Should I register a new generic top level domain? A simple question that can’t have a simple answer. Are you ready for this major change?
A few years ago we wrote a couple of articles with tips and suggestions to choose a “perfect” domain name. You may have seen many versions of the article “Choosing the right domain name”.
It was 2006 and the internet landscape looked completely different, much simpler.
Just eight years ago, if you wanted to register a domain name to run your business, a personal blog, an online store, a social profile, or reserve a name for future purposes, you just needed to focus in the domain name and follow some basic tips regarding the name length, the use of dashes and numbers and avoid copyright violations to get a domain name easy to remember and “brandable”. Today with over 1000 (one thousand) new generic top level domain extensions released for registrations, things have changed…
The domain extension was not an issue those says, dot com was the way to go if you wanted to register a general purpose domain and then you had some alternatives such as dot net, dot info, dot biz, dot org, dot mobi , your own local country code domain extension, and a few others.
I remember there was a lot of excitement about the launch of the dot me domain extension, which got a lot of registrations coming from squatters, defensive registrations and some other who wanted to register single words that in combination with the word “me” could indicate “a call to action”.
Then came the year of sex. Dot xxx domain extension promised to change the internet by splitting the websites with adult content from those who could be visited by all the “regular” visitors. There was a lot of expectation that sex and porn websites would have a separate search engine for those looking after specific adult contents. Unfortunately (or luckily? Depending on your point of view of the internet regulations), none of this happened, of course there were many dot xxx registrations and even an xxx search tool was released, but the adult industry never got rid of their dot com extensions and that major players are still reluctant to register and run their sites under dot xxx extensions.
More recently, when ICANN started discussing about the new rules to release the new gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains), dot co (the Colombian dot that can also be used for Companies) has a quite good startup with many big companies switching/rebranding from their traditional dot com to a simpler and quite effective co.
So your domain registration choices where relatively easy till December 2013. You just needed to focus in the domain name portion of your registration and check for availability in the most common and traditional gTLDs.
During last 2014, ICANN introduced major changes in the rules and requirements to apply for a new gTLD (they call it New gTLD Program), and all of a sudden, an “avalanche” of new domain extensions went live in 2014 (with more to come live during 2015). To give you an idea, as of February 2015, 1930 new applications were submitted and almost 900 were approved and are now open for registration to the general public.
In our store at Cheap Group Domains we have over 1000 new gTLDs available for registration, but we are featuring the top new gTLDs registered during the last 15 months to keep the search for a new domain name as a friendly experience for our customers and prospects.
All of the above leads to a basic question: Should I register a new generic top level domain? A simple question that can’t have a simple answer.
There is still a lot of debate, even among the Domainers Community (domainers: people living from buying and selling registered domain names). They are still not sure how to valuate to a specific domain name registered using a new gTLD.
Let us give you some tips and suggestions for the regular pal that wants to search and register a domain name today:
1) Still look for the traditional gTLDs such as dot com. If taken, then you may check availability among the new gTLDs (available options show up in our search tool at Cheap Group Domains). Remember you still have to make sure you are not cybersquatting under someone else’s name or violating any copyrights.
2) If you plan to register just for investment or to get a cool name for the future, search among non-brandable short words in combination with the newly announced domain extensions.
3) Single character (and up to three characters) name, maybe a valuable asset in the future. Don’t ask when, but meanwhile you need to keep paying the yearly renewal rates.
4) If any of the domain names you are using today for your personal business, blog, or any other contents you run, matches partially with a new domain extension, you may register a shorter name in combination with the domain extension. Let me give you an example: I own domainshotdeals.com, so I decided to register and use hotdeals.domains for our blog. Seems to be working quite well for search engines.
5) If you run a virtual store or a business in NYC, London Tokyo or Berlin, go ahead and register your name today.
6) Some of the new gTLDs tell it all, so if you think you are sexy go ahead and register a dot sexy. If you feel you are a guru, got one too.
7) Call to action: your domain name in combination with the new selected gTLD makes a brandable “call to action” sentence.
8) Defensive registrations are dead unless you are a big Corp. You need a deep pocket to register and pay yearly registration feed for over one thousand domain names extensions.
9) General SEO rules also apply to new gTLDs. Your site’s content remains the most important qualifier to show up on top in search engines and keep using the power of socials networks.
Want to start shooting names into the new Generic Top Level Domain Names? Start here
The Hot Deals In Domains Team.