Wave at the Bus: Why Blogger Users Must Get Their Own Domain Name

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A few days ago, a friend sent me the news article about Dale Price, the father who waved at his son’s bus for an entire school year, while wearing a different costume every day. Accompanying the news article was a link to the blog the father apparently had created, chronicling each day’s costume.

Likely because Google Blogger is an easy platform to set up and operate, and perhaps because his blogging aspirations were very small, the father went forward and simply used the subdomain that was given to him: http://waveatthebus.blogspot.com. When I read the news article, I just copied and pasted WaveAtTheBus.com and was taken to a Chrome error page which showed me that the .com domain name had not been registered.

Fast forward to today, and this story seems to have really taken off. I’ve seen a few random people post it on Facebook feeds, and when an assortment of unrelated friends post the same article, I can be pretty sure it’s something that has become an Internet meme or an important news story.

Unfortunately, because the father didn’t think to buy WaveAtTheBus.com, someone else appears to have registered the domain name and put up a website with advertising. The domain owner put information about the father and the story to help with SERPS so he doesn’t simply have to rely on direct navigation traffic. Although the domain name is registered at GoDaddy with privacy enabled, you can see the copyright at the bottom of the site says, “valley capital investments.”

At the time of this posting, 776 people have visited the page according to the counter on the site, and the domain name was registered just yesterday.

I know that many people who start a blog on a service like Google’s Blogger don’t really think about buying the matching domain name. Many probably aren’t technical and wouldn’t know how to redirect the name even if they did own it. However, those people should know that they could  inadvertently  be sending their visitors elsewhere, especially if the blog becomes popular.

If you use a site like Blogger or Typepad where the subdomain name is your website, do yourself a favor and secure the .com of your blog’s name just in case you ever need it. For around $10 a year, you are able to control your “brand” and use the domain name as you wish, so someone else doesn’t take advantage of your hard work.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Many times the blog plarform indexes better than the domain name forwarding to it. The father didnt lose out. People will know the .com is not associated with the blog.

  2. @ Jason

    WaveAtTheBus.com counter says it’s over 900 visits now. If the father had bought this domain name when he started the blog – or even after the news broke, that traffic would have gone to his site and not been monetized by someone else.

    I don’t know where you get your information on blog platform indexing vs. the domain name, so I can’t discuss it… However, a forwarded domain name won’t be indexed in Google. Instead, it just protects the “brand” so someone else can’t take advantage of typo traffic intended for the real site.

  3. “People will know the .com is not associated with the blog.”

    @ Jason

    Probably right but I’d still rather have that traffic than let someone else have it and control it.

  4. It goes to show he wasn’t trying to make money off of this. Not everything is measured in click and cents. Plus the guy who register the name and put links probably help the dad spread his story too. It is all good.

  5. Good lesson for business owners or anyone looking to keep a solid presence online and control it. What happens when blogger, facebook,etc. changes the terms of service or is purchased by a new owner or is hacked and loses everyones info? All your work, info is GONE.
    A solid,easy to remember domain name where you can hang your hat will NEVER be irrelevant. I think this just proves they are more important than ever. Google dropping the url bar?? sure, are we supposed to remember ip numbers??
    Best.

  6. This is a huge lesson for bloggers, twitter, facebook and myspace people to know. I’ve read a few other good articles that explain the importance of controlling your domain name. I guess tons of blogs don’t turn into much, but if you are a serious blogger and start generating some buzz then the domain up for a year to see how it goes. It won’t take long before someone else does. aghh darn the bad luck?!

  7. @Poor Uncle,
    The blog (waveatthebus.blogspot.com) is full of ads, so I think your first statement is incorrect. Just an FYI.

  8. I am the owner of the waveatthebus.com and have been in contact with the price family. I am a neighbor, have made less than 5 bucks in adsense revenue and am giving the url to them. There are good people out here. I was shocked I could get the domain, bought it will make sure the rightful owners get all the credit for it. Ps, notice all my internal linking was sending traffic to the blog by the way

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