Japanese Ads Downplay URLs, Encourage Searches

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 by clicky

There seems to be a new advertising trend emerging in Japan that domainers need to be aware of. Marketing companies of some major corporations are beginning to encourage potential customers to "search" for their company name and products instead of directing them to type in a specific URL website name. Is SEO ultimately going to trump direct web navigation?

A recent post at Boing Boing highlights how a recent visitor to Japan noticed obvious advertising using recommended search terms instead of the traditional direct URL promotions. AOL has been using this method with their highly-publicized "Search Keyword: ABC" campaign.

I have a few personal thoughts on this. At first glance, I seemed to understand that with the lack of "good" domain names available for companies, relying on keyword SEO was not only probably smart, but pretty much inevitable as a marketing campaign to compete with those generic domain names. But after some consideration, I started to realize that if a company decides to spend tons of money to advertise a specific search term as their primary method of attracting website visitors, the always changing search engine algorithms and blackhat SEO methods could possible skew the search results, letting other sites relevant to the advertised search term to pop up first and benefit from the intended traffic. The company would basically be advertising for another company. Bad business indeed.

Keep your eyes open on how this could effect longer keyword phrase domain registrations and such.

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