In 2014, ICANN (the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers) announced the launch of over 400 new generic top-level domains. These gTLDs brought unique suffixes to the table, such as “.technology,” and “.computer” but a quick search suggests that adoption of the new names has been low.
Check it out
If you hop onto your favorite search engine provider and do a quick search on one of the new gTLDs, such as “.technology” and “.computer,” you’ll find very few results that rank within the top 5-10 pages.
While it is true that search engine results are dependent on a great many factors which may affect the results of this brief test, it does seem safe to suggest that there may be a problem with the adoption of these new domain extensions.
Some questions being raised about the new gTLDs
Is pricing and availability affecting adoption?
If you were to try and purchase a “.com,””.net,” or “.org” domain from a provider, you can expect that the price will range anywhere from $10-20 per domain, per year. That’s about the price of a single digital movie download, or roughly the equivalent of a fast food dinner for a small family.
In other words, expectations have been set that a domain should be relatively cheap and affordable.
If you were to try and purchase one of the newer gTLDs, the price could range anywhere from $10-over $100. That is a dramatic change in expectation over purchasing a tried-and-true “.com,” “.net,” or “.org.” On top of that, not all of these new domain extensions are available at each provider, so you may need to do some searching to find the gTLDs that you’re looking for.
How will search engines crawl and rank these new domain extensions?
According to Google, a webpage is weighted and ranked based on content relevance and usefulness. So it should be business as usual when it comes to optimizing these new gTLDs’ for search engines. In fact, IT blog CircleID is suggesting that the new gTLDs may help a website’s SEO performance because relevant keywords are located within the domain suffix.
Does that mean that businesses should run out and buy a new domain?
Based on the small sample size and minimal amounts of evidence that suggest SEO improvements, it remains to be seen. But when you think about purchasing a new domain to improve your content relevance, it certainly seems logical.
Are the extensions relevant to consumers?
Public perception remains one of the primary problems that any web professional faces when considering the purchase of a non “.com” domain. Consider it: when was the last time you heard a non-techie talking about a website that wasn’t a dot-com? Or purchasing a product?
It will likely take considerable work to help ease the general public into the idea that other domains can provide the same relevance, safety, and security that the more well-known domains can.
Do you think the new gTLDs will gain in popularity and use?
It is highly possible that a website with a nifty gTLD will rise to the top of search and usage charts, but it doesn’t look like it will be any time soon. But we could be wrong!
Share your thoughts on the new domain extensions in the comments below, or tweet@UptrendsMonitor.