Top 50: The Digital World of Domains
For millions of Web businesses, .COM remains the most popular and sought-after extension, but the virtual tide is turning - albeit slowly.
In today's digital world of domain names, brands have a near infinite number of choices they can make for Web brand naming and their broader virtual business presence.
While hundreds of new top-level domain extensions have been made available over the past two years (630 since Oct. 2013), many more are on their way. The result has been a dramatic resurgence of interest in domain names in general and those that take notice today will likely reap the many rewards of domain differentiation in the future.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently published findings from its ICANN Global Consumer Research Study, which measured aspects of consumer awareness, perceived consumer choice, experience and trust related to the current generic top-level domain (gTLD) landscape and the domain name system (DNS). The results will most certainly surprise Web pros. Across all survey respondents, 46 percent reported awareness of at least one new gTLD, with 65 percent of those who are aware reporting they have also visited a new gTLD.
"The survey found that domains with an implied purpose and functional associations, such as .EMAIL, were most often recalled by Internet users," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Global Domains Division. "While some of the drivers may be linked to familiarity and general association versus awareness of the extension, we believe it's a signal that people are receptive to the names."
Selecting and managing domain names can be a challenge, of course. Not only must the full scope of creativity be leveraged, but in some cases, so must negotiation savvy (when acquiring through an aftermarket) and technical skills (during deployment). In this month's Top 50 from Website Magazine, readers will find some of the biggest and most important names in the digital world of domain names.
Let this list serve as a starting point for those acquiring, managing and selling these increasingly important assets.