ICANN’s New gTLDs: Is It Worth Becoming a .guru?By Jacco Blankenspoor
This year hundreds of General Top Level Domains (better known as gTLDs) were made available. It’s now possible to identify yourself or your company with cool domain names like website.builders, futureless.ventures or IAmYour.guru.
While some despise the ICANN (the organisation behind this move), others see it as an opportunity to get a unique domain name. It’s become hard to find a short domain lately, so now we can be creative in coming up with domain names that aren’t registered.
I’m already hooked on these new gTLDs (I finally got to call myself the War Movies Guru, but they also come with major downsides. To help you decide I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to consider before you register one of these news gTLDs yourself.
Why you should register a new gTLD
1. It sounds cool!
Who doesn’t want to add .guru, .expert or .ninja to his profession? It sure does look great on your business card. Or what about link.builders? You have to act fast though, since there are only so many guru’s and these run are running out fast already.
2. No ambiguity
If you use the gTLD the right way, you can use your domain name to let potential customers know exactly what it is that you do. Brand.management, Leadership.training, LetMeMakeYouThePerfect.kitchen all leave no room for guessing. I’m sure there were many people interested in dedicated.hosting. I’m also looking forward to the release of the .review domain.
3. Laser targeting for your product
The gTLDs are not only perfect for showing what your company does, it’s also a great way of branding your products. Think about TheUltimatePHP.book or UltimateBling.diamonds. These domains are great for branding, and are maybe easier to remember (although it’s not that difficult to remember a .com.)
4. They are actually pretty useful
The best examples are .london and .berlin, which are great domains to use for tourist activities for example. Bring them in with Visit.london, have them travel around with Transport.london, and go for maximum monetization with Shops.london. It is even possible to have your own company gTLD, but I am not sure if .americanexpress is that beneficial to the company.
Why you should not register a new gTLD
1. It’s not a .com
This is the number one reason why people don’t like the new gTLDs, or at least don’t see it being useful. People are that much accustomed to .com that they will probably still type warmovies.guru.com. That’s why I also registered warmoviesguru.com. But you still need to be lucky to find an available .com domain name to do this. Kind of takes the fun away from the process, which was one of its main benefits.
2. Entry requirements
Applicants for the new gTLDs got to choose if they wanted their domains to be open, restricted or closed. Open domains are available for everyone, restricted domains come with limitations, closed ones are, well, closed. The latter are primarily company domains, like .amazon. But restricted ones are tricky. Most country or city specific domains tend to have restrictions, like having a local presence. Luckily, most applicants decided to lose the restrictions, with monetary benefits being a good reason to do so.
3. Confusing domains
When all applications are processed, you will get to choose between .book, .books, .review and .reviews. or .career and .careers. I think you get my point. This will soon be confusing if these domains are used for branding, so you will probably need to register them all. If you’re onto it, you’ll probably want the .com equivalent too. I get why they are doing this (PHP.book or PHP.books can be different sites), in the end it will cost you more money than a simple .com. Domain squatting is becoming much easier though, if you’re into it.
4. Too many letters
More letters means a greater change for typos. A good example is .apartments. In the US alone there are 3.600 searches a month for appartments. That’s just one variation without anything before the dot. Just think of how many ways there are to misspell Community.apartments?
If you are looking for a domain in the investment sector, it’s gonna cost you quite some money. Some examples are .creditcard for $199 a year, .investments for $125 or even .accountants for $125 too. It’s almost like the domain price includes its SEO value (even though there is no real SEO benefit, see the next point). Even my beloved .guru is around $35 a year (still worth it though :-)). There are some cheaper ones, like that other cool gTLD, .expert. The most expensive one is .rich for $2,350 (each year!). IamVery.rich is still available at the time of writing.
6. They can also be pretty useless
Even though I’m a fan, I admit that most of these new gTLDs are pretty useless. Good examples are .spreadbetting, .horse or .furniture. Even .rich is pretty useless, except for my one example. The only real use for these domains is WeDo.spreadbetting, IWantToBuyA.horse or GetMeSomeCheap.furniture. But why bother when you can also register IWantToBuyAHorse.com.
People tend not to read after the dot, so they may read ‘IWantToBuyA’ or ‘WeDo’. Aside from examples like WarMovies.Guru (where people will still know what the site is about). In this case the gTLD enhances the domain name without looking stupid with .Guru left out.
The new gTLDs do not have any extra SEO value either. Just as Google doesn’t look at .com it won’t also look at .loans. While Google claims that you can’t benefit from any Exact Match Domain anymore, it is still better to own PersonalLoans.com than Personal.Loans. Why? Well, Google only reads “Personal” which is at $1 CPC, where “Personal Loans” will get as high as $10 CPC.
We can finally think of new domain names again without getting disappointed by the lack of availability. The .guru domain is already one of the most popular gTLDs because of this fact. It is decently priced, making it possible to use it as a personal domain just for fun. And what about making yourself immortal with a well thought of .wft domain?
Though there are more cons than pros, in the end it all depends on how you intend to use a particular gTLD. Be creative and you can put it to good use. Otherwise you will just end up with even more domains on your for-future-development list.