Dot com is today's 800 number

A few years ago, Lexicon Branding, one of the naming firms where I worked, researched perceptions of .com, .net and .biz top-level domain names.

The research found that .coms are, in the abstract, perceived more positively over the lesser-used .biz (et al) domains. This is not surprising: Familiarity breeds trust.

But that's today. The non-.com domains will eventually become more widespread and familiar as companies struggle and fail to find great .com names. The roster of today's bad web names goes on and on; companies compromise their name and ultimately their success just to secure a .com.

That's unwise. The Lexicon research also revealed that people's perceptions of an actual website did not differ no matter what its top-level domain. So in the end, the top-level domain doesn't change perceptions.

Dot com is already losing relevance. The strength of search engines like Google makes finding companies by their name, not their domain name, easy. As a name developer, I welcome the day that the tipping point finally comes when .com top-level domains are no more special than .net, .biz, or whatever others ICANN ordains.

There was a time when only a 1-800 indicated a toll-free telephone number. Now, there are many and they are readily accepted.

The same will hold true for top-level domains.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Anth. I read that over 60% of web-users type what they're looking for directly into their browser address window and do not use a search engine. This increases the value of typo-squatting. Go figure. Steve Price

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