Is Booking.yeah a mistake from Booking.com?

Booking.yeah

If you’ve been paying attention to the world of domain names (come on, who doesn’t?), then you’ll know that waves of new domain extensions are being released onto the market.

If you’re not happy with the usual .co.uk or .com, you can choose .ninja, .doctor, .london, .coffee … or any one of over a thousand other options.

For instance, London’s chain of Nimax theatres can now be found at www.nimaxtheatres.london.

Against this backdrop of new domains, leading travel site Booking.com (note the .com in the company’s name and logo) has launched a TV advertising campaign.

The ad closes with a simple tagline:

Booking.yeah
Planet Earth’s #1 Accommodation Site

Although it seems clever at first glance, this tagline could cause confusion.

As awareness of new domain names becomes more widespread, it’s perfectly conceivable that people could think Booking.yeah is a genuine domain name.

Except that it doesn’t exist. What’s more, it isn’t going to exist any time soon, because .yeah is not on the list of forthcoming domain extensions.

Even more confusingly, Booking.com has applied to run its own .booking domain. (I’m thinking hotels.booking, travel.booking, stuff like that.)

Frankly, with these new domains set to cause some confusion anyway, now seems like a bad time to start inventing non-existent domains just so you can finish your ad with a clever tagline.

But if your company has actually decided to invest time and money applying for its own domain extension, surely you’d think very carefully about what URLs you associate with your brand.

11 responses to “Is Booking.yeah a mistake from Booking.com?”

  1. Stalker says:

    I will create a new websitw called stalker.stalker for the stalkers

  2. I thought exactly this… I then proceeded to find that the domain does not exist…. The only reason for this is to make search results a guarantee for booking.com with such a particular tag line

  3. Simon Dalley says:

    I’m just surprised they’ve not approached you to get you to 301 redirect this page through to their page – I found this page at position 1 in Google for Booking.yeah so they’re definitely missing out on some traffic! Nice blog by the way!

  4. John McGarvey says:

    @Simon- Heh! They’ve never contacted me, but the answer would be no in any case.

  5. Josh says:

    They do this because browsers know .yeah is not an extension and automatically open that query in the default search engine.

    The first result is obviously Booking.com with their slogan Booking.yeah and so people end up trying to find out if it is a real domain and find out that it is just a marking idea.

    For example, they could also get a head start on articles like the one you just read… ;)

  6. TJ says:

    Well said Josh.
    Note that article was written 18 months ago. Look at Booking.yeah now, I mean Booking.com. Who gives a monkeys about domain confusion when the marketing works. Especially when articles like this give them more exposure. I think they’ve had the last laugh on this one – no publicity is bad publicity.

  7. Susie Samuel says:

    Great blog, like Jonathon I just tried to find the domain only to find it didn’t exist. How confusing! I would be very interested to hear their reasoning for this.

  8. Jason says:

    If someone is too damn dumb to try Booking.COM, then they don’t deserve to travel, and you don’t want them loose on the street anyway.

  9. Mike says:

    Just saw their disgusting ad on tv. Not getting my business!’

  10. Harry says:

    An update: http://booking.yeah/ seems to exist as a redirect to booking.com now. Odd, because .yeah still doesn’t appear on the IANA’s list of domains. Has the company bought .yeah recently?

  11. Jesse Sivonen says:

    No, domain booking.yeah does not exist. Not at least in Google’s Public DNS. (proof at the bottom of this comment)

    Sure it’s an option that Booking.com has bribed some internet operators to add booking.yeah to their Domain Name Systems. That’s basically the same operation that operators use to block domains like piratebay.

    ~ $ nslookup booking.yeah 8.8.8.8
    Server: 8.8.8.8
    Address: 8.8.8.8#53

    ** server can’t find booking.yeah: NXDOMAIN

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