At DomainSkate we’re constantly talking with business owners who are just learning what we know — that the Internet as we all knew it has changed significantly. New domains are launching every day offering people more options to grow their brand online. At the same time, these new domains are also raising a lot of questions. How will they affect already existing web sites? Should you worry about people jumping on your trademark? What new domains are right for your business?
Here are a few facts that explain what the state of the expanded internet looks like in 2015.
1. There are 547 new domains. That’s right, 547. Some of them are brand specific, like .Citi, .Apple and .Nike. Others are generic, like .Photo, .Guru and .bike.
2. Haven’t heard too much about it? You’re not alone. According to a study by the Domain Name Association, only 15% of Americans are aware of this domain name expansion.
3. Domains can be worth lots of money. Google paid a staggering $25 million for .App. Earlier this year, someone paid $13,500 for Fight.Club.(But you know the first rule, so you know we can’t talk about it.)
4. These new domains can spell danger for brands. For example, research shows that 94.5% of top 500 websites are one typo away from sending you to a malicious or “malware adjacent” website. You don’t want to end up like Sandra Bullock in “The Net” (1995), do you?
5. While these new domains are gaining in popularity, the original 22 domains (such as .com, .net, .edu) and country codes (such as .jp, co.uk) still have way more registrations than every other new domain, combined.
5. Not all the names are for business. Some can be for fun too. There’s .Party, .Ninja and for the truly feisty, .WTF.
6. There’s also a .Sucks domain. And yeah, it’s likely to become a headache for big brands. The owners of the domain claim that the site will be a “Focal Point for Customer Service.” Meaning, it’s good for consumers who want a place to vent about a product or brand. We doubt that companies are going to want to send people who need customer service to “MyCompany.Sucks.”
In closing, these new domains are a new frontier for big brands and small businesses. There’s a lot to be excited about. Still, brands need to be savvy about protecting themselves from cybersquatters and phishers who can devalue your brand. Remember, you could be just one slip of the finger away from a sketchy site — Hulfington Post, anyone?
Edit: Though humorous, this is not an April Fools joke. If you want to protect your company’s domain, try DomainSkate free.