Donuts, a New gTLD registry with more than 200 strings already released or coming soon, posted an article on it’s official blog with the title “The Importance of Semantics and Affinity, and the Meaninglessness of .COM”. The article has many flaws…
The article starts by explaining what semantics is: “the term semantics is about meaning.”
Approach ten people on the street and ask them what .BIKE is about. Even if they haven’t heard of new domain names the chances are very good they’ll say, “It’s about bikes.” Same goes for .CAMERA, .EMAIL or .REPAIR. All these new domains are semantically meaningful because they refer to something specific that consumers want. Specificity is where Internet addressing is headed, and it’s a big reason Donuts got into this business.
Ask those ten people what .COM means, and you’ll get a puzzled stare, because it doesn’t mean anything to them. In the old days it was there to tell you you’re looking at a website address—before everyone learned the dot itself means it’s a web address. .COM has become semantically forgettable and meaningless. In the context of new TLDs, it means “miscellaneous.”
People doesn’t know what .com means because .com has been synonymous with the Internet for 20+ years now. The fact that people don’t know what it means and despite that they visit .com websites everyday without even thinking about what it means speaks for itself. .Com is embedded into people’s minds. They don’t have to think about it and they type it. It is a habit and habits die hard.
Online providers of photographic services have strong affinity with .PHOTOGRAPHY because it tells the Internet what they do. It shares their affinity with their customers. They are no longer miscellaneous. The specificity of new gTLDs affords website owners something not possible in .COM—memorable and meaningful names to which they have a connection or affinity. As GoDaddy says, “We’re purposefully moving from a phase when choice was very limited…to a new namespace where domains can clearly indicate what you do, what your mission is or what problem you might solve.”
The power of affinity can be seen in markets where .COM was once dominant but is now a distant second to domains that show national identity (e.g., .DE for Germany, .UK for Britain, .AU for Australia). Millions of businesses in those countries abandoned .COM in favor of TLDs that highlight national identity. Half the world’s domains are now in these country TLDs. Why? Because businesses and their customers have more affinity with their countries than they do with .COM.
I agree about ccTLD but just one thing: No business in Germany or in the UK abandoned their .com domain. They started using .de or .co.uk and never looked back. Just like with .com.
Don’t get me wrong. I like New gTLDs but suddenly writing about the “Meaninglessness of .COM” is a little distasteful at the very least.
Things get even better for the .PIZZA owners. First, almost every child on the planet knows what pizza means, and most will have a strong and measurable reaction to .PIZZA names. Few children feel the same about .COM. Second, search engines love new domains. If a website has a .PIZZA domain, what are the chances it’s content is predominantly (overwhelmingly) about pizza? Search engines won’t take long to work that out.
And it’s better to stick to the facts and not create an illusion that search engines love the New gTLDs (search engines love new domains) and then on the next line you say that they don’t exactly love them but they will.
.COM has become diluted and meaningless. It adds nothing to an identity. Except perhaps to say, “I’m on the Internet somewhere.” .COM is “1999”—not “today,” and definitely not the future. New .COM registrations are extraordinarily long and much less meaningful when compared to a new registration in a new gTLD. And with its recent price decreases on new registrations (which apparently is necessary to match their low quality), .COM now means “low quality and cheap.”
.CITY, .COMPANY, .GALLERY, .FAMILY, .SHOES? And tons more to come…now those have meaning. Specificity. Affinity. They’re unique, fresh and expressive and not old and worn out.
“.COM has become diluted and meaningless. It adds nothing to an identity.”: comparing new .com registrations with new New gTLD registrations seems a bit desperate. I own a lot of New gTLDs and this is a pitch I will never make to a potential buyer. Desperation does not make good arguments.
Sorry but this is plain stupid:
“And with its recent price decreases on new registrations (which apparently is necessary to match their low quality), .COM now means “low quality and cheap.””.
I can’t even begin to say on how many levels this sounds stupid…
Because the “fact” is simply not true? When did .com reduced it’s price? That never happened. Price was just frozen for a few years.
Because .com are resold for up to millions of dollars?
Because cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality or the opposite?
Because no one thinks of .com and “low quality and cheap.”?
The list goes on…