Leonard Britt has posted several interesting comments on DomainingTips about the fact that even dot coms are hard to sell to end users and this observation leads us to an important question: what does this mean as far as new gTLDs are concerned?
In my opinion, limiting ourselves to analyzing what’s at the right of the dot (the TLD) would be a mistake because sure, it’s highly unlikely that any other extension will come close to dot com but does this mean all dot coms are valuable?
Or as another interpretation of that question, does it mean that all it takes for a domain to be investment grade is having dot com at the end of it?
In my opinion, the answer is negative in both cases.
Yes, the fact that dot com is the #1 extension by far is a significant advantage but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay a lot of attention to the term on the left of the dot.
As mentioned in my response yesterday:
“I agree that the end user potential shouldn’t be overestimated but the same principle is valid when it comes to dot com domains caught after they were dropped in my opinion. Sure, they’re dot coms and that’s an advantage but a lot of those domains are pretty much worthless because the term on the left of the dot is extremely weak.
Therefore, we’re dealing with an interesting dilemma: very strong term on the left of the dot + unproven extension or considerably weaker term on the left of the dot + dot com.
Now of course, getting strong and very strong terms on the left of the dot + dot com would be the best case scenario but in a lot of situations, the acquisition price would be so high that the upside potential would end up being (severely) limited.”
Today, I’d like to expand a bit.
There are 113,445,148 dot coms registered at the moment of writing according to RegistrarStats.com.
Are all of them investment grade?
Are most of them investment grade?
Are 10% of them investment grade?
No, I don’t think 5.6 million genuinely investment grade dot coms exist.
Then how many?
I don’t know, all I know is that we have more than enough reasons to consider the following conclusion accurate:
Most dot coms are not investment grade.
Now of course, the dot com TLD has exponentially more investment grade domains than any other extension but this doesn’t change the fact that most domains just aren’t investment grade.
This leads me to the following dilemma: what should you do as a domainer?
Right now, at the reg fee – backorder fee range (as in low two figs to mid/high two figs), you basically have two options:
1) Hand register or preorder a new gTLD
2) Hand register a dropped dot com or backorder it
Those two options bring us right back to the question which constitutes the title of this post:
1) Great term (as in one word commercial keywords) + unproven TLD
2) Considerably weaker term + dot com
That’s basically the dilemma you’re facing at the reg fee to backorder fee price level.
Now sure, it would be great to buy a great term in dot com but such domains are often so expensive that as mentioned in my reply to Leonard’s comment, it’s hard to see the upside in a lot of cases.
With new gTLDs, the extension is indeed unproven but you have the chance to register very strong terms. Again, one word commercial words for example. With dot com, the extension is definitely extremely popular but on the other hand, you’d have to settle for considerably weaker terms on the left of the dot.
What will it be?