WoW Insider is perhaps the largest World of WarCraft blog online. As part of the Weblogs Inc. network, it has similar traffic numbers and weekly post counts to Engadget, TUAW and Joystiq. It also shares the misfortune of being owned by AOL.
In their latest dubious management move, AOL corporate commandeered WoW Insider’s first-rate domain name — WoW.com — and used it to launch a Groupon clone.
WoW Insider now resides at
If you’ll pardon the pun, wow. I can hardly believe that anyone would think that a good move. It will hurt WoW Insider — in terms of possible search engine penalties, dead links, and confused users wondering why the domain stopped working with little or no warning — and there will be little advantage.
Someone at AOL obviously heard about the strange success of Groupon, and figured it would be easy to emulate it. Frankly, I’m surprised Groupon managed to do as well as they have been, monetarily. I highly doubt that, despite the simplicity of the service in itself, AOL will be able to replicate it. And it’s really dumb to re-purpose a domain like that. It reeks of bait-and-switch, like their plan to market the new Wow.com service is to trick a bunch of World of WarCraft fans into accidentally visiting it.
The Queue: Why did WoW Insider switch domains, again? [WoW Insider]