Gogobot rebrands as Trip.com, a domain name they acquired from Expedia.
CEO Travis Kratz stated in a Skift.com article about the rebrand: “The name Trip.com, which is easy to remember, can conjure images of a vacation abroad as well as a jaunt to the restaurant across town, Katz says, and the blending of trips and activities is something that several companies, including Trip.com, Google, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb have realized could be a winning formula.”
The article continued with “One thing that was crystal clear in speaking to people from companies such as Trip.com, Farecompare, TripAdvisor, Rentalcars.com, and others, is how deeply they feel the impact of Google’s making free, search engine optimization very difficult and not the top tool in the tool belt as Google favors its own products over others and positions paid search as much more viable than search engine optimization.
That makes it much harder for companies such as six-year-old Trip.com to break through. Katz acknowledges this, recalling how companies such as TripAdvisor got to the next level through search engine optimization years ago and installing widgets on partner sites.”
EMD’s, (exact match domains) in the premium generic level greatly assist with SEO and more importantly, branding and trust! Branding with a generic term such as Trip.com, easily allows for consumers to know what you offer just by seeing your brand name. This also highly increase your reach with “natural search traffic”. More people will search “trip” related terms than a brand name like Gogobot, which they may have never heard of before.
No purchase price was revealed but this is a clear shot at a seven figure domain name valuation IMO! Expedia acquired the premium domain name asset from Orbitz which it acquired in early 2015 for $1.6B in cash.
Considering Expedia does travel planning, I was a bit surprised they would sell this premium domain name but they also own 15% of the former Gogobot which they have invested in (through Expedia’s purchase of HomeAway). To note, Expedia is a public company, so the sales price of the domain name may come out in a SEC filing, but may also hold potential it was a deeper investment into Gogobot than the 15% they currently own. If the latter is the deal, they still may value the domain in a SEC filing.