Monday, February 12, 2018

Redirections for .BRAND new gTLDs are risky

Do you go through the long and expensive process to apply for a new gTLD to...do redirections? Well, it's up to you but I've personally changed my mind on this.

What are we talking about?
Many explain that operating a .BRAND domain name extension "also" allows to do redirections from a ".brand" personalized domains to old website's URLs. The idea is to create your own www.whatever.YOU domain names and use them to create qualitative/generic second level domains such as www.service.YOU - www.corporate.YOU - www.products.YOU - www.brands.YOU - etc... and redirect them to existing/legacy domain names such as www.your-existing-domain-name.com/whatever. Examples:
  • www.services.you will redirect to www.you.com/services
  • www.service1.you will redirect to www.you.com/services/service1
  • www.corporate.you will redirect to www.you.com/corporate
  • etc...
An expensive trick
Using a .BRAND new gTLD to do redirections is an awfully expensive trick. I am reconsidering the use of redirections since I find that it is an absolutely nonsense to be charged $25,000 per year by the ICANN to use a tool which consists in doing things that will not even appear on Internet: a .BRAND new gTLD is a tool used for branding, trust and security: is this the message sent to customers when doing redirections? And when referring to the $25,000 per year, I only refer to the ICANN fee : there are other costs.

Challenging for a company
Many existing applicants don't use their .BRAND extension because they wanted to secure an asset: they spent $180,000.00 to ensure that no third party would do the same, but that's not the only reason. Another reason is that - for existing brands - it requires to change many technical website and online database configurations, logos and things like all the printing that come with changing your name for your employees: printed ads, visit cards, online signatures, emails, etc...

Just imagine what it means to "upgrade" all emails with a new ending from a 1,000 employees company when it's been using emails ending in ".com" for the past twenty years: that can be a time consuming project. Imagine the complexity for technical departments which have the responsibility to ensure that all emails sent are received: this taking into account that some servers are still not set-up to receive emails using a new domain name extension. Imagine the same for a 10,000 employees company. And imagine a company like Airbus SAS, which has acquired the .AIRBUS new gTLD and its 130,000 employees: of course, all don't use an email but this gives you an idea about what their technical department has to face.

Google does index redirections but...
And that is a good point but the more I see such redirections indexed, the more I feel that Google sends its users to a wrong content: the purpose of an URL indexed in a search engine is to be able to click on it, knowing that it will take you to where it says it is going to take you, not to another place.
Beside...what if Google decides to change this, and suddenly blocks such uses? Start over? I don't like it to be redirected as a consumer anyway.

SEO experts
Any good SEO expert knows that "new" domain names are indexed the exact same way a ".com" is so...does it make any sense to spend/waste time working on a trick with the risk that all the work done goes to the trash if a penguin suddenly decides to swim right instead of left? Does a .BRAND new gTLD applicant want to pay an expert to suddenly be explained that all the work paid and done for was a waste?
Come on: redirections are a good teasing in favor of .BRANDs (since very few have ideas on how to use them) but the risk remains very high to work for nothing (and crap) when the same time could be spent on working on the real .BRAND domain names and guarantee that time spent on SEO is not wasted.
Of course this means that a company understands the benefit to start deploying and maintaining several websites instead of one and that's where...time is worth spending.

Redirections: are you sure?
I recently used a commercial tool to offer redirections and I tested possible errors: for example,what happens when hitting a redirection with an error? Some countries like France have services to track bad behaviours and unfortunately I once happen to see the screen below to appear.


Some of these services are popular and pretty much used worldwide. The problem is that they are also used by bad users and for bad behaviours to trick end users (when for example you are taken to survey or an ad). Unfortunately here, added to the fact that you send a very negative message to your reader, it also means that it is your .BRAND extension which becomes listed by law enforcement services. The service I tested offered to pay "more" for such errors not to happen.

The real benefit of redirections
I am not going to make friends writing this but if I agree that using redirections can help to the visibility of a website, it also helps service providers to generate paid domain names. In simple words: the more domain names are created (whatever their use is), the more income it means for the service provider in charge of sending you the invoice. Redirections will always be useful to someone: operators of .BRAND new gTLDs will benefit from them but certainly not only ;-)

Still want to apply for a .BRAND ?
The hell YES! We explain the benefit to apply for a .BRAND new gTLD on the front page of Jovenet Consulting. Start with reading the advantages to operate your own .BRAND and if the idea is to generate an income from a new gTLD: we're happy to help.
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