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Burning Up, Flaming Out - Where the Web Stands on the New gTLDs

Posted on 4.30.2014

The Web is full of speculation about what will ultimately happen when actual websites start appearing on the thousands of new generic top-level domain extensions that have been released.

Will search engines treat these new extensions differently? Will it cause brands to start acquiring domain names haphazardly in which they never really had much interest in the first place? The hard reality is that no one really knows.

What we do know, is that many of the new extensions have gotten out to a terrific start - with more than 430,000 new gTLDs added since early Feb. 2014 (and it just so happens that many of the categories we recently selected as the hottest domain names - wsm.co/hotgtlds - are finally seeing daylight and beginning to make an impression on the Net community). From geographic-focused extensions to those classified as industry specific, there will soon be a domain that appeals to everyone and it will benefit brands to know which are burning up and which are flaming out.


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The Top Three Today

There will be thousands of new extensions emerging on the ‘Net in 2014 and 2015, but many have stood out already and currently present some interesting opportunities for savvy marketers. The top five new gTLDs (as of late March 2014) are .guru (47,000 registrations), .berlin (43,000), and .photography (30,000). Let’s take a closer look at these domains (and others) and how they are being used on the Web today.

.GURU | Few expected .guru to become the clear leader among the newly released generic top-level domains, but that is just what it’s done. With the most registrations, the extension is adding hundreds of new domains into the namespace each day. GoDaddy is leading the charge, registering 25,000-plus extensions, which account for more than half of all .guru registrations.

.BERLIN | Geographic domain names are those that most industry watchers believe will be the biggest digital hit, and .Berlin is proving them right. While it has more than 40,000 registrations currently, the extension’s growth has been fueled dramatically by a promotion from German domain registrar 1&1, which gives a free year of .berlin registration to people in Germany and Austria. As of print, 1&1, and its sister service United Domains, account for roughly 60 percent of all .berlin registrations.

.PHOTOGRAPHY | Another domain extension that has already proven appealing is that of .photography. The extension has racked up a very respectable 29,000 registrations since its early Feb. 2014 release. GoDaddy’s reach is once again greatly responsible for its popularity, as the registrar has a 53 percent share of that extension’s registration.

Best of the Rest

The long-term success of the three new gTLD extensions mentioned above will in great part reveal how the future of the domain market will shake out. Keep in mind, however, that the introduction of these new gTLDs is only beginning; there are many bright spots which your enterprise can leverage. The following complete the final top 10 of the most registered new gTLDs

.EMAIL: 19,900 registrations, led by GoDaddy (22%), 1&1 Internet (11%) and Enom (11%)

.TIPS: 17,000 registrations, led by GoDaddy (23%), United Domains (17%) and Enom (11%)

.TODAY: 17,000 registrations, led by GoDaddy (33%), Enom (14%), and 1&1 Internet (10%)

.COMPANY: 13,000 registrations, led by GoDaddy (30%), Network Solutions (6%) and 1&1 (6%)

.TECHNOLOGY: 12,000 registrations, led by GoDaddy (33%), Enom (14%), and 1&1 Internet (8%)

.DIRECTORY: 12,000 registrations, led by GoDaddy (47%), Enom (10%), and Name (9%)

.CENTER: 11,000 registrations, led by United Domains (19%), Godaddy (19%), and 1&1 Internet (9%)

Stay in the know about gTLD developments in Website Magazine’s online Domain Masters channel at wsm.co/WMdomains.

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