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Reports and Analysis
Asia Pacific – The CSC New gTLD Utilization Report.

22 April, 2015

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific

 

To view the Chinese version, please click here.

 

We examine how .brand domains are performing in search and how effectively the top new generic TLDs are penetrating the AlexaTM top 1 million websites (a potential indicator for TLD utilization).

 

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Observations

 

.brand Domain Registrations


To date, over 800 domain names have been registered in .brand/closed TLDs. The majority have been registered in the following extensions: .nra, .citic, 中信 (.citic), and .cancerresearch.


Within the .brand registrations, some of the most-used terms to the left of the dot are: nic (an obvious requirement), domaintest, www, start, home, donate, plaza, magazine, support, and foundation. As the representative sample is quite small, we expect these common terms to change over time. It is also clear that most brands are still in the planning stages. Based on our analysis, only approximately 46% of the registered domains have properly configured DNS zone files, which might be an indication of utilization.


This month it is interesting to note that two .brand/closed domains with active websites operated by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation have achieved an Alexa 1M Ranking – home.cancerresearch and theone.cancerresearch. Other new examples of .brand utilization include betting.williamhill (William Hill, a provider of betting services), innovandconnect.bnpparibas (BNP Paribas, a French bank and financial services company) and drive.bmw (BMW, an automotive company), which redirects to bmw.com.

 
Ranking For Non-Branded Keywords

 
Proponents of .brand domains have suggested that websites using these domains will signal to Google® that they are authentic, and this may influence their search engine rankings. Google has not confirmed this.


It is interesting to observe that orientation.monash already ranks on page five out of 259,000,000 results at Google.com for the keyword [orientation], which receives 90,000 monthly global searches. Another surprise performer is cohc.citic, which ranks seventh out of 132,000 results for [cohc], an acronym with multiple meanings.


Other .brand domains have managed to rank particularly well in the local country Google index considering they are new domain names. For example, in Australia, destination.monash ranks 10th for [destination]. In Japan, mirai.dnp ranks 82nd for [mirai]. (Mirai is a Japanese word meaning “the future.”) In France, fcr.frogans continues to rank 17th for [fcr], well ahead of more established domains.


Could this mean that terms to the left of .brand domains are powerful ranking signals for the search engines? It’s too early to tell, but that possibility continues to intrigue CSC Digital Brand Services’ Brand Advisory Team.

 

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In this report, we’ll continue to share observations for the Top 100 new gTLDs by registration volume. Our New gTLD Indicator1 will help gauge the relative value of new gTLDs and see how they compare with .com. We are aware that factors such as TLD launch dates will skew the results a bit in the short term. Furthermore, we are aware that certain TLDs require special consideration. For instance, it isn’t reasonable to expect geo-type TLDs, which are targeted for a local audience, to achieve wide scale penetration of the Alexa 1M.


The Early Leaders


During the study period, eight of our Alternative Top 10 TLDs remained the same, with .ninja and .buzz now also making the cut. It’s worth noting that .media, .social, .website, .today and .marketing maintained their leadership positions in terms of penetrating the Alexa 1M when taking into account their relative registration volumes. Could this be a future sign of these TLDs’ “global” value? Only time will tell.

 
Since our last report, .world, .red, .media, and .space showed the greatest increase in their New gTLD Indicator scores. .club and .sexy, which were on the Alternative Top 10 in the last report, narrowly missed, but came in positions 12 and 13 respectively. As stated above, we expect factors such as TLD launch dates and the pace of registration volume changes to cause short-term oscillations in the New gTLD Indicator scores.

 
CSC does not necessarily recommend that our clients register in the extensions above. We use factors such as industry, search, markets, and brand risk to provide our clients with targeted registration and blocking strategies.

 

What Are The Top 10 New gTLDs For Your Brand?
 

 

End Notes:


1 New gTLD Indicator: In order to assess a New gTLD’s relative penetration of the Alexa 1M, we developed a simple ratio which compares the # of domains for the TLD in the Alexa 1M with the registration volume for the TLD. We then indexed the ratio against .com (assigned a score of 100), which currently is the most globally utilized TLD.


2 Please note that data may be skewed by the fact that website migrations from existing domains may have already ranked for the related keywords, and there may be reporting anomalies from the Alexa.com data set.


3 Source: ntldstats.com


4 Source: s3.amazonaws.com (Alexa 1M list)

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Henry Chan, Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)

henry.chan@cscglobal.com

 

Ruby Pang, Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)

ruby.pang@cscglobal.com

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