There was so much hype from the press and tech bloggers when the new Top Level Domains were introduced back in the year 2014. Having a new web address endings was seen as a good investment and a turning point for marketing strategies.
However, in spite of such assertions the new Top Level Domains went unnoticed in the year 2014. Some people still believed that they were going to be a boom in the year 2015. Most people are not sure about this and therefore before you go out there to build your new site with strange new names, you first need to get the facts right in regard to TLDs and you also need to be sure whether the new TLDs will matter to marketers and consumers in the year 2015.
Before the year 2014 Top level domains which included endings to websites such as .COM, .EDU, .GOV were all handled by ICANN. In the year 2014, new opportunities came around and entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to create their own TLDs which they could control themselves. Today, over 4 million business owners have paid to have their sites end with things like .SOY, .XYZ, .TOYS amongst many others.
Before the introduction of the new TLDs, there had been a number of Top Level Domains for website owners to choose from. Most of these TLD’s worked in a general sense as for instance, people would understand that a country TLD would always be used to find details about a specific place of the world. A good example is .fr is generally known to represent France while .CA represents California. This idea is not entirely true with everyone since there are those people until now are not sure whether .CA represents Canada or California.
The same idea was carried to other TLDs like those for schools were mostly represented with .EDU while org pages tended to be associated with non profits and .tv site for television show. As a matter of fact, very few people know that .com is a short for “commercial which had been chosen in the early days of the internet to identify the sites that were not traditional schools or government web pages.
The main challenge that came with these new TLDs is the fact that most consumers are already used to the traditional endings compared to the new ones. This puts the new TLDs in the spotlight as it shows that site is new which cannot be compared to the sites that have been there for a long time.
NPR and some of the creators of the new TLDs decided to do a follow up to find out how the new TLDs were performing in the market. It was found out that the rate at which the new TLDs were being adopted in the year 2014 was very slow. They also found out that the only TLD that was doing at least better in the market was .XYZ which depended on a large buy from a third party which often came with a free year of .XYZ registration to the clients or from the people who bought .xyz to sit on them. In order to verify if people are going to adopt the new TLDs let us wait for the year 2015 to end and we see how many of the people who got their new TLDs for free or squatted are going to keep them and continue to pay for them.
One of the research showed that the smallest percentage of people would place their trust in an insurance company that ends with .insurance solely having their preference based on the domain name alone.
Even though TLDs marketers today are trying to convince the general public that TLDs are used to improve SEO, unfortunately they do not. TLDs are not one of the ranking factors when it comes to the algorithm for search engines. They can only be used as a ranking factor in future incase their popularity increases but meanwhile, even Google highly doubt whether they will ever become that popular.
According to Google’s John Muller, in regard to TLD and search, he claims that there is no inbuilt advantage of using the new TLDs compared to the older ones. They perform well in search just like the traditional ones. The only advantage you may derive from it is the fact that they give you the privilege of picking a name that better matches your web presence. Therefore, he concludes that if you see anyone claiming that the new TLDs are doing much better understand it is not due to any artificial advantage in the search but the fact that the website might be the fantastic thing.
The fact that there are so many TLDs in the market has made it impractical to collect many of them with the intent of selling them later. This was only effective during the early days of the internet when .com option was the only option. New TLDs have increased the number of TLD’s in the market making it impossible to try to lock up domains you are not planning to use.
There are several reasons why you as a business owner should take the new TLDs but you need to be particular about your reason. There are also new TLDs for older extensions. In fact some states have gone out of their way to introduce TLDs for business in their state. A good example is BillsGarage.com could become BillsGarage.NYC
Apart from the fact that TLDs give the marketer a lot of options when it comes to choosing domain names, they do not have any other tangible benefit to business. Most customers still trust .com and believe it has a better SEO visibility.
Given this number of challenges faced by TLD, you can be guaranteed that it is unlikely that TLD will make huge marketing impact in the year 2015. The only advantage remains that it makes the site to be easy to remember but they will never suddenly promote a certain type of magic to have a huge impact on marketing in the year 2015.