1 million domain name registrations
This weekend the new gTLDs (generic top level domains) made history. 1 million domain name registrations reached since the first gTLD release in Nov. 13. The new gTLDs are domains which mean something on both sides of the dot. E.g. .cruises, .cheap and .berlin. Currently 110 are available, 200 more are expected this year, and 300 in 2015. And this is only the beginning.
If you still haven't looked closely into this, then you will bang your head against the wall soon for missing out. You see, new gTLDs will disrupt the internet landscape, as we know it. Let me walk you through what you need to know, if you still haven't considered the new gTLDs for your business.
Why should you use new gTLDs?
There are four reasons:
1. Upgrade your website's .old com domain name. Changing the domain name for a 21st century domain is both more relevant for describing your business, and it's a signal that you're a dynamic, innovative company. I'll send you a 15 step guide shortly, so you can do this change like a pro.
2. For brand protection. If you are a cruise ship operator, then you have to secure BrandName.cruises. Will you use it actively at a later stage? Who knows, but you want to stop others from abusing your brand.
3. For specific marketing campaigns, which need a great URL. Think SportsShoes.christmas.
4. To stock for use later when the timing is right. Be as visionary as that guy who registered 3dprint.com in 1999. He had a "Coming soon" page for five years, then started to sell 3D holograms, before it dawned on him that he had THE category domain, when it comes to 3d printing. That domain name is virtual "Times Square" real estate today. So if there are technologic, regulative or user changes in your niche, then you could get some fantastic domain names for your business by thinking ahead.
How is the demand for new gTLDs?
There was always a demand for new domain extensions given that all great .com domains are gone. Now instead of having to settle for a 15 character .com with a hyphen (-) in it, there are some sharp alternatives. The numbers already confirm that they are here to stay. My guesstimate are 5 million registrations this year. Over the next 3-5 years they will be a serious contender to .com domains, when you need a domain name for your website. Like any change it will take time to get used to this new option, but the idea has already gained momentum. Soon the mass market will also get into this, especially when brands start rolling out million dollar campaigns e.g. for .bmw or .nike, and you will see these domains on billboards and TV ads.
When should you act?
Preferably yesterday ;), but if you haven't acted on this yet, then analyze possible gTLDs for your business today. Supply exceeds demand by far - it's as if De Beers lost control on the diamond market - so you have some great choices. BUT there is still a limited supply of the best domain names. The ones that can brand you as the go to guy in your niche. If you are one of the many real estate agents selling condos in New York, there is still only one nyc.condos (listed for sale at USD 400 last week in the EAP - now sold to a real estate company in Florida). The classic error is to wait, until you need the domain name - because then it's usually too late. Stock domain names until you need them. The good news is that price is low due to the big supply, so you can get far on a small budget.
What should you look after?
I believe in focus. It's easy to get carried away, when there are so many choices. Focus on a few gTLDs which really describe your business. E.g. if you have a physical store in London, then the upcoming .london is a great option. (Other dot city domains coming are .nyc, .paris, .miami and 42 others). Are you a cruise tour operator, then go 100% after .cruises domains. Check in Google what users search for and compare it to your offer to find the most adequate domains.
What is currently available?
Here are the 110 extensions already available: .academy .agency .bargains .berlin .best .bike .blue .boutique .builders .buzz .cab .camera .camp .careers .center .cheap .clothing .club .codes .coffee .company .computer .condos .construction .contractors .cool .cruises .dance .democrat .diamonds .directory .domains .education .email .enterprises .equipment .estate .expert .exposed .farm .flights .florist .foundation .futbol .gallery .gift .glass .graphics .guitars .guru .holdings .holiday .house .immobilien .institute .international .kim .kitchen .kiwi .land .lighting .limo .link .maison .management .marketing .menu .ninja .photo .photography .photos .pics .pink .plumbing .properties .recipes .red .rentals .repair .reviews .sexy .shiksha .shoes .singles .social .solar .solutions .support .systems .tattoo .technology .tienda .tips .today .training .uno .vacations .ventures .viajes .villas .voyage .watch .wiki .works .在线 .移动 .中文网 .みんな .xyz .zone I hope this has inspired you to take action now. If there is one thing that 10 years in this business has taught me, is not to wait too long securing your domain names.