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Awkward Dot Anything - Is The Icann Domain Expansion A Predictable Failure?
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Awkward Dot Anything - Is the Icann Domain Expansion A Predictable Failure?

If you have not heard of the recent news, today marks the day that ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has voted to open up to ALL domains suffixes.

Kiss the days good bye where we only had 22 TLD’s. Anyone can now send in an application to register for a suffix of their choice. It costs $185,000 for an application and $25,000 per year to carry these domains.

That sure weeds out a lot of us doesn’t it. What it will leave is large corporations and billionaire squatters looking to find and sit on a domain extension in hopes to earn loads of money from it.

But, before we get too worried about these .ANYTHING domains taking over the world...

Do you EVEN know what the 22 Existing TLD’s are?

Didn’t think so. Try to name them all...if you can make it past your ten fingers you have done a pretty good job.

Currently there are 22 approved Top Level Domains. Most of them have been an absolute flop, with the most recent one being the .co domain extension.

I actually bought a few of these expensive $29 per year domains with the assumption that they may carry some value as people sometimes mistype a domain name. I was wrong. These domains carry absolutely no value and to be blatant, and carry no weight within the search engines.

Good luck trying to get a .co to rank above a .com, .org, .net, or .info. It simply won’t happen. Google has enough algorithmic problems to deal with without having to worry about a massive influx of 1,000’s of new domain extension.

I honestly can’t see this going anywhere. Let’s look at an example.

Did you know that there is a .travel extension?

Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. If you have never seen one, there is a reason for this. How much better for a travel company could a .travel domain be. I mean, it is the most relevant extension.

Many of you are probably aware of the travel site Kayak. Did you know that the they also have a .travel TLD kayak. travel? No? Well that is because it is a simple redirect.

If this isn’t a clear sign of how these sort of extensions are going to be used, then I don’t know what is.

The main use of these new domains....

Drum roll please....

People are going to use the new TLD domains as expensive redirects. Very expensive redirects.

Industry experts predict that ICANN is going to process 1,000 gTLD applications within the first year.

Maybe companies like google will be able to redirect their .google URL to their .com site. What is the point though? Who the heck is going to type in a .google domain when they are accustomed to visiting the site.

I equate this as an expensive cash grab by ICANN from enterprise brands (.apple, .microsoft, .mcdonalds) and a way to get some money from the 100,000’s of states, cities and jurisdictions out there.

  • .texas
  • .newyork
  • .yourcounty

However, what real value will .city related domains have?

Unless they follow the exact same conventions (imagine all the cities in the world agreeing on conventions, yeah right!), these will not fly.

In theory they could, if people became accustomed to typing in:

  • restaurants. newyork
  • restaurants. texas

To find, for example, restaurants in an area. But they won’t. They will got to Zagat or Trip Advisor, or Urban Spoon, reputable review sites in those specific areas to get information. There is no way a city or even a state would have the resources to take out specific verticals like this. It simply WILL NOT happen.

Who the heck types a URL into the browser to find something online? Nobody?

Really, when was the last time your were looking for information on the latest Samsung TV and you decided to naturally type into your address bar:

latestsamsungtvinformation .com

You didn’t.

You likely would have done a search in Google or your favorite search engine. You may have gone onto Twitter and asked your followers which TV was their favorite. Or, you may have gone to a TV forum and asked a few questions.

You surely did not assume you could type the exact URL in your address bar and get the information you need. In fact, you would be a moron if you did.

Instead, you use the channels we all use to find stuff these days and will continue to use.

Search. Social Networks. Word of Mouth.

ICANN is missing the mark here and the companies that fork out the $200,000+ to buy their own TLD are going to be in for a surprise. They won’t work.

I know, I know. Pretty BOLD statement. However, if ICANN cannot launch ONE new TLD with the backing of the largest domain registrars (GoDaddy, HostGator, 1and1) and have success with it, then how is a company going to benefit from it.

Maybe this is a better question for the companies? Any quick responses out there....didn’t think so?

How about .kyle? Think it will fly?

A few hundred benjamins and it could be mine. Think of all the things I can do with a .kyle domain. The opportunity would be endless.

  • iam. kyle
  • mynameis. kyle
  • king. kyle
  • everybodyloves. kyle

I could even sell domains to other Kyles out there. There are a lot of Kyles out in the world and I think I could fetch $100 for each domain that I sell...because we all know it, there is a sucker born every minute.

But on a serious note, are there any gTLD’s that will be worth something. Will anyone be able to make a go at their newly acquired .ANYTHING domain? Which domain would I want if I were considering getting one?

If I were to buy one gTLD, which one would it be?

.review

Yes, I think it could carry some value. If you are reading this and you end up getting the gTLD .review, then you own me one domain of my choice. What will that be?

under. review

Yeah...and I will just leave it empty. “This site is under review”.

But I really do see value in a large enterprise company that could take on an entire domain. It would have to work this way or it will not work.

For example, if you owned the .review domain extension, you could have the largest, open source, web 2.0 network of product reviews anywhere. People would come to your site to find reviews and they would simply know that if they typed in...

product_type. review

...they would get customer reviews, product information, and ratings within that particular product vertical. This would take a good amount of seed money to get off the ground, but if people started thinking of your site as being synonymous with product reviews, you would have a pretty valuable entity on your hand.

Or you could do the exact same thing review. com using subdomains, which by the way is already taken and is owned by Princeton Review.

So much for that idea...

Should we buy .wealthyaffiliate because we own Wealthy Affiliate. No thanks, I think we will stick to the .com which has way more brand awareness and costs a whopping $7 per year (versus $185,000 w/ $25,000 per year in fees)...

Imagine all the catch line domains there will be out there.

your. doomed

omg. fml

purple. nurple

...lots of different domain variations.

The options are endless. Really, think of the fun people will have creating domains.

I don’t mean to make a mockery of ICANN’s new initiative, however I just have a gut feeling that it is going to flop like every other TLD that has been released in the last 10 years.

I find myself making fun of these simply because I cannot find a practical use for these domains. If I personally had a choice to get one of these gTLD’s for business, I probably wouldn’t be able to make a decision.

Every TLD that you need is already there.

.mobi for mobile. No use, people simply create .com websites that are programmed for mobile devices. Mobile devices are becoming full scale computers with web browsers and everyone else is creating associated apps for their software/sites, so this TLD will become completely irrelevant within a few years anyways.

.travel - Yes, it does exist. Expedia has one, but their domain is broken. They sure found a use for this, didn’t they. Kayak simply redirects their .travel to their .com website.

People have been trained over the last 20 years to type in a .com when they want to find something. Search Engines also know this and rank .com domains the highest out of any search results. Any serious company will own their branded .com domain, so why the heck would they let some potential competitor come in with another TLD and steal their positioning within the search results?

IT WONT HAPPEN.

My prediction....

.ANYTHING will become a .WASTEOFTIME

I would love to be proven wrong, but I don’t think I will be based on the history of ICANN and TLD launches.


Street Talk

purple.nurple - too funny

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

LOL...I forgot about that. Would be a pretty viral domain!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

He He I laughed at that one to ! :D

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hi, Kyle, Though I ve been a member since 15 oct I just started today and was going through some article, some how this caught my eyes. This is an informative article as people who are babies like me into this industry wouldn't have an idea about it. As I was going through my 1st day of my 30 day success club where I learnt that I need to register a domain of niche before I host it this info helps to me understand how SEO really works. I am really freaking on the vast info at the WAU. I know I am going to succeed here. Sure to make my best from here

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yeah, there is a vast amount of information. You do not need to know everything in order to succeed, in fact you only need to know a fraction. Online business is big...it is like saying, I want to learn about offline business. Become a specialist. Become a subject matter expert. Follow your passion. You will get there! :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
bizgrrl  

I like the uniqueness of this article Kyle. A little more history on how the 22 TLD's came to be would be good. A cash grab or was it needed? I totally agree that the plausible new extensions aren't going anywhere. They will just sucker large corporations with money who don't know a thing about SEO and the like. Just look at the 22 already available and what ranks on the first pages in the search engines. Most of those I've never seen. As more and more people heed internet usage, more and more will get accustomed to .com.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yeah, many of them were cash grabs. .com will likely always attain the highest rankings, as people are most familiar with them. The other good options are .org and .net... And for location based searches, country specific TLD's (ex. .ca for canada). These rank quite well for searches coming from that country specific google.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

You Got Me! "You surely did not assume you could type the exact URL in your address bar and get the information you need. In fact, you would be a moron if you did." I'm a M.O.R.O.N I get bored and type in crazy urls like uraclown .com and find out that some guys actually trying to sell stuff. It's really funny. I do get your point. It's ridiculous the amount of extensions there are. I just think it's for registrars that come up with other ways for the big companies to protect their brand, while they make profit big time from making them. Think about off line consulting. There's probably tons of companies don't know that they only need what's considered the top 3 tld's to protect them from having their traffic pinched. Wonder if this will become street.articles Ps...just noticed that was you Kyle. LOL. Just bouncing around. Should be working :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Street.articles. Love it Robbie! I don't think we would ever be that crazy because we run a business that does not believe in "dumb money" and buying your own TLD is just that...in most cases. One or two might surprise us, but as I mentioned, if travel companies don't find a proper use for .travel (and these are some of the biggest entities online), then I am not sure who will really benefit from their own TLD. People know .com's.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Redeemed  

Kyle: Interesting reading. This is my Day 1 at WA. I would agree from the mathematical perspective that if Google is already having algorithm problems they would certainly not be wanting to add to it. It is true that I next to never type in an address, especially a long .anything! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yeah most people definitely type in the .com if the do type in a URL.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

As long as Google's first criterion of promotion is good content, why to pay so much for a .whatever? Let's suppose an investor buys the exclusivity for such an extension. To cover the investment and make a profit, he will sell further the right of using it to a lot of small developers. But who will be interested to buy the rights? Good content pages will get traffic anyhow. To be found on search engines through a special extension doesn't make sense if the content is irrelevant. I think they would have launched this offer during the Internet bubble... That time the price would have been really interesting!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

I agree...and how much advertising and marketing effort is going to go into actually piecing off domains. Say you owned .review and you wanted to break even at least, you would need to sell 5,000 domains at $55/each. That is a huge task in itself...and who is going to pay $55 for an unproven domain? Say the investor priced the domains at $10 each, they would need to sell 28,500...good luck. I wish investors all the best. I don't think the people that earn money will be in the reselling business, rather they will be able to create an open business model and may allow people to create their own content and own domains for FREE in order to use their service (of some sort). It is predicted that we are on the bridge of the next Internet bubble burst which is being caused by companies that have lots of users, but don't make money (hint: twitter). And how can Facebook be valuated at 50 times their yearly GROSS...

Reply
  about 7 years ago
bizgrrl  

I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on how Twitter doesn't make money, yet they are so popular.

  
  about 7 years ago

Good article, Kyle. What about .science, .medicine, .health, .santaclause, .horses, .stampcollecting,.Canada, .stocks, .investing etc.? Do you think anything will click? John

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

The fact that .travel and .xxx did not click, leads me to think that they won't. Remember those .ws and .co (website and company)...those did not gain much traction but had a lot of associated hype. I know someone will find a use for a few of them, however I do not think that it going to be devastating to existing website owners like some apparent experts are concluding. I will stick on the .com side of the fence until someone can prove otherwise.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

it's pretty simple. People aren't going to remember a ridiculous number of extensions. I think eventually, every person will be able to buy a totally customized .fillintheblankfor say, 9.95 for a year, but I think that is a decade or two away. Search engines will adapt. They always do. Though again, until average Joe can buy a domain, I don't think Google is going to pay much attention.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Great point Tim. I do think that at some point people will be able to buy domains for cheap...but only certain ones. It will be some time though before this happens (as you stated) and I think it is going to take some price wars to bring the price down. By the time this happens, will domains even be completely relevant?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great information. I had no idea that ICANN decided on opening up all domain suffixes. I support what your saying. Having an unlimited amount of domains would easily cause a lot of problems. I thought the operational stability of the Internet was more important? I'd like to hear the reasoning behind this decision. This is going to affect the major search directories like Google quite a bit if this actually does go through. It almost scares me the more I think about it. I posted this on my Facebook account so more referral for you.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

The reason: ICANN wants to make some money here. This is a quick cash grab for them and with their most recent domain flops (think .co), they are not going to get away with any further TLD launches (on top of the 22 they already). Instead, their ideology is to open it up and let others deal with the TLD's. They can resell if they want, or they can buy their branded extension. Either way I don't think that they are going to have much of an impact on the search engines. Google isn't going to change rankings based on TLD's. It has its favorites and we all know that .com is the best TLD for getting ranked. When was the last time you saw a .co, a .travel, .museum, or a .ws ranked on the 1st page in Google? My point exactly.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Kyle, I definitely agree that this will be a big flop. I suppose it could have some value for local SEO if Google decided to pay any attention to it. For instance, Seattle.starbucks might show high in local search results. Again, that's only if Google actually pays any attention, which they probably won't. And Starbucks can already get all the subdomains they want, so they could do seattle(dot)starbucks(dot)com for the same, if not better results. Oh, and a search like that would probably turn up hundreds of results. They've got those things on every corner there.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Exactly...they could just utilize a subdomain or a folder right now for city relevant rankings...and they will get them. Why would they try to get Google to rank something brand new when they know they can acquire a #1 rankings with their .com? It doesn't make sense..the only person it makes sense to is ICANN who will make $285K off the sale.

  
  about 7 years ago

If these extensions are eventually available, then it may impact search engines in the same manner as keywords in the domain name do now. But again, until it's available to average Joe, I don't think big G will notice.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

That is a good point Tim. Will domains like makemoney.online attain high rankings...it will be interesting. If you type in cheap.travel, it is nowhere to be found under the term "cheap travel" in Google. Maybe some preliminary foreshadowing.

  
  about 7 years ago
Jay  

I agree with '.ANYTHING will become a .WASTEOFTIME' because there will be no SEO value to the domains. For example, have you ever searched for something and had a .travel or .co domain within the search results? I'm guessing no.. The only value I see is reputation management for large corporations and hollywood stars whereas they buy their corporate name TLD's.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

I think you are spot on Jay. There are no SEO value to other TLD's besides the fab four right now, .com, .org, .net, .info...with that latter two being questionable. Another 1,000 is not going to be much of a shakeup as they will be redirects to corporate brands or people with too much money trying to charge too much for a TLD that is worthless. I do think that the SEO landscape is going to look a little different a couple of years from now, but I don't want to write another article within this one. However, .com's will always remain the extension that people relate to a brand.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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