Thursday, March 29, 2018

So you're a .GROUP of companies?

The word "group" is an English word and it has many significations but the first one that I think of is a group of companies (and not a music group). Wikipedia defines it like "a collection of parent and subsidiary corporations that function as a single economic entity through a common source of control". Good.

You are a .GROUP
I just tried a few French group names extracted from a list I found on Internet and I added ".group" behind each name to see if a domain name was in use. On the list below, I was surprised to see that many have registered their ".group" domain name.

On the results found:
  • some show the Registrar's parking page (instead of redirecting the domain name to their website);
  • some seem to have their name registered by a third party with an ugly parking page;
  • Groupe Dassault, Lagardère, Pernod Ricard and PSA are using a redirection to their main website;
  • Casino, Seb and LVMH seem squatted and parked on a "for sale "page;
  • Louis Dreyfus shows a page written in Chinese which says "This page appears because your site is closed. Please contact customer service" but when looking at the Whois database, it looks like the name was not registered by Louis all;
  • all other names were either not registered or show no content;
  • for one of them, the Whois shows: "The registration of this domain is restricted, as it is currently protected by a DPML Block."
  • None of this groups uses a ".group" domain name to point to a website.
Be careful, you're not alone
I also tried a few other English and American group names and I noticed that many ".group" domain names were registered other groups which have the same name and most of the time, in other countries. On the examples that I tried, most were short group names of three to four letters.

What's the idea here?
Companies like to secure their assets and it has now become a common practice to to secure domain names in advance:
  1. The first idea is to say that modern groups should register their ".group" domain name because examples above can cost a lot in legal procedures when they have been squatted and probably much more when no prior right can be demonstrated (and that concerns short names).
  2. The second idea is to say that "things can change" and some companies become group of companies later in their history: registering today is a way to secure the name for tomorrow when things have changed.
  3. Another idea is not to say that ".group" domains should be registered by all companies: for example, Jovenet Consulting is a small company and there is no plan to become a group so there is no reason to register such a domain name but the ".company" one maybe.
Internationalisation and English
Many companies have a website, and most of the time, the idea is to give the company an "international rayonnance" thank to Internet. Much of the content found online is not written in Portuguese nor it is written French: it is written in English (an in Chinese a little bit too). The word "group" is an English word so registering a ".group" domain name today is to me a good strategy for already existing groups but also...for coming group of companies.
By the way, did you know that the ".group" domain name also exists in Chinese? It is the .集团 IDN new gTLD and is stands for "Corporate Group".

Added to the monthly new gTLD report
Once a month, we edit a new gTLD report entitled "Companies", this reports lists new domain name registration volumes from extensions that we believe companies should secure their domain name with. We added the .GROUP new gTLD to the Companies new gTLD report at Jovenet Consulting. There are 62,000 ".group" domain name registered already. The March 2018 update is coming.

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