with some kind of meta tag, in which someone could place the legal and common name for their organization, or for the specific information on their site, along with a one-paragraph description. Search engines could then let people search against that "abstract" database.

Does this make sense? Is anyone doing anything like this (and I've just missed out, being under a rock)? Or are there big feasibility problems (like people stacking meta data) that I haven't addressed?

Re:A Subject (not Content) Directory? (1)

RC514 (546181) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854483)

Google tries to use what works best. Every website owner already has the option to include keywords in their webpages by utilizing the "meta" tag with name="description" and name="keywords". Since not everyone is using this option and others are trying to cheat with it, the best way seems to use a mix of keywords and page content.

Domain name insanity (3, Redundant)

Tassach (137772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854311)

I've often wondered, what percentage of domain names that have been registered are actually being used, as opposed to ones that have been scarfed up by speculators and squatters. I was looking for a domain name for a client a few months ago, and found literally hundreds of names which would have fit his requirements, but which were registered but unused.

It appears that a whole lot of domain names were gobbled up in 1999 and 2000, with the result that many of these registrations will be expiring this year. One can hope that many of these domain names will become available to people who actually plan on using them. As good as Google may be, there are still a lot of reasons for wanting an easy-to-remember domain name for your company or product.

Cause and effect (2, Interesting)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854315)

I agree with what others have said. This isn't so much because of Google but because of the declining demand for domain names in post-com world.

What I do believe is that adding additional TLDs, for the most part, will not help free up names. Currently companies will typically purcase theircompany.com, theircompany.net, and some even go as far as getting theircompany.org. If you start adding additional TLDs all it means is that companies will start buying theircomany.TLD, where TLD is the new TLD that is available to them.

This won't increase available names... it'll increase revenues to registrars that end up selling the same domain name in more TLDs, costing companies and other domain name owners more money.

DNS is dying! (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854319)

It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: Domain names are dying
Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered DNS community when recently IDC confirmed that new domains account for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all internet sites. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that domains names have lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. DNS's are collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict domain names' future. The hand writing is on the wall: domain names face a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for domain names because domain names are dying. Things are looking very bad for domain names. As many of us are already aware, domain names continue to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. *.com is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core domain names.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of .net's. How many users of .org are there? Let's see. The number of .net's versus .org posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 .org users. .gov posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of .org posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of .gov. A recent article put .com at about 80 percent of the domain market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 .com users. This is consistent with the number of .com Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of BIND, giving their buggy software away for free and so on, .com went out of business and was taken over by .mil who sell another troubled domain space. Now .mil is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that domain names have steadily declined in market share. Domain names are very sick and their long term survival prospects are very dim. If domain names are to survive at all it will be among internet hobbyist dabblers. Domain names continue to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save them at this point in time. For all practical purposes, New domains are dead.

Fact: DNS is dead, remember your IP address.

Mad propz to the BSD trolls, and don't forget to smack the porpoise!

New market for unique, short names (5, Insightful)

texchanchan (471739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854324)

No matter which way this comes out, the professional namers will get new business. (These are the people who come up with names for vehicles such as Isuzu Axiom and new corporate identities like Verizon.)

Memorable domain names and searchable business names both need these characteristics:
- Short, or few elements
- Unique
- Memorable in itself, and,
-- easy to associate with your product
-- and just your product, not everybody's
- Pronounceable on sight and spellable from memory
- Without ribald connotations in major languages

An excellent example: Slashdot.

Ordinary business people are no better at making up names than they are at drawing their own logos. If you can do it for them, you've got a niche.

Except for google web-squatters (2, Interesting)

DotComVictim (454236) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854329)

whois 'google*' lists 50 records, including GOOGLE.COM, GOOGLE.NET, GOOGLE.ORG, GOOGLE4SEX.COM, GOOGLEA.COM, GOOGLEBAY.COM, many of which are blatantly for sale.

Feeling Lucky (2, Informative)

Schnapple (262314) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854333)

I have the Google Toolbar [google.com] and one of the features is the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. This is just like the same button on Google.com. The basic effect is - you type in the name of something you want, hit "I'm Feeling Lucky" and you're instantly taken to the right page (most of the time). As a result, you don't even need to "search", you just "go". The Google Effect is pretty damn effective.

ICANNWatch (2, Informative)

swimfastom (216375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854335)

"Meanwhile, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international governance body put together several years ago at the behest of the U.S. government, was set up in part to bring competition into a system that sorely needed it."

If you are at all interested in current ICANN news I highly recommend http://www.icannwatch.org/ [icannwatch.org].

Personal websites for the common user do not need their own domain. They can benefit from Google [google.com] greatly. However, it is very important for companies to have their own domain so they can both host a website and use email addresses with their own domain.

Don't speak so quickly ... (2, Interesting)

anpe (217106) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854341)

As google also bases its search on the domain name ...

It's the economy, stupid. (3, Insightful)

diablochicken (445931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854346)

I think it's a bit difficult to discount the current economy's role in the decrease in spending on random domain names. Google may play a role in this trend, but I'd guess that a lot of squatters have run out of cash to spend on wild speculation.

paid links.... (2, Insightful)

asymptotal (464141) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854348)

what happens when search engines start mixing paid links with "normal" search results?

already many popular sites do this without so much as an indicator to help the searcher. so while google and other search engines ^may^ have taken care of the cybersquatters, it wont be long that marketers of the world run to exploit this usage pattern....

...i'd rather type out the url myself, i think.

real names? (3, Informative)

dlc (41988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854352)

Wasn't this the point of the Real Names [realnames.com] system? From their about page [realnames.com]:

Keywords replace complicated URLs with simple names and brands, and work in the consumer's native language, making the Internet easier to use.

Wrong for so many reasons (5, Insightful)

fleener (140714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854379)

Dan doesn't get it. Domain names are critical for so many reasons:
  1. People don't guess domain names, except in really obvious situations. Example: IBM.com, sony.com, etc. Having domains like "widgetworld.com" were never about guessability. They're just easy to remember and spell and rank better in search results when the keyword searched for is actually in the domain name.
  2. If your company or web site is not high profile, you don't get found in Google. If I'm a small-time widget seller, Google gives me no traffic because it places the big-time popular widget sellers at the top of the search results. I have to somehow gain popularity without search engines before being assisted by them. It creates a snowball effect where the big sites stay big by the little guys being pushed down.
  3. Web addresses are publicized many ways and need to be memorable when seen on billboards, spoken over the phone, etc. Many businesses have similar names - it's much easier to go directly to a web site than to rely on a search engine to determine which company you want.
  4. Dan Gillmor is obviously savvy at forming search queries. The average person is clueless. Google helps, but not nearly enough. It's always easier and faster if the user knows how to load a URL directly instead of relying on a search engine.
  5. Google could go out of business. Where's the Google-effect then? We're supposed to hope the next search engine to come along is as good and won't go out of business despite reliance on yet-to-be-proven economic models such as web advertising?
  6. His example of searching for "Dan Gillmor" is laughable. What if your name is John Smith, Bill Jones, David Chow or any number of highly generic names? Google is great, but many searches are still very frustrating for many users.

I would like to see domain names publicized as they are, and by IP and by bar code, but for them to also carry other information, such as the company name and description. Then people carry a pen-like or card-like device to grab URLs off of everything (a can of baked beans, back of a cereal box, off a business card, in a newspaper, etc.) to take back to your computer later to load the appropriate page. Nothing proprietary like that CueCat crap. A real standard and simple technology to make addresses easily accessible.
They need to be ubiquitous.

Corporate Takeover (2, Insightful)

theghost (156240) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854398)

Might the shrinkage in number of websites have something to do with the corporate assimilation of the web?

As anyone who's been here from the start can testify, things have changed substantially since the early days. First there just wasn't much out there, and what there was was pretty random. Then Yahoo and other search/gateway sites began to come along just as the first boom of sites hit, making things a bit more organized and predictable. Soon after this, the corporations began to make their presence known, and then they started to take over.

Now if you want information on a topic you go to a corporate website that specializes in providing that information along with lots of other info, banner adds, pop-up adds, redirects to partner sites, etc. ad nauseum.

Old sites are lapsing because their place has been usurped by profit-driven sites. Times may have been hard for the tech industry lately, but who's going to go offline first: the business paying $1000 per month in hosting fees or the unemployed tech worker who's paying similar fees for his personal domain.

There's also the rise of the umbrella site that hosts a number of smaller sites under a single domain so that Jim's tech page is no longer at www.jimstechpage.net, but is now found under www.acmeweb.com/jimstechpage/.

Not all of this is bad, not all of it is good. The times they are a changin', and if we don't want to be caught unawares, we should keep our eyes open to the way its changing instead of sticking with an utopian vision that went bye-bye 5 years ago.

av.com (3, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854431)

IMHO, Google has lost its accuracy and its results lack relevance compared to the all-time-favourite Altavista (which I usually access the light [altavista.com] way).
I just can't find the equivalent of Altavista's syntax on Google.

Need an example ?
Remember the hint that appeared in italics :
Need a bedtime story ?
Type : +Fairy +princ* -dragon

(note the wildcard use)

There are also lots of short ways to find which pages refer to one another (+link:...) or if you want to filter whichever result after a given url part (+url:...)

But, on the bottom, the guy is right, most people now ask Google first instead of looking for a funky domain name which sounds like what they'd enter in the Google form.

Speaking of Domain Name Speculation (1)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 12 years ago | (#2854445)

Is there a definitive way to get a list of all the domain names purchased (through various (whatever was cheapest at the time) registrars)?

Every once in awhile I remember another 'goldmine' that I'd completely forgotten thinking of.

Who cares what the Domain is called! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854461)

[Qoute]If you and I can quickly locate the Web address we're seeking, who cares what it's called?[/Qoute]

How about this, then?




Makes total sense to me. Ah, the beauty of quoting
things out of context ;-)

- Penguin Kicka

Re:Who cares what the Domain is called! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854484)

I checked availability on NetSlugSolutions, this is what they came up with

b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.net $30.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.biz $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.info $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.tv $50.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.org $25.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.ws $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.cc $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.bz $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6net.com $35.00/year
eb54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.com $35.00/year
ib54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.com $35.00/year
4b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6.com $35.00/year
b54a30b40b6011d6b8a000b0d0119ed6group.com $35.00/year

Go get em guys! Why is the .tv domain more expensive?

- Penguin Kicka

Microsoft and Domain Speculation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2854466)

Notice that if you follow a broken URL in IE it goes to Microsofts search thing that will help you find what you are really looking for. How kind of them.

This helpful feature also sends along the URL you typed in, however. All Microsoft would have to do is run some algorithms through their collected data to figure out the most visited domains that don't exist and there is no more speculation needed.

Not that they need the money from the domains anyway though.
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