Sometimes we buy into the hype even though we should really know better.? I myself made some gTLD purchases when they started rolling out but if I could rewind the clock I’d go back and save myself that money.? There’s arguments on both sides of the coin on where everything will shake out.? If you’re still on the fence I’ll give you an analogy I gave someone else that seemed to work pretty well.? Let’s talk US geography.? .Com is the New York City of extensions no doubt.? Nothing will ever overtake NYC.? You also have some other smaller places that are still popular like Boston (.net) or Los Angeles (.org), Chicago (.me) and Dallas (maybe .co).? You get the point.? The question is where do the gTLDS fit into this geography analogy?? Well, I would stick them in North Dakota.? I’ll make an oversimplified generalization and say that North Dakota may look pretty, but otherwise it’s mostly an empty space of nothing.

Domains like Car.Insurance and Back.Link and Visit.Berlin and many others where the left of the dot combined with the right of the dot makes great sense look pretty.? They do, and this is why a lot of domainers have gotten excited.? Because it looks pretty.? But that’s where the upside ends.? Here’s why:

1.? What happens when a gTLD extension doesn’t have enough registrations to make its owners an acceptable profit?? Or what if the extension is losing money?? Two options – prices go up or the extension folds.? Both are bad for domain resellers.

2.? When you have premium renewal pricing the price you need to sell the domain for goes up each year that you hold it.? As the price climbs the likelihood of selling it drops.? It will be hard enough trying to sell an unknown extension for a few grand, what happens when you need to sell it for 5 figures to eek out a profit?

3.? The majority of the gTLDS are being sold to domainers.? Most domainers do not develop websites.? They buy and park the domains.? An extension needs exposure to have a chance of succeeding and a significant way it can get exposure is to have websites developed on their extension.? When domainers are holding the majority of the sensible left of the dot right of the dot combinations of domains, and they are asking an arm and a leg for them how will the extension get developed sites going?? It just doesn’t make sense.? Frank Schilling held back 40,000 of what I’d guess are the best keyword domains for the .Link registry.? Who is going to pay him a premium for a domain in an extension that has nothing significant developed and gotten no exposure on it because he’s holding them all back and asking a premium which is keeping people from buying and developing them.? It’s a circle.

4.? People like simple.? As technology advances you need to learn and memorize more things believe it or not.? If you worked as an accountant 40 years ago you had to master a paper, pencil, and calculator.? Today you need to know Microsoft Excel inside and out.? The public is not going to remember 600+ domain extensions.? They just won’t.? If you ask 100 random people on the street how many domain extensions besides .com they know what would their answer be?? Maybe 1 or 2 if that for the average person.? If the average person didn’t bother to learn about .info or .mobi or .us than why would they bother to learn about the gTLDs?

5.? Take domainers out of the picture and what would the gTLD sales numbers look like?? Disgusting, they would look disgusting.? Why?? Because these registries are cheap and don’t advertise to the general public – instead they are nickel and diming domainers at every opportunity and domainers are still buying into it because they don’t want to regret missing out like they did on the .com goldrush of the 90’s (sorry folks, it’s fools gold).? Because there’s no commercial demand for them because companies know that consumers are not going to have the attention span to memorize a bazillion different extensions.? Because there’s already other extensions out there that people could have purchased if they were willing to forgo buying a .com and they haven’t done it.

How many .BIZ domains are registered?? 2.6 million of them.? It took how many YEARS for it to hit 2.6 million?? Oh, but we need to exclude how many of those are owned by domainers.? I would wager that at least 50% of those are owned by domainers if not more. Domain Name Counts 2014 – Start Of Month
Month 01/Jan 01/Feb 01/Mar 01/Apr 01/May 01/Jun
gTLD 145,837,538 146,118,261 146,593,600 147,056,960 147,330,579 147,415,958
.com 111,843,404 112,182,322 112,623,408 113,115,505 113,257,117 113,401,886
.net 15,165,306 15,170,544 15,189,095 15,180,345 15,174,136 15,182,971
.org 10,366,013 10,382,856 10,409,950 10,430,569 10,434,662 10,421,195
.biz 2,631,259 2,641,961 2,659,376 2,654,241 2,643,209 2,647,824
.info 5,831,556 5,740,578 5,711,771 5,676,300 5,821,455 5,762,082
.mobi 1,198,143 1,073,145 1,054,833 1,036,346 1,010,360 970,674
.asia 395,711 368,536 359,158 336,188 309,477 289,322
.tel 213,239 148,476 147,512 143,838 142,905 138,806
.ie 193,115 188,943 190,711 191,444 192,303 192,901
.eu 3,709,857 3,724,143 3,770,504 3,793,636 3,789,766 0
.fi 335,467 0 340,465 0 344,848 346,892
.fr 0 0 0 0 0 0
.hk 254,703 0 257,160 0 260,659 166,481
.jp 1,356,102 0 1,360,765 0 1,370,274 1,372,346
.no 0 0 0 0 0 0
.me 746,675 747,067 751,854 758,597 761,325 0
.us 1,805,550 1,812,376 1,825,748 1,835,130 1,835,137 1,832,726

Source of Data

Just look at the numbers, they are pathetic for extensions like .biz, .us, .mobi. For the amount of time these domains have been in the market it is clear that people who have a commercial use for a domain will buy an ugly .com over a better looking .anything. I’m done on my rant. My advice to you is instead of buying a “premium” gTLD buy a solid .com instead. Instead of buying 1 gTLD that has a $40 registration cost you should buy 4 .com hand regs that you come up with. But if you like these gTLDs maybe in the end you’ll be laughing (at me) all the way to the bank… and then you’ll wake up.

5 comments on “.Com is Like New York City and the gTLDS are Like North Dakota

  • This week I received an offer through a broker for a domain I own. The equivalent domain was registered last week and has privacy registration. I don’t know for sure that the recent registration and the broker’s offer are related. Perhaps they are not but I suspect they are. So what are the scenarios? The potential buyer could be a domain investor who wants to resell their recent registration for $5k-$10k at some point but they would have a problem because my .COM is priced well below their .Condos domain. So a prospective buyer will most likely opt for the preferable .COM. Or potentially someone – either a website developer or local real estate agent wants to develop a site on the .Condos domain and wants to protect their brand. Of course if they waited till general availability they don’t have much invested in the domain / site yet. Once they start developing however they will increase their investment considerably and if they don’t have the .COM the brand they are trying to build could lose traffic to the .COM.

  • Agreed. In my view, very few new gtlds will be adopted by the end users on a wider scale. .WEB,.APP,.CLUB.,.BLOG and that’s about it. We’re going towards shorter URLs not longer, so it’s quite difficult to see bright future for long keyword ngtlds such as .consulting or .management. Good luck with RTs with handles like @customerrelationshipdotmanagement.

  • I think we are using the memory to type the website name but type the suffix by our habit,so i think we change the memory are much easier than change our habit.

  • Like stated after the gold rush of the .COM era everybody jumped on the band wagon of buy .NET or .ORG, I built websites and gave people my .NET site url people would rush home and call me back saying they though my website was crap and the stuff I had written on my blog was rubbish. I had to state to them no its .NET not .COM all of prospected traffic was filtering through to the .COM with the same name. that was in the 90’s and its still happening today. all gTLD’s are going to do it boost the traffic to the .COM of the same name. this bubble will burst and fast. enjoyed your article and have shared on plus 🙂

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