For example, WhoAPI Inc. owns whoapi.com. Google Inc. owns Google.com, etc.
WhoAPI team was researching the new domain extensions, and “gathering evidence” on why the .com is the king. At one point I found the list of 100 biggest brands in the world. This is a list containing companies from around the world starting with Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM and finishing the 100 list with Boeing, eBay, Lowe’s, Sumimoto.
So I checked the ownership with a whois request, and never mind the whois, I opened each of the domains to make sure that there is an actual website representing the actual company I was expecting. I learned several facts from this research. Apple.com, Google.com, Microsoft.com, etc.
1. Short or long, they will go after it
Take Time Warner Cable for example. They own TimeWarnerCable.com but at the same time, they bought twc.com which redirects to TimeWarnerCable.com. Coca Cola, owns coke.com, Volkswagen owns vw.com Neat right? If the brand has a long name, they own the long domain, and they also own the abbreviation. On the other hand, if the company’s name or should I say the brand is really short like HP, UPS, Nike, then again they own the .com and in most cases, the short domain opens the website.
Why is shortness an issue? Read here – We are out of 4 letter .com domains.
Protip. WordPress, which is not a top 100 brand, owns wp.com.
2. Some of those domains are ancient
When I say ancient in Internet terms, I mean eighties. I know the ’80s and the Internet don’t really go together, but some of the brands from this 100 list actually registered their .com’s among the first domain registered, ever! Symbolics.com (not a top 100 brand) was the first domain registered ever, on March 15, 1985. What about companies from our 100 list of top brands?
First company from our current list of top brands to register a .com was Hewlett-Packard with hp.com on March 3, 1986. 9th domain ever that was registered. About a year later Apple (currently tops the 100 list) registered apple.com, and it was the 64th domain.
3. They will fight hard to get it
This brings us to 99 out of 100 brands. Don’t think that this 1 brand didn’t fight hard to get it’s .com, I am using this brand as an example of how hard brands are willing to fight to get their .com. Some buy their .com, some get it with UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) from squatters. I won’t get too much into that (how top brands got their .coms).
Japanese automaker Nissan is currently the 59th brand in the world. Ahead of Sony, Allianz, JP Morgan, Canon, and many others.
Nissan is sueing this person Uzi Nissan (his last name is actually Nissan) for 10 million dollars in damages. This battle for nissan.com lasted since December 1999 until February 2008! However, my man Uzi, still owns Nissan.com and has since 1994. He bought it before Nissan (the car company) was Nissan the automaker (they were called Datsun). And it’s still not clear if Nissan (the automaker) gave up on it!
Protip – The strategy “you will get a better domain when you have more money” sometime may not work.