New gTLD Awareness Remains Low Despite Growing Interest in New Domain Extensions

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Internet users around the world are just as comfortable with new gTLDs as they are with the traditional .com and country-code extensions, even though only 25 percent said they are aware of new gTLDs, the Domain Name Association (DNA) said. The DNA announced the results of its Global Domain Name Preferences Study this week.

The study was put together by Research Now from 5,000 survey responses across 10 countries, and indicates a number of opportunities in the domain name area.

Huge majorities of Internet users type domain names into browser address bars some of the time (85 percent) and check the domain names in search results (94 percent). These results and others show the continued importance of domain names, according to the DNA.

“Our survey results show that Internet users still employ domain names widely, voice a preference for more domain name and domain-name extension options, and ‘get it’ when it comes to the possibilities,” said Kurt Pritz, Executive Director of the DNA. “These are important findings for the domain name industry, indicating a bright future for all domain-name extensions. When Internet users generally become aware of the new domain options, we expect widespread acceptance and even eagerness to adopt them.”

Extension preferences vary greatly from country to country, but even in the US, where .com is still overwhelmingly popular, 14 percent said they would prefer to shop with an online retailer that has a new gTLD. Twenty percent of those in the UK would choose a retailer with a new extension, while internet users in China (58 percent), Russia (67 percent) and Brazil (73 percent) most often prefer domain names with new extensions.

Those preferences are similar to those given when respondents were asked where they would pay bills online, with even higher numbers for new gTLDs when users were asked where they would go for news and current events.

Almost 60 percent of respondents indicated they would like more domain name and extension options. That number was boosted by responses from the fastest-growing Internet markets, including 75 percent in India and 69 percent in China. In countries with high Internet penetration interest in new gTLDs is close to 50 percent, indicating that significant markets – albeit somewhat different ones – remain in all countries regardless of Internet development level.

A majority of those surveyed said that new web addresses in meaningful combinations will be easier to remember, and also a majority said that new extensions will make registering short, memorable names easier.

Google says the new gTLDs do not provide an SEO advantage, but Sedo reported that they sold well in their first half-year of availability. Google Domains launched to public beta earlier in January with over 60 new gTLDs.

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  1. DoktorThomas™

    Actually, the choices are rather unhandy. And unmemorable. Many mean nothing and are harder to remember than .com. Pricing is unrealistic--they should start at $5.95 like .com, .net and .org did. Also the trademark hearing results are piss poor at best. Just because there is a Splotch Inc, doesn't mean is an infringement. The Icann fee is entirely undeserved--bureaucracy in the flesh. So all in all the new gTLD's are a drag on the .com business. I have bought one. It shold be required that a domain be used in the first 18 months or the ownership forfeited. How hard is a "This domain for sale" page with real contact info to build? How many fools want ".ninja"? Really. ©2015