The introduction of new gTLDs will not have a significant impact on the growth of .com domain name registrations, Danny McPherson, Chief Security Officer at Verisign told NetNames.
Backing up his view, McPherson pointed out the average length of a .com domain is 13 characters, a figure that has been constant for five years, there are 2.5 billion six-character domains left and close to 66 million five character .com domains left. So he believes there is plenty of room for growth.
At the time of unifying their websites under one global domain, The Guardian said “our move to theguardian.com will only strengthen our global presence and is a loud signal of our status as a leading digital news provider and of the breadth and depth of our content.” Of course, again this excludes what the organisation plans to do with its gTLDs.
Another British newspaper moving from a .co.uk to a .com domain is the Daily Mail, while the BBC appears to be redirecting global users at least from its .co.uk domain to its .com.
It’s not likely major companies that will not register their brands under .com. But they may well not register some domains they could have used for short term promotions or smaller brands for example.
However it is smaller companies, particularly those outside the US, which will be interesting to follow and see what their plans are. A small hotel, shop or business in a major city, McPherson believes, will want a .com domain as the internet makes their business almost borderless. And this will undoubtedly be the preference in the United States. But outside the US it may well be a different story.
A small business going online in Berlin or London, for example, in countries with the two most crowded ccTLDs, already often prefers a .de or .uk domain, or a .com. But now they may well make their first or second choice a .berlin or .london domain.
And on the new gTLDs, Verisign also has an interest in at least some of them doing well as they are the backend provider for around 200 (approximately 15%) of applied for gTLDs and have applied for 12 transliterations of .com and .net. These transliterations will make it much easier for internet users from non-Latin languages to get online. Especially those who are unfamiliar with Latin languages who may be as familiar with Latin characters as most Europeans, North Americans and others from Latin language backgrounds are with Arabic or Asian languages.
McPherson also believes there will not be any profound leaps in how these new gTLDs are used. But there are changes planned as the travel company Tui outlined at the recent Domain Pulse conference. Tui under their .tui gTLD is planning to create a travel community among their customers. And their goal is as much as possible that when it comes to travel, customers will be able to find all their information under the one Tui brand. Whether it is hotels.tui or “destination”.tui, for example, it will be much easier to brand and create a community under a gTLD, as well as have ownership of all of the data of the visitors to your website.
Looking ahead with new gTLDs, McPherson believes it is a “very long road for brands, but brands will need to protect their brand in other new gTLDs.”
But no matter what happens with .com, it most certainly will remain easily the world’s number one TLD. Currently there are close to 113 million .com domains under management, a long way ahead of the controversial .tk (Tokelau) that gives away most of their domains and has 22.1 million DUMs, followed by .de (Germany) with 15.7 million, .net with 15.2 million, .uk (United Kingdom – 10.5m) and .org (10.4m).