The next big thing in the gTLD world

It seems at the moment that the new GTLD program has slowed to the speed of a snail at crawling speed. Whether that is so that registries can assess the impact of the first renewal rates or simply to avoid being caught up in the media storm around the launches of dotSucks, dotPorn and dotAdult.

However, there's plenty to be excited about in the next nine months as the program builds to a crescendo.  Slowly but surely the contended applications are being resolved, with the big name gTLDs finding an owner. Last month it was announced that Google had paid $25 million for the privilege of running dotApp for the next ten years, whilst the future of dotMusic, dotPlay and dotShop will be settled, undoubtedly for millions of dollars in the next few weeks.

But one new gTLD coming soon to a website near you has the potential to be one of the biggest yet.  The future of the dotOnline Top Level Domain was decided a few weeks ago when the original winning partnership of industry heavyweights Radix, Tucows and NameCheap was broken up, with the Indian-based registry Radix being announced as the new registry provider.  The original partnership had paid a rumoured $10 million for the name at auction.

Online is one of the most used keywords within domain names, and is actually the most frequently used word found in sold domains on GoDaddy’s aftermarket.  With the future of dotWeb is uncertain, and thus not due to be available any time soon, dotOnline has the potential to be very popular for organizations of all sizes.  Generic terms when combined with a dotOnline TLD become very relevant search terms and consequently will be in high demand.  As it is, the average keyword bid for the term “online” is already up to 32 pence (51 cents) per click.

We can also judge the potential popularity of the new TLD by looking at how widely used the keyword is within existing domain names.  Based on the domain names held by NetNames’ clients, around one per cent contain the keyword “online”.  If the same ratio is applied to the global registration numbers, we could expect close to three million dotOnline registrations, and consequently the most popular new gTLD launched so far.