Fairwinds Study: 74% Of Internet Users Are Entirely Unaware of New gTLD Program: 44% Says It Will Cause Confusion

Fairwinds Partners just published a white paper on the new gTLD’s entitled “2013: The Year of the Address Bar” including results from a survey of 2,008 Internet users between the ages of 13 and 64 about their awareness of and attitudes toward new gTLDs

“2013 will be the year that Internet users wake up to the world of Internet addresses and start thinking more about what they put into their address bars.”

“Starting next year, the top level of domain names, or the space to the right of the dot, will open up to vast new options beyond the existing .COM, .ORG, and others. Rather than a short list of simple suffixes, Internet users will now have a plethora of possibilities from which to choose.”

FairWinds Partners, in addition to conducting research into Internet user behavior and past gTLD launches, worked with InsightsNow, to survey¬† and found that nearly three-quarters (74%) were entirely unaware of the existence of the New gTLD Program, and only 4% could successfully name an anticipated new gTLD.”

“44% of Internet users surveyed indicated that new gTLDs either probably or definitely would cause confusion. ”

“After learning more specific details about how some new gTLDs would be used, this number dropped slightly to 33%. ”

“While this drop bodes well for future new gTLD owners, a solid third of all survey participants still felt strongly that new gTLDs would cause a significant amount of confusion among Internet users. ”

“Among those participants that reacted more favorably to the idea of new gTLDs, only 27% reported that new gTLDs either probably or definitely would not cause confusion among Internet users.”

“Education about new gTLDs broadly, and about individual new gTLDs specifically, can allay fears of confusion among consumers, as evidenced by the 11% decrease in confusion among Internet users after receiving some basic education about specific new gTLDs.”

“On average, 70% of participants replied that they would trust branded gTLDs, while only about half (51%) reported that they would trust generic-term gTLDs. .¬† Similarly, participants were 19% more likely to consider branded gTLDs to be legitimate, as compared to generic-term gTLDs”.

To download the complete paper click here



  1. jose says

    for years to come the gTLD thing will be known as one of the greatest FAILs in internet history.

    but for now let us burn more money!

  2. BrianWick says

    If you do not know about the new gTLDs – you will automatically be confused.
    This means 26% are aware of the new gTLDs and of those 56% say it will not cause confusion – which means .26 x .56 = 14.56% of everybody aware of domains in general will not be confused – and 85.44% likely think it will cause confusion.

    This means good news for the registries in selling them – but nothing but trouble for the consumers trying to use them ?

  3. says

    I don’t doubt that the findings of the study are accurate, but
    then the gTLDs have yet to go ‘live’ so it’s hardly surprising
    that people don’t know much about them at present.

    As for the ‘confusion’ aspect, that will quickly clear up when
    the registries move in to ‘high gear’ with their respective
    promotional activities… :-)

    The most important thing, ‘though, from the consumer’s point
    of view, is that many of the gTLDs will be seen to be much more
    potent than their .com counterparts.

  4. says

    Nobody really cares about the new gTlds or dot whatever,it is all about legal marriage and marijuana

    passin the pipe to you all….from

    My marijuana domains have gone up in value!!!

  5. jose says

    I remember .mobi. great idea, full of hype and an obvious stairway to heaven given the increase in mobile access. or .pro, killer extension for professions. or .travel for, you guess, travel. .biz for businesses of any type. .info of informative websites. and so on, and on…

    now it is really going to be different :)

    there is only one thing that is never different: human behavior, and the cycle of boom and bust.

    off course we will have plenty of success stories, in a way similar to the illusion in such thinks like groupon, zynga, etc. that is, people will make the biggest money in the shortest amount of time when everyone has stopped thinking and the thing is new and greed runs high. but in the end the pattern will be the same and people will be left with big money sinks.

  6. RK says

    Given that gTLDs are soon going to be live and a huge can of worms is about to open, I am wondering if I should now develop some lead generation sites on my URS domains like these:


    I got like 20 or so total covering everything like blog, forum, etc.

    What you guys think?

  7. John Berryhill says

    If you want to sell leads to lawyers, then you might look into whether it is legal for lawyers to buy them. In a lot of states, it is illegal for lawyers to pay for referrals or recommendations.

  8. BrianWick says

    My gosh John – I just may have to put you on my christmas card list – you offer a good “comment” others should take serious note of :)

    Without turning my comment into a BS self gratifying commercial – I have been very careful over the years not to represent as nothing more than a “conduit” between potential consumers and potential pharmacies – someone comes to my site and based on their click they are redirected to another service and NOT my servers – so I collect NO personal or otherwise information – believe me – over the years folks I have been targeted by various State and Federal agencies and attorney generals where upon a brief response from us and they all move on.

    We operate 100% the same – look at the late noght ads for some drugs gone bad – every one of them are legal pros (actually law firms) with a disclaimer that states they can redirect the information you provide to a qualified attorney in your area.

    Just an FYI – everybody is looking at this stuff :)

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