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ICANN To Press Ahead Expanding TLDs, Despite Criticism
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msg:4404386
 9:43 am on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

ICANN To Press Ahead Expanding TLDs, Despite Criticism [reuters.com]
ICANN, an independent body responsible for organizing the Internet, plans to press ahead with plans to expand the number of possible website addresses despite criticism from industry and concerns from some law enforcement groups.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which decides who gets to manage .com, .net and other domains to the right of the period in a URL, plans to begin accepting applications next week for a hugely expanded number of Web domain options.


 

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4404403
 11:24 am on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

an independent body responsible for organizing the Internet


I'd say this move speaks volumes about their current, and likely future, credibility and integrity issues.

Sage17




msg:4404548
 6:21 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

The way ICANN is overhauling its policies, I think extensions will be seen as a part of the name of the business. Naturally .com will suffer most. The first blow to .com was when ccTLDS got popular in their respective countries. In countries like UK, Germany, China and India etc you will hardly see any local business using .com.

Dot com is the default extension for US (in spite of having its own ccTLD .us). Majority of the nice .comís are still not developed. Their owners ask extortionate price for them. The market had to correct itself. Well done, ICANN!

gpmgroup




msg:4404754
 2:21 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Naturally .com will suffer most. The first blow to .com was when ccTLDS got popular in their respective countries. In countries like UK, Germany, China and India etc you will hardly see any local business using .com.

Correlation causation confusion.


Dot com is the default extension for US (in spite of having its own ccTLD .us). Majority of the nice .comís are still not developed. Their owners ask extortionate price for them. The market had to correct itself. Well done, ICANN!

Why are there even more .us domains undeveloped [than .com]? And why are those prices usually incredibly much cheaper compared to the equivalent .com?

So if people prefer com to .us why would they prefer a .nyc? Or a .la?

HuskyPup




msg:4404765
 3:23 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

So if people prefer com to .us why would they prefer a .nyc? Or a .la?


The problem for me, I don't know, possibly many, may be that .us has to located on a US server. I used to do that with my example.us however I could never seem to get it to rank at all so I gave up and simply url-forward it to my example.com now.

.nyc et al had better not make a similar error.

Sage17




msg:4404891
 3:06 am on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why are there even more .us domains undeveloped [than .com]? And why are those prices usually incredibly much cheaper compared to the equivalent .com?

So if people prefer com to .us why would they prefer a .nyc? Or a .la?


New extensions will provide local businesses an alternative. This will decrease the demand for .com's bringing the price of 'premium' .com's down. Supposing there were no ccTLDs, the demand of .com would have been much higher.

Global businesses will still be using .com or .net depending upon their budgets, as the city and/or state extensions are no good to them.

Dot us was just one player, now there will be a gang. I am not saying .com will phase out at all. I think it will take at least 4-5 years for these extensions to gain any credibility. If mishandled, they might never gain any kind of credibility but that seems highly unlikely to me.

tangor




msg:4404896
 3:58 am on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Follow the money. It's that simple. I do believe there's a desire to create another extension as financially viable as .com ... they just haven't found it yet. But the recent .3x managed to fill coffers.

jmccormac




msg:4404910
 7:59 am on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

New extensions will provide local businesses an alternative.
I've heard this before and I don't agree with it. The reason is not obvious though. People without ccTLD experience rarely notice how people in ccTLD dominant countries remember URLs. They don't remember the extension like .ie or .co.uk - they think of websites as if they are physical locations. They don't have to remember the extension because they strongly identify with the ccTLD extension as their own country. Now that may give the city and state new gTLDs an advantage but it does take time for a new TLD to become established.

This will decrease the demand for .com's bringing the price of 'premium' .com's down. Supposing there were no ccTLDs, the demand of .com would have been much higher.
Again, there are problems with this interpretation. The dotcom bubble of the late 1990s meant that there was a frenzy of everyone having to have their .com domain name. The ccTLDs were often badly run as university department extensions by people who had absolutely no understanding of the real world or business. This gave the .com TLD a massive start over some ccTLDs. However the years 2001 to 2004 were hard for .com and many of the dotcom domains dropped and were not reregistered.

The domain bubble of 2005-2009 inflated the prices of .com domains but this was not due to genuine demand. It was due to the artificial scarcity created by ICANN incompetence. ICANN's regulations were exploited by domain tasters who would register dropped domains for five days and test them with PPC advertising. If the domains made more than the registration fee (according to a simple formula), then they would be retained but most would be dropped without costing the registrar anything. This meant that the entire day's drop of some TLDs was being registered by domain tasters and the ordinary businesses and companies who wanted to register domains couldn't get many of the "premium" domains or indeed many city/state type domains that had dropped. ICANN was shamed into taking action on this problem but the real action was taken by the economy and by Google et al who had been providing monetisation services (PPC adverts). Google cut the PPC revenues. That immediately killed a lot of the smaller operators but as the domains were registered for a year at a time, the impact was only visible months later as some of these domains began to drop again. It was a very different situation to the DotCom bubble. The effects of the death of easy credit in 2008-2010 are just beginning to appear.

Global businesses will still be using .com or .net depending upon their budgets, as the city and/or state extensions are no good to them.
Most business is local. Global businesses tend to use .com more than .net TLD.

Dot us was just one player, now there will be a gang.
DotUS was an amazing opportunity that was badly handled by the US government. It really should have had a brand champion such as Godaddy and Bob Parsons to run it. Many of the registrations (last time I checked) in .us ccTLD were .com companies protecting their brand.

I am not saying .com will phase out at all.
In some markets, .com has already begun to be phased out and the bulk of those registrations in those markets are historical brand protection registrations. This effect is quite visible when a ccTLD becomes dominant in that country level market and the numbers of new registrations of ccTLD domains outstrips the numbers of new .com registrations.

I think it will take at least 4-5 years for these extensions to gain any credibility.
Agreed. Some will fail during that period. I think that ICANN missed the best window of opportunity to launch these new gTLDS by at least five years or so.

Regards...jmcc

Quadrille




msg:4404962
 4:42 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Dot Com Rules, and no amount of wishful thinking will change that. In some countries - eg Australia - there are benefits to local sites in local TLDs; but in other countries - like the UK - that advantage is smaller, and if anything, .com is growing rather than shrinking - many large UK companies use .com even for purely local (UK) use.

Why? Because with .com you automatically have 'recognition', as well as a serious advantage in international and US search.

Sure, some local companies will increasingly favour local domains, as their local rules make that advantageous - where local usage has increased, it's probably as much about price as anything else, and don't forget that millions of spam sites use local domains, where they'd have probably used .biz or .info a few years ago (no longer so cheap!).

Internationally, I see no signs at all of .com failing; .biz, .info. .#*$! were all exposed as scams to get people to buy defensively, and any new TLDs at international level will likely go the same way.

If you wanted your company to be seen as #1 in world, would you seriously look at anything other than .com?

jmccormac




msg:4405043
 10:53 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

In some countries - eg Australia - there are benefits to local sites in local TLDs; but in other countries - like the UK - that advantage is smaller, and if anything, .com is growing rather than shrinking - many large UK companies use .com even for purely local (UK) use.
And this is based on what? The number of UK registered .com domains is probably less than half that of the number of registered .uk domains. In Germany, the number of German registered .com domains is probably just over one third (~33%) of the numbers of registered .de domains. The level of ccTLD growth far outstrips that of .com growth in these ccTLD dominant markets and this is actually a global trend that is spreading. Once a ccTLD reaches critical mass, the emphasis on .com becomes less and most of the .com registrations are historical registrations. The databases here track about 5 million .uk domains and all the main gTLDs. I could probably do some kind of usage analysis over .uk domains/websites and UK hosted gTLD domains. Most business is local and the ccTLD is still the best option for accessing those markets.

Regards...jmcc

Quadrille




msg:4405053
 11:24 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most business is local? No. Most businesses are local, most business is NOT. The number of local businesses may be large, but they are nearly all small businesses.

This is the WWW - the clue is in the title. :)

Search Google (or Bing, if you insist) and see how many local sites turn up in the top ten, in any category where 'local' isn't the name of the game (eg bars, butchers, non-chain garden centres).

These days, every tom dick and harry wants a website as well as an unreadable blog, and local is usually cheaper ... and if purely local, probably best. But in the big picture, .com is where the serious money is, was ... and will continue to be. [I'm only referring to English language sites - outside English, the advantages of .com are not so great]

And what do we mean by local? local within a country (eg pubs, bars) would be wasting money with a .com; nothing to gain in cash, SE, or reputation. But national companies want to be associated with multinational ones, especially if they compete against them in their own markets, or have aspirations. They don't want to be seen as local. And I'd guess the number of moribund or dormant local sites beats the similar .coms by many a mile; a dumped local site will stay dumped - but there's a very healthy (if very scammy) .com resale market.

And the number of visitors to .com site dwarfs the rest put together.

The TLD debate is not just about numbers, it's about marketing and aspiration: and no-one with aspirations goes for .biz, .info ... and in many cases, they won't go for local.

jmccormac




msg:4405063
 12:19 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most business is local? No. Most businesses are local, most business is NOT. The number of local businesses may be large, but they are nearly all small businesses.
That's the characteristic that determines whether a TLD is successful or not - the fact that small businesses use it. Usage cascades from that point onwards so that the TLD's use becomes an automatic choice for any new business. Many new .com domains are being registered by ccTLD registrants for brand protection. However rather than the .com being used as the primary brand site, the .com is pointed to the ccTLD.

Search Google (or Bing, if you insist) and see how many local sites turn up in the top ten, in any category where 'local' isn't the name of the game (eg bars, butchers, non-chain garden centres).
I don't have a very high opinion of Google's expertise when it comes to local search outside of the US.

And I'd guess the number of moribund or dormant local sites beats the similar .coms by many a mile; a dumped local site will stay dumped - but there's a very healthy (if very scammy) .com resale market.
Building a good timeline of web development in a TLD has been made a bit more difficult by the use of CMSes like Joomla and Wordpress but it is not impossible. I'd have to dig up the precise figures but between 20% and 40% of sites in some TLDs do not change over the course of a year.

With a lower cost of registration, people will register more but the same urgency of development, as there would be if the registration was more expensive, is not there. It is not unusual to find clusters of .com domains pointing to one domain.

And the number of visitors to .com site dwarfs the rest put together.
This is the classic dotCOMmunist defence. :) In business, all the traffic in the world is no good if that traffic doesn't convert.

The TLD debate is not just about numbers, it's about marketing and aspiration: and no-one with aspirations goes for .biz, .info ... and in many cases, they won't go for local.
What most people never see is that many TLDs live and die without ever having being developed. People see TLDs being measured in millions or tens of millions of domains, but the reality is that the level of development can vary from 10% to 40% depending on the TLD. This is only something that you see when you do large website surveys and it is often in the best interests of the registries to do small surveys and extrapolate the results of checking a few thousand websites to cover millions of websites.

What I often see is people trying to classify entire TLDs as being one market. As with the real world, it is possible to see borders delineating country level markets in .com and the other TLDs. Transnational businesses will use .com but there's also a growing Adjacent Markets effect where businesses targeting markets outside their own country will use a local ccTLD domain for that targeting rather than .com.

Regards...jmcc

Sage17




msg:4405086
 1:44 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

The TLD debate is not just about numbers, it's about marketing and aspiration: and no-one with aspirations goes for .biz, .info ... and in many cases, they won't go for local.


Global businesses, whether in China, Germany or any other country, use .com and they will keep using .com in future, as they don't have any choice. Dot net was mentioned as an alternative to .com for those who cannot afford the dot com version of the name, not to reduce the importance of .com.

I don't think anyone claims that .info or .biz can be an alternative to .com. Info has a different purpose and .biz never got any kind of credibility whatsoever.

The comparison is between ccTLDs and .com for obvious reasons, i.e. the introduction of new city and state extensions is in fact expansion of the same idea. I happen to live in the UK and I totally disagree that local businesses use .com's. There are many who do but here we are talking about the general trend.

HuskyPup




msg:4405652
 6:51 pm on Jan 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Global businesses, whether in China, Germany or any other country, use .com and they will keep using .com in future, as they don't have any choice.


Oh but there is another choice for Europeans and that is .eu. I know a lot of things have been said about this extension however I can assure you that a .eu can rank face to face and even beat any other extension.

I've proven it over this past year with a complete new website I constructed, and still doing so, and I can tell you I was mightily surprised as well and also, interestingly, it has generated more weekly enquiries than my .com ever has for my widgets.

Before anyone mentions .asia as a competitor and I have several of them but Google specifically does not rank them as well as a .com or .eu, BingHoo does.

jmccormac




msg:4405660
 7:32 pm on Jan 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well .asia doesn't seem to have done as well as its backers expected. It was at 195,295 on 01/January/2011. That's small ccTLD territory but it was up against a group of well established ccTLDs in the region (.cn, .jp, .au, .nz etc).

Developed websites are something of a rarity in .eu but the .eu has become a gateway TLD rather than a ccTLD. There's still a lot of cyberwarehoused domains in .eu but much of that has washed out of the zone in the last five years.

The five year mark seems to be when it is possible to tell how a new TLD will perform as a lot of the highly speculative registrations will have dropped and, if everything goes well, large scale development should be taking place.

Regards...jmcc

ppc_newbie




msg:4405672
 8:35 pm on Jan 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

@tangor
But the recent .3x managed to fill coffers.


Time to go create a bunch of those nasty gTLDs and collect millions per year in the protection racket!

Sage17




msg:4405929
 5:41 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh but there is another choice for Europeans and that is .eu.


.Asia is a complete failure, I think.

.EU never got the recognition that it deserved; hence diminished credibility.

Secondly both are regional extensions. I see no threat for .com at all. This kind of extensions will serve like corner shops compared to a supermarket.

To sum up, I don't see any credible alternative to .com for global businesses. Dot net is for those who cannot afford .com, not because they prefer .net. Dot org has a different purpose and hence is not in direct competition with .com in my opinion.

For local businesses, .com is becoming history (with the exception of US and a few other territories). I take the view that the introduction of city/state extensions will provide an alternative to .com for local businesses in the USA, .com will suffer a lot.

@jmccormac, thanks for the useful information about the .com's history in your first post. I agree with the explanation but I was not talking from historical perspective.

HuskyPup




msg:4406206
 5:25 pm on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Secondly both are regional extensions.


.asia is a gTLD whereas .eu is listed as a ccTLD however the point I am making is that Google is giving my example.eu equal footing with my example.com and it is definitely doing better than 99% of my competitors' .com sites.

My experience is there for anyone who wants to take advantage of it, it is a freebie.

This kind of extensions will serve like corner shops compared to a supermarket.


There are a lot of very big corner shops in Europe:-)

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