The most crucial development for the Internet industry in 2014 was probably the introduction of thousands of new gTLDs for domain name registrations (.website, .xyz, .travel, etc). While actually a good thing for the industry, the rollout process has been messy and filled with lackluster marketing and slow end-user adoption. Nevertheless, while .com will remain as the top extension for years and years, new players offer many benefits for the unconnected.
.music promises to shield artists from a web filled with impersonators and amateurish fan sites. This clearly value for all of us. However, identity validations are a double-edged sword, keeping domain investors away from the TLD and hence increasing marketing costs for the extension.
.xyz has registered close to a million new domain names and is now the top new gTLD. They target millennials and unconnected businesses. While interesting, from an SEO viewpoint the naming of the extension is a missed opportunity, but their marketing has been impressive and the gTLD shows no signs of stopping. Some people have even dared to label .xyz as “the next .com“.
.club also has an impressive number of paid and organic registrations. The extension has some SEO and offline marketing value, serves a clear purpose and its registrations are well priced. Looks like a winner to me.
Notwithstanding, there are a number of geographically targeted extensions that, in my view, hold the greatest potential. These .asia and, to a lesser extend, .nyc. These extensions have a natural audience, provide some SEO juice for free and also help in focusing marketing efforts. They are both brands in themselves and already have type-in traffic! I’m largely impressed with the traffic to our .asia properties and the overall number of .asia registrations (close to 500,000).
If you where to place a bet for the next .com in 10 years, I suggest you put it all in red and go with .asia.