What Do Consumers Think About New Domain Name Extensions?
New Domain Extensions – Change, Confusion, Acceptance?
In 2014, hundreds of new domain name extensions such as .club, .accountant, .ski, .futbol, .loans and many others started to show up on the Internet. Why? Because the existing domain name space was overcrowded. The expansion of the Internet’s addressing system, by adding new domain name endings, was designed to increase options for consumers and encourage innovation. Prior to the expansion, desirable domain names had become extremely scarce and expensive. Making matters worse, all the meaning in a domain name had to be on the left side of the dot because the part to the right was generic and offered no category-defining value, with a few exceptions.
Enter New Domains
The new naming options provide the opportunity to use the domain name extension, the part of the name to the right of the dot, to help define the business. This opens up a whole new world of naming possibilities and that is really exciting to a lot of people in digital marketing. We now have a wide range of domain name endings to choose from such as: .autos, .bank, .pharmacy, .law .boats, .shop, .homes, .motorcycles, .photography, and .yachts. You can get creative. Your name can span both the left and the right side of the dot to better define your business. Check out these companies that use new domains: Mariska.Yachts, Amazon.Boats, Reviews.Motorcycles, Skobel.Homes and AWA.Autos. Even Google is taking advantage of new domain name endings. When they restructured their company and created Alphabet, they chose www.ABC.XYZ for their digital home.
Not only do we have more naming options today than we did two years ago, we can now define our business and the content of our website more clearly by using the entire domain name including the extension.
Change is Good… Right?
Having new options sounds great, but many people said that the introduction of all these new naming options might be confusing for the internet user and make them more distrustful of new online properties. The debate began. Are new domain names better for the consumer or just more confusing? Will consumers be wary or distrustful of websites using new domain extensions? Now that we’re two years into this historic expansion of the naming system, the answers to some of these questions are becoming a bit more clear. Evidence indicates that, as with most types of change, people understand and adapt.
The organization that oversees the domain name system, ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers), also thought about the questions around confusion and consumer acceptance when they began the expansion program. They knew it would be important to track consumer sentiment, behaviors and progress so they created the Competition, Consumer Trust & Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) to organize a multi-year, multi-phase, global project to study things such as:
- Are consumers more or less trusting of domains and the domain name system?
- Are people satisfied with the increased options for for buying a domain name?
- What trends or innovations have we seen that consumers like?
Recently, ICANN and the CCT-RT released results from the second phase of the global surveys.
The survey included:
- 3,349 domain name registrants, 18 years of age or older.
- 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America.
- The survey was administered in 18 languages.
A few results that we found interesting are noted below.
- The introduction of new domain name endings did not erode consumer trust.
- About half of consumers and half of registrants think there should be restrictions on who can register certain domain names.
- Having some purchase restrictions on domain names contributes to a sense of trust.
- It is “strongly expected” that registration restrictions will be enforced. (see below for more details on this survey topic)
- The perception towards new domain name extensions as being “confusing” declined from 2015 to 2016.
- A majority of registrants said it was relatively easy to find a domain name to fit their needs.
Survey participants were asked a series of questions specifically about the enforcement of registration restrictions.
76% said that it is important to validate that the person or company registering the domain meets the intended parameters.
74% believe there should be requirements for validated credentials related to the domain extension.
72% think there should be requirements to use the domain in a manner consistent with the meaning of the domain extension.
You can read the entire survey by downloading a copy from the ICANN website.
Dominion Registries and the New Domains
These new survey results confirm our strategy relative to domain name extensions. When ICANN launched the expansion program, we thought it would be valuable to offer category-defining domain extensions to entities providing goods or services in the related industry. We believed that as a result, website content would become more relevant in these extensions and more trustworthy. As we built the framework for our industry-defining domains, we created policies and processes to increase the value of our domain names for registrants and consumers. By validating each registration application, we ensure that all registrants meets our industry eligibility criteria, keeping the namespace relevant and safe. We keep bad actors out to eliminate fraud and misuse. We provide ongoing enforcement of our eligibility criteria and continually monitor the domains to ensure they’re being used in the best interest of the related industries. Our goal is to provide higher quality, safety, security and trust for consumers and registrants alike with the domains we offer.
Over the past year Dominion Registries introduced five new domain name extensions, .Autos, .Boats, .Homes, .Motorcycles and .Yachts, all of which are now available for registration at accredited registrars.
To learn more about Dominion’s new domain name extensions, visit our websites at: