16 June, 2015
We examine how .brand domains are performing in search and how effectively the top new generic TLDs are penetrating the AlexaTM top one million websites (a potential indicator for TLD utilization)
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.brand Domain Registrations
According to our analysis of .brand/closed TLDs, there have been 1,300+ registrations to date which represents a more than 60% increase from our March report. Where feasible, we analyzed .brand registries with more than two registrations to identify the following findings:
- The most active .brand applicants thus far are from the finance and Internet services industries.
- The most commonly used terms to the left of the dot (with three or more references) are [nic], [domaintest], [www], [home], [shop], [join], [support] and [about]. Since the representative sample is quite small, we expect the common terms to change over time.
- It is clear that most brands are still in the planning stages as only approximately 34% of the registered domains have properly configured DNS zone files, which can be an indication of utilization. Our belief here is that the pace of registrations has been much quicker than utilization and this gap will begin to close over time.
- The majority of .brand/closed registrations have been performed by multinational organizations located outside of the U.S., primarily in the following TLDs: .sca (Swedish consumer goods company), .citic/中信 (Chinese conglomerate), .cancerresearch (Australian charity), .sky (Swedish media conglomerate), .globo (Brazilian media conglomerate), .firmdale (UK hotel operator), .mango (Spanish clothing company), .monash (Australian university), .otsuka (Japanese healthcare company), .dnp (Japanese printing company), .axa (French investment banking firm) and .yandex (Russian Internet company).
- It is also interesting to note that five .brand/closed domains now have an Alexa ranking:
- livingthechange.bnpparibas (BNP Paribas is a French bank)
- com.google (Google launched this as an April Fool’s Joke)
Other new examples of .brand utilization include about.everbank (Everbank, a U.S. bank), i3-de.bmw, i3-es.bmw and i3-fr.bmw which have relevant local content. and cheltenham.williamhill (William Hill, a provider of betting services). In our next report, we will be intrigued to see how .barclays and .barclaycard perform.
.brands And Closed Domains In Search
Proponents of .brand domains have suggested that websites using the domains will provide Google® with signals that they are authentic, and that this may influence search engine rankings. An interesting observation in this month’s report is how the newly registered closed .cancerresearch domains are ranking in the 1st several pages of Google.com for related keywords. Also included below are some interesting .brand domains that managed to rank in Google.com for related keywords.
Are terms to the left of .brand domains are powerful ranking signals for the search engines?
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The roll out of generic TLDs continues at a modest pace, however I am intrigued by the upcoming .bank launch. Along with .brand and other anticipated TLDs like .app, .bank has put in place baseline restrictions and security requirements which could potentially add true value to the Internet ecosystem. If deployment of the .bank TLD is successful and marketed properly to banks, it can become synonymous with “Trusted Banking on the Internet” and perhaps even increase consumer awareness of the New gTLDs.
In this report, we will continue sharing observations on the Top 100 New gTLDs by registration volume. Our New gTLD Indicator1 , will help gauge the relative value of the New gTLDs and see how they compare with .com. We are aware that factors such as TLD launch dates will skew the results a bit in the short term. Furthermore, we are aware that certain TLDs require special consideration. For instance, it isn’t reasonable to compare Geo-type TLDs, which are targeted for a local audience to achieve wide scale penetration of the Alexa 1M.
The Early Leaders
In this reporting period, six out of the Top 10 TLDs remained the same (.media, .social, .today, .website, .ninja and .zone) while .work, .pics, .sexy, and .space were the new entrants. This represents the third consecutive report where .social had a top position and the second consecutive report where .media has the number one position in terms of penetrating the Alexa 1M, when taking into account the TLDs’ registration volumes. Since our last report, .pics, .work, .space and .life showed the greatest increase in their New gTLD Indicator scores. As stated above, factors such as TLD launch dates and the pace of registration volume changes will cause oscillations in the New gTLD Indicator scores. For example, .marketing, .buzz, .link, and .click were on the Top 10 in the last report, but came in at positions 13, 14, 15 and 28 respectively.
What are the top 10 New gTLDs for your brand?
>> Request a complimentary New gTLD analysis to find out.
For further information, please contact:
Henry Chan, Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)
Ruby Pang, Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)