Forbes: 7 Things To Consider Before Registering A New gTLD; What The Author Got Right & Wrong

Forbes.com just published a post entitled “Seven Things To Think About Before You Register That New Domain” clearly chatting about new gTLD domain names and I think of the 7 issues the author raises 6 are good points yes there is a counter point to each of the even

“Potential buyers should take note of the following seven considerations before jumping in with both feet”:

1. Customer trust:

“”Consumers have grown used to the existing set of domains, and with that familiarity comes trust.  The new domains are unknown and may cause potential customers to hesitate before establishing a relationship with a site with an unfamiliar gTLD.  A recent study found that consumers are in fact wary of the new domains.  Businesses planning to make use of the new suffixes should develop a clear program to transfer the trust they’ve already established with customers to the new site.””

Agreed: its going to be part of the education and learning curve a lot of people only trust .com. .net and .org.

Disagree: I think its a very US centric view and many countries use their own ccTLD and in Eurpope where people are use to country hopping they are use to see many ads for wbsites ending in all shorts of ccTLD’s. The Adoption of .TV, .Me, .Co and .Io, ccTLD’s which are using outside their home country have opened up the eyes of those in the business world and Internet Users.

2.  Investment Protection:

“”Although it’s not entirely clear that domain age matters, even Google’s own search engineer seems to indicate that it does.  Assuming, then, that time in grade matters for search rankings and traffic, visibility that has been built up over time in one domain will not easily transfer to a new domain.  So, if a business depends on retail traffic coming in the virtual door, it should tread cautiously before adopting a new domain, even one with a catchy suffix.””

Agree:  Google Algorithm has in the past given credit to aged domains .

Disagree: Google Algorithm is constantly changing and to based you online business decisions of what the Algorithm might or might not be tomorrow is full of danger itself.  More importantly the author of the articles fails to mention that Google applied to operate 100 of these new gTLD’s. so one’s best assumption would  have tobe that Google has plans to rank new gTLD domain names a lot quicker than you might think.

Also I don’t think the heading of this paragraph Investment Protection is a proper label for a discussion of how search engines will rank new gTLD’s

Cost Control:

“”Existing domains like .com and .org, which can be obtained from hundreds of registrars, typically cost about $10 per year to maintain.

New domains may cost a lot more.

For example, bespoke.bike, which is already taken, costs $29 per year at United Domains.

Even rogerkay.bike, which is eminently available, costs $29.  By contrast, rogerkay.com (taken) is only $9.90 on the same site, and rogerkay.net (available) goes for only $14.90.

But rogerkay.cab, which uses one of the new domains, will set you back $39 per year.

For trademark holders, pre-registration pricing for new domains starts around $200 and rises to as high as $25,000.   Choosing “priority” pre-registration for a “sought-after” domain can run as high as $13,000 per name.  But even paying this princely sum is no guarantee of obtaining the name.  When more than one party pre-registers the same name, it goes to auction, with an unknown (and potentially very expensive) outcome.

Before stepping up to buy one of these new domains, businesses should read all the fine print carefully.

Note: after the initial hype dies down, inflated domain prices should come down, perhaps in a year or two.””

Agree:  Many New gTLD’s are more expensive than .com, .net and .org domain names.  Some are priced in the three and four figures for a normal registration.  The cost of defensive registration could be enormous and force trademark holders to take an offensive, reactionary position rather than a defensive registration position.

Disagree: The author didn’t mention it but for  $500 trademark holders can  file a Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) which can cover multiple domains per filing and maybe more cost effective than doing tons of very expensive defensive registrations.

The Author also fails to mention the Donuts Blocking program which at around $3,000 per trademark would block that domain from all  of Donuts 150-300 extensions which is a lot cheaper on a per domain basis that the article chats about.

There are many new gTLD’s that will be competitively priced with .com such as .club, .xyz and .link for example.  As we mentioned above many people and businesses have built out their web identity on ccTLD’s like .TV, .Co .Me and .Io which carry a  renewal 2-5 times higher than .com’s.

The market will decide whether the pricing set by any registry is salable or not and prices could as the author point out go down in the future, but for a buyer that wants that one domain,  the price may never be cheaper than now.

Partner motivation

Many of the new gTLDs will be operated by new registry operators.

Although most are legitimate, some may not have much substance behind the fancy front.

In certain cases, a registry may be focused on making a quick buck from initial registrations in order to flip its gTLD for a profit.

Businesses expecting to enter into a long-term partnership with a registry operator should choose one with a track record.

Agree:  We have made the point when you invest in a new gTLD you are also investing in the company running the registry and that is not only a fair point but one that any new gTLD registrant should be concerned about especially if they are buying the domain with the though of reselling the domain as opposed to using the domain.

Disagree:  Most of the largest applicants for new gTLD’s are very well funded and back by people who have a lot of years in the domain space.

ICANN required every applicant to have enough working capital to make sure the registry can operate for at least 3 years.  To the extent any registry fails there appears to be companies in the wings waiting to buy them up.

Partner reliability

“”Even with the best of motivations, new entrants in the domain business can make a number of mistakes that lead to failure.  ”

“At the moment, even though lots of registry contracts have been signed, many of the new domains aren’t ready to do business. ”

“In addition, inexperienced operators may have issues with reliability, suffering downtime due to cyberattacks or technical issues.

“Such interruptions may prevent customers from reaching their desired sites, with the resulting loss of business.  Thus, it is prudent to choose a gTLD operated by a known, reliable operator.”

Agree: Some registry operators will fail but we do think that most if not all will be purchased by other new gTLD operators so we don’t think a registry disappearing in the next several years is a concern.

Disagree:  Although the vast majority of new gTLD applications are new registries having never operated one before mostly all applicants are using a proven backend provider like Verisign, Neustar, Afilias and others that already run domain extensions, both TLD’s and ccTLDs.

Out of all the new gTLD applicants there seems to be only two applicants that have created a new backend if you will and one of those is Google.

Potential for hijacking

With all the new domain names, there’s going to be a lot of confusion.

For example, ICANN has allowed both singular and plural forms to coexist.

Thus, .hotel and .hotels as well as .hoteles and .hoteis will likely go live in 2014.  Customers looking for jillsbnb.hotel may end up at jillsbnb.hotels, and Jill will lose a customer.

A gTLD without this type of adjacent conflict, like jillsbnb.com, will likely result in less confusion.

Agree:  There will be confusion and we have argued against allowing singular and plural new gTLD extensions of the same word.

Moreover some verticals have a lot of new gTLD’s which will also cause confusion. For example the legal vertical for example has a .law, .lawyer, .legal. .attorney, .Esq.

That can be confusing as well.

Disagree:  Once again the title of the section is incorrect, we are talking about confusion, hijacking is a different issue.

Name length

“Although short domain names may appear desirable, longer ones often work better.  For example, O.co didn’t work at all for Overstock.com OSTK -8.35%.  People kept typing in O.com, which Overstock didn’t own.  In addition, longer names can include keywords that will come up more often in search results.  Keyword-rich domain names attract higher click-through rates.  If used, short names should be minimally confusing and avoid conflicts with existing and new domains.  Businesses choosing a new name should follow established best practices.

Agree:  Short domains lack keywords in the domain that could help it rank.

Disagree: By their nature most new gTLD are descriptive and become part of the keyword that can help it rank so j.camera while short, automatically self defines is as being in the camera vertical and with Twitter companies have sacrificed longer more descriptive domains for shorter more brandable ones and Google and Bing still give out mixed messages on how important the words in the domain matter to how the domain is ranked.

Choosing a domain name is important in establishing a business’s online presence, and making the right choice is not entirely obvious. Caution is advised.  As in real estate, location matters, and it’s essential to check out the neighborhood before buying in.”

Agree

 

 

Comments

  1. BrianWick says

    “many countries use their own ccTLD and in Eurpope where people are use to country hopping they are use to see many ads for wbsites ending in all shorts of ccTLD’s. ”

    The economies in Europe dictate either you have all the money or none of the money.
    My experience is companies that want to survive are tired of the .eu, .(whatever) and want the crusty old reliable .com

  2. says

    Raymond was right when he talked analyzing each gtld instead of grouping them all in the same basket, something I’m guilty of doing. Just speaking for myself here. I’m not in love with .link, but that extension might do ok. I still say .tv will gain in popularity. .web could do very well. I don’t hold hope for the longer word extensions at all. 2-4 letter words/acronyms have the best chance IMO.

  3. says

    Mike: the trust/education/learning curve is a huge factor here. And not responding to anything or anyone in particular here, but any success of .brands do not equate to the success .genericGTLDS. Apples oranges there.

  4. says

    Yes Ramahn,

    ” but any success of .brands do not equate to the success .genericGTLDS. Apples oranges there. ”

    Good Point! a nuance the genericgTLD backers hope investors miss.

    jeff schneider
    Independent Marketing Analyst/Strategist at UseBiz.com / (.COM ) URL Centric Marketing

    Savvy Online Marketing Strategists, will advise .COM Franchise Owners to employ Sub-Domais for (Risk Free) vertical Growth, which will stengthen and enhance their already Dominant Market Leading Positions.

    We can safely say that the .COM subdomain strategy will successfuly replace any generics designation, the gTLDs can supply, without the added expense and risks inherent in the gTLD Experiment. This Superior Strategy, effectively usurps and strengthens the full Strategic Marketing advantage of the already dominant .COM business model. Our advice to GenericgTLD investors is to immediately formulate exit strategies. JAS 1/27/14

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger

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