Christmas & New gTLDs

Earlier this year, Uniregistry launched two new TLDs - .backfriday and .Christmas - providing an opportunity for brands to create the perfect digital marketing platform for Black Friday and Christmas. However, the poor adoption of these domain names highlights how brands have yet to engage in the power of new gTLDs.

Amazon, Gap and Nike did in fact all launch .blackfriday domain names – however all the names simply direct you to one of the brands’ landing pages. Similarly with .Christmas, only five of the top 25 UK retailers actually own a .Christmas domain name – Amazon, Next, Ocado, Debenhams and Sainsbury’s. As of 1st December only Amazon is actively using the name, again, redirecting it to their US festive landing page.

So why aren’t brands using a very specific marketing TLD to drive traffic? Some may be wary of the impact on search rankings at such a crucial online shopping period by adopting a new TLD. Few major brands will have wanted to potentially sacrifice search ranking position by switching their existing .com or for a new gTLD. However, the .Christmas domain name was available many months before the festive period and so there was ample opportunity to build a separate campaign website. In addition, an experiment by demonstrated that keywords being used within a TLD do have a positive impact on search results. After all, the three key rules of using domains as part of search are readability, memorability and meaningfulness. A domain using a .Christmas for a specific Christmas-focused website certainly hits all three of those buttons.

The gTLD program needs some pioneers who are willing to show some innovation, and using a highly relevant domain name string such as a .Christmas could have a huge benefit for the program as a whole.

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