Companies are desperate to control their reputations online, which presents a variety of business opportunities for people that can act as fixers.
I was just reading a post on the Wall Street Journal site, “439 Ways to Hate Bank of America,” about Bank of America working with a company to register 439 domain names that could be critical of the bank or their executives.
Apparently, companies are spending hundreds of thousands to $1 million a year on these defensive domains. Seriously.
“The BofA registrations followed this formula: Pull up the public roster of the bank’s senior officers and directors, and buy up web addresses with the officials’ names followed by the words “blows” or “sucks,” according to the list of the recently registered BofA Web addresses collected by research service Domain Tools. For example, among the domain names bought in recent days are at least 12 variations on Bank of America Chairman Charles O. Holliday Jr.”
I haven’t seen such a ridiculous game of suck and blow like this since high school.
This is simply a waste – any monkey could figure out 10 funny, better domains in two minutes.
I think these companies would be better served by locking down all of the social media services in their name with KnowEm.
Also, they should monitor all of the relevant keywords in search and social media and focus on optimizing the results for the terms people are searching and discussing.
It wouldn’t hurt to actually listen to customers and engage them, too.