Donuts domains

Donuts: “.COM has become diluted and meaningless. It adds nothing to an identity.”

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 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…


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Well said.

    Like in business and politics, when faced with the idea of promoting something new against a big and established entity, you can follow two distinct paths… either promote your own benefits or try to slander the establishment.

    Making .Coms seem meaningless is taking the the low road, and it’s definitely the wrong move. I can agree with some of the benefits of the inherent semantics of many of the nTLDs, you can’t presume the meaningless nature of .com is a negative… it’s actually the strongest advantage, because it means everyone already knows exactly one meaning… it says “this is a web site”. That’s something the nTLDs don’t have yet.

    If somebody saw a billboard that says “Get the lowest rates at GEICO.INSURANCE”, odds are the viewer still has no idea it’s a web site. If anything, if the customer decides to look for it online, they’ll still type .com.

    In 5 years or so, this may change, but for now, I don’t know of a single web site that has any audience whatsoever that uses a new TLD. In fact, as I’ve said in the past, at least in the US, even .net doesn’t get nearly the same level of popularity or respect. It would be hard to think of even 10 truly popular sites (in the US) that are not a .com.

    • I agree that in the US “.com” means “this is thing is a website”. I also agree within 5 years, in the US, the “.” will signify that. If someone sees “something.something” they’ll know that is a website name. Its already happened in other countries where .com is not as prevalent.

  2. On Facebook I asked him what he was smoking and he replied the future However that’s a future bet leveraged on OPM (other people’s money). if he had to sell all his possessions and star liver putting every personal dollar tho his name on this dream, I don’t think he’d be so bullish.

  3. start over damn you auto correct!

  4. What he speaks is not reality. .COM is still the most respected and recognized domain extension out there. It sounds like nothing more than propaganda to get more people to register their new gTLDs. Also, throw in some controversy to stir up free publicity.

    Who knows what may happen in the future..

    • I know, by and large, the quality of NEW .com names will be worse in the future than it is now, just like the quality of new .com names today is worse than it was last year or 10 years ago.

      I know the choice among TLDs will be dramatically different in the future than it is now. I know there is a big difference between a) .com and a few other TLDs of today vs b) .com and a 1,000 other TLDs

      I know in the future Google will use .google and Apple will use .apple and BMW will use .bmw and AXA will use .axa and on and on… hundreds of brands will use their new TLD.

      • Yes and the choice of New gTLD domains next year will be worse that this year. What does this prove?
        Just that people register the good domains first.
        And you must compare a new .com with a premium new gtld because that is all that it is left that it is any good now from all the released ones.

        And at this point I have to ask you why shouldn’t I buy a good .com for $15,000 at the after market and instead pay for a New gTLD $4,500 per year for ever?

        No Paul. Brands will not be using their New gTLDs any time soon. Not for serious business that is.
        Do you think that Google emails will change and become Not happening…

      • Correct: good domains go first. In .com they are long long gone. New TLDs have a long long way to go. Talk to me when new TLDs have a 100K to 1M names each (1/1000th .com’s size).

        Re your comparison: for the same thing, which I think you are comparing, I’d rather pay over time than all up front. If you are comparing two different things, I’d rather pay more for the better one.

        I think you are wrong on brands using their TLD. check out as an example.

      • The problem is that most New gTLDs have less than 10k good domains.
        Some don’t have any hope of reaching over 100k even with many average and bad domains registered together with the good ones.

        Over time it will cost you a lot more…

        They too have to justify why they are spending money on a .axa while the have the .com for years. This was for the investors to see.
        The .com version also works but redirects to the .axa. Now try searching for axa at google or searching for an email contact.

      • by your math 10K names x 1,000 TLDs = 10M good names
        I’m curious what you’d estimate: how many good names are in .com?

        As with all new websites appearing in Google – we all know it takes time – give .axa (and the rest) time, the entire TLD has only been in the root about a month.

      • This not my math. Less than 10k does not equal 10k. E.g. .gripe has no good domains.

      • I’m still curious as to what you think the number of registered good names in .com is. You didn’t answer that.

        And if you answer that, I’m curious as to your guess as to the number of un-registered (available) good names in .com Vs. the number of un-registered good names in all the new TLDs. I understand that you think the later number is less than 10 million (I think its more, but whatever). I think the number of un-registered (available) equally good names in .com today is less than 10,000. Way less. I presume you think its way more?

      • “I think the number of un-registered (available) equally good names in .com today is less than 10,000. Way less. I presume you think its way more?”

        10,000 good domains available? Way… way… way… way more is more like it.

        This reminds me of the famous quote from 1899 that they should close the Patent Office, because everything that could possibly be invented already has been… or an even older quote from the Bible that said “there is nothing new under the sun.”

        Put it simply, the number of words in the English language is small… very small, yet with a language of tens of thousands of common words, there are 125 MILLION .com domains registered. How can that be? Just as there are only a small number of musical notes, how they are arranged yields infinite combinations.

        Sometimes I hear a cool lyric in a song or a phrase from a book that I say “that would be a cool domain”, more than half the time, it’s already registered, but the other half of the time, it’s not.

        For example, literally just today I was listening to an audio book about network marketing, and they author used the term “network on purpose” at least a dozen times. I heard it at 2 am, sent myself a message on my phone in the middle of the night to see if it was registered when I woke up… and there it was.

        I agree NetworkOnPurpose.Com is not exactly the same caliber of “Network.Com”, but “Network On Purpose” in quotes yields over 200,000 pages on Google, so there’s an audience of people who use that phrase, yet the domain was easily hand-registered.

        Just as people will never run out of phrases as song titles or lyrics, there will never be an end to the possible number of .coms.

        Even if you disagree with that, you must admit that a huge percentage of the 125 million already registered, are for sale, for the right price. Microsoft bought Bing, Coupons Inc bought, and most of the members here have sold .coms to people who wanted one, but saw they were already registered.

        Domains are just like real estate. Some people buy new homes, others look to buy one that has already been built.

      • I can tell you the number of good domains in individual New gTLDs.
        The number of good registered domains in .com is in the millions.
        But what is a “good” domain? We must first agree on that…

        The number of available good .com domains is way more than 10,000. I am finding a lot every day as I research new gtlds.
        And you must be able to compare similar numbers. $10 domains with $10 (or even $50) domains.
        I don’t care if a .com is registered if it is for sale for $3,500 and the New gTLD is an unregistered premium with a $4,500 price per year.
        I would take the .com every day.

      • And eventually, people will become confused and stick to what they think is simple. Don’t get me wrong I think Donuts is sitting on some jewels but too busy and lacking focus and that bothers me in a way.

        You see, economics is very simple. Economic success thrives on information deficiencies or the privilege of having information. There ought to be access to information but just enough that markets aren’t saturated.

        When you attempt to solve the problem of information, you have to be very careful that the information you’re providing still allows you to garner some rents otherwise, if you’re doing it, and everyone else is doing it, it becomes a. competitive b. niche.

        Competitive means you’re going to make the decision either to be the alternative to a market saturated product (innovator/disruptor) or you’re going to end up in perfect competition; somewhere no one wants to be.

        In niche, you can find a band of loyalists to assure by headlines such as “.COM has become diluted and meaningless. It adds nothing to an identity.” but at the end of the day, the product remains “niche”.

        The real question then becomes, can you stage a branding and marketing coup against an incumbent and win?

        The answer is “it depends” on the nature of the product, its benefits and size of market. If your goal is to make .bike the face of the bike segment in the digital brand image, you’re probably going to speak to bike manufacturers than to consumers and bike manufacturers will have a hard time switching to .bike as the switching cost from something that works great for them becomes high.

        I am an avid road cyclist and I don’t see how .bike helps me as like most of my friends, brand loyalty makes more sense than anything else. When I type “Orbea” or “shimano” in my search guess where I end up? The results is what we call “high switching costs”

        When “high switching costs” arise, you become an extra expense to my time as I already know where to find information.

        Cut the fat called “niche” and focus on the true jewels ones that are place to appeal to mass. Your only way to do it is by building a recognizable brand. Donuts with its huge list of brands is not going to do it. You need to discover your next .com or .whatever in your list and stick to that.

        The reason we like our .com’s is because we are time poor. We stick to brands because they remove the information cost and save us time in the process.

      • I agree for the most part with this poster. The difference is that a) I don’t think new TLDs are trying to get folk to drop their bike-related .com and switch to a .bike, its to get NEW folks looking for a NEW name to choose a great .bike name over a crappy .com name and b) I think “niche” has a strong place, too. Niche is where affinity and passion is. People who take pictures are passionate about “photography”, for example. If you were a new church, would you seriously rather register or, instead of

      • Ok so the idea is expansion in new markets. I get it but how do you account for a situation of equilibrium due to competing alternatives? You’ve got a competitors right?

        You see there is only so many churches around. So many CEO’s around; so many sexy around, can’t be single for ever, .land for what? But expanding costs of doing business. You see what I mean?

        The plethora of alternatives makes it hard to envision an outlier for a single gTLD outside geographical but rather a perfect competition.

        I’d be curios on the moves you could make; pure or mixed strategically to avoid perfect Competition; outside the fact that you’re sitting on a large fund you could use to acquire competitors (if that is strategic but i am thinking acquisition would be either defensive, which is speculative herein as most gTlds are in the introductory phase) or you could resort to attrition given Donuts resources…

        Paul, if I may ask, how are you defining “affinity” and what are the “economics” of your definition of affinity in a commoditized environment?

      • We sure agree on a) but the price of the New gTLD must be competitive with a .com.
        If it costs more then the new folks will choose the .com again.

      • Also the “nichier” you get the more options of unregistered domains you have in .com.

      • @K, eventually the market will dictate pricing and I fear that is where perfect competition arises. When the selling proposition for the gTLD’s doesn’t match with the incumbents (which we know that .com’s unique selling proposition is that .com is essentially synonymous with internet), the new guys will loose but NOT all.

        The market and user case for gTLD’s is going to grow with time and I see the winners focusing on a 5+ year strategy given availability of resources for marketing and life cycle maturity. But challenging scarcity with wide access in a world programmed to work with constraints is not a bad business model. What is ironic is challenging scarcity with oversupply. There is also an irony in my using the word “wide access” given the pricing on those things.

      • The problem is that most of the New gTLD registries (not Donuts) don’t have a 5+ year business plan that is feasible.
        Because when you expect 100k sunrise registrations and 1+ million registrations by year 1 and instead you get 100 and 10k then you will not be able to sustain the registry by year 5.
        Of course you said “the new guys will loose but NOT all.” and that will probably be the case.

  5. Konstantinos, re your question “When did .com reduced it’s price?” the answer: is when haven’t they? but they dramatically cut it a few months ago. Call it a registrar “marketing rebate” or whatever – its a price reduction. The price and article you quote is the *maximum* price they are allowed to charge registrars, not the minimum price. New .com names are selling for $1 per year. And that’s at quantity one, not in mass! Also, I’m talking about new registrations, not after market domain names. Its totally true that .com names registered 20 years ago are selling (ahead of new TLD introduction) for upwards of 6-figures and more now. You should ask: Why are Verisign selling new names for $1? Answer: because they have to to keep their zone file inflated or they will get crushed by the public market. And if you are registering new .com names now, and you are paying more than $1, you really need to open your eyes and look around.

    • Are you saying that Verisign is charging $1 wholesale?
      Did they reduce it for all registrars?

      • Beats me if they did it for all registrars. Godaddy is selling for $1 retail. For all I know its a negative price to Godaddy.

      • I guess you don’t know about the $1 and you are just throwing it out…

        Go Daddy .com price is $2.99 when you register for 2 years or more.
        (1st year price $2.99 Additional years $14.99)
        Total: $8,99 per year for 2 years.

      • I guess you don’t know they are offering $1 .com names.

        Its not bundled pricing with other years

        From their website: “$0.99 price good for the first year of one new or transfer .COM per customer. Additional years or .COMs may be purchased for $9.99 per year. ”

        here is the URL (i clicked on one of their recent $0.99 ads):

        I’d post a screen shot (it has a giant “99 cent .com” on it) but I don’t know how

      • This 1 domain per customer at go daddy only. Verisign is not selling at $1.

      • “Why are Verisign selling new names for $1?”

        They aren’t. A Godaddy coupon code has nothing to do with Verisign. Paul Stahura should correct his statement.

        His colleague Mason Cole should correct all the made up stuff in his article also.

      • Paul… I am with NameSilo and I can assure you that VeriSign has not lowered the wholesale price of .com names. The rebates you reference have been in place for years and are nothing new. I have no idea where you got your information, but, again, it is quite incorrect.

      • Rebates, “marketing incentives” or lower prices, what is the difference? Different names for the same thing.

        From Verisign’s Q1 earnings call:

        “Gregg Moskowitz – Cowen & Co.: We noticed that a couple of your larger registrars are running $0.99 first-year .com promotions in the recent months…”


        “George Kilguss III – SVP and CFO: Today, we do quite a bit of marketing through registrars, and they actually give us joint marketing proposals, which we evaluate.”

      • ““Gregg Moskowitz – Cowen & Co.: We noticed that a couple of your larger registrars are running $0.99 first-year .com promotions in the recent months…”


        Paul, it is well known that Godaddy have some $0.99 coupons.

        But you claimed Verisign were selling .com’s for 99 cents. Where has it ever been stated that Verisign is selling .com’s for 99 cents?

      • Snoopy, – if that is your real name 🙂

        Obviously Verisign would never state: “Hell yea! we are giving names away free! while the registrars make $1, just so we can have the appearance of an increase to our zone file while new TLDs are launched – maybe we make it up on renewals next year”

        Verisign has said (see their earning call transcripts) that registrars make proposal to them for “marketing rebates” that is code word for “lower prices” since each registrar figures-in the rebate when it calculates the net registration price.

        I claim Verisign are selling names for less than $1 (to be clear, I mean the net dollars to Verisign for that name) because a) they have stated in their earnings call that they are providing increased “marketing incentives” to registrars coincident with the $1 pricing and b) I don’t believe GoDaddy is losing money each time they sell a one-year .com name and c) Verisign margins are decreasing and its not because their costs are increasing. I think Godaddy is making money (on these) in the first year, and if that’s true then Verisign is charging less than $1.

        You really think Verisign sells all new names at $7.85?

        Verisign obfuscates the true price by using “marketing rebate”. Show me where Verisign says what their lowest *NET* price for .com is and prove me wrong. You can’t (unless you are Verisign, and for all I know, you may be).

      • “a) they have stated in their earnings call that they are providing increased “marketing incentives” to registrars coincident with the $1 pricing”


        Godaddy have been doing $1 coupon codes for .com’s for years.

        Here is one from 5 years ago as an example,

        They are actually cutting this kind of thing back recently, rather than it just coming out. e.g. it is now impossible to a coupon for renewals, in the past they were giving them out a fair bit. It is known that Godaddy has been running at a large loss since receiving private equity funding ($200million loss last year). I think this is selling something in the first year at a loss to get people locked into their $15 renewals.

      • Using this logic I can say whatever I want about Verisign and you can’t prove me wrong.
        You said it is selling $1 new .com and you have to prove it.

        Verisign margins can be decreasing for any number of reasons. (real or not)

  6. low …low Road indeed.
    And the verbal diarrhea from the ‘Angry Cat’ continues…
    in the meantime all of the Fortune 500 and every single TV advertiser (from mom and pop to Multinationals) remain clueless about the new gTLDs

    • Strange they are clueless yet “41% of brand TLDs were applied for by Fortune 500 companies”

      Here is the list of brand TLDs:

      • This says nothing. Fortune 500 companies have the money to apply. Tell me how many of the Fortune 500 companies will redirect their .com and emails to the new gtlds in 5 years? 0? 1 or 2? 0?

      • Its where you and i differ. Fact is many have applied for their own TLD & I believe they will switch to their own TLD. You don’t. But that doesn’t even matter. More than 30% of Verisign’s business comes from new registrations. That’s about 40 million domain names – per year. Even if every single one of the fortune 500 switches to a non-com that’s only 500 names. 500 compared to 40 million. Its not about 500 old companies not switching its about the new 40 million each year. You only have to look at the .net zone file to see what will happen to .com.

      • You can’t compare .net with .com.
        And even if .com has no growth or even registrations reduce it will still be king.

        You shouldn’t be attacking .com. There is no benefit to your business. Next thing you know you are attacking other New gTLDs…
        You should just be promoting your New gTLDs. JMHO

    • Paul,
      Funny… the list of brands is linked to a DOT COM (a dying extension)…Classic!
      Not sure why you guys keep on pushing the ‘snake oil’ and the ‘pink lemonade’ to the Domainer community…
      most savvy domainers stayed the Heck away from this “Fool’s Gold rags to riches proposition ” the few that jumped in at the first new extensions will tell you they are having b’uyers remorse’… the honeymoon is over… reality is starting to sink in… there is NO secondary market
      (reporting premium auctioned resultas as Actual Domain Sales is plain wrong).

      • New gTLDs have created the domainer registries.
        They are now both the registry and the domainer and sales like the ones .club is doing are part of the “secondary” market.
        This is just the way it is. When an end user pays $20k for a .club domain it is going to get reported.
        When people are paying $12.5k on EAP day 1, it is going to get reported.
        It is clear who is selling and who is buying the domains so I don’t see where the problem is.

        And there is already some “secondary” market activity like you call it. And in my opinion it is doing much better than what I expected.
        You can’t expect domains owned for 3 months to be sold by the dozens every week.

      • @Konsta,
        I completely diasgree, much more important to consider who is doing the buying … and why ? that for how much.
        In the case of new gTLD mainly Newbie unacredited investors and a handful of fools (already waking up and smelling the coffee)

        Remember the highly touted sale for 200K …
        how significant was for the now deceased .mobi extesnion?
        or the 5 figures .info sales?

        ADweek = Madison Avenue have spoken:
        What Paul nor Angry Cat won’t dare to discuss, their goal/job is to preach to uneducated, their goal is to get as many registrations as possible and live off the renewals regardless of usage….
        DOT COM The Gold Standard.

        GO Gold or Go home.

      • I am not sure what you disagree with.
        I too agree that it is important to see who is buying. And all the $12.5k sales have been to end users with established businesses.
        There are no business newbies. There has been no $12.5k by a domain investor.
        And the majority of the 1000+ 4 figure sales that I have in my members section has been done by end users as well, including most of the premium sales.

        BTW the 5 figure .info sales keep happening.

      • Konsta,
        the disturbing fact is that even those end-user sales are for the most part defensive purchases or novelty purchases,

        real users ..the public..what in fact matters remain clueless about ALL the already existing alternative extensions (.mobi .info .us …tv .tel etc etc) and the same WILL happen with all the new gTLD’ trash whether are already out or coming out…

        dilution = disillusion….

        I have History on my side.

        If the object of the game is to make money out of fools = newbies (whether by registration or reselling them domains ..fool-er than me) then I agree with you.

        Cheers …

        Long live the King .com and its entourage of country codes

        I rest my case.

        Thanks for your great unbias reporting.

      • Some might be defensive or novelty and some are not. You can’t be sure unless you give it time to see how the domains were used.
        It takes time for real users to notice.

        The object of the game is always to make money.

        .com is king but there is always room for others. Not everybody can be king and not everybody wants to be king.

  7. .com is king, says the owner of

  8. Time will tell ad I bet the way the population is growing there will be room for all assuming mankind itself is able to make it through. I think water is becoming scarcer than dot com domains and you live without a domain but not water.

  9. this is all new gtlds have. suddenly for a domain to make sense it has to have a word after the dot. i guess what comes before the dot is meaningless as well? derp.

  10. 500 paid registrations a day for the first year. This is the first test that I personally see any single new GTLD should pass.

  11. The fact that the nTLDs generate this much debate is at least a sign that there is plenty of passion about them, on both sides.

    We can debate forever about what their impact will within the next year or two. We can also debate which nTLDs will be winners, and which will be losers, but I’m sure that in 5-10 years, the debate will end with at least some of them having some lasting impact.

    What I don’t agree with is the idea that .Coms will lose value because of them. I’ve voiced my opinion on this before. To me, at least in the US, .Coms will remain the Gold Standard for quite a long time as the preferred TLD.

    For the same reason, vanity1-800 phone like1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-MATTRESS haven’t lost any of their market share because to other toll free versions of 1-888, 1-877, 1-866, 1-855, etc..

    In fact, like the nTLDs, now that most people have unlimited long distance, I’m sure there are literally a thousand potential ###-FLOWERS numbers available. You would think that with free long distance, at least one of the thousand FLOWERS variations now available, you would find at least one major competitor… but once again, 1-800-FLOWERS shouldn’t care.

    I still feel this is why .Com owners shouldn’t worry either.

    In summary:

    1. The new TLDs are eventually going to be more popular… and some will be just as popular as a .Com version, so assuming you find some of the good ones before they are gone, and you don’t pay a premium for some of them, they are a decent long term investment.

    2, Even when the nTLD version becomes popular, the .Com version will not decrease in value. In fact, I feel that if an nTLD domain becomes popular, the .Com version will also increase in value, if nothing else as a potential defensive buyout from the popular nTLD version.

    3. Some of the new TLDs are also good short term investments, assuming you just want a quick flip.

    • I more or less agree with what you say but I am not so sure about #3.
      At this time and with the speed that New gTLDs are coming out people prefer to bet on the next domain.

      • I’m not a domain flipper, but I’ve read of a handful of large nTLD sales in the secondary market, like Luxury.Estates, that are a sign there are some gems out there people are willing to buy.

        I’ve also seen a lot of premium priced, secondary sales nTLDs on GoDaddy that may or may not find buyers, so although small, there’s at least some market.

        As a coupon guy, I grabbed a few coupon related nTLDs, that I’m sure could find a buyer if I was willing to flip them.

        Among them:

        I’m sure all of them have Estibots of zero, but the single word Coupons could make them great candidates for a flip. But I tend to buy domains I hope to develop.

      • Yes, as estibot fails to support the new gtlds. Their new domain, seems to support some type of estimate for the new gtlds. supports the new gtlds though.

      • Thanks for the heads up.. I just tried DomainIQ.Com for the first time with two domains. The first domain it showed a value, but the second one just said “$×××,××× (log in to view)”. Do they limit you to one query per day?

      • I think they do limit to one. Domainiq is a sister site to estibot so I would expect that. Domainindex has a limit as well but they let you do a handful.

      • I wouldn’t call a $50k sale a flip. 🙂
        Maybe we have different definitions of what a flip is.

        Estibot is not really useful for anything at this point. It is even outdated for .com.

      • I have to agree… I like the idea of the crowd estimation functionality that has as a part of their site.

      • My definition of a flip is selling a domain shortly after buying it.

        This is as opposed to buying it to build something, or buying it under the hope that it will eventually increase in value over time.

      • I don’t buy any of the domains to flip. As you say I am “buying it to build something, or buying it under the hope that it will eventually increase in value over time.”.
        But if a great offer I can’t refuse comes along a few days later then I will sell. I don’t consider this flipping though.

        Flipping in domaining is mostly used when someone buys a domain and sells it shortly after buying it but for a small profit. (e.g. buy at $150, sell at $300)
        But it is used when it is done consistently and when you don’t have large risk of loosing your investment.
        I don’t see that with New gTLDs.

  12. One other thing… As far as the idea that .Coms are being sold for low prices… this has nothing to do with the value of .Coms being low.

    GoDaddy is offering them as part of a 2 year commitment with the 1st year at a loss and the second at $9.99. They will also hope to make the money back by getting the typical buyer to pa $5 – $25 per month to host a site. In that case, they earn back what they lost in a month or two.

    These sales are not just for .Coms. They are offering 50% or more on many TLDs, however offering the discount on .Com will grab your attention more than the others, so it’s featured more often in their ad rotation.

  13. Daydreaming is only the first step of a successful business guys. Talking down on other extensions will not get you bought out, it will get you boycotted out. They should hire a new writer that can tame the crazy messages coming from the donut blog.

  14. the gtlds are uber dumb and will never catch on.

    • They may be dumb… but given enough time, they will eventually catch on.

      As with all technology, mass adoption follows a predictable curve, starting with a few early adopters, then a larger group of middle adopters who look at what the early adopters are doing and see potential, then the late adopting masses…. who only move when they completely convinced.

      Also as with any technology, there always needs to be a “Killer Application”… which gives everyone a reason to jump in.

      If you look hard enough there’s a Killer App behind every major mass adoption of every major technology revolution.

      With the first home computers, it was Visicalc, the first spreadsheet. I’ve had a computer since the 70s…back then, the only people who bought a computer were essentially hobbyists. After VisiCalc, non technical people bought their first computer just to do spreadsheets.

      As Word Processing took off… another wave, but that was nothing next to the Internet itself. And within that a series of Killer Apps made more and more outsiders dive in and buy computers, broadband, smartphones, etc.

      What’s the Killer App of the new TLDS? I haven’t seen it, but once we see at least ONE major web site that is not a .Com that gains mass appeal, the stigma of the new TLDs will vanish.

      If you ask me, the new registries shouldn’t focus on slandering .Coms… or even spend a dime on advertising their TLDs. They should build a handful of great web sites using their own TLDs. If one takes on, they will have a flood of buyers.

      • Most registries, with a couple of exceptions, don’t actually do anything.
        Not even advertising, that wouldn’t hurt, yet alone develop a killer app.

      • “but once we see at least ONE major web site that is not a .Com that gains mass appeal, the stigma of the new TLDs will vanish.”


        We’ve already seen it e.g. Delicious & Overstock. The stigma still remains.

      • “We’ve already seen it e.g. Delicious & Overstock. The stigma still remains.”

        What are you trying to say here?

        Both of those have .coms. takes you to Delicious, and Overstock.Com takes you To Overstock. YouTube and some other sites do have use alternate TLDs for some URLs, but for an entirely different reason, they generally do it to shorten a URL for Tweeting. For example, YouTu.Be clearly says the entire brand without dropping letters.

        My premise is simple, at least for today, if you want to build a successful web site in the US, having a .Com is still a great strategy. You can still get a nTLD, but if you had only the nTLD, and not the .Com, you will lose some credibility and audience… right now.

        I stand by what I said. Outside of .Edu, and some non-profits that use .org, I can’t think of one site that has any major impact in the US that isn’t a .Com. You may find some .nets, but a lot of them eventually gain popularity enough to eventually buy out the .Com versions.

      • Currently the 21st highest ranking domain (according to Alexa’s Top sites chart) is —

        As far as the success of a domain, a domain alone will rarely make or break the business model. has been branded as by overstock – because of the skilled marketing that has been placed behind branding It is similar to back when Dale Earnhardt Jr had Budweiser as his primary sponsor. Due to skilled branding, Dale has become the personification of Budweiser. When fans thought of Dale, they automatically thought of Budweiser. It also worked because of the nature of the the audience. NASCAR fans are known by marketing agencies to be extremely brand loyal (source:

        Regardless of the memorability of a domain name, if enough marketing is performed the name will be branded and become memorable. Take for example. Trivago has become branded as the “hotel comparison site” ( because of marketing.

      • Hhhmmm….
        There is no! It’s!

      • “Currently the 21st highest ranking domain (according to Alexa’s Top sites chart) is —

        As far as the success of a domain, a domain alone will rarely make or break the business model. has been branded as by overstock – because of the skilled marketing that has been placed behind branding ”

        That’s a Russian site, so it’s popularity in Russia is not surprising. My challenge stands… find ONE non .Com site that is popular in the US. (other than .GOV, .MIL, .EDU and .ORG, which people already understand, and expect of non-profits, schools, etc.). My premise is that whenever you do find a site that is popular in the US that is not a .Com, the company will likely also have the .COM version too, or they will eventually acquire it or risk major leaks in traffic to the .COM.

        Also, the fact that you miss-typed O.COM in your response is further proof that their strategy to build a brand with O.CO was a complete failure.

      • Delicious started as Overstock changed their name to, then changed it back. Delicious was a famous example of well know company using .us and so was overstock when they rebranded from to

        The reason why you won’t find any really prominent companies on new tlds is because anyone using one will have major issues with their new tld name, in terms of confusion. If they have a choice they will switch.

      • Yes… Exactly. I misread your original post. My bad.

        I thought you used those examples as an actual successful US site that is not using a .com.

        So, since the root of all this debate was that some people are not only claiming that .coms are meaningless, on the decline and being discounted as the only means of finding buyers, my challenge remains…

        Can anyone name even ONE popular site, with a US audience, that is not using a .Com? To be clear, I am not looking for sites that have an alternate AND a .Com, but a site willing to just have the alternate. Government, military, schools and non-profits don’t count. People expect them to be .gov, .mil, .edu and .org.

      • P.S. Delicious not only has a .Com, they completely dropped the alternate:

        According to Wikipedia –

        “Delicious (formerly”

        And so did Overstock:

        “ Changes Name Back From “” –

        Why the change?
        “ loses 61% of its traffic to Domain Registries’s decision to rebrand itself had a disastrous effect on the internet retailer’s traffic, according to its CEO.”

        Still think .Com is dead? If they are worth $1, and falling. I’ll find lots of bargains.

      • Thanks for that domainincite link, I didn’t know about those quotes from the CEO.

      • .co is always a typo of .com. Its a risky decision to do your business under .co until you are sure that you own the .com version

        I have come across many common people (my friends, relatives etc) and clients, who still thinks that a website starts with a www and ends with a .com . People are still not aware that www is a subdomain and a domain does not require a www.
        Most of my clients thinks that www is a mandatory field for a domain.
        One client I interacted first asked me to do a site for him, which I did. Then I told him that I have booked his “Domain.Com”, He replied back saying, Is it http://www.<; or "" ?

        So, The new extensions , Though a creative attempt, will take some years to catch up, in my opinion.

  15. If people really believe .com is dead and start dumping them, thank you. I’ll gladly pick up some one-word .com.

  16. The purpose of a domain name is to provide a memorable affinity tag that the user can reference to access a online resource. Very simple. The honest number of available .com domains that match the intended purpose of a domain is few and far between. I watch the daily registrations for both the class and the new gtlds using (a good example of a new gtld domain being used). Yes, .com, .xyz, and .berlin registries have been padding registration numbers, but the intended purpose for the creation of the new gtlds has already proved to have worked. Innovative early adapters will secure the elite of these niche domains and provide platforms to establish the highest and best use for the new gtlds. Every one who had read “The Tipping Point” understands the roles that communicators, innovators and early adapters and yes, even laggers play in the acceptance of a new product or idea. The gtlds were created go solve a very real and serious issue (just as iv6 ip addresses were created to succeed iv4). Gtlds are here to stay. The time that it takes for each individual and business to accept them only depends in which role they play.

    • The problem is that some registries have a different intended purpose than others.
      Of course what they intend to do will probably be far from what actually happens.
      .XYZ wants to take over the world with lies. That is not happening.

      (Do you own or work for

      • You are correct. The bottom line seems to come before the “most efficient” application/creation of domain names. Yes, I help maintain the back end systems that produce the data. We originally produced the lists for our selves and then when .today came out one of my partners suggested we make the lists public… I loved the idea. I think even that domain is a good example of what CAN be done with the tlds. Another one I’ve seen is and It is interesting studying the gravitys of certain SLDs such as “broker”. Brokerage.Services is registered yet “Broker.Services” was reserved. Another one that is confusing is that is reserved by the registry while is registered. “.Bar” seems to fit the culture of Boston much more accurately. It is interesting to study the effects of different restrictions across the gTLDs available. Perhaps all of the above falls back on my fashion with databases and what they can show us if set up properly.

  17. Quote by Paul:
    I know, by and large, the quality of NEW .com names will be worse in the future than it is now, just like the quality of new .com names today is worse than it was last year or 10 years ago.

    I know the choice among TLDs will be dramatically different in the future than it is now. I know there is a big difference between a) .com and a few other TLDs of today vs b) .com and a 1,000 other TLDs

    I know in the future Google will use .google and Apple will use .apple and BMW will use .bmw and AXA will use .axa and on and on… hundreds of brands will use their new TLD.


    You don’t know the future.

    Also, it may turn out that a bad .com is still better than a great new TLD if nobody wants to buy it or nobody wants to use it, or surfers simply won’t go to the site or can’t remember it or just get confused and to the end.

    Choices are dramatically different right now and for the most part people still stick and ccTLDs. where,.info,.tel right now? They are around and have made no impact.

    You don’t know what the big brands will use in the future. It’s all conjecture you are spinning as fact.

    Doughnuts and their ilk keep talking about what businesses want, what they’ll choose, what we need to register, etc. but nobody is talking about what the surfers want. They went direct navigation be easy in my opinion, but the new TLD’s only confuse everyone.

    • Why aren’t people confused and adding “.com” to the end of .tv names, for example, or .de names? or names? .com is only half the name space worldwide. If folks are confused by different TLDs, you’d think .com would be closer to 100% of the names space. Apparently 50% of registrants do not believe users are confused otherwise they’d have already named their website using “.com”. Its obvious, to me at least, that humans are able to mentally handle differing TLDs, just like they can handle differing area codes when using a phone number – even though numbers have much less meaning to humans than names do.

      • They do add .com on some .tv domains but not on and .de domains. .De was the default extension in Germany as .com is in the USA and other countries.
        .TV is not a pure ccTLD domain.

        People are mentally able to handle different TLDs but it is hard to change an old habit.
        Accusing .com that is it “old” makes no sense neither to domainers nor to all the other people.

      • “Why aren’t people confused and adding “.com” to the end of .tv names, for example, or .de names? or names? .com is only half the name space worldwide. If folks are confused by different TLDs, you’d think .com would be closer to 100% of the names space…”

        I don’t think you understand our position on this. I’m not saying people will accidentally type .com after the other TLDs. I’m saying they will type .com INSTEAD of the other TLDs.

        As in my prior example of phone numbers, if you had a vanity phone number in the US that sells flowers, even if you spent $100,000 to advertise 1-866-FLOWERS, when the the typical guy decides to send his wife some flowers, all that advertising has done is reminded him he can just dial the phone to send them, and when he does, he’s going to dial 1-800-FLOWERS.

        For the exact same reason, when you run a TV, radio or print ad for a web site, you’d be foolish to make it anything but a .com, because (at least for now, in the US) there’s a good chance that if the customer remembers the brand, many will forget the extension and type .com, even if it’s seems completely obvious.

        For example, if you heard a radio spot for:

        …there’s a good chance some of your customers will accidentally go to on of these:


        That said, how often would the reverse happen? At least for now… zero % of the people looking for will accidentally go to Injury.Attorney.

        In 5 years, this may change, but even then I’m sure any leaks will still favor the .Com versions for quite some time. In the case of .Coms, they will also happily gain some leaks from InjuryAttorney.Law, InjuryAttorney.Lawyer, etc.

        I agree leaks don’t always go to the .Com. Country specific TLDs are definitely great alternates for sites and products that are unique to those countries. For somebody in the UK who is looking for an Injury Attorney, there are going to be some people who will hear an ad for Injury.Attorney who will go to… InjuryAttorny.CO.UK or .UK, because odds are in that industry, the customer will be looking for an attorney in the UK, and assume the extension is regional.

      • I understand that case too and the phone number analogy.
        First, re numbers: they are not as easy to remember than names since they have no meaning naturally associated with them.

        Second re domain names: If it were true that people type the .com instead of the other TLD, then folks seeking traffic should massively register in .com names that are registered in other TLDs but available in .com. For example if or or or is taken but is not, then grab the .com. This hasn’t happened very much, which is one reason why I believe the mis-type phenomena (while I agree it seems like it would happen) is not happening. The gut-feeling does not hold true. We plan on publishing the statistics on both these cases in the coming weeks/months.
        Two other points
        1) its pretty hard to miss-type clicking a link (for example in an ad). There is no possibility of “traffic leakage” from a link.
        2) if someone does type “” instead of their intended “apple.fruit” for example I think they will quickly realize they “got a wrong number”, figure out their mistype, and not do it again. Same is true with your 1-800 vs 1-866 analogy.

      • Country specific TLDs are an exception, not the rule. When somebody in the UK is looking for a restaurant or a service that is local, they will naturally be served better with a non .com domain, like .UK.

        But, if you are building a website for example that features content of interest to many countries, such as this site, (onlinedomain), having a .CO.UK would not gain as much international attention as it’s current .com.

        I also strongly disagree with your premise that there is minimal leaks from alternate TLDs to the .Com version. I do agree that zero percent of people will accidentally click the wrong TLD, but I make it a point to try to build sites that get the majority of their audience from direct type-in traffic.

        Although many web sites do get a large amount of their first time traffic from links, the key to a long lasting brand is a brand people can remember and return to by remembering their name. In my case, I run TV, radio and magazine ads for some of my sites. The last thing I would want to do is run a $10,000 radio campaign in the US for a non .com site that sends some of my expensive traffic to the .com.

        As for your Apple.Com vs Apple.Fruit analogy… I agree, when you typed the .com by mistake, you would hit back, and a tech savvy user will realize they were supposed to type .fruit, and fix it. While I still think some will not see fruit and still not know they were supposed to type .fruit, that’s not a big issue.

        However, if you were up in the middle of the night, listening to the radio or watching a TV ad for a, and you only saw the ad for 30 seconds, there’s a good chance that person will type and not realize the mistake.

        In a nutshell, at least in the US, when any website competes with another site that has the same name, but is a .com, you will definitely lose some traffic to the .Com version, especially from traffic from radio, TV or other offline marketing, plus some of the traffic from word of mouth or return visits is subject to the type-in bias toward .coms… for now.

        As I said, I do acknowledge that clicked links will not leak traffic, however, I have noticed that if you do a typical search in just about any search engine for a generic term, such as “some product”, the search engine result pages will rank MUCH higher than, which will be MUCH higher than someproduct.anythingelse.

        I think it’s rare (in the US), for a company to buy someproduct.somethingelse, when the is still available. It’s clear that any time the .com version is available, a US domain buyer will ALWAYS get the .Com as their first choice.

        If you know of any exceptions to this rule, where somebody who is expecting to build a successful, high traffic site, yet they didn’t buy the .com, even though it was available, please let me know which ones, so I can happily buy the .com version they left on the table.

        The very fact that there are most likely zero of these cases (in the US), it’s safe to assume they got their alternate TLD as a second choice. It’s hard to get investors enthusiastic about building a company with a second choice domain that will compete with the first choice .com version they couldn’t get.

        [/two cents off]

      • Hmmmm, Paul the .com grabbing has been happening for years! And it happens more than a lot.

        Regarding 2):
        What happens when both domains are selling fruit?

      • And even funnier would be, More People going to than to InjuryAttorney.Com.

        So, While choosing Injury.Attorney, the person has to book:
        Attorney.Com and then should select a subdomain Injury.Attorney.Com

      • Take a look here about .com leakage.

      • “Why aren’t people confused and adding “.com” to the end of .tv names, for example, or .de names? or names?”

        The common confusion around .tv is people typing in **** instead, or ****.com. As Konstantinos said this isn’t an issue for .de because .de is the extension expected by Germans for local sites. Ditto for, etc.

  18. I’d also like to say does mean something, it means “commercial” as in a commercial enterprise. Everyone knows this, right?

    Where is your link Paul to where a poll was done that shows people don’t know what .com means? I think most people do know the meaning.

    • It used to mean “commercial” way back in the day. Then it meant “this is a domain name that you can use to get to a website” just like the “www” connoted… and then was eventually dropped because it is superfluous. Now .com is so generic its lost meaning. The “.” signifies that this string of words you are looking at is a domain name. My point is: more people know what “music” or “today” or “inc” or “pizza” means than know what “com” means. A 5-year old kid in France knows what “pizza” means.

      • Loosing meaning and becoming generic is actually a good thing.
        People don’t have to think and just type it by default.

        Kids also know

      • .com means “the internet”. www. became somewhat superfluous because people know what .com means. The www. means the same thing. Note though a lot of companies still use www. for good reason. It reinforces that this is a website. If it were me, I’d only drop the www. for a very tech savvy audience.

        The average guy on the street does not know what .pizza means or what .guru means or what .co means. Some people would know could be a web address, but I think if a survey were done most would be confused. You could add on www. i.e., more people might get that but a lot still be confused when they go to type the address in. I can barely type in a new tld name and I’m a domainer.

      • This is exactly the reason on why I think that we will soon see the return of the “www.”.
        To make people understand that what they see is a website.

      • “… Note though a lot of companies still use www. for good reason. It reinforces that this is a website. If it were me, I’d only drop the www. for a very tech savvy audience…”

        Good point. I still make it a point of using it in many offline ads, and one of the reasons is at the core of this debate.

        Other than my web business, I do a lot of phone support for clients who use software that I wrote. What I discovered is that perhaps as much as 70% of my clients have no idea what a domain or a URL is.

        I can’t stress it enough, so I will repeat it… 70% of my clients still have no idea what a domain or URL is. They have some vague concept, but they still have no true grasp of how the whole Internet works.

        How do I know this? Here’s a very typical telephone exchange between me and many of my clients.

        Me: “I’d like to connect to your computer, so I will need you to download a program that lets me control your screen. Just go to TeamViewer.Com and look for the download link on the home page”.

        Customer: “How do I do that?”

        Me (realizing they don’t know what that means): “You’ll need to go Internet, and type http://www.TeamViewer.Com“.

        Customer: “Can you walk me through it?”

        Me: “Okay… first, open your browser, and let me know when you’re there”

        Customer: “What’s a browser? Is it the “e” icon?”

        Me (starting a mixture of baby talk and Air Traffic Controller talking to a passenger trying to fly the plane): “Yes… now put in the address bar”

        Customer: “Okay… now what”

        Me: “Click the download green button on the left side”

        Customer: “I don’t see any green buttons, just a bunch of links, which one should I pick?”

        What I’ve come to realize is that a lot of people type in search boxes on their home page, which quite often is not a trusted search portal like Google, Bing or Yahoo… and is instead a hijacked search portal which unethically gives unfiltered result pages which earn them income from clicks.

        This creates a problem for me doing tech support because they end up doing a search instead of typing the actual URL. Even for those who don’t have a hijacked home page, and still have something safe like Google or Bing as their home page, they end up on a search results page, making their final destination unpredictable.

        So, I try to get them to ignore the search box on their home page, and type in the address bar… I say TRY, because a lot of the time, they can’t find it, because even when I get them to look above the content, they often have 5 toolbars all with tempting search boxes. To complicate things more people with Internet Explorer on WIndows 8 need to look on the bottom.

        Another new phenomenon is that today’s browsers have now merged the concept of search boxes with address bars, so when you type something into the address bar, it’s actually doing a search. This is very disturbing.

        Before I sold PrintableCoupons.Com, I had an incident with Google that was never resolved. I typed “” and hit return into a search box instead of the address bar. You would think that would guarantee a visitor would go to my site.

        What I saw on the very first line was an AdWords ad that said as it’s TITLE “PrintableCoupons.Com”, followed by “Print coupons from your favorite…”, but the ad was not for my site. So, Google actually allows a site to use the domain of another site as the title in search results.

        So, in this case, even in cases where the exact domain was typed into a search box instead of the address bar, the visitor may get a search results page.

        I know this sounds far fetched. Many of you may just think I have exceptionally stupid clients, but I’ve worked with thousands of people over the years in many industries, educated people… lawyers, doctors, stock brokers… intelligent people who simply are not tuned into the details of how the web works.

        If you get anything from this very long rant, it’s this. The typical US web surfer is not as savvy as you may think, and what’s worse is that search engines and browser makers are banking on it, because they make a lot of money giving people search results pages from people who don’t understand how to enter a URL.

        Then, even when they do enter a URL, into the right address bar, they will still type .Com more than you would think.

        [/rant off]

      • I have had the same experience with many of my clients too. I have doctors and lawyers that don’t know what a website is.

        The worst problem I ever had was with a doctor that I had build a small website for. She called me and told me that she could not find her website on the internet.
        It turns out that she was entering her domain name in the search bar and because the domain and website was 7 days old google would not return any results.
        So she was convinced that I had cheated her. I tried for 1 hour through the telephone to get her to type the address on the address bar with no luck. I gave up after a while.
        She got help from her tech savvy friend that was as clueless as she was. Somehow after many days she managed to access her website.

        Then a year later she called me and told me that she couldn’t read her email. She was 40 years old and that was the FIRST time she was trying to read her email!
        She didn’t even try to do it when I set it up a year before. She needed it because she wanted to get paid from somewhere and there was an email with instructions.

        I try not to deal with these people any more but sometimes I just have to. They only give me unnecessary trouble.

      • That’s is why I’m so vocal about .Com vs other TLDs.

        The time it takes to educate industry people is not an issue. We get it. The public is another story. They barely understand the Internet now, so change takes much longer, and as in your case, it’s not because of a lack of intelligence. A doctor is quite intelligent, but that doesn’t mean they care to learn the ins and outs of the Internet.

        History gives us a chance to predict the future. Most likely, by the time people learn to understand the new TLDs, the way we access sites itself will evolve.

        In my opinion, search engines will need to be more responsible than they are now. When somebody types in an exact URL, they should go directly to the site, not a results page. It’s such a cash cow for them, they won’t do it. In many cases a site is paying for an ad to be on that search page just so they don’t lose a confused customer.

        Assuming they won’t do that, they should at least block competing sites from creating ads with your domain as the only title, so if somebody clicks on it, they are at least aware it wasn’t what they were searching for.

      • My mom is most definitely a good cross section of US internet users and it took me a very long time for her to realize that typing an address directly into your browser will take you directly to where you need to go vs. getting confused by typing an address into a search engine. I suspect that a sizeable percent of internet users even today don’t understand the difference.

      • Technology companies can save a lot of money on focus groups by simply watching the tech-challenged generation navigate the web.

        The trouble is, I think Google and the search engines know how little the public knows about the web and they base their strategies on cashing in on their ignorance, at the expense of companies who end up paying for otherwise direct type-in traffic.

        What’s worse, I’ve seen my domains names as the title in ads in results pages when you type the domain in the search box, instead of the address bar. This means when the person types my domain, the first thing they see in the results is my domain name, including the .com, pointing to a competitor. Google has no problem with that.

  19. Fact is this article, as mischievous as it may or may not be, is completely irrelevant. The only people whose ears will prick up are domainers and the periphery of the tech community.

    The only thing that will drive the success of the new gTLDs is more common use by end users. At the moment this is progress that is being hampered by marketing incompetence within the registry community.

    .com was successful as it was able to ride the back of the internet boom. nTLDs dont have that luxury and I find the general “build it and they will come” mentality within the community to be at best, naive. Given that some registries are already at a disadvantage given their bad decision making around the TLDs they chose to invest in, it is also dangerous for them.

    The registries and Icann need to bang their heads together. Nobody who is involved in domains has any interest in seeing slow deaths happening across this programme and, unless more expedient and effective action is taken, the credibility of the industry as a whole is at risk .

    • ICANN has nothing to loose.
      Most registries are indifferent. They keep saying that .com is already dead (but will die sometime in the near or distant future or never) and that New gTLDs are the future.
      But the future is now and if you don’t build on now the future will never come. Donuts does no marketing at all.
      I don’t understand this. Maybe Paul can enlighten us on why this is happening…

      • Its happening because the slow, multi-year rollout of new TLDs – the powers that be engineered the process so there would be no “big bang”. This slowness means that most registries have a “higher use” for their capital during the process, and that is to actually *get* the TLDs. There are still over 100 in contention which will very likely be solved an auction. Once that is over – which will be sometime next year – I think you will see much more marketing by registries (at least by Donuts). .Club, is an example of a registry that is NOT participating in future contention sets, and they are one that has begun to ramp up marketing now.

        Secondarily, you can imagine no registry (Google, Amazon, Donuts, M&M or whoever) involved in those contentions wants to make new TLDs even more valuable till after those auctions are over.

      • So why are you rolling out all the uncontested strings and don’t wait for the “big bang”?
        Or are you rolling out a lot of them now so that you will have the funds to get the contested ones later?

        And is Donuts actually doing these “quiet” roll outs so that the contested strings don’t go up in value?

      • A Q1: Because we don’t control all of them: we didn’t want to wait a year (and with ICANN – who knows how long) and hold up just ours to release them all on day one, so were were sorta forced to roll them out over time.

        A Q2: We have the funds now but, as I’m pretty sure you understand (but your question makes me doubt that), more is always better, and more sooner is always better than more later.

        A Q3: As I said its a secondary reason, but also a) there is pent-up demand for these names (as there has been for all TLDs that have ever gone live) – so we ask ourselves how much marketing (to insiders such as domaineers) do we really need to do pre-launch? and b) we are doing some marketing post-launch. For example for .photography, .camera etc with the Royal Photographic Society. and as another example, we have booth at the huge fashion show in Vegas this week (called “Magic”) to showcase our fashion-related TLDs – even though they aren’t even all out yet. We are not targeting domaineers so maybe that’s why you don’t think we are doing any marketing. Bottom line: we’ll do even more later, for the reasons i cited, and also for those same reasons, I would guess we are not the only ones with that plan.

        I’m curious what marketing you think Verisign is doing besides lowering (in effect) the price of .com to registrars (to the point where it may be a negative price in cases)?

      • “I’m curious what marketing you think Verisign is doing besides lowering (in effect) the price of .com to registrars (to the point where it may be a negative price in cases)?”


        What kind of marketing would they do “Have you heard of .com, it is the address for websites!”

        It would be a bit like advertising 110 volts as good type of power system. Or telling people houses should always have doors at the front. The guys who need to do marketing are the ones who are trying to convince people to use something non-standard.

        I think you should also come clean about the Godaddy coupon code stuff, instead of continuing to mislead people that this is Verisign’s pricing.

      • I think there is always some type of marketing to do. Coca-cola is doing it especially to younger generations.

      • Good point. Perhaps there is scope to do a lot more. I think though .com is in a monopoly situation. They have no real competition. Coca cola on the other hand has Pepsi with about 2/3’s of its volume in the US.

        I’ve thought in the past . Com and popular country codes wouldn’t have much to gain by advertising. They have nobody nipping at their heels.

        .com, .de, These are monopolies. Businesses have little choice but to use them. It is more like Google vs Bing than coke/Pepsi.

      • Q1: Sure, I understand that others were rolling New gTLDs out so you couldn’t wait. And you do have the most New gTLDs.
        And a few of the early ones like .guru did a lot better than expected.
        Q2: I understand. And I understand that expenses (Donuts operating expenses, ICANN fees, salaries etc.) are already running. Actually they are running
        for years now. And more sooner is always better when you are trying to get funds that are not unlimited such as the domainer and insider’s money before other New gTLDs.
        Q3: When I am talking about marketing am mostly talking about the examples you describe here. But you need more widespread promoting instead of niche ads.

        I am not sure there are a lot of others that have the same plan as you. Mostly because not many New gTLDs are out except from yours so I can’t be sure.
        A lot of individual New gTLDs are doing marketing. .Club is doing a lot, .London is doing it (TV ads etc.), .Berlin and others.
        But Amazon, Google, Microsoft don’t have any New gTLDs out. M+M you are right that it is not doing much but not sure why.

        Verisign is not doing much marketing, not even what you are saying… 🙂
        And Afilias and Neustar are not doing any. I blame them for the state of .info, .biz and .us.
        They only look are registration numbers when they should be looking at recognition and adoption.

  20. Not 100 % sure about the type of marketing being done, i noticed in the last 30 days more inquiries on my new gTLDs than all months combined since the launch of them ! To me it means despite the low profile marketing people start to notice. Also before some one asks, almost 35 % of these inquiries are now coming from end-users judging from their info they give.

    As for the .com story, short term it’ll remain popular, mid/long-term with the young internet generation / innovation it’ll just be another option with all the “new” gtlds.

  21. Sochi, Russia was the place for Winter Olympics this year. Their official site was and typing ‘sochi’ in Google search lists had rank first. ( was registered in 2005)

    The Commonwealth Games was held in Glasgow, Scotland recently, and the official website was ( was registered in 2004. Ten years in the waiting)

  22. speaking of “other people’s money” I will give Paul a lot of credit for a fragerzed-like link baited kind of headline that generated thousands of dollars in free advertising, this thread a prime example of such.

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