Age.com recently posed the question in an article, “will Google Switch To .Google & .YouTube By The End Of The Year?” and we simply cannot wait to find out. While new gTLDs have already changed the domain name registration landscape, some (perhaps many) remain reluctant to register a .brand for their business—mainly for fear that not representing with a standard .com will somehow have a negative impact. But some large/global brands are shaking things up–Barclays recently launched the branded domain names .barclays and .barclaycard. According to Barclay’s news release, registering .brand domains “allows them to create a simplified online user experience, making it crystal clear to [their] customers that they are engaging with a genuine Barclays site.” There is also talk from some media sources that Google and its YouTube brand may register .brand domains in Q4 (.google and .youtube, respectively) this year with the launch of celebrity anchor sites (e.g. rockgod.youtube). If Google makes this move to the right (of the dot), it will be a game changer.
So why haven’t more companies made the move already? Let’s face it, even for global enterprises “new” can often be scary. Perhaps in light of Barclays recent move, and Google’s impending move, we can begin thinking of new gTLDs as “more” instead of “new”. More available domains, more opportunity, more targeted/relevant traffic, higher search rankings, etc. It has become incredibly difficult to find a short domain (because .com et al are saturated)—so ‘more’ gTLDs offer ‘new’ opportunities to be creative and once again register short, relevant domain names that aren’t already registered.
Registering a .brand domain allows you to lose the ambiguity and let potential customers know exactly who you are and what you do. Registering these domains is also a great way to brand and market your products and services. “Registering a .brand top level domain can make it clear to customers that they are visiting or purchasing from an authentic website (or, conversely, when they’re not). It can also offer a breadth of marketing opportunities for different products, services and campaigns—think run.nike, drive.bentley, and the like.”