In the first of our monthly reviews of the new gTLD developments, our Director of Commercial Operations, Stuart Fuller takes a look at some brands that have started to adopt some of the TLDs for their business.
July was one of the quietest months in terms of new launches since the programme started in October 2013. Just seven open gTLDs launched in the month including dotSki, dotTickets and dotLawyer. In addition we saw the very popular dotNews launch into General Availability along with dotGold, dotTeam and dotSite.
With some of the older gTLDs now going through their first renewal cycle there has also been a number of changes at the top of the most registered list too – most notably dotBerlin which has slipped down to 12th place, losing around 70,000 registrations from its June 2014 peak. The top ten is still dominated by TLDs that have either heavily subsidised registrations (such as dotScience and dotParty) or those that initially gave them away free of charge (dotXYZ and dotRealtor).
As each week passes, more and more websites using new gTLDs creep into the Alexa top one million, the official ranking of the most popular websites in the world. With around 293 million domain names registered so far, the new gTLDs have a 2% penetration rate, but in the Alexa top one million there are currently 4,643 websites, meaning that the penetration rate is double.
So what TLDs are proving to be the most popular? There’s no surprise that dotClub (444) and dotXYZ (443) are the top two used new gTLDs in the list as they are cheap or free to register. Likewise with dotLink in third place on the list. However, the most popular website in the top 1 million is still www.searchengine.guru, ranked as the 1,841st most popular website in the world today.
In the top ten of most popular sites, there is a real mix of TLDs – 2 x dotClub, 2 x dotGuru, 2 x dotLink, a dotWiki, a dotMoe, a dotwebsite and a dotbnpparibas. The final one is very interesting for the gTLD programme as a whole as it is now the highest ranked dotBrand, and one that only formally adopted the new web address a few weeks ago. French retail bank BNP Paribas’s new home page, www.mabanque.bnpparibas is actually one of three domain names they have in the top one million websites. We have also seen www.home.barclays and www.home.barclaycard appear on the list for the first time this month although unlike the BNP Paribas example, they will run parallel for the foreseeable future with their existing TLDs.
Google have started to slowly launch some of their websites under the dotGoogle closed TLD including www.play.google, www.translate.google and www.google (ranked at 47,247th). Expect to see these pushed harder as the months go on.
A couple of very pleasing appearances in the list are www.salt.agency, www.sleeper.scot and www.ikea.today, all three representing brand holders forays into the world of gTLDs. Salt is one of the UK’s most respected SEO agencies, so for them to adopt a new gTLD as their core domain is very encouraging. Sleeper.scot is the new website for the Caledonian Sleeper rain service that runs nightly from London all the way to Inverness whilst Ikea.today is the Scandinavian retail giant’s sandbox website for new ideas and innovations, a concept that mirrors the reason why we have new gTLDs.
GeoTLDs continue to grow in popularity with 236 on the list this month. The most popular is still www.gov.taipei (15,568th) with the rest of the top ten featuring sites using dotTokyo, dotMoscow, dotLondon, dotParis and dotScot. The highest rank dotLondon website, www.ims-group.london is a new name on the list as too is www.thenational.scot, whilst one of the world’s most famous icons, the Eiffel Tour makes an appearance at number six on the list.
Football fans will be disappointed to learn that so far no football clubs appear in the top 1 million websites using a dotFootball new gTLD that went into General Availability in June nor have we yet seen any dotCricket TLDs appear.
Sex sells, so advertising and marketing men (and women) have always told us and that is true in the list of new gTLDs with over 100 TLDs featuring the words “sex” or “porn”, the most frequently used new gTLDs being dotClub and dotXYZ (for reasons explained earlier) as well as, unsurprisingly, dotSexy. Interestingly, the new dotPorn and dotAdult only feature on the list 24 times in total.
Worringly, there are a few websites on the list that appear to be using the intellectual property of others. At number 3,523 on the list is www.netflix.casa, a site that certainly doesn’t belong to the online streaming company. It’s not the first time they have appeared here either. They have already successfully filed URS cases in dotSocial, dotClub, dotBuzz and dotCEO. Also on the list is www.samsung-giveway.party which is registered to “John” whose address is “Lisbon, Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal”. I guess he doesn’t represent the South Korean conglomerate whose annual revenues topped $300 billion in 2014.
August sees the sunrise launch of dotRent and dotFilm amongst others which should generate some interest in registrations whilst entering General Availability will be dotDownload, dotWin and DotMovie, the last of which has already shown its popularity with the www.thehungergames.movie, ranked 678,431st on the current list and sure to climb much higher in the next few weeks.