The first thing I do in the morning is to grab a cup of coffee and scan the news about the latest new domain extensions' stories. This has led to hundreds of tweets over the past year (Follow me on twitter here). Going through these tweets I handpicked the 10 best posts. Whether you're a brand holder, domainer or registry this is a good starting point to understand better the potential of the new domain extensions. All stories are in chronological order. 2015 was the breakthrough year for the new top level domains. Here are some of many highlights:
- Hundreds of new domain extensions were launched.
- We passed 11M domain name registrations in the new space.
- Barclays Bank, UK's biggest bank, was the first dot brand holder to skip .com for .barclays.
- Google chose abc.xyz as their web address for their holding company Alphabet.
- Autism.rocks sold for USD 100K at SEDO making it the first big aftermarket sales of a new domain extension.
- The latest Hunger Games movie used the web address hungerGames.movie
Here we go... The 10 best posts about new top level domains in 2015
1. Well-funded competitors, a dream, and LinkedIn: How I raised $7 million in 30 days for my startup (Mar 9) .Club was one of the new TLD winners in 2015 passing 500.000 registrations. In March founder and CEO Colin Campell explained to StartUp Beat, how he managed to raise USD 7M inside 30 days to bid for the management of .club. Don't miss the celebration video at the end of the article.
2. A Fallback Hierarchy for Domain Names (June 26) Joseph Peterson discusses the thought process to find the best alternative domain name, when your preferred one isn't available. He shows how the new domain extensions have changed the mental model.
3. The Riches Are in the (.Tickets) Niches – With Steve Machin and Gary Fisher (Sept 21) A super interesting podcast at DomainSherpa with the founders of the .tickets registry. Not coming from the domain industry they add a fresh view of the go to market strategy for a new TLD. Several registries copied (or attempted to copy) their strategy after this podcast. Read also Gary's Pulse post at LinkedIn.
4. How Is Your Brand Handling the New gTLDs? (Sept 25) Normally naming specialists only focus on creating brand names for their clients. However, in this guest post at Brandchannel Mark Skoultchi from Catchword Branding takes a stab at the new top level domains. Especially his thoughts on versatile extensions are interesting.
5. ICANN Releases Phase One Registrant Survey on the Domain Name Landscape (Sept 25) ICANN's first global registrant survey showed that awareness of new top level domains was particularly high in Asia and South America.
6. Souvenirs.nyc Success Story (Oct. 2) While only scratching the surface on the topic of SEO, this article showed how a local souvenir shop managed to rank on page 1 in Google for key terms. And even got a larger volume of direct traffic.
7. The Long and Winding Road to a Perfect Business Name (Oct. 14) The title of this article from Inc was a bit misleading, since it actually was about how Craig Marolf found the perfect domain name for his business - vibe.digital.
8. Search Marketing Study: How New gTLDs are Beating .COM (Oct. 19) Bill Hartzer and his team at GlobeRunner's third part of their study examining the impact of new Top level domains in Google Adwords. In this third inning the new TLD outperformed the same ad using a .com both in clicks and conversions.
9. Naming a Business in 2015: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities (Oct. 21) Clutch examined naming trends collecting data from 700 companies. This article includes thoughts from some of the leading naming experts (e.g. Phil Davis and Margaret Wolfson) both on naming a business and choosing the right domain name.
10. Answers to Common Questions About New Domain Name Endings (Dec. 10) Google confirms (again, again) "that new domain name endings are not treated any differently than traditional domain name endings like .com or .org", when it comes to ranking in Google.
Other news stories I enjoyed:
What .WS website is this? (Feb. 5) Elliott Silver publishes the first sighting of Coca-Cola using emoji smiley faces in domains. Just shows how creative you can be with domain names.
How Mike Faith Creatively Purchased and Grew Headsets.com (Jan. 9) The story of how Mike Faith secured the premium domain Headsets.com for his business. In this interesting podcast at DomainSherpa Mike Faith showed how to creatively finance a premium domain name.
Rick Schwartz Sells Porno.Com For $8,888,888: The 4th Highest Reported Domain Sale Of All Time (Feb. 2) The Domains announces that "The Domain King" Rick Schwarz sells porno.com for USD 8.888.888. According to DNJournal it was the 4th highest publicly reported domain sale of all time. 2015 was a record breaking year for sales of premium domains. Vodafone sells 360.com for USD 17M a few months later. Rick later goes on to sell 989.com, 6565.com, 9595.com and other number domains to Chinese investors.
WHAT DOES .COM MEAN? (Mar. 15)Symbolics.com - the world's oldest domain name - turns 30 years. Verisign did a great background story on .com. The first proposal was actually .cor.
I Spend Over 2 Hours a Day Answering Offers From China (Oct. 27) This post confirmed that Chinese demand for domain names had gone crazy. While writing about increasing Chinese domain investments earlier, this post by Michael Berkens confirmed that it was going insane.
The Rick Schwartz 20th Anniversary Post. Trust Numbers Not People. (Dec. 26) The Domain King came out of retirement to tell it as it is. If you want to understand the value of the right web address for a business then start here.