Vanity URL squatting: Is it Right or Wrong?
I believe that vanity URL squatting for profit is wrong, such as what happened when Facebook first released their vanity page names. There was a huge land grab that Facebook did little to mitigate – at least Google has learnt from that mistake with their slow and steady release of their Google+ vanity URLs.
Personally I believe that squatting in your own brand’s vanity URLs is a necessary evil…. After mulling it over I’ve decided that collecting vanity URLs in order to potentially protect my own brand from vanity URL squatters is the way to go. I know that inactive pages can reflect poorly on your brand, but in the early stages of development and in this day and age I think that squatting in your own vanity URL is the only way start-ups can protect their fledgling brand from vanity URL squatters. For this current project we purchased all the main URLs, got the site live, got the Twitter username and the Facebook page name (after getting the prerequisite number of likes). At this point I thought why stop here, so I continued collecting vanity URLs to see how far I could go… Thus far I have managed to get 33 – all the main social networks and many of the more obscure ones, as it can basically go on forever I will have to draw a line under it soon. At the moment only the major players are active but I do honestly hope that we can use more eventually.
Is that right? Is it Vanity Fair? – what do you think? If you come up with an awesome brand name that nobody has used before (nowadays these are very hard to come by) why shouldn’t you protect it!