It’s interesting to see Marketing Vox’s reaction to the sale of the domain sex.com. $13 million may sound like a sexy price, but is it really worth it? Vox says maybe so. We’re going to have to go with “maybe not.”
Now, for a unique brand name, yes. That’s expected. Pepsi had better control pepsi.com, and all the other possible pepsi-dot-anythings out there. Ditto for Microsoft, Walmart, Disney, and so on. We expect that a company that big can afford to control its own brand name, at least that far.
But when you get to generic domain nouns, not so much. Being in the candy business and owning “candy.com” at first sounds like a great idea… in 1998. But who, these days, actually blindly types domains into the address bar? We’d bet nine out of ten users today couldn’t tell us where the address bar is. Hoping to hit Google searches is the next bid, but Google searches don’t always blindly follow the domain name either.
Lastly, ask yourself, when you want candy (and you’re using the web to get it), are you seriously going to type in “candy?” No, you’re going to type “Hershey’s,” “Reeses,” “M&Ms,” “licorice whips,” or whatever your specific desire is. Likewise, ask yourself how many people type “sex” into a search box and hope for the best? No, they’ll type in whatever their specific interest is; “hot coeds,” “online personals dating,” “videos of…” whatever their interest is.
A few more hits for owning the domain “sex.com?” Sure, maybe that’s worth some extra change. We just doubt that it’s worth the extra $13 mills.