New .XXX Domains For Sale; Should You Buy Your Company’s Name?

.XXX domains for saleWebsites ending in .XXX are now for sale, a development that has been long awaited by those in the adult entertainment industry as a way to clearly identify sites with adult-oriented content.

“While adult entertainment is enjoyable to many adults, it is not appropriate for all audiences,” said Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry, in a statement published by PC Mag. “We created .XXX to address the unique needs of the online adult entertainment industry. The public response has been overwhelming as consumers and the adult entertainment providers are excited about the benefits and infinite possibilities of .XXX.”

Yet for business and brand owners who don’t offer adult content, the question has arisen in regard to proactively purchasing a corresponding .XXX domain. Before you decide, let’s consider some pros and cons.

Buying An .XXX Domain: The Pros

From a reputation management standpoint, there’s no harm in buying your brand or company’s name as an .XXX domain. It’s a way to proactively safeguard your name, or your businesses’ name in the online space. No matter how you feel about the term or the concept, it’s a step toward protecting your personal brand or the brand of your company. Is there really a downside to that?

If you opt to purchase an .XXX domain, they’re widely available through a variety of hosting companies including Network Solutions or GoDaddy, to name a few—so you shouldn’t have trouble with your purchase, unless the name you want is already taken.

Buying An .XXX Domain: The Cons

The bad news? This exercise in brand management could be costly. You can typically purchase a .com, .biz or .org address for between $10 to $20 a year. Yet an .XXX domain could set you back at least $75 (or $99.99 if you register with GoDaddy).

According to a story published by PCWorld, business owners don’t necessarily need to be concerned about buying their site’s equivalent as an .XXX domain for two reasons. Most businesses and brands, especially established companies like Microsoft and Toyota, have copyrighted and trademarked content that, if duplicated on an .XXX site, can be struck down through legal channels. Of course, if you’re not a Microsoft or Toyota and want to avoid future legal battles, perhaps an investment of $99 a year isn’t such a bad idea.

And another thing to consider—intent. Search is becoming more and more intuitive all the time and it’s probably not likely that someone is going to be searching for your company and accidentally end up on the .XXX version of your domain.

“If you just type a domain name in a browser and hit ‘Enter,’ it will default to the .com domain in most cases,” writes Tony Bradley of PCWorld. “No sane or rational person is going to ‘accidentally’ visit mcdonalds.xxx or amazon.xxx and attribute whatever content they stumble on to the real McDonald’s or Amazon.”

Conclusion? Go With Your Gut

If you feel strongly about proactively purchasing your company or brand name as an .XXX domain, consider the cost a good investment. After all, when it comes to online reputation management, it never hurts to cover all of your bases. Yet also keep in mind that you can’t police every corner of the Internet, and if your .XXX domain of choice is either unavailable or the cost is prohibitive, you’re likely not at risk of completely damaging your entrepreneurial empire.

If you do decide not to purchase an .XXX domain, or the name you want is already taken, it may not hurt to periodically check in on the site in order to monitor what’s being posted. Make sure that you also have Google Alerts set up for your business or brand name, as well as your name, which will help you monitor relevant content that’s being circulated around the Internet.

Our thoughts:  If you’re a celebrity or someone with a high profile, you should, without question, purchase that .XXX domain. And for the rest of us, that’s really a matter of personal choice. We’ve talked about it a bit over the course of the last day and think it can’t hurt to err on the side of nabbing your domain, just in case.

What are your thoughts on .XXX domains? Are you going to purchase your business or brand’s name? Or are you unconcerned by this development?

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    Interesting argument… I believe that small businesses don’t have to bother with buying XXX domains.

  • http://twitter.com/KatyWrites Katy Schamberger

    Great point, Bojan. I think it largely depends on your business’ visibility and recognition, as well as your own personal preference. Thanks for weighing in!

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    You are welcome! I loved blogs powered with DISQUS commenting system… Got one on my blog as well…

  • http://www.attunementsforthesoul.com/ Sophie Lhoste

    Thanks Shelly for informing again of something I knew nothing about. I tend to agree that small businesses don’t need to bother with it. Unless they get very successful and their visibility increases later of course.

  • Anonymous

    That’s the thing, Sophie .. sometimes you just never know. And if you don’t protect your name in the early stages, someone else might just nab it. Always a coin toss. Lovely to see you, by the way!

  • Anonymous

    We love Disqus too!!!!

  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    Have to agree that this advice is sound. If I created something that plays on the letter X or something like that, maybe. Or if I was a celebrity. But I’d get a .me or a .co before I’d get a .xxx – I’m even a little leery about typing that.

  • http://mkbernier.com Matt Bernier

    It is the porn industry we are talking about here… There will be some hilarious parodies of companies made, when those .xxx domains are not purchased. Link bait anyone?

  • http://www.mommywords.com Brittany at Mommy Words

    I too had no idea this was coming. 

  • http://www.mommywords.com Brittany at Mommy Words

    Sorry comment eaten :) I don’t think I will do it but it is odd think of someone taking Mommy Words as an adult name.  Totally possible though.  Why is it so pricey?

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s so pricey Brittany because they have a market that’s hot to purchase. And they’re capitalizing on that.

  • Anonymous

    I’d probably rather be safe than sorry – at least my clients like that :)

  • Anonymous

    Haha! Leary about typing that made me laugh, Tinu!

  • http://www.josephcs.com/ Joseph

    The price of the domain is seriously a big turn off. While COMs can be purchased for a low as $8, who would shell out $99. NameCheap charges it $98 – a similar range. Personally, I don’t think a business/company would prefer getting a XXX domain.

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