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New gTLDs Will Work Way Better Than Vanity Domains Did

Jean Guillon

There are updates in the domain name business that I have never been able to understand: one of them is called "vanity domain names". A vanity domain name is a domain that keeps on using the first and the second level domain, to form a keyword; the third level domain is sometimes used too. Good examples of these would be: webc.am or marmala.de, aud.it or del.icio.us.

Trends that work ...

Another trend that I do not understand is the use of specific country code top-Level Domains (two letter domain names): .CO is popular because it is .COM with no "M" (and may inadvertently typed by mistake) but .CO is also the official country code Top-Level Domain for Colombia. The .TV domain name extension is also used because it uses the initials of "Television"… that is the official country code for the Tuvalu Islands, somewhere in Polynesia.

Whether it is liked or not and whether it is used or not, it has become quite trendy and, believe it or not, it seems to work: del.icio.us had 180 million unique URLs bookmarked in 2007 and there are 1.6 million .CO domain names registered today: for a country like Colombia, that is a lot. Colombia's domain names are even an option at the largest Registrar worldwide - Godaddy - when your .COM is not available to register.

What is the reason of such a success?

Is that sort of success, for rather strange domain name extensions, the result of ... a miscommunication or a misunderstanding from end-users? Or does a vanity domain actually fit with the way in which they intend to go to market online?
Or is it, once again, just a matter of offering something basic, simple, relevant for the end-user to encourage them to visit the website? Actually, I think this has been a trend driven by the fact that most of the good .COM domain names are already taken, nowadays you are likely to have to string together three terms before you find a name that is available.

After all, who cares if .CO is the country code for Colombia if it meets the Registrant's business needs online? Particularly if the registrant couldn't register his brand in .COM because his domain name already taken by someone else? A .CO is even shorter!

What about that Television channel which needs a great name to advertise in a newspaper: what do you read best www.mtv.com or www.mtv.tv? I think I like .TV better!

Now, new gTLDs are coming ...

Taking those as examples, one will notice that it is just a matter of "saying something" and not sticking to the norm. When the norm was mainly made of .COM .NET and other sponsored TLDs, the minor ones, often in need of innovation to drive registrations in their TLDs encouraged Registrants into to registering "vanity domains". Today, new domain names are here to replace them.

Precision is the key

If some Vanity domain names have been a success, those already existing will probably last but new gTLDs like .WEBCAM will no longer need the Armenian country code Top-Level Domain (.AM) to be creative e.g. www.sexywebc.am and now simply be www.sexy.webcam. Companies involved in international trading will not need the German domain name extension(.DE) to create domain names ending TRADE; now they can get .TRADE domain names e.g. www.international.trade.

A few examples

• Winners will no longer have to be Indian (.in); there will be domain names ending in ".win";

• No need to apply for a domain name from Andorra to have a website ending in ".ad": the .DOWNLOAD new gTLD is soon to be launched;

• If you ever tried registering a country code Top-Level Domain from Thailand (.th) to create a vanity domain dedicated to faith, now there is something more simple: .FAITH is coming — wait for a few more months.

The first time in history

For the first time in the history of domain names, there is no need to invent new trends to catch the eye; new domain names were created for simplicity, common sense and accuracy.

If you intend to build a business in London that offers loans, don't pay through the nose to buy www.Londonloan.com from its owner, or go to the tongue twisting inconvenience of www.lowcostlondonloans.com or even the mystifying www.londonlo.an in the former Netherlands Antilles; simply register loan.london and london.loan!

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains' specialist
Related topics: Domain Names, New TLDs
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Jean, I don’t understand the purpose of Alex Tajirian  –  May 16, 2014 1:18 AM PDT

Jean, I don’t understand the purpose of the post :(

No purpose. Jean Guillon  –  May 16, 2014 1:26 AM PDT

It is because my English is very bad.

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