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Domain Name Dilemma Affects One in Six Companies

December 1, 2003

New companies are finding it harder to establish their online brands as first choices of domain names become increasingly scarce, according to CommonName, the leading global provider of keyword navigation and Internet search services.

In addition, disputes over domain names is at an all time high, with close to 10,000 URLs currently listed in the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Database*. Cybersquatting is the leading cause of domain name conflict.

Of 115 companies polled in a recent online survey, 17% admitted they had been forced to choose a second or third choice domain name, because the preferred URL was already taken or trademarked to another company. 

Another emerging trend is that newly established companies are now choosing their trademarked name based on what URL is available to them. Twenty-two percent of organizations stated that they had either chosen their company name based upon the availability of a domain name, or had actually decided to change the first choice of company name to better suit online availability. 

Unable to register their first choice of a domain name, businesses are also looking to other ways to draw consumers to their online presence including keyword navigation, pay-per-click search and pop-up advertising.

"As the Internet becomes more mature and mainstream, domain names are being registered by the millions each year, making it more and more difficult for new businesses to register relevant URLs," said Yurong Lin, CEO of CommonName. "Our research shows that many businesses have no choice but to opt for a second or third choice of URL, which is not ideal. With this in mind, more organizations are realizing the benefits provided by alternative online branding services such as keyword navigation and pay-per-click search. These are cost-effective, targeted and easy to use."

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