- Ways to Defend Your Brand Against Sucks Sites

I am surprised that the domain name was still available. Today I registered it as a self defense mechanism. I am sure eventually I will make someone mad enough to put up a hate site, and may as well make their hate site look a bit less credible than the sense of credibility granted by

You can't get popular without pissing at least a few people off. And you can't help everyone who contacts you without getting burned out. At the very least the people who you do not resonate well with may state that you are overrated. Some who have been in your vertical longer than you may also be envious of your position if you surpass them.

The "brand name" + "sucks" search is one you can expect many people to do, especially if they have had a bad experience with you. If they see a good number of matching results for that it may snowball a bit. Each time you piss someone off there becomes one more hate page. That's not a good thing.

If you can find a way to fit personal blogs on your site then you can leverage the brand strength and authority of your main site to work the word sucks into a few of your posts. That should pollute 1 to 2 of the top 10 sucks searches for your brand.

Another good thing about having a blog is that if it is somewhat decent some people may add you to their blogroll. When they write what they think about Ticketmaster and your name is on their blogroll you can pollute up a few more brand sucks SERP positions with sucks pages that do not talk about your brand.

Affiliate programs are also another good way to help make your brand a more common term that may appear on sucks pages not about your brand.

Another way to prepare for inevitable hate sites is to have a somewhat generic sounding brand name. Since it would be commercially viable outside of your name it has the potential to make more commercial noise so when anyone ever creates attack campaigns they will be harder to rank or represent a smaller percentage of the SERPs.

Of course, if others have similar brands and people create hate info about them that may show up as being about you. The best way to play that is to kindly email the person who wrote a hate page about the other brand and tell them that your customers are worried that the remark is about you. Ask them if there is any way they could modify the page to include a reference to your site to say that the post is not about you.

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Published: May 6, 2006 by Aaron Wall in marketing


May 7, 2006 - 12:12am

If someone had bought and emailed you asking if you wanted to buy it from them for $100... would you have bought it?

May 7, 2006 - 12:14am


If it was looking like a bribe or payoff in any way there would be a 0% chance of a purchase.

If it was a favor from a friend I would have, but the $100 would be spent on beer most likely.

May 7, 2006 - 12:26am

Wow... I'm a bit surprised. I think I would buy it for $100 bucks. That's pretty cheap considering the effect something like that can have. Experienced web users like us can usually see past all the smoke of a website that is for malicious intent on a product or service... however, I believe the average Joe Internet falls victim to the negative publicity if he finds the website. The mere fact that there is a website is proof enough to them that something may be wrong.

So if one of your evil competitors bought it... purely out of the hope to resell it to you for $100, you would say no thanks? I understand not wanting to send a profit to an evil-doer... but hey, $100 for brand protection is well worth the cost, no matter who makes the profit.

P.S. This happened to me, I bought it for peace of mind.

What would everyone else do?

May 7, 2006 - 12:31am

The reason I wouldn't do it is that I would think the person was shady in the first place, and that if I paid them whatever communications we had in that transaction may be used and / or misquoted to create contents for ... there are many TLDs and I don't want to spend thousands a year to register them all, and just buying the .com one does not stop others from setting up a .biz, etc.

May 7, 2006 - 3:54am

I actually registered a sucks site as leverage to get some action. I didn't do anything with the site and I eventually settled with the well known brand (the settlement forbids me from saying who it is).

I didn't try and blackmail the brand owner. I simply asked them to resolve the problem. I used the domain as a way to get their legal department involved. Legal tends to look for a speedy solution and I figured they'd prompt their product folks to move on the issue, and they did. I eventually gave the domain back to the brand owner and they reimbursed me for the registration fee.

One thing I learned in this excerise is that if you really are annoyed with the company then DON'T try and sell the domain to a third party. Doing so might be seen to be acting in bad faith.

You can read some domain dispute resolutions here:

May 9, 2006 - 9:12pm

Hmm, I own a boatload of "" related urls. None of them are really brand related though.

May 7, 2006 - 3:57pm

Good post. Take a look at, and what a hub it has became.

Loren Baker
May 7, 2006 - 8:51pm

I'll sell you for $200

May 7, 2006 - 10:31pm

What about Doug......?

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