Brands face PR blackouts as “.sucks” Domain Goes Live Next Week

Last November, Vox Populi, a subsidiary of Momentus group won the ICANN’s auction for one of the 500 new, generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Their choice of gTLD?

A “.sucks” domain, that will cost companies and trademark holders thousands of dollars to protect themselves from the criticism and negative PR, especially when the sites start to get crawled and ranked high on the search engine results page.

Vox Populi has termed its early registration “sunrise”. It starts 30th March, and will be generally available starting June. Though the advocates are defending the gTLD as a proactive approach to communal efforts (such as cancer.sucks), however marketers are more concerned about how it will affect brand visibility, SEO ranking, and marketing campaigns. A BrandName.sucks website can direct a lot of traffic from actual brands, especially for B2C brands both because of its novelty and because it adds friction just before a possible creation of lead, and even sale.

Furthermore, there is concern on the pricing of the .sucks domains by Vox Populi. The “Sunrise” starting prices targeting brands is set at $25,000 and renewable each year. Spokesperson from Vox Populi has defended the price tags by claiming that it acts as a deterrent to detractors from registering a domain and holding them. However, our marketers are working on assessing the actual impact of the new domain on SEO efforts and marketing campaigns given that a detractor can still register a BrandNameSucks.com/.net domain and create similar impact on the brand image and SEO ranking.

At MEP, our SEO and marketing efforts have always been dedicated to creating a great user experience via engaging, informative, and actionable content for the target audience, and we’re committed to assessing the impact of a dotsucks domain and others that will come to fore from the 500 other gTLDs while adding content to our content and editorial calendars, and creating content that offers newer opportunities for marketing our clients.

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