How much does domain extension count?



It should be logical that a website has the first interaction with the user starting from the link and ending with any third party redirection in the content or, otherwise, the X button, even though not everyone follows this indication. In today’s post I am going to focus on the first interaction, that being the link of a website.

Many strange behaviors have formed around this so called business card of a webpage since it was first introduced in the 80’s starting from the mass popularization of .com that lead to some outrageous prices at which these can be bought, especially when we think that they used to be free until 1995 to the fact that .tv is the main industry for the proud inhabitants of the Tuvalu island, but if one thing is certain that is that people will not abandon them anytime soon.

However, two things have made domain extensions a relevant topic again: .COM celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, and the recent introduction of new domain extensions (new gTop Level Domains). Considering such a impressive longevity for a standard like .com, as well as the untapped potential of new extensions, it does bring a question:  Can the right—or wrong—domain extension impact a brand’s online success?

Interbrand’s U.S. study indicates such a relevance by pointing key points like the fact that when remembering the domain extension of a web address, 94% of individuals are inclined to believe that it was a .com extension, while the rest of 6% have indicated other ones. When subjects were shown two pages with similar contents it seems that more than 60% of them clicked on links that had a .com extension, and when shown a new website and later asked what was the address, more than 80% intuitively and incorrectly reported that it was a .com address.

Therefore we can rightfully conclude that due to the lack of popularity of alternative domains, this including some TLDs, a business can be damaged by the lack of notoriety and a important percentage of traffic can be lost.