Let's say I buy a website name (.com) and compete against other low authority websites with the same name but different domain (.co), and then manage to get to the top. Would it make sense for the low authority website to try and compete to beat me to get to the top?

closed as unclear what you're asking by MrWhite, zigojacko, John Conde Nov 30 at 11:56

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  • Please clarify. By "the top", what do you mean? Search results for a keyword? If so, what type of keyword? And what do you mean by "would it make sense"? Do you mean "would it be possible for a low authority site to retake the top position in the SERP for a specific keyword"? – Maximillian Laumeister Nov 30 at 5:20
  • If it made sense in the beginning for you to compete with them, then why would it not make sense for them to compete with you? – MrWhite Nov 30 at 10:23
  • @MaximillianLaumeister "the top" = SERP and "search results" = the website name (both of ours being the same) and "would it make sense" = competitively feasible – Narcotixs Nov 30 at 15:43
  • @MrWhite If I figure out a way to reach #1 in the SERP, it wouldn't make sense for them to compete with me because they would have to put in extra effort to try and take my position when they could go a path of least resistance and start a new website in a different name. – Narcotixs Nov 30 at 15:45

It almost never makes sense to try to compete with the same name as a competitor.

You want to build your own brand. The only way to do that is to have a unique name. You want users to be able to type your name in and be sure they get to your site. You don't want to have competitors in the search results for your name. You don't want users to forget which URL belongs to you. You want your brand to be as obvious as possible so that your (good) reputation is tied to it and isn't used by a competitor.

Brands are so important that you may even want to trademark your brand name. That gives you legal rights when a competitor tries to use your brand name. That allows you to take them to court and get monetary damages.

If you are using the same name as a competitor, there is the chance that the competitor already has the trademark and they could sue you. You can check if they registered the trademark. Even if they haven't registered it, they can argue they have been using it and they have rights to it under "common law". So in addition to not being able to build your brand, you could get sued by your competitor by using their name.

Pick a unique and brandable name. Your website will be much better for having done so.

  • I thought "common law" only applies to small geographical areas where the business started. What happens if it's started on the internet? – Narcotixs Dec 1 at 0:53
  • It is unclear. It will probably take expensive court cases to gain the needed clarity. "Determining trademark rights based upon a trademark’s use on the internet is a developing area of law. The law is still struggling with how to define the geographic limits of a trademark used on the internet." -- thompsoncoburn.com/insights/blogs/internet-law-twists-turns/… – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 1 at 1:18

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