Undoubtedly, the most popular Top-level domain (TLD) is the dot com domain (.com) that you find as the extension in most web addresses. Dot com has served the Internet well for the past 30 years, mostly because it was simply available, and could be used for most any purpose. Looking at a dot com address, though, you couldn’t be sure if you were going to arrive at a business, a blog, a school, a church, a whatever.
Until recently, many businesses looking for a web presence discovered that the inventory of meaningful domain names had been heavily exhausted and they had to settle for web addresses containing hyphens, multiple words, awkward abbreviations and numbers. Fast forward to the past two years and we find there are now hundreds of available Top-level domains. We have entered an age of complete words being used as web addresses.
So, you ask: Where are these new top-level domains? Is anyone actually using them? The answer is yes, and you will start seeing more of the TLDs being activated in 2016. It has taken several years for the momentum to build, but that was also true back in the early years for dot com.
As of the close of 2015, Internet users had registered more than 11 million new domain names (what some domain companies sarcastically refer to as not-com domains). Donut, Inc, one of the largest TLD registries, said that “The second year of not-com availability has been marked by promising growth in consumer awareness and adoption. As the new domain registrations surge past 10 million, a look at the growth rates reveals a remarkable trend. Since January 2015, total new domain registrations have grown by 263 percent and the average monthly registration rate has more than tripled. Wall Street analysts forecast that not-com registrations could top 20 million by 2016.”
Here’s a random selection of the kinds of complete word domains you’ll be seeing more of in 2016. Please note that many businesses will be building marketing campaigns focused on the use of keywords both to the left and to the right of the dot, and they will be doing this while keeping active any successful dot com web address they have maintained over the years. After careful consideration, one major brand, Barclays, did decide to transition out of their well-established dot com web address and move entirely to their new Barclays TLD address.
https://www.lily.camera/ – check out the video 1.5 min – it is so cool
https://manhattan.dental/ — notice the email marketing punch they get with Smile@Manhattan.Dental
http://bluecarp.tax – Bluecarp Tax Consulting assist U.S. and Canadian individuals and entities dealing with their U.S. tax issues.
You can add to the list the two TLDs that NAR was able to acquire last year – the .REALTOR and the .REALESTATE top –levels. While most of the above examples are open for anyone to obtain, NAR’s TLDs are only available to REALTORS®. They are what the registration authority (ICANN) calls Restricted TLDs. For more information, go to www.About.realtor
As you look at your marketing plans for 2016, be sure to spend time evaluating your Domain Strategy. Let us know if we can help –
John and Saul – www.BetterCallSaul.realtor mailto:Saul@BetterCallSaul.realtor