As an early adopter of new gTLDs, I have done a lot of research on the potential outlook of them. Right now they are very speculative, but a few things may happen that could increase their adoption rates ten-fold.
1 Corporations need to start using them
Google will switch to .google and .youtube in late 2015. I have previously reviewed Google’s 42 new gTLDs here. Once they unleash that, there’s no going back.
2 Registry operators need to significantly lower the entry fees.
Cheap names like link, top, xyz are selling like crazy. When Donuts Co realizes they can lower the registration fees and sell more names that way, they will. We’re already seeing first discounts for popular Donuts Co names that will most likely stay with us. $12-$16.99 will be the norm for many extensions as soon as (1) is fulfilled.
3 SEOs need to start suggesting it to clients.
Google assigns meaning to everything. Ever entered a really rare synonym and Google was delivering results for a completely different keyword that is more common? Yep, that’s the power of Google. They assign meaning to everything and synonyms play a huge role in that.
Let’s say we enter “Moving Com” into Google. What meaning will Google assign to it? Think about it, then scroll down to check the answer.
Google knows that Com is an abbreviation that stands for Company and correctly makes the part “moving-company” bold. Com does not stand for Commercial as many people wrongfully believe it does. So, when I enter Moving Com, Google delivers the best results for “moving company”. If I allow Google to use my location, it may even show a few ads for the region I live in.
But, here’s the kicker. Although Google can make that association, there’s value in longer terms.
New gTLDs have one inherent advantage. Meaning. Meaning has value in today’s economy. This is market value that people underestimate if they are not involved in the SEO community. Extensions like TIPS, ESTATE, TV, ME, CLUB, WEB actually describe the business you’re in. COM is very generic – so people don’t know what to expect. They don’t know whether you’re a streaming company or a club. They don’t immediately know what to expect.
That’s the value of new TLD’s that many overlook. We now have a tool to create categories and give consumers a clear signal what kind of business we operate in.
Dove.com – that could either be a yummy chocolate bar or it could be a soap, we just don’t know, but when corporations use Dove.chocolate or Dove.soap we instantly know. That’s value. There’s a trademark for Dove by the company “Mars” and there’s a trademark on Dove by “Unilever” but only one company can own Dove.com and that is Unilever. What is the other company supposed to do? Buy Dove.net? No, they buy DoveChocolate.com to avoid trademark infringement! Now that we have a tool like gTLDs at our disposal the company can actually own the keyword Dove, there’s Dove.chocolate and Dove.soap – problem solved.
4 ICANN needs to reduce renewal fees from 125,000 down to 50,000 or less
ICANN is making a lot of money these days, but if they want a functioning domain system, they need to bring the costs down for registry operators. The technology to do that and automate everything is here. TODAY.
I understand why they hesitate implementing automatic assignment and management procedures to bring down costs, because it creates jobs and a lot of money. But they have to understand that the entire gTLD operation will be a failure if they don’t act now.