You’ve seen it advertised on TV… ICANN is releasing roughly 1400 new domain name extensions into the marketplace over the next few years at a rate of approximately 10 per week from the current 22 domain extensions. What does it this mean? How will it effect you and your business? Which domain should you register for your brand?
Remember that .COM is KING!
It was the first domain extension to roll of the tongue and it’s brand is recognized nearly everywhere in the world. When you say such-and-such.com (Dot Com) people automatically know it’s a Web address or an Internet address. Dot Com (.com) dominates the marketplace with nearly 53% of the marketshare. The next runner-up is .net with around 5-1/2% of the marketshare… all other domain extensions fall below 5%.
Since .com was the first to market and most recognized domain extension, I feel it’s the best domain extension to invest in for your business or brand.
So what do these new TLDs mean for Me and My Business?
The new domain name extensions that ICANN is releasing into the ‘wild west’ of the domain world will force current brand owners to secure their brand in all these new extensions, which means an increase in revenue for this non-profit organization put in place by the U.S. Department of Commerce… Which is essentially a governing body that has no teeth to govern.
These new domain extensions are going to give you the option of securing a name that previously was registered under the .com or .net extension or it will force legitimate domain owners to register many more domains in defense of domain-squatters registering these names. So a brand like Coke.com will likely register all 1400 of these new domain extensions to merely protect their brand from squatters. This means each year, a larger brand will have to spend even more money in renewals.
What about you? What about your small business or if you’re thinking of buying a domain name for your blog or your business? One thing you want to consider is trust. -> ‘He who pisses first wins the piss race’ – unknown Look at brands such as Kleenex or CocaCola or even Q-tips… Those were first to market and most recognizable as the product. Likewise with .com.
.com is a brand in and of itself and it’s the brand of the Internet. Consumers are used to the existing set of domain names. That familiarity with the .com, .net, .org, .info, .gov and .edu has built trust over time. These existing domain names are the backbone of the Internet when it comes to domain extensions. They are first, they are familiar and they resonate easily with the vast majority of folks on the web.
If you’re building your business or considering registering a new domain for your business, it’s best to stick with what’s familiar and if your domain isn’t available, there are plenty of good ones that are. Besides, I believe there’s more weight given in search engines to the length of time a domain has been registered and since these are brand new extensions, there is no time… only time will tell.
Should I Pre-register or reserve these new Domain Extensions?
The short answer is, I don’t believe so. Keep in mind the cost of pre-registration. Many of these new domains will be much more costly than the current domain extensions. Pre-registration also doesn’t mean you get the domain. If two people are interested in that domain and pre-registers it, it will go to auction. So now you’ve not only paid a pre-registration fee, but you might have to come up with a lot more money to get the domain if it does go to auction.
New Registrars in the Business
Another thing to consider is that with the onset of these new extensions come new domain registrars. Some of you might remember the Registerfly Debacle that took place in 2007 with an ICANN accredited registrar where ICANN didn’t do anything when domains were being lost and stolen, to eventually be purchased by GoDaddy for their GoDaddy Auctions site.
ICANN couldn’t control Registerfly, and now there are many new registrars who are new to the business… I’d imagine at least one of them are previous owners of the fallen RegisterFly.com business. What happened to RegisterFly could happen to any one of these new registrars and we know that ICANN just doesn’t have the teeth to govern it.
Many of these new Registrars will be looking to make quick profits on initial registrations and then sell-out to another registrar, better known as flipping… selling blue skies of course but that puts you in the middle of another possible debacle.
Build your business on a rock, not in the sand
By a rock I’m referring to the existing trusted domain extensions. New extensions with new registrars is essentially a sandbox and that’s not the place you want to start building your business. Seek out a good .com domain and build from there.
It’s pretty easy knowing that .com is a trusted and legitimate domain extension… imagine trying to remember 1400 domain extensions. This will lead to hijacking of traffic from similar domains. So if your business is seats.bike if someone misspells your domain and goes to seats.bikes you could lose that potential client.
Remember, Recall and Repeat
The best domain name is one that can be remembered, recalled, and then repeated when someone goes to type it into their browser. Dots and dashes and these new extensions only server to confuse and lead you off in some other direction then that which was intended.
When someone asks me about registering a domain name for their business or blog, is what I tell them:
If someone asked about your website while passing by, you’d rattle it off…. such and such .com or whatever it is. What makes the domain more valuable is it’s ability to be remembered, recalled and repeated when this individual arrives at a computer and puts it into their browser to visit your website. If they can’t recall what that domain is or what extension it was or if it had dots and dashes in it, then they will be taken elsewhere and someone else will be getting that traffic.
The shorter and more easily recalled domain is better. When the domain rolls off your tongue and you can easily repeat it on a keyboard, that’s what you’re looking for. Short, sweet, and brand-able is ideal. There are still plenty of good domains out there under the .com extension and if you’re lucky, people will be focused on these new extensions and your desired domain name may just become available.
Links and Resources:
- Matt Cutts tells us that new domains will not get Search preference.
- DailyChanges.com by Domain Tools provides details on domain registrations and nameserver traffic.
- ICANN.org new TLD’s announcements and general news
- Good US based Web Hosting – Michigan based web hosting that’s not owned by EIG
- SEDO – The most widely used domain marketplace where you can buy your .com domain