GURU is Winning the TLD Race But for How Long?

So the influx of new gTLDs is starting (.bike / .guru etc.) and most in the domain world are very skeptical of the chances for success of these new TLDs. The problem is that too many of these gTLDs aren’t unique enough: is it .plumber (no) or .plumbing (yes) / .photographer (no) or .photography (yes)? And which of .film / .mov / .movie is going to come to the forefront, if any?

  • .singles – good for geo domains to target singles in select cities (same could be done for .plumbing). But other than dating, there’s no general interest.
  • .guru – .guru domains are leading in sales out of the gate: Some experts in their fields will clamor for a .guru domain to try and establish themselves as experts in their niche. But beyond those people, there aren’t many other uses for the .guru extension. Also there is some dilution as there already exists a .pro extension, except anyone can call themselves a guru.
  • .kitchen / .lighting – Again, limited niche appeal.
  • .ventures / .holdings / .estate – Maybe for some corporate brands and perhaps for some category defining keyword names like public.ventures & joint.ventures. Remains to be seen if the relatively small end-user base for these extensions (who admittedly have deep pockets) will help prop up these gTLDs.
  • .web – ‘Web’ is kind of a dated term for the Internet. It is probably the most neutral of the new gTLDs, but will it eclipse .net / .co to become the next choice behind .com? Not likely.

To keep track of the number of registrations for each TLD: http://www.registrarstats.com/TLDDomainCounts.aspx
To track when new gTLDs are going live: https://www.webnames.ca/domain-registration/new-domain-name-launch-schedule.aspx

Cons Of Buying Into The New gTLDs

  • What kind of stigma will be associated with these gTLDs? For example, many end-users won’t touch a .ORG because they don’t want to beconfused with a non-profit enterprise.
  • These gTLDs have higher annual renewal rates, starting at $29 a year.
  • Your keyword-rich domain in a new gTLD won’t get any preferential treatment by Google according to Matt Cutts:

    Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.

Benefits of Having the New gTLDs Around

What’s best for domainers isn’t necessarily what’s best for society in general. There’s still a plethora of parked premium domains in .com which has caused people to view domainers as hoarders or squatters. The scarcity of good domains is a condition that the new gTLDs will help alleviate.

  1. The influx of gTLDs increases the amount of brandable domains available which allows more end users a more affordable path towards having a memorable internet presence.
  2. There will probably be downward price pressure on long-tail (at least 3 word) .com domains that were selling for low $x,xxx. More supply = lower prices.

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