Domain extensions? Google spoke, everyone heard... even my mum!

The domain industry continues to promote the new domain extensions. Highly descriptive, increased choice, and countless blog posts on how to choose, what’s to come, and why they’re great – register now! Yet still, awareness is low... until Google registered abc.xyz. Did you hear the buzz?

by Meg - 26.11.2015

New gTLDs didn't rock the foundations!

Working in the domain industry, I’m aware of what’s going on. I read the newsletters, blogs, feeds, etc.  Sunrise, TLD, Landrush, ICANN, WHOIS are part of my vocabulary.

Outside the industry, the new gTLD launch did not rock the foundations, as was hoped. Many people knew nothing about it. They didn’t know what a domain extension was and let’s be honest, didn’t really care.

A few of the new gTLD registries stood out with hugely successful marketing campaigns, whilst others took a passive approach. Relying on word of mouth to sell a product that so many are unfamiliar with, was never going to work. It led to a rather slow start.

Enter Google...

August 2015, Google announced the creation of holding company, Alphabet. For the website address it registered, abc.xyz. The story hit the press, social media, and TV - domain extensions went viral and the buzz began...

It’s a domain name with an extension related to the brand, one of the new domain extensions. It’s memorable, it’s quirky, it’s in your face, and its registration dropped a bombshell!

In a matter of hours Google had introduced the world and my mother, to the new domain extensions.

Trailblazer leads the way!

Start-ups, maybe struggling to find a .COM that suits, are registering new domain extensions. But, is this enough to tempt big names to follow?

Google’s a heavyweight and it’s gone where others maybe feared to tread. If Google’s done it, then it must be okay. Add to this the fear of missing out, or being left behind...

Google embraces new technologies, crazy ideas, weird and wonderful projects. It doesn’t run from challenges, it faces them head on. It’s proved, yet again, that it’s a fearless innovator. Don’t you want to share some of that glory?

Why didn’t Google use one of their own domain extensions?

Google applied for 101 domains at a cost of $185,000 each. Why didn’t they use one of their own?

The .XYZ domain application was not contested, meaning no one else applied for it. I struggle to believe that Google dreamed up the Alphabet/abc name overnight. I would assume it's been in the pipeline for a while.  So why didn't they apply for the extension?

Had it already recognised a potential marketing opportunity? It knew that if it led, others would follow. Yes it used someone else’s extension, but in doing so it put ALL the new domain extensions in the headlines. And it avoided promoting its own products, directly. Subtle!

Could the fact that back in August 2015, Google was the subject of an antitrust investigation alleging that it was abusing its market dominance to push its own products in search results, have influenced their choice?

Speculation, of course…

Summing up

Google’s actions created a buzz around domain extensions, not only the new ones but the old ones too. It also championed registering multiple domain names for a single company. Not a new idea, but now Google’s given the thumbs up…

It registered a domain name using the space before and after the dot. It used an extension that sits naturally with the company name. We now have a live example of a new domain extension, from a trailblazing company.

Now let’s see who follows…

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