A domain name has a significant impact on the branding process and the value of the internet domain. It is a chance to shine with customers, and grab their attention. Since the dawn of the Internet, people have been using TLDs like .net, .org, and .com. Websites with these extensions still form the majority of our search results, but lately there has been a surge of new generic top-level domains (TLDs). A bulk of smaller players can hardly afford a top-notch dot com address, or a solid domain name is simply not available.
The one and the many
In the early stages of the Internet, only one computer scientist used to oversee the state of online affairs, but something like that is unimaginable today. ICANN is a non-profit corporation with the governing purpose of coordinating the domain names on the internet. You can register a domain name through a web hosting provider or via an appropriate domain register. Unrestricted gTLD can be registered by anyone, while sponsored domains are acquired by organizations and private agencies.
It has become difficult to attain a good gTLD, while over 240 ccTLDs worldwide offer a wide array of options for two letter domains. As a result, ICANN has lately introduced hundreds of new gTLDs to the Internet, which has given rise to bidding wars for hot names. Not everyone can spend a fortune on the auction, and many people opt for other solutions. There are numerous extensions that we do not even know about, so can we make good use of them? Is a dot com domain really necessary?
A name to conjure with
New domain names are not gaining any preference form Google, but this does not mean that they do not carry the weight in the real-world search engine marketing. Research shows that even Google AdWords tend to favor new gTLDs, which suggests they are more cost-effective in protecting the brand and enhancing the growth of business. But, in terms of conversions, the public seems to still favor the dot com domains. These extensions are easy to understand for users and the annual registration prices are usually lower than with the ccTLDs.
Although this points out to the tenacity of dot com, there are great examples of shunning this domain for something snazzier. One rising trend is the use of .io, a ccTLD for the Indian Ocean Territory. It seems that this domain extension has an irresistible nerd allure, and Google even started treating this extension as a generic one in search results. That is why many internet “real estate” owners use TLDs like Domain.me to reap the benefits of SEO and chose the premium name that can live up to high expectations.
We are also witnessing emerging gTLDs like .xyz and keyword-rich extensions such as .photography. The first one is seen as a combination of three letters that will bring an end to the supreme reign of dot-com sites. This has not occurred, as some search engines still push those old school gTLDs. Although the wind of change is strong, it seems that the part of the digital landscape is resisting it and trying to preserve its topography.
Domain name industry is not in the spotlight of the online community, but it is a foundation of the internet’s success. There is clear potential in new gTLDs, and they provide a plethora of exciting investment opportunities. Favoring dot com domains is just fine as long as it is possible to find the right name that separates you from the competition. This is becoming a serious challenge, and it seems that we are running out of good dot coms. The internet may seem infinite, but its real estate is far from it. This realization might not be the end of the dot com, but it may be a beginning of the end.