It’s been going on for a long time already; users mistakenly land on the wrong website because they mistype the domain name into the address or search bar. Dot com websites have been more popular because they have been around longer and most users assume dot com when they think of a website. The intention of opening up new gTLDs was to create more room for new websites to be able to include niche related or company specific keywords, but so far the reaction, as reported in Domain Name News is that the marketing has led to an increase in traffic to the dot com version of the domain name.
It all goes back to memorability. While the new gTLDs open up doors for businesses and websites, they still have a way to go to overcome what the average searcher is accustomed to. It could take quite some time before people remember to type in the keyword after the dot instead of before it.
Inadvertently, the registry of new gTLDs has been driving up the value of the corresponding dot com version of the domain name. This is good news for the dot com owners, who may have expected the complete opposite. One would think that the new gTLD domain would present competition for the dot com owners in their niches.
The increase in value of the dot com and the accidental loss of traffic to it gives the gTLD owner an incentive to acquire the dot com version of the registered gTLD. Ironically, the dot com may have been available at a lower price to the gTLD owner had it been acquired before registering the gTLD.
What Will Be the Next Trend?
Given the consequence of registering a gTLD, it would seem the dot com domain owner could increase the value of the dot com domain simply by registering the gTLD version of the domain name. This may not be effective for every dot com domain, but could prove fruitful for owners of exact match/premium domains.
With little control over the economic environment and domain value being a waiting game, this news could give domain owners a proactive way to increase their domain values.
How will the new gTLDs overcome this issue? While these domains are parked, there’s little the owners can do to change human error, but when associated with a website, the most obvious answer is major branding and social media marketing. These efforts won’t change the human tendency to mistype or forget, but perhaps the answer will come from the search engines themselves.