Beware Of Slurls When Searching For A Domain NameMay 6, 2020
Finding a good a domain name is a big task – there’s not only making the list of choices, but then hoping that one of them is available. Sometimes a search could result in what would appear to be a prime domain being available; but there may be a reason – perhaps it’s a “slurl”.
The term slurl was coined by a British software developer, Andy Geldman and is a combination of two words – slur and URL.
A slurl refers to a domain compromising of multiple words that when put together, can form other word combinations and mean something quite different to what the registrant intended – and often of a humorous, adult or gruesome nature.
Another type of slurl is one where the words comprising the domain name don’t also spell another phrase, but may be interpreted as a slang term for something else.
Yet another form of slurl that is particularly hard to pick prior to the fact is where the letters form a very different meaning in another language.
Rather than publish examples of slurls here; you can visit Slurls.com; a site that keeps a running list of active sites that have fallen victim to the domain naming faux pas.
While amusing (and sometimes disturbing) to onlookers, people who inadvertently register and begin using a slurl domain name often find it embarrassing – and it can negatively affect their business or attract the wrong sort of visitors.
Once alerted, some registrants have changed their domain names; either by registering a name with a hyphen to help make the nature of the site clear, or registering a totally different name altogether. This all comes at a cost, particularly if a new domain needs to be registered as artwork may need to be redone and online copy updated. If the slurl name is already ranked well in the search engines, then steps need to be taken to minimize the risk of losing those rankings when switching over to using the new domain.
An an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so when writing up a list of domain name choices to run a search on, take a good look over it to ensure you don’t fall into the slurl trap. Better still, get someone else to check the list as they may pick up on something you may have missed. For example, they may have a “broader vocabulary” when it comes to slang terms.
You want your web site to become well known for all the right reasons.