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YourBrand.sucks: How to handle the new .sucks domain extension

by Renee Brank | June 9th, 2015

You may ha.sucksve heard the news that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved several hundred new gTLDs. A gTLD is a generic Top-Level domain (also commonly referred to as a TLD) such as a .com, .org, or .net.  Some of these freshly added gTLDs like .sky, .garden, or .bloomberg  have no impact on your brand whatsoever.. But one that has been causing some concern and mild panic attacks is the “.sucks” gTLD.

We’ll admit that this one caused us some alarm at first, too. Who wants to see their name or brand immediately followed by a .sucks? That would .suck!

So your initial reaction may be to purchase every possible domain variation of your brand with the .sucks domain extension as protection against someone else purchasing it first. And we totally get it. However, upon extensive research and discussion, our fully informed recommendation is to not pursue protection of the .sucks gTLD or any of the other additional domain extensions that have recently been approved for your brand.

And here’s why:

  1. .sucks Costs HOW MUCH?

The purchase of a .sucks domain extension works a little differently than the usual domains that we purchase for your firm. Pricing varies based on domain popularity and starts at $249 per domain/per year. So whereas we usually purchase a domain for 2 years at a time, you are required to renew and pay for this one every year to keep it. The likelihood that someone else not associated with your firm is going to spend that much money per year and then spend his or her time, effort, energy, and even more money to build, maintain, and promote a site just to criticize you is extremely low.

  1. I’m mad! And I Want The Whole World to Know It!

Anyone that is unhappy with your services will find a way to get his or her voice heard. We believe there is more harm in negativity on social media, review sites, and blogs than what could show up on a .sucks “hate site.” We highly recommend spending your time and efforts responding to any issues on these platforms first.

  1. YourBrand.sucks is taken? No Problem. I’ll Just Find Another Way to Say It.

Historically, now, and in the future… regardless of this new gTLD, anyone could and can register YourBrandSucks.com.  And there are a multitude of other variations that can snowball from this. YourBrandSux.com, YourBrandReallySucks.com, YourBrandBlows.com, etc.  (These are the nice ones. People like to get rather creative with their hatred.) And the fun part is that they could do all of this with mainstream gTLDs (.com, .net, .org) right now and regardless of the new .sucks extension. And they can do it at a much cheaper price, too!

Taking all of these things into consideration, we highly recommend not purchasing a .sucks domain for your brand. We are definitely not going to buy any for our domain properties, and at this time, we are not aware of any clients who are planning to purchase either.  We are more than happy to assist you with this purchase if you believe it is, in fact, the best decision for your firm, but we believe there is a better way to spend your time and money.

If you have any questions or concerns about the .sucks gTLD or any of the other new ones, please reach out to your Client Services representative.