There is a lot of controversy over whether or not you should buy all possible misspellings of your domain name. The answers vary depending on who you are talking to.
Google is smart enough that they know when a searcher types in ‘yello roze’ they probably mean ‘yellow rose’. If you have a florist shop in Tyler TX (rose capital of the world, or so say people from Tyler) and you call it the Yellow Rose ( because of the famous ditty) do you really need to buy up all the misspellings?
Depends on how paranoid you are. Really, if someone types in yello roze, they are going to instantly be asked if they meant yellow rose, and the listings on the page are not very helpful!
Search for yellow rose however, and you turn up a top listing of – well, OK, of a gentlemen’s club in Austin, but you get the drift. Search for yellow rose florist, and the first four returns are for a florist shop called the Yellow Rose (OK, it’s in Indiana)!
I tried several other searches deliberately misspelling parts of yellow and rose. Nada. So it seems that you don’t always have to double dip on domains if you plan ahead and keep your head down.
Of course, if I had built up a brand called Fleurist, and had a huge following along with the premium .com domain, I would think about it. If the large majority of my traffic was from brand recognition, then I would probably be leery of someone snapping up my names and diverting traffic through misspelled searches, or alternate domains.
You have to decide what is most relevant to your site. Will you be getting most of your traffic via search engine, and if so, is your brand obscure enough to worry about misspellings?
Or do you really need just a basic domain or two, and you can count on the engines directing traffic naturally your way? The practical applications of Googles ‘did you mean’ aspect can work for you or against you.
An example of how it could work against you is when you actually decide to have a misspelling in your domain name, and Google bounces back an alternative. You run the risk of getting penalized for trying to be cute.
Make sure you stop and decide where your money is best spent before plunking down a fortune on alternative domain names. You might not ever need them, and could spend your dollars on your ad budget instead.
For example, geotargeted advertising could come in handy for a florist shop in Tyler – goodness knows the competition is fierce. You will be optimizing for the flower yellow rose as well as for your business name, which is a beautiful way to set up.
People looking for yellow roses will find your store, and instantly you appear to be the most perfectly matched candidate. Of course, you don’t deal exclusively in one color or type of flower, but you can certainly appreciate the almost effortless leads this is bringing you.
Of course, after all your hard work it would be really icky if someone tried to yank it out from under you with an alternative domain, so if you are unsure, by all means cover your bases!