.unique .branded .domain .extensions .excited
Anyone who has started a business in recent and not so recent years has probably been down the frustrating path of first of all, coming up with a unique but relevant brand name, and then second of all, trying to secure a .com or .com.au site of the same name.
The facts are, if it’s a great brand or business name, someone has probably already thought of it, and bought the domain name before you. To protect your brand you want to buy .com, .com.au and .net if they’re available…but that’s the thing. Everyone is already doing it.
For example, the .com domains are incredibly easy to buy and are often bought by domain hoarders and held for ransom. There is one particular .com that I don’t own that is similar to my main website, but the kind owner (who never wanted it in the first place) keeps offering to sell to me for a lot more than it’s worth.
This scenario often leaves the business owner with the option of having a less desirable domain extension (.never heard of it before) or having to choose a new name altogether.
This is all about to change!
Actually it’s already changing. Last year ICANN, the Internet’s naming authority, approved more than 700 new domain name extensions with up to 1300 becoming available over the next few years.
Now when you go to buy your domain name you may have hundreds of new domain extensions to choose from. So finding an address that fits your business is easier than ever.
Most of the new extensions are industry or location specific with some of the most popular including: .today .center .directory .agency .photos .international .academy .gallery. .sydney .melbourne .technology .properties .rentals .services
It’s not all great news though, here are the pros and cons.
- You have more choice and have a better chance of securing your brand name of choice
- It can help you stand out in the market and be more memorable
- It can, depending on the extension, reinforce your brand values.
- Public awareness of these new domains is still reasonably low
- Until awareness grows you there may be some confusion in the marketplace, with some customers favouring more well known domain extensions or your competitors’ sites.
- It is now more difficult to fully protect your company’s online identity and brand, as you would have to purchase almost endless variations of your website domain. You may choose to only purchase key ones. However for the ones you do purchase you can put a redirect on them to your main site.
- At this point in time a local search in Google will often return local domains, for example searching in Australia you will more likely return an Australian domain name like .com.au or .net.au rather than a non-geographic or international domain extension.
That all being said, the negatives are likely to become less over the next few years as the industry and marketplace get used to the idea.
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