What Marketers Need to Know About the New Top-Level Domains

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Mitch Wagner
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Umair - Good question!

I'd expect the positive effects would be none or small. Search engines are already looking at a lot of signals to determine page rank, chief among them links to a page. As of now, I don't think it makes a difference to search rank if a page has a .us or .com domain; I don't see why that should change with new TLDs. 

There may be negative effects if certain of the new gTLDs get reputations for being sleazy, like .biz is today. 

Umair Ahmed
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What will be the effect of new suffixes on search engine results?

 

anjaya
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Re: Domain names are so XX century
anjaya   6/27/2011 3:38:36 PM
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@smkinoshita

On top of that, let's not forget that people are also using social media to find things too.

I think you make a good point as this will create enormous opportunities for branding, niche target marketing, geo marketing, There is no way to predict the new and ingenious ways fresh minds will find to use these new domains.

More Opportunity and Choice - Simply allowing so many new choices will fill the market with fresh, newly available domain names upon which to brand and build new business ventures.

Mitch Wagner
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I didn't go for the wagner.name TLD because it's ugly. 

kdawson
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Some bright person with deep pockets might scarf up common last names. I bet Keith will be able to grab keith.dawson before I can get mitch.wagner, as Dawson is a more popular name than Wagner.

A similar thing happened a few years back when ICANN opened up the .name gTLD: entrepreneurs registered dawson.name, wagner.name, and so forth, and offered to sell us keith.dawson.name and mitch.wagner.name. (I didn't bite at the time, and in fact, checking now, I see that neither of those two last names exits in .name.) But in that case the cost of registering dawson.name was a few tens of dollars, a few hundreds at most; not $185,000 just to get in the door. I can't see many entrepreneurs risking that kind of capital for such a paltry return. How many Dawsons could they sign up? A few hundred? That cash flow ain't gonna cut it.

Mitch Wagner
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Here's what I'm thinking:

- Forget about how they'll benefit marketers. This is one of those areas where marketers can only help themselves by thinking about the consumer first. So what if it would be nice for Coke or Pepsi to own .coke or .pepsi. How does that help the consumer?

Possible benefits:

- Companies can offer superfans domains on their own gTLD. Of course, those brands can ALREADY offer subdomains on their own domain. How is vanitydomain.coke better than vanitydomain.coke.com?

- People's minds think hierarchically and in categories. It's why department stores and big-box retailers divide their stores into departments: Office supplies, men's clothes, food. It helps consumers find what they were looking for. TLDs USED to work that way, nearly 20 years ago -- .coms were for-profit companies, .orgs not for profits -- but that broke with the introduction fo the consumer internet. gTLDs could bring back that kind of hierarchical thinking. So restaurants could have domains in .food and in their local city too (joeseats.food and joeseats.nyc). 

- Some bright person with deep pockets might scarf up common last names. I bet Keith will be able to grab keith.dawson before I can get mitch.wagner, as Dawson is a more popular name than Wagner. 

- The new scheme permits domains in non-English alphabets, which a billion Chinese and Asian Indians will like. 

kdawson
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Re: domain names, vanity names
kdawson   6/22/2011 11:24:22 AM
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Yes, I've had a watch on dawson.com for years in case its status changes. Doubt that it will unless that construction company goes out of business. Failing to get that name, I acquired dawson.nu in 1998 when the South Pacific island of Nieue became one of the very first to open up its domain space to outsiders, for profit.

I "picked up the drop" on keithdawson.com 5 years back, when the other Keith Dawson who had registered it let it lapse. After I won it at auction, I corresponded with that other KD (whom I know slightly) and he said he had assumed I would pick up the name.

Domain names were free until 1995. All you had to do was apply. Few of us thought to do so that early.

I did manage to register impatiens.com (for a small press) in the week before Network Solutions began charging $50 to register a name. After that point the registration fee was $35, and $15 went into a fund for "improving the Internet"; this was later declared an illegal tax and was rescinded. (We didn't get refunds though. I wonder where that money eventually got spent. It must have amounted to millions by the time the fee was killed.)

Domain registration was opened up to competition in the late 1990s and the going rate quickly dropped into the single digits.

Mitch Wagner
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Why TLDs anyway?
Mitch Wagner   6/22/2011 11:13:28 AM
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Why do we need Top Level Domains anyway? They mostly don't serve a purpose anymore. Well, I guess .edu and .gov still have meaning, but seeing a domain ending in .com .org or .net tells you nothing about whether the owner of the domain is, in fact, a for-profit company, not-for-profit, or network. 

Why not just eliminate TLDs entirely, and just use text strings? The new proposed gTLDs seem to be a step in that direction, while also potentially restoring meaning to the system of TLDs. 

Mitch Wagner
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An engineering company grabbed wagner.com in 1992, a few years before I thought about getting my own vanity domain. I did manage to snag mitchwagner.com, grabbing it from those dozen or so *other* Mitch Wagners who pop up on my vanity Google searches. 

Dawson.com was also grabbed up in 1992. 

This is all unless there's some whois bug that makes old domains pop up as having first been registered in 1992 when in fact they were registered in other years. I'm suspicious to find wagner.com and dawson.com to have both been grabbed then. (Different days, though.)

 

Dave Sasson
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Evangelist

I may have to reconsider using the speech and voice recognition capabilities on my smart phone, since remembering these domain names and typing them out may become too cumbersome.  Sarcasm aside, I tend to use the search engines event to type the full domain name, just in case I misspell.

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