10 Strange Domain Name Facts That’ll Make You Go “WTF?”

The internet is a strange place. It’ll only get stranger once you’ve read up on facts about domain names below.

1. Webmasters purchasing misspelled domain names to prevent people from taking away traffic to their main site is common practice. However, Google went out of their way to purchase domains that could potentially do them harm when placed in the wrong hands. Site names like googlesex.com, googlepoo.com, and a host of other domain names that refer to the search engine giant only shows that Google knows what it’s doing by protecting its brand.

2. Just like Google, Coca-Cola took multiple domains as part of their branding strategy. However, instead of buying potentially harmful domain names, the beverage company purchased domains through “The Ahh Effect” campaign launched on February this year. Coca-Cola bought 62 domains starting with Ahh.com, Ahhh.com, and so on – the number of domains referring to the number of ‘h’ in the name. While the domains hosts unique content, the bulk purchase is a marketing ploy that taps into the desire of its audience for curiosity and novelty.

3. Mike Mann bought 14,962 in a day on 2012. His comment: “I’m just really greedy. I want to own the world.” Until then, he’ll have to settle for the record of most domains purchased in a day.

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4. Do you imagine yourself typing out Googol.com instead of Google.com? The former was supposed to be the actual name for the now-famous search engine. ‘Googol’ is a mathematical term that refers to 10 to the power of 100 (1 plus 100 zeroes) and was suggested to Larry Page by his fellow graduate student named Sean. Larry approved the name and Sean was about to register for the name. However, Sean was not aware of the correct spelling of googol and registered for Google.com instead.

5. If you’re planning to use the .ng extension for your domain, then you’d better be flush with cash. The Nigerian domain extension is the most expensive top-level domain available with $40,000.

6. In case you’re wondering the maximum number of characters in a domain name, it’s 63. This was figured out when all domain names that use ‘a’ from first to last character have been taken.

7. However, there is an exception to the rule above, which also happens to be the longest unhyphenated domain name in history: llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com, an actual Welsh village. It was registered by the Internetters in October of 1999. The translation of the phrase in English is, “the church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave”. Just for kicks, here’s how the pronounce the domain name correctly:

8. To some, Tuvalu is an obscure Polynesian island that they people have only heard for the first time in this post. To others, however, Tuvalu is that island that earns millions of dollars by granting non-Tuvaluans the right to use their .tv domain extension on their site.

9. Why in the world would anybody buy VacationRentals.com for a cool $35 million in 2007, up to this the day the most expensive domain that went on for sale? The answer is pretty reasonable, actually. “[I]t was so Expedia couldn’t have that url,” according to Brian Sharples, Founder and CEO of HomeAway.

10. If you want your link shorteners sexy, then vb.ly should have been for you. However, Libya, owner of the rights for all .ly domain names, shuts down the “first and only sex-positive link shortener service” in 2011. The reason? According to the country’s law, the picture of  vb.ly operator Violet Blue contains images of her bare arms, a bottle of beer, and the phrase “sex-positive,” all of which are apparently illegal in Libya.


More on domain name:

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Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It's still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.


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