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While trying to shorten a link on the Progressive.com web site with bit.ly, I discovered that instead of the good ol’ “http://bit.ly/” URL, bit.ly returned http://pgrs.in/hmw4n4.

Although the *.in top-level domain was originally intended India, it also fits the insurance industry quite well.

With social media being a major marketing tool, and Twitter’s 140-character tweet limit, it is smart for companies like Progressive to get a shorter version of their domain names, for their messages/campaigns to get socially (and virally) passed around with ease.

But does Progressive own http://pgrs.in/? A quick WHOIS lookup reveals that Bitly, Inc. is the current owner of these domains.

 

So here comes the problem:

  1. As more URLs for Progressive.com pages get passed around on Twitter under http://pgrs.in/… Bitly will control a sizable part of Progressive.com’s inbound traffic.
  2. Progressive may eventually need to pay Bitly to keep those traffic.

 

I have wondered how a company like Bitly will become profitable, and why they would receive millions of capital investment. Now I am starting to understand.

As a business owner, I think it is now time to start looking for a shorter domain name, to compliment your existing one, before it’s too late.

So *.in fits the insurance industry. Which top-level domain fits yours? Here is a list for you to start looking at.

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