gTLD trends: .XYZ leads the gTLD pack, but .COM still rules the roost

By Alex Kelley

January 4, 2017

It’s been more than two years since the new gTLDs started to be released. Meant to provide companies and individuals with a plethora of options for where to register their domains, these extensions inspired betting left and right as to which would float, which would sink, and how much the gTLDs would be embraced by the average domainer. To tell you the truth, the domain world hasn’t changed much since then. Check out the top 10 new gTLDs, from https://ntldstats.com.

top-10-gtlds

When it comes to the new gTLDs, .XYZ has outpaced the pack by a healthy margin, claiming a full quarter of new gTLD registrations at about 6.5 million. On the other hand, .COM is at or around the 130 million mark, and growing at about 7% year over year, according to Verisign, steward of the .COM extension.

.TOP is second to .XYZ among new gTLDs; however, they are ranked artificially high. The company that created the .TOP extension admitted to having a robot trawl whois email addresses on domain registries, and sending a phishing email to all registrants of other domains, asking whether they would also like to register a .TOP domain. This tactic infuriated many, but also resulted in a spike in registrations. It should also be noted that .TOP is perhaps the cheapest to register, costing only 99 cents in some instances. Its popularity is highest in China, where the company that bought .TOP is based.

Though .XYZ doesn’t quite roll off the tongue or scream cache, its success may stem in part from being inexpensive, easy to remember, and for all intents and purposes, generic, like .COM. It makes sense that extensions like .NYC and .PIZZA and .ATTORNEY are less prevalent because they are more specialized. And it didn’t hurt that Google opted to host parent company Alphabet’s site at www.abc.xyz.

But suffice to say, total registrations don’t tell the complete picture. For that, we’ll need to look at renewals and the percent of domains that aren’t parked (i.e., being held by investors). We’ll have a clearer picture in a year or two, but until the dust settles, our advice from when the gTLDs first started coming out still rings true. The quick and dirty is this: go with the .COM if you can. It’s like owning a store downtown, on Main Street, versus out in the boonies, and it’s still the most trusted extension available.

Unless you are a pure e-commerce business, t’s okay to modify the exact .COM with a short descriptor (health, hi, systems). If you truly can’t find a .COM that’s suitable for your business, well, there are other perfectly serviceable ccTLDs and gTLDs, including .IO, .CO, .ME, .LIVE, and .TV. And, if there’s a specific gTLD that speaks clearly to your business focus, that can be a consideration also (e.g, .CAFE for your coffee and sandwich shop–that makes a whole lot of sense).

It’s been more than two years since the new gTLDs started to be released. Meant to provide companies and individuals with a plethora of options for where to register their domains, these extensions inspired betting left and right as to which would float, which would sink, and how much the gTLDs would be embraced by the average domainer.

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