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Are New Domain Extensions Worth It?

With a wide range of new domain extensions available today, I was wondering are they worth it. I did some research. This is what I came up with.

In my opinion, new domain extensions are not worth it.

Yet one thing to keep in mind is that over the last few years, the dot com domain extension accounts for between 40% and 50% of the total domain name market. That tells me in general that most people in this market do not currently believe that new domain extensions are worth it.

I had a few domain names in domain extensions outside of the extremely popular dot com extension. I didn’t renew them when their renewal times came around. Of course I may change my mind sometime in the future. However I don’t expect to change my mind on this topic for a while. That’s my personal opinion.

Using a new domain extension may not be worth it if your audience expects to see a country domain extension or to see a .COM domain extension. .COM domains account for over 50% of the domain name market. .COM is still the domain name extension of choice.

There are a number of factors to consider:

Risk

New domain extension domains are usually registered with new registries. Their future costs and practices are unknown. Remember that they have make a major investment in securing rights to the new domain extension. They have to earn a good rate of return to make that investment pay off for them.

I prefer to deal with a domain registrar that is accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). A domain registrar that is accredited by ICANN has to follow rules and policies laid down by ICANN or face the consequences.

Some Are Very Expensive

Some of the new domain extensions are very expensive (examples include .AUTO and .FORUM) when compared with the traditional .COM domain extension.

SEO

There is no advantage or disadvantage in using a new domain extension. Google treats them the same. Just be aware that country domain extensions are known to return localised results only. For example, searching when based in America is usually unlikely to return results for a United Kingdom country domain extension. New location domain extensions like .LONDON and .BOSTON may potentially also have this problem. If not now, maybe sometime in the future.

Marketing

Your audience may expect to see a country domain extension or a .COM domain extension. If your audience is trying to guess your domain name, chances are high that they will not quess that you are using a new domain extension name. Worst still, they may visit one of your competitors instead and never get round to visiting you.

Continuing Business Operations

Other services are based off the full domain name. Email is one such example. It is surprising how many different important organisations and people (to you) have your business email address over time. Over time, many materials including promotional materials include the full domain name. If the full domain name changes for any reason, there are going to be costs involved in that process.

Self-Explanatory Extensions

The extension usually hints at what the website is about. Extensions like .PLUMBING and .FLORIST indicate what the website is likely about before visiting. Whereas the .LONDON extension and the .BOSTON extension indicates the likely location.

Availability

Many domain names in the .COM domain are hoarded by people who want to sell it on for a high price. Your options are to pay the asking price, or to wait and hope that they forget to renew it. Then you hope to grab it when it is available again. Good luck with that approach.

Another option is to keep looking for a suitable name in the .COM extension. Then another is to see if the domain name is available in one or more of the new domain extensions.

Ahead of the Pack

Using a new domain name extension may indicate that you are ahead of the pack. This may backfire if you are way ahead of your audience.

Interesting Market Statistics

The market for domain names actually decreased by about 0.9% for the first quarter in 2021 when compared with the first quarter in 2020. However .COM and .NET domain names increased by over 4.5% in this time period (Source).

Conclusion

Since late 2014 I have been following the adventures of new domain name extensions. For example, .XYZ and .GREEN. Google’s parent company use the ABC.XYZ domain name and General Motors own the GENERALMOTORS.GREEN domain name. Although these new domain name extensions (.XYZ, .GREEN and many others) have been around for a while now, they have not as yet taken off in a truly awesome fashion.

The question is will they ever take off? That remains to be seen in the real world. Most consumers still expect to see websites using the COM domain extension or their own country domain extension. I personally don’t expect to see new domain name extensions doing really well for another while.

Hint: In my opinion, it’s better to brainstorm longer if the .COM domain name you want is not available. If you get say the XYZ domain name instead, some of your marketing activities are most likely going to send web traffic to the .COM domain name, instead of your .XYZ domain name. By brainstorming for longer and coming up with an alternative .COM domain name that is available is a better option for most people most of the time.

For each year between 2018 and 2021 between 40% and 50% of the domain names registered or renewed were using the .COM domain name extension.

Although new domain extensions have been available for over six years now, and more are coming on stream every year, over 50% of domains registered or renewed are still in the .COM domain extension as noted on August 26th 2021:

This statistic surprised me as it used to be closer to 40%. However it tells me that many people prefer to stick with the tried and familiar .COM extension for the foreseeable future.

Domain Extensions Share in August 2021

What Is the Bext Extension for a Domain Name?

Using the .COM extension is usually the best extension for a domain name unless you are marketing to a specific country using a country domain extension. .COM domains account for over 50% of the domain name market. .COM is still the domain name extension of choice.

When people see a domain name, they may notice the domain’s extension name. Many people are very familiar with their country domain extensions along with the old familiar ones of .COM, .NET and .ORG

When a domain name ends with an extension that they are not familiar with, they may just decide not to visit that domain name.

Which Domain Extension Is Best for SEO?

Using the .COM extension is usually the best extension for a domain name unless you are marketing to a specific country using a country domain extension. .COM domains account for over 50% of the domain name market. .COM is still the domain name extension of choice.

When people see the SERP results and potentially notice that the domain extension is not .COM, they may not click through to the website. The search engines notice that lack of clicks and may promote other websites instead. If the domain extension was .COM, they may click through to the website (because they are familiar with the .COM extension) and give a bit of “Google juice” to that website.

Domain Cost Club
If you buy or renew domains, you should look at them. They are a no-frills low cost domain registrar, who also provide free domain privacy services for domains registered with them.
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Hi, I'm David, the senior editor and senior writer at Work From Home Notes covering products, apps, services, and work from home issues and trends. Prior to launching Work From Home Notes I was an IT professional for over twenty seven years. Now I work from home. Read more.