To URL or not to URL: Google answers the question.


In the land rush of the early Internet years, securing a URL was paramount. Companies, non-profits and political campaigns prioritized getting the right “.com” or “.org” address that reflected their branding.

In fact, the 90s and early aughts featured countless stories of lawsuits, settlements and big payoffs to those smart, fast or unethical enough to secure desirable URLs and resell them to parties who felt no price was too high to protect their brand or seize a market position.

There was even case law that introduced terms such as “cyber-squatting” and the curious tactic of “typo-squatting“.

But as search became the starting place for online activity – and “google” became a verb – some began to question if the URL really mattered.

Perhaps we now have an answer to the question thanks to the titan of search itself. Wired magazine notes this week that when Google unveiled its new parent company, Alphabet, it didn’t secure the URL address Instead, the new corporate behemoth will find its home at In fact, as the New York Times reports, Alphabet didn’t even try to purchase existing URLs using the word “alphabet” from companies like BMW (which owns or various others with potentially relevant domain names.

Does this mean that the world’s premier search company is unconcerned with its digital presence or wants to intentionally hide from consumers?

More likely the lesson that new corporations, non-profits and issue coalitions can take from this is that owning the perfect URL doesn’t matter anymore in the era of search optimization and customization. By employing an easily accessible set of digital tools, any new entity can quickly find not only its online home, but its audience and position itself at the top of targeted search results.

Firms like ours have developed and utilized these tools on behalf of our clients over the past several years with great success. New business and social entrepreneurs will be relieved to know that creativity and innovation can build your online brand and we no longer have to worry about securing the perfect URL.