Andrew Allemann wrote an article yesterday to speak out about taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak in order to profit from it. I understand that in dire straights people might do things they would not ordinarily do to feed themselves and their family, but I echo what he said and would strongly urge people to not buy coronavirus related domain names, especially if they intend to do outbound marketing to sell them.
Case in point, PRWeek published an article that discussed one such outbound marketing effort made to try and sell coronavirus related domain names to Carnival Cruise Lines and its Chief Communications Officer, Chris Chiames. Not only was Mr. Chiames upset by this outbound marketing effort, he posted the exchange on LinkedIn for all to see. Here’s an excerpt from the PRWeek article:
“He was clearly trying to take advantage of a global crisis,” said Chiames. “And from a PR perspective, what did he think I would want to do with these domains? Use them to promote something? Why would we want to link cruising with coronavirus in a URL?”
In my opinion, there is not a huge market for these domain names, especially new registrations. I think there is value for a very small number of domain names, but the vast majority of registered domain names aren’t worth much of anything. For instance, Coronavirus.com has considerable value, but GoDaddy opted to forward traffic from that domain name to the World Health Organization’s website. Had they been monetizing it with PPC links or trying to sell the domain name, it probably would have been a PR nightmare. On the other hand, a newly registered domain name like CoronavirusPandemicSupplies.Info would almost certainly not be worth anything.
If you would be embarrassed to share on your Facebook page or LinkedIn page that you bought and are looking to sell coronavirus or Covid-19 domain names, you definitely should not go out and buy them and do outbound marketing.