I am writing this post wondering if gTLD will change the way we think of domains. However, it’s no strange thing to happen, you develop a product, and then people use it entirely differently. It happened so many times, why not expect this to happen with the gTLD? Offcourse some gTLD’s will be more popular (.pop), some will be more secure (.secure), some will be just… .ego And some will be juuuust premium (.rich). You can check the full list of current new tld proposals.
The way I see it, ICANN changed their model to selling to resellers, creating various registrars, and now opening hundreds of possibilities to gold rushes. Most recent gold rushes like .me and .xxx had some ups and down. DotMe got some cool services like about.me, but in regards to .xxx lets be honest. Most of the registers advertised this as “protect your brand”. What did we think was going to happen? I mean, Go Daddy has some strong sexy ads, but this would be way too much even for them. Especially with the SOPA fiasco going on.
When it comes to gTLD’s, my opinion is biased. In one view you have previous attempts (sort of a warm up for gTLD if you will), that haven’t exactly caught on fire (.jobs, .travel). Maybe Steve.jobs would be cool, but I can’t think of anything else. And even if you are interested in certain gTLD, like .hotel (so you could sell domain registration to hotels) who knows what the price is going to be, and who will handle the registration. It’s one thing when a respectable, experienced registrar like Go Daddy, Network Solutions, Enom, Tucows handles registrations, and it’s different when someone who cashed out 5000$ + 185.000$ (or even more) handles the registration proces (customer services, marketing, security, pricing, etc). More about this from Michael Salazar new gTLD program director at ICANN.
Is .secure going to be secure enough?
What would happen if somehow the “system” forgot who is the owner of every .com in the world? Ergo, security is important. Although ICANN will not consider applications from anything other than established corporations, institutions or other organizations in good standing, this bug doesn’t get out of my mind easily. When it comes to marketing a TLD, one is popular to that extent to which someone advertises it! I have asked Muamer Mujević Founder and CEO at Iconis agency to write his point of view on branding with gTLD’s.
Whats the Marketing value of your new gTLD?
Back in 1989 when world wide web was launched we had com, edu, gov, mil and net. We used .com to say that the website had some commercial intent. It did not mean the web site was commercial, or a big business, it was just a way to categorize it.
The Internet registration authorities intended other „descriptions“ of a web site like .biz, .org and .net to be used for other types of websites to describe them better. With the idea that organisation would register .org, and businesses would register .biz.
Sounds like a good plan. What happened?
You see, big brands started registering .com domains as soon as they could and when they started promoting their web sites .com suffix was everywhere, and i mean everywhere! Tv ads, billboards, flayers, radio, and so on. Back then, there was no internet marketing and this was the only way you could promote your domain! You had www.mcdonalds.com, and www.cocacola.com screaming the .com at you. The power of these promotion made .com the most wanted suffix for new websites. Sure, some registered .biz, .org, but the marketing value was not there.
It was a great idea, sure. Just imagine www.apple.biz. I know what you are thinking. It sounds amazing, right? Today, businesses, organisations, schools, military or networking sites mostly use .com. It just sounds right.
Lets be real. If you have a .com domain people view you as a worldwide business, no matter where you are. For example, Zara is a Spanish clothing and accessories retailer. They are big and spreading like wildfire. They have stores all over the world, Spain, France, Egypt, Monaco you name it. And yes, they use .com. What would you have them use? Zara.spain, Zara.Monaco, or better yet Zara.store? Why? Zara.com has star power, and is shorter. Much easier to remember.
So what marketing value can new gTLDs ad to your brand?
Will new gTLD have great impact on domain name registration? They might, but it might be a negative one. They just might register these domains to protect the brands.
Sure i understand the cool factor behind Hilton.hotel. It may help people only looking for hotels find just hotels. But they already have Hilton.com. Starpower. Shorter.
Short bio: Muamer Mujević has over 12 years of experience in branding, graphic design, marketing management, sales, web design and 3d design. Last 6 years he specialized in business consulting, education, marketing strategy and branding for small and medium companies. His main focus now is building big brands from businesses with potential, supporting entrepreneurship and startups.
Iconis agency - Twitter
Sound farmiliar? Are we making the same mistake twice? .mil? What the heck were they thinking? What I am trying to say is that this has some huge opportunities, but risks as well. At one point you could create so powerfull gTLD that spawns hole new breed of web startups and web sites. Something like Facebook games (.fbgames), I am not sure. But also you could have disputes. Afterall these are words that are being bought.
I remember when someone sued Google by questioning them about who gave them the right to sell keywords (via Google Adwords). And who gave their clients the right to advertise on a certain word. Same is happening here. If a corporation decides to buy .apple, what happens to the fruit, or the worlds apple makers, or apple juice, etc. Please, have in mind I am not saying this has any logic, I am just stating out facts. Although, I do embrace change, and freedom, so I welcome the gTLD’s (as I did with Adwords).
Will this confuse less technically educated people? If they read hilton.hotel, are we going to bring back deprecated “www” are they going to write in the address bar hilton.hotel.com, adding the .com because they are not technically sophisticated to know what is the .gTLD. Sure, if you are still reading this post, you know what’s a gTLD (and I wrote this post specifically for you, which is precisely why I haven’t explained in the beginning what is a gTLD). But what about your cousin who always asks you to fix his computer?
More segmentation for domainers, more work for WhoAPI
Some domainers heard about the problem when you want to find whois information about a domain that is registered through Go Daddy, and all you get is a link to Go Daddy’s whois. Well, chances are, you could be getting those messages for some new gTLD’s. Hopefully, WhoAPI will find a way to solve that problem, and we are working hard on it.
Huh not sure. Although some companies have already started selling and promoting certain gTLD’s I wouldn’t be so sure to jump to the ball and preregister them. I was going to point you in the direction of the dotappapp.com (they announced that preregistration’s of .app are opened) but their website is down, which proves my theory. Also, Blacknight (Irish leader in hosting) warns consumers against new gTLD pre-registration.
I constantly hear people whining – I wish I could go back to the nineties, and register some great domains. I wish I had some short domains. I wish, I wish, I wish. Well people, instead of wishing, will yourselves today! Instead of saying: “I wish I had a great domain.”, say: “I will have a great domain!” just choose the tld. Change brings opportunities, and with the gTLD, lots of tremendous opportunities awaits domainers. Sharpen your skills and prepare for the golden age.