Google Panda 4.0 or not: Why owning a good domain name still matters

If you know a thing or two about domain names, you probably cringe just as much as I do when you see people doing things like typing “what is the website for State Farm” on Google – as opposed to typing in

Just typing in the web address should be simple (in addition to being less work), but most people’s brains don’t seem to work in ways that remember or work with domain names as a palatable means of web browsing.

Well, either that, or Google has successfully manipulated them into having a preference to “search”, by making search suggestions pop up in the Google Chrome address bar, before a URL can even be typed in – as well as making the Google search bar prominent on the home screen of Android phones, and keeping the “Browser” option minute and insignificant.

Sadly, this is how people surf the net these days. Gone are the days of typing in whatever keyword you’re looking for in a .com and seeing what comes up. Best of cases – you find what you’re looking for. Worst of cases, you make a serendipitous discovery. Which may not be pleasant, if you were looking for, sometime before 2004 (Context:

Despite the little bit of extra effort, the whole “type it into Google” thing (or “asking the internet”, as my Grandpa says) seems to work for the majority of the population, since Google’s ever-evolving algorithm is learning how to interpret peoples’ sentences in such a way that they can connect almost any given search query with relevant content.

Since it keeps on doing just that, what reason do internet users have to change anything?

So, with that in mind, you may be thinking that a strong domain name could no longer be relevant – since, in the State Farm example, and would be equally easy to access on a Google inquiry of “what is the website for State Farm”.

With that being said, why should you make a point to obtain for your brand, as opposed to

Here are a few reasons as to why a good .com still matters:

1. Email addresses

Email is here to stay. People may have switched over to text messaging, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp to talk to one another socially – but most business is done by email. Just as you’ll want an impressive reception area at your office, you’ll want to give someone a good first impression when they email you. An email address such as “” looks a lot cleaner than “”.

Plus, it’s much easier to type, for a prospective client. Less risk of a discouraging bounceback.

2. Advertisements

I don’t deny for a second that most people will just Google your company name if they want to find your website, even though your domain might be loud and clear in the ad itself. Despite this, just typing it into Google gets the job done.

I also don’t deny for a second that many people will buy a $10 tie to go with a $1,000 suit, if they just need the tie once for a funeral or a wedding. After all, it gets the job done, if a tie is necessary.

But if somebody saw you wearing a visibly cheap tie with a visibly expensive suit… they’ll know something’s up. In the same way, if I look at an advertisement that I know cost thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars to run, and you’ve got a registration fee domain that looks like a registration fee domain (e.g. – I’ll feel like something’s up. The two just don’t match.

Am I comparing a cheap domain name to a cheap tie? Absolutely. You get what you pay for; and it shows.

Just as people will see your tie when you’re wearing a suit, people will see your domain in an advertisement. Just because they won’t use your domain since they’re going to Google you anyway (and other people probably won’t use your tie but they’ll look at it anyway), doesn’t mean they can’t judge you for it.

3. Brand protection

It’s no secret that two companies can have the exact same name. It’s also no secret that that same name will only exist in singular supply, as far as .com domain names go. This is the centric issue between Nissan Computer Company and Nissan Motor Company, over the computer company’s domain name

If you don’t defend your entitlement to a reputation of doing business under a certain name – then someone else will, for themselves. This also applies to purely generic domain names consisting of just a keyword.

For example, I’ll bet Russian Standard likes the idea of being known as “the” vodka company. Which is why they own Can anybody else make that claim? Not at all. This makes it a key part of their brand presence, as a purveyor of vodka.

So, while “” might “do the job” of getting a user to the website, no distinct uniqueness is garnered in doing so – which is where the power of a great .com domain lies; as a means of prestige, and not just function.

4. People who actually type in URLs

This makes me feel like a bit of a dinosaur, but I still navigate the web by typing in URL’s. For instance, if I know that Prada’s website is, I’ll go to Why look for it on Google, when that will take an extra step that I don’t need to undergo?

The reality is, you’re doing a disservice to this segment of the population by giving them a difficult domain to work with. If you leave them no choice but to Google your company, not only do they need to take an extra step to find you – but if you’re paying for adwords, to get you to the top, you run the risk of them clicking on one of your paid ads… meaning they’ve cost you money before they’ve even gotten to your site!

People use the internet very differently today than they did ten years ago. But the technology itself hardly changed. Meaning that the usage of domain names has certainly changed… but their functionality hasn’t.

A good domain name is just as relevant as it ever was – and is exactly why it should be a priority when it comes to establishing your brand.

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