The valuation of .com type-in traffic (when a user navigates directly to a website by entering the domain name in the browser) has been a matter of debate for some years.
I recently came across an article by Howard Fellman in which he makes an interesting case for Why .COM Domain Names Are Better Than Conventional Real Estate in which he states:
“Simply put, if you don’t own the .COM, you are helping the guy that does. He will end up with a percentage of your prospective customers, your intended backlinks and your misdirected email.”
While this may not be news amongst the well informed, surely many companies out there wonder to what extent this is true, and whether it justifies or even dictates a .com domain acquisition for their business purposes. The introduction of the new gTLD’s makes that question even more relevant.
Incidentally, in the past 5 months I happen to be witnessing one good example of the .COM type-in traffic effect, while consulting a client and friend of mine.
Her long established site happens to bear the name of a new product recently launched by a high-tech company, and they reached out to inquire about her domain name. She is not eager to sell, and so far she has been keeping her domain.
However, In the meantime, and ever since the launch of that company’s product she has been receiving some of their traffic and, in fact, dozens of direct purchasing inquiries, some of which were for wholesale quantities.
In this case, just from the type-in traffic perspective, 5-figures worth of potential orders are misdirected every month to my client who owns the .com domain name (judging roughly by the ticket size of their product).
Observations like these are enough of an indicator to oblige every serious company to at least investigate the option of a .com acquisition for their business and / or product.
In the specific case described above it would be a sensible ROI decision long overdue.
(NDA pending and therefore more specific details cannot be disclosed)