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Who Will Really Win Big On New TLDs?

March 12, 2010

With ICANN taking applications soon and plans to roll out new TLDs coming down the pipeline there has been a lot of talk and debate about the merits, if any, for new TLDs, whether or not .com will be affected and how, and other such discussion.

There is also banter about who stands to gain the most from new TLDs.

Will it be the new registries selling their virtual shovels to the speculators on a would-be gold rush for top generics? Will those speculators find real gold? Or will it be the end-users that will suposedly get a cheaper alternative to generic gTLDs they could not otherwise aquire or afford?

Here is one of my thoughts…

If any new TLD does in fact ‘make it’ in terms of gaining traction in the marketplace to the point where businesses utilize the domains for websites in the type of capacity within which they engage in advertising, promoting and marketing their domains to the public, then here is who I see being the BIG overall winners …

It will be the owners of generic .com domains that are an exact match for the new TLD.

For example, if a new registry launches around .toys, then the owner of toys.com will win BIG.



In a post at TheDomains.com which recently discussed the matter someone made the following comment:

“TV watchers / radio listeners / etc see / hear a site like kids.toys advertised . . . and then some 25-75% of them proceed to try to find that site / company by visiting kidstoys.com.”

To which I responded, “actually the most likely to visit would be kids.toys.com.”

Why did I make this assertion? First, a personal example …

Just the other day I was wanting to use the URL shortneing service bit.ly. For some reason beyond my control, being as well-versed as I am in navigating the different TLDs, on this occasion my mind defaulted to typing the .com.

But it was not to bitly.com.  Instead I typed into my broswer www.bit.ly.com.

People remember the dot

Its not that I disagree with the commenter that in the example of .toys that kidstoys.com will not get spillover traffic, possibly even a significant amount. In fact, I may have been hasty in saying which version was more likely to be mistyped based on my own anecdotal experience. To be honest I dont’ have any proof from hard data so I think it may be an open question.

But what I can say for a fact is that there is a much greater potential upside for large-scale spillover from a .toys TLD to toys.com than there ever would be from kidstoys.com due to the ability to monetize thousands upon thousands of keywords through subdomains with the former.

kidstoys.com spillover would be limited to kids.toys typos.

However toys.com could effectively capitalize on …

  • kids.toys
  • dog.toys
  • free.toys
  • adult.toys
  • etc.
  • etc.

Regarding what is the more likely typo though, I do have a strong suspicion that there is more of a psychological tendency to unconsciously tack on the .com then there would be to omit or forget a dot in the middle. It would be interesting to see some studies around this.

The ‘dot’ after all is one half of the reason that ‘dot com’ has its incredible psychological hold in the first place. People are pretty clear on the ‘dot’ since they hear it repeatedly and expect that every web address should end in ‘dot something’.

If you have an opinion I welcome your thoughts.  Which do you think is the more likely typo for a hypothetical kids.toys?

  • kidstoys.com
  • kids.toys.com


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