Categorized | Domaining Tips

Is Traffic Leakage a Threat for New gTLDs?

Posted on 04 February 2014 by Andrei

In my opinion yes but the same thing can be said about a lower quality dot com.

Let’s assume you want to launch a website about furniture. would obviously be the best possible domain but most companies (the overwhelming majority) definitely can’t afford it.

Therefore, they have to make a decision.

In most cases, the decision is simple and there are two broad categories of choices:

1) A longer dot com such as

2) The same keyword but in another gTLD, so for example Furniture.gtld

Is traffic leakage a threat?

Well yes, in both cases.

If you own Furniture.gtld then sure, there will be some leakage to the dot com but don’t make the mistake of assuming that such a threat doesn’t exist for domains such as,,, these are all commonly used adjectives and as such, people will in some cases make confusions. If you add one more word, so if you have to settle for let’s say instead of, the traffic leakage/confusion issue becomes even bigger.

Is It Or Or I’m sure you get the point.

The conclusion is simple: the greater the “distance” is between your domain and the category killer of that industry ( in our case), the more traffic leakage potential there is.

Therefore, it’s all a fine balancing act at the end of the day.

Businesses will have to decide, based on budget-related arguments among other things, how much they are willing to pay for a domain.

In some cases, a longer dot com would represent the best choice.

In other cases, a new gTLD alternative would represent the best choice.

It all depends, there’s no “one size fits all” answer unfortunately. On a case by case basis, it’s the responsibility of each company to make the right choice. I simply wanted to point out that traffic leakage isn’t only an issue for non-dot-coms, dot com domains can be and are also affected.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. Jon Says:

    Rembering where the dot goes is harder by a factor of 10 or even a 100 than remembering 2 words. It is still possible to remember Best Furniture, and you don’t need to remember .com part. It is however impossible to remember because you have to remember where the dot goes.

    Also, email leakage is a bigger problem than traffic leakage. Many small companies can live with traffic leakage. However, email leakage means customers and potential customers will be ignored. That is totally catastrophic from customer service and marketing angle.

    I have no idea how new tlds are planning on addressing their huge email leakage problem.

  2. Andrei Says:

    @Jon: it depends on the word combination in my opinion because there’s something else I forgot to address, the fact that lots of people misspell words.

    For example, here are 4 domains:

    The correct version is but I assure you a *lot* of people would frequently misspell it.

    In fact, it would be an interesting experiment.

    Ask 20 people to remember and Furniture.extension, then ask them to write the two domains down on a piece of paper the next day.

    I’m reasonably confident that the Furniture.extension domain would do better in our case. That’s why (in my opinion) there are no “one size fits all” answers and at the end of the day, the decision will have to be made on a case by case basis.

  3. John Says:

    I see the analogy but there is no comparison between leakage to than it is Real.Estate to

    The latter will blow the drawers off the former in terms of traffic leakage, IMHO. I say this because I am a traffic guy, of which there are few among domainers, who are mostly sales-centric, and don’t have a grasp of how traffic really flows. I’ve been doing this since 1995 and am pretty good at the typo game.

    I can’t say with 100% it will go down like this as they start to get developed, but if I go with my experience and gut it tells me it will play out like this.

  4. Andrei Says:

    @John: as far as your example is concerned, I agree 100% which is why (in my opinion) each purchase decision will ultimately have to be made on a case by case basis, after analyzing all sorts of variables such as traffic leakage, acquisition price, industry particularities and so on.

    For example, the leakage from Real.Estate to will most likely be far greater than let’s say the leakage from High.Tech to, simply because we’d be talking about a considerably more tech savvy audience when it comes to High.Tech/

    In my opinion, domains like High.Tech (again, just a random example) would represent a very good choice for that specific industry. In fact, for highly tech savvy audiences, I’m sure you’ll agree that the traffic leakage won’t be all that impressive.

    The main message I tried to get across through this post is that the issue is far too complex for a “new gTLDs = massive traffic leakage” thought process to be appropriate.

  5. Says:

    Interesting points…

  6. Jon Says:

    You dramatically underestimate how difficult it is to remember words separated by a dot. Just write 5 what you consider good domains using new different tlds next to each other and look at them. You will literally get a headache just looking at them.

  7. Don Says:

    Is Traffic Leakage a Threat for New gTLDs?

    Um…Is the Pope Catholic?

  8. Excitemental Says:

    I think most traffic these days come from either links or from search engines.. You will get some type ins sure but i think they are on the decline.. just my opinion..

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