Sunday, April 14, 2019

to visit Bloomberg.com you must agree to ...


if you want 'expert' advice ... ask someone who knows what they're talking about

Like a number of other similar companies, domain name seller and other online services provider GoDaddy has been doing a lot of TV advertising. And like a lot of similar companies, the 'expert' advice in the ad is ... how should I put this ... shite. 


GoDaddy have come up with an ad using that cheeky cock-er-nee chappy and jungle survivor  Harry Rednapp. It's not a bad ad - and a homeless charity is benefiting - but that's not the point of this posting. The point is the advice given to the ex-football manager.

His foundling business is called 'Harry's Roly Polys'.  And the domain name presented by GoDaddy is harrysrolypolys.co.uk - as presented on the side of his van in the TV advert.


So I fired up the interweb and put the URL into a browser, and got this ...

Yep, my security software was blocking the site. The usual reason for this message is that the domain is forwarding the user to a website on a different domain - you know, in the same way an online fraudster might.

So I tried it on another device - and sure enough, I was directed to the got the same site as in the ad [see the first image above].

A bit of searching on Google turned up this page, presumably developed for the ad campaign [the business doesn't actually exist]  ... which sits on harrysrolypoly.uk. 



Now ... this got me thinking. 

If they had asked me - or someone like me - about the domain name I would have used I would have taken a couple of steps back and had a think [note: in much the same way as I've been doing since 1996 - some three years before godaddy.com was even registered].

To start with, there's the company's proposed  name. It uses the possessive apostrophe - which cannot be used in a domain name - so I'd have asked if it was necessary. In this case [study] that the business is Harry's is essential to the plot of the advert - and so too, the fictional business - so it stays put.

The next is how do you spell the words/term to be used in the domain name.

Well ... as it is an adjective - and in this case, compound - the proper spelling is roly-poly. I have to wonder if anyone at the company actually knew this or even bothered to look it up?  

So I would have gone with  the brand name being Harry's Roly-Poly and the domain name harrysroly-poly.co.uk - or maybe harrys-roly-poly.co.uk. 

I checked, and as of the date of this post, these are available. Even with Harry's Roly Poly being the brand name, I would advise GoDaddy to register them - if only to prevent someone from registering them - then putting them at the top of any searches [for anything like the term] for nefarious reasons.  This would be a basic aspect of domain name security for any organization. 

Then there's the suffix. GoDaddy have hosted their faux business on .uk rather than .co.uk. The latter is preferable as it is better recognized by users. I wonder if the company advises all of its UK customers to go for .uk? The skeptic in me wonders if they make more money from a .uk sale than a .co.uk? 

[PS: I'm not even going to bother with the issue that the plural of poly should be polies, not polys - GoDaddy have gone with the American version.]

So ... does all of this matter? Some folk - obviously GoDaddy - would say not. I say it does. But my biggest problem is that the evidence suggests that GoDaddy did not even consider 'my' alternative option.  

I might even suggest to GoDaddy that they could have had an 'advice' page which took time out to explain all of the above to potential customers. I would call that good customer service by helping them  in choosing the right domain name.

And finally ... maybe all of GoDaddy's staff have been so busy 'advising', or making TV ads, for the last three and a half months that they haven't had time to change the year on their copyright notice.