Google, Gloogle, and the Brand
So, today an odd thought popped into my head. I started thinking about what would be a good name for a new search site. This is a little thought experiment I like to do; just a little free association to waste some time on a Saturday afternoon! Suddenly the name gloogle popped into my head. Hey, I figured, at least some of their success came about because of their unique name right? Maybe I could mimic that! Well, anyway, the name gloogle .com is taken.
That seems to be a common occurrence. Someone has bought a domain name, but there is no website there. My interest is piqued! I gathered the whois information. The domain is registered to Google by a company called MarkMonitor, a company that helps people protect their brands on the internet. Of course, that makes sense. But there are a few things I don't understand. First, why don't they redirect the page to the main Google site? They spent the money to buy the domain and it just sits there. Next, they bought the .com and .net names, but not the .biz or .us or any of the other obscure extensions.
It's just just interesting to think about the decision process here. They don't want to diminish their brand by pointing misspelled names to their domain, This is understandable. They have a unique place on the web. To keep that brand strong, they have to minimize confusion with what their true identity is.
Also, there is economics at work here. They must budget a certain amount of money towards protecting their brand. The higher priority given to misspellings and names that someone would most likely want to use against them. There must be some ;egal reasoning here. For example, if Google already has gloogle.com and a person comes along and tries to develop gloogle.biz, then Google has already proven that the term gloogle could be considered an infringement on their trademark.
Next, consider the clever people that work on figuring this out. It really shows some ingenuity. More ingenuity, really, then the person that thinks they can set-up a site and mimic Google. These people foresaw the behavior of their fellow humans and planned a way to mitigate whatever effects those fellows might cause. Very clever, I think.