Monday, January 29, 2018

Generic new gTLDs (to replace ".com")

From company names to trademarks and online boutiques to pornography, I like to call the ".com" domain name extension a generic one because it used for everything. If new gTLDs offer the advantage to differ from ".com" by bringing precision right in the domain name extension; some, by trying to compete with ".com", are offering another advantage: AVAILABILITY. Remaining generic new gTLDs, they also offer the possibility to remain global.
In simple words: you can buy a new domain name from the latest ICANN new gTLD program with an extension that has the exact same meaning as a".com".


9 generic TLDs
I listed nine generic domain name extensions which, I believe, have the same use as a ".com":
  1. The .GLOBAL new gTLD;
  2. .SITE
  3. .WEBSITE
  4. .WORLD
  5. .ONLINE
  6. .INTERNATIONAL
  7. .CONTACT (not "really" launched yet)
  8. .HOME (not launched yet)
  9. .WEB (not launched yet)
Are these TLDs successful?
When comparing with ".com" domain name registration volumes, the .ONLINE new gTLD had 782,790 registrations in December 2017 when .COM had 128.548.420 so we have a 128 million registrations difference between .COM and its closest competitor (...)
Does it mean that generic TLDs are not a success? Certainly not since .ONLINE gained 215,000 new registrations in one year. This is noticeable.

In the blue
On these 9 domain name extensions, two remain to be launched, the .CONTACT new gTLD has sticked to one single registration during the entire year (my feeling is that the applicant...well...who cares if he is about to sell his TLD to Afilias) and one has lost a little less than 50,000 registrations.

The TLDs after gained registration from January to December: .ONLINE - .WEBSITE - .WORLD - .GLOBAL and .INTERNATIONAL. When .CONTACT launches, I am confident that it is a success too.

We don't need more
While I find this positive to be able to register a domain name using a generic extension, I also fear that it could become a risk. The .SITE new gTLD lost a lot of registrations between January and December 2017: could the existence of the similar .WEBSITE extension be a reason for this? Note that the registry's method to install its domains on the market could also be a reason why a TLD loses registrations: the fact that many registries have tried the same methods to give names away (or at very low prices) could start to show signs that the method was not such a good one.

Also, the presence of so many similar generic TLDs on the market could also push to registering domain names in niche extensions which have no close competitor and which offer precision. We clearly don't need more generic extensions.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).
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