Home / Blogs

Don’t Kid Yourself, dotCOM Is King for Branding Your Business

There are now more than 1,000 top-level domains (TLDs), but which is best for branding yourself or your business? With search engines, does it even make a difference? What does it matter which TLD you chose as long as you rank high enough on Google?

That is what many would have you believe, but there is one power greater than any search engine.

The Public

At one time, my brother and I owned Rate.com. We leased it to a mortgage broker in Laguna Beach, who used it to generate leads. It was nothing more than the name and a landing page, but it produced about fifty solid leads a week with no advertising or promotion. One day she called, all excited, to say that Rate.com had generated almost a hundred leads in the last 24 hours.

I was stumped.

I’ve been developing and monetizing names since 1997 and know that one of the great things about popular generic names like Rate.com is that they always have wind in their sales that’s easy to monetize, but I’d never seen anything like this. I sat down to have dinner, turned on the TV, and ten minutes later, a commercial for Rate.net.

When Remembering Your Brand the Public Will Default to dotCOM

I have long believed this, but the Rate.com vs Rate.net episode made it glaringly obvious. “Rate” is a popular generic word to remember, and one would believe that any TLD promoted after it would be a cinch to recall.

But that’s not what the public decided.

The Key to Brand Success Is Instant Memorability

Instant and accurate memorability is the ultimate key to your brand’s success. With so many worshiping at the altar of the almighty search engines, many have forgotten this golden rule, but it’s simply Marketing 101.

Yes, search engines are important, very important, but the public’s ability to accurately remember your internet address on the first pass supersedes all.

Ironically, most entrepreneurs understand this because they know that instantaneously imprinting their brand on the public’s consciousness is usually the difference between success or failure. Still, I’ve had far too many conversations where they tell me their webmaster or tech department chose their domain name.

And ten minutes later I’ll ask the question that is always the kiss of death.

“What is your domain name, again?”

By David Castello, Co-Founder at CastelloBrothers.com

Filed Under


Agreed! Amanda Waltz  –  Jul 30, 2020 8:03 PM


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet



Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix


Sponsored byDNIB.com

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC


Sponsored byVerisign