Millennials HATE New Domains More Than Older People

The media always likes to talk about the how millenials are changing the world. Young people always embrace change and the hip thing, right? Not true when it comes to new domains apparently. 

According to the British SEO (search engine optimization) company Varn, millenails HATE new domains more than older people. At least they don't trust new domain names as much as the older generation.  

Varn asked people across the United Kingdom (UK) this question. 

“Do you trust companies with .co.uk and .com domains more than those with other newer domains such as .eu, .biz, .net, .fashion, .london and .digital, etc.?”

It should be noted that .EU has been around for over 10 years. The .BIZ domain has been around for almost 16 years and .NET… well that's been around for as long as .COM.  The big three extensions .COM/.NET/.ORG have all been around for 30 years.  So .EU, BIZ, and .NET are not “new” domain extensions.  However .FASHION, .LONDON, and .DIGITAL have only been available for a limited amount of time.  

Over 70% of people said they do not trust new domains.  This is not surprising considering new domain names distribute spam only. 

What was most interesting about Varn's research was the fact that Millennials and Generation Y trust new domains LESS than older people. Of the 25-34 year-olds surveyed;

  • 77.6% said  “I trust .co.uk and .com domains”.
  • Only 21.3% stated in the survery that they “trust all domains the same”. 

When “Mom and Dad” were asked the same question, 55-64 year olds response;

  • 61% of them trust .com and .co.uk domains more
  • 35% of them answered “I trust all domains the same”

That means the younger generation trusts tried and true .CO.UK domains and .COM domains 16.6% more.  While younger people trust new domains 13.7% less compared to older people. 

Young people trust don't trust these new domains. This makes sense if you think about it. If you are more used to using the web you get used to the standards. In the United Kingdom that is .CO.UK and .COM.  So that is naturally what young people trust. 

This totally explains why I need to help fix viruses and issues on older people's computers more often. They are visiting spam and malware sites that are on new domains getting the computer infected. Now we just need to educate older people to only use good country code top level domains (ccTLDs) such as .UK and .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Young people know intuitively to avoid new domains. 

Marekting, media, and society make us believe those that are Millenials and Generation Yers are supposed to always like the cool, new, and hip thing. Obviously this research and suvery show otherwise when it comes to browsing the internet. Particularly when it comes to new domains.

The claim from new domain registires, companies, and consulting groups is that these new domains are for the “next generation”.  That argument goes out the window if young people don't want to use them. More importantly if they don't trust a new domain space to begin with.

Amazingly older people trust new domains 13.7% more. Will you see new domain companies marketing to 55 – 64 year olds?  I doubt it because that's not a good use of marketing dollars. Why would you target a demographic that has money? 😉

Are you a Millennial or in Genereation Y?  Are you older? What do you think of these findings?

70% of People do NOT trust New Domain Names

new domain trust

70% of people asked do NOT trust new domain names, according to a British SEO (search engine optimization) firm.

The SEO company, Varn, conducted a survey asking 1,000 people across the United Kingdom about new domain names. Here was the question;

Do you trust companies with .co.uk and .com domains more than those with other newer domains like .eu, .biz, .net, .fashion, .london, .digital etc?

Varn found that 70% of people don't trust new domains. The answers were grouped into three categories.

  • I trust .CO.UK and .COM domains more
  • I trust all domains the same
  • I trust .EU, .BIZ & .LONDON etc domains more

What's interesting about Varn's survey is that they were variations with different groups of people.  Varn says that women are more cautious with new domains compared to men.

  • 74% of women trust .COM and .CO.UK domains more
  • 67% of men trust .COM and .CO.UK domains
  • 29% of men trust all domains the same
  • 22% trust all domain extensions similarly

While that's interesting… it isn't the shocker of the new domain survey.

Young People Don't Trust New Domains!

Varn found a higher percentage of young people do NOT have trust in new domains compared to older people.

The response from 25-34 year olds;

  • 77% said, “I trust .CO.UK and .COM domains”
  • 21.3% said they trusted all domains the same. 

55-64 year olds had a much different view;

  • 61%  trust .COM and .CO.UK domains
  • 35%  said “I trust all domains the same”

That means there is 16% less trust among Millennials and Generation Y for new domains.  

The claim from new domain companies and registrars is that, “New domains are for young and next generation.” That is clearly not the case according to Varn's research.
They sum up the survey results with some wise words;

So why do people not trust newer domain names as much? Well security seems to be the main reason. Some internet users associate the new domain names with spam, or fear that the site may not be secure so personal information and payment details may be at risk.

We've already seen spam be a major issue. This IT Manager blocked ALL new domains due to spam.

Since this is a British SEO firm that focuses on search metrics.

What does this mean for your website?

Ultimately we can summarise it as trust= CTR= rank. If users trust older extensions such as .com over the newer ones then websites with new TLDs will have lower click-through rates (CTR), which could then over time mean they perform less well in rankings.

What do you think of these findings on new domains? Does it surprise you that 70% of people in the UK do not trust new domain extensions?

WordPress angers .BLOG customers with BS Changing Rules

blog domain

Automattic, through it's subsidiary company Knock Knock Whois There, is angering many potential .BLOG customers with changing the rules for the new domain extension.

No .BLOG for You!

Apparently many people that applied early to get a .BLOG domain found they were out of luck.  Automattic, the company that runs WordPress, decided to change the rules through the Landrush phase of .BLOG's release.

The issue is that many people applied early and directly with .BLOG and Automattic to get a .BLOG domain name. To be first in line to get the .BLOG domain you really wanted you need to pay a $250 application fee and a $30 a year domain registration fee.

If there were multiple people that applied for the same .BLOG domain, those were supposed to go to auction.  Here is a nice video explanation of how Landrush is supposed to work.

What's .BLOG's Landrush Phase?

However it didn't work like this. Chris Schidle documented his frustration with .BLOG and Automattic in a blog post “The .blog Bait & Switch“.

About Reserved Domains

WordPress and Automattic are clearly getting a lot of complaints on the .BLOG Landrush process.  It made them, of course, write a blog post “About Reserved Domains” about the situation.

They start off by defending themselves;

As we move forward on the road to General Availability, which will start on Monday, Nov 21st at 15.00 UTC, we’d like to take a moment to explain the process behind the decision to activate domains in our Founder’s Program while reserving some others.

Founder Program, or Qualified Launch Phase (QLP)

As a registry, we had the option to activate up to 100 domain names, either for our use or to give to third parties to promote .blog.

We offered some these domains to third parties, and you can see a showcase of these sites on our Founders page. We also decided to offer a list of 25 very generic domains to WordPress.com, so that they could be shared for free among millions of users instead of being owned by single entities.

This essentially means they want to subdomain these .BLOG domains for use on WordPress. For instance I can blog on – adamisreallreallycool.wordpress.com. They want to offer the same option for .BLOG domains. So I could blog using a .BLOG domain such as – AdamHasGreatTastein.Music.Blog – using WordPress Multsite.

Reserved Domains

Reserved domains are domain names that are not registered, and cannot be registered until released. As a registry, we can decide to reserve as many domains as we want.

We reserved all one-, two- and three-character domains from being registered by anyone and will probably release them in the future. In addition, we allowed employees of our parent company, Automattic, many of whom are bloggers and passionate about blogging, to reserve a single domain each, some of which were first names.

In plain English what they meant to say, “F*ck that you paid $250 we don't care, we are playing favorites and reserving what we want.”

Many of Automattic employees are grabbing first names which many people paid $250 for and were the only application. Even if Worpdress/Automattic had no other applications if someone within the company wanted it, you got screwed.

The blog post continues to explain how dealing with new domains means you get F*cked.

Landrush Applications

Many registrars started taking pre-registrations for the Landrush period as early as last August. We do realise that some users were disappointed when they discovered that the domain names they had applied for were in fact attributed as part of the Founder’s program, or reserved, and wouldn’t be possible to register or auction at the end of Landrush.

We want to charge ridiculous premiums for these .BLOG domains. Why would we let someone who got in line early get it for $250 plus $30 dollars?

We would like to apologise to these users, but as the lists of Founder domains and Reserved ones weren’t final until just before Landrush, we couldn’t communicate them to registrars in advance (there is nothing registrars hate more than ever-changing lists of reserved domains).

We don't know what we are doing and F*cked up. Instead of admitting a mistake and letting good people get the domains we want, we are playing games.

In addition, domains were removed as well as added to the lists, and we didn’t want to take the risk for registrars to refuse applications in September for domains that would be released in October.

To mitigate the downside of such uncertainty, we structured our fees in a way that registrars are charged only for successful registrations, giving them the opportunity to refund their clients in full for failed applications.

We are changing the rules for .BLOG at will. This will continue so we can make as much money as possible to recoup the $19 – $20 million ICANN extorted from us for rights to sell .BLOG domains.

Pretty much most people that got in early to get a .BLOG domain found they were completely out of luck. They just wasted time and money with WordPress and .BLOG.

Chris's story is quite popular on Hacker News at the moment.  A user by the name of Charles A Finley (a reference to show Burn Notice) commented;

I had this happen to me as well. I registered a domain directly with get.blog on the day that they first started accepting pre-registrations. I got an email a couple of days ago saying that I would be getting my money back, nothing about an auction. I asked for details because I too was expecting an auction. My response also came from the same guy (“Ran”) who said that it wasn't available when my “application” was processed.

The twist in this case? The domain I applied for is now pointing directly towards WordPress.com. So get.blog, owned by parent company Automattic, took the domain which had been made available for the public, and gave it to WordPress.com. I wonder what ICANN will have to say?

SHADY AF.

.BLOG WILL Fail

Making potential early customers anger about the process is a recipe for your new domain extension to fail.  I already shared my thoughts on Matt Mullenweg promoting .BLOG.

It seems that Automattic is getting desperate and trying to squeeze as much profit out of .BLOG as possible.

This just shows how new domain companies are changing the rules as they go screwing potential customers.  Automattic and .BLOG are no different peddling complete and utter B*llSh*t!

WordPress and .BLOG are not going to reach that 250,000 domain registration goal they set for 2016.  At this rate they will not even reach 100,000 with only a few weeks left in the year.

.BLOG is going to fail like many new domain extensions. We've already seen that over 70% of new domains are parked and that number keeps growing.  NameCheap stopped supporting .XYZ domains, and NameCheap has over 1 million .XYZ domains under management. That's just insane.

What do you think of these .BLOG and new domain shenanigans? How do they expect to grow domain registrations and usage when they treat potential customers like this?

68% of Australians prefer .AU Domains for Aussie Websites [VIDEO]

australia flag

The AusRegistry and the .au Domain Administration (auDA), the organizations that handle the .AU domain space, recently released a survey on how Australians feel about domain names.

Unsurprisingly it found that a majority of Australians prefer a .AU domain name when setting up a website. Roughly 68% said so in the survey out of over 3,000 asked.

.AU Survey Findings

  • 58% of domain holders surveyed have a .au domain name.
  • People chose to register a .au domain name because it is the ‘most popular domain type in Australia’ and ‘best represents Australian organisations’.
  • .au domains are mostly used for a business website and email.
  • More than 80% of respondents used social media. Facebook remains the top choice at 69%.
  • 38% buy a domain name when they have an idea for a business
  • Australian businesses that do now own a domain name and previously expressed ‘no need’ to hold a domain name dropped from 67% in 2015 to 52% in 2016
  • The gender gap of women .AU registrants is closing, women account for 47% of domain holders. Compared to 44% in 2015 and 43% in 2013.

When Australians were asked,  “Who wants to expand their online presence?” the .AU survey found;

  • 39% of businesses without a domain name
  • 21% of people without a domain name
  • 22% of people with a social media presence
  • 7% of people without a social media presence

When asked Australians were asked, “How do you choose your a domain name provider?” The response;

  • 22% through a web design agency or firm
  • 24% through using a search engine
  • 18% through a personal recommendation

So how does the other 36% decide? I imagine they already have a domain name registrar they use.

When survey respondents were asked, “Why do you choose .AU?” the response was;

  • 47% said it best represents Australian organisations (or organiZations in America)
  • 19% value for their money
  • 58% think it is popular in Australia
  • 22% Trust the .AU domain extension

You can view the .AU inforgraphic here.  In addition you can download the and read and the full report in AusRegistry's Behind the Dot issue.

Australians have a close bond to .AU

In the United States the .US domain extension isn't a popular country code.  While in Australia .AU is a big deal and it seems this survey backs that up.

.AU recently celebrated it's 30th anniversary with over 3 million .AU domains registered.  AuDA plans to introduce direct .AU domain registrations in the future.  Currently .AU registrations are only allowed in .COM.AU, .NET.AU, .ORG.AU, etc. Here is a good video explaining how the .AU domain name space works if you are unfamiliar.

We've already seen Nominet introduce direct .UK domain registrations and New Zealand do the same with .NZ domains.  Will Australians take to direct .AU domain name registrations? We will see but the AusRegistry and auDA have only said it's coming not when direct .AU domains will be released.

What do you think of these .AU survey findings? Surprising or unsurprising? Did the .AU domain survey miss anything important?

.au Survey 2016 finding released [Press Release]

A survey of more than 3,000 respondents has revealed more than two-thirds would register a .au domain if setting up a new website.

AusRegistry and the .au Domain Administration (auDA) have today released the findings of the fourth annual .au survey, used to gauge Australian sentiment towards the .au namespace and how people interact with it.

This year’s findings support previous results as well as presenting shifts in sentiment and domain adoption.

AusRegistry Senior Director George Pongas said the survey was designed to better understand the Australian Internet user and their relationship with the .au domain namespace.

“It is not surprising that in its 30 years of operation, .au has become one of the most established and successful ccTLDs,” Mr Pongas said.

“As a namespace it not only sits as one of the most popular ccTLDs, having ranked in the top ten for domains under management for a number of years, it is a namespace that continually strives to innovate and to safeguard its users.

“On behalf of AusRegistry I would like to thank auDA and the Australian Internet community for their support and assisting us with this important research into the .au namespace.”

auDA CEO Cameron Boardman said a thorough understanding of market place needs and regular tracking of how to meet the expectations of stakeholders were central to the future strategic plans for auDA and the .au domain namespace.

“The .au research findings, conducted by AusRegistry, constitute some of the tools we reference, when we review and aim to improve the services we deliver to the Australian digital community,” Mr Boardman said.

“It’s an important time in the .au landscape. Continuing to seek feedback which can offer us a more comprehensive insight, will be critical for the ongoing success and relevance of .au.”

The .au survey was conducted in July 2016 and received a total of 3,011 responses.

Questions were based on previous surveys and covered the major themes of Demographics, Online Behaviour and Communications, Online Presence, Australians and Domains, and Australians and .au Domains.

Over 70% (18 million) New Domains are Parked

new domains

According to NtldStats.com, a website that tracks new domain extensions, over 70% of new domains that have been registered are now parked. That equals over 18 million domain names out of the 25 million that NtldStats says are currently registered.

The 18 million new domains that are parked are notable.  Why? The rate of new domains being parked has been going up at a much faster rate than usual.

On October 25th there were about 13 million estimated new domains that were parked according to NtdlStats. In roughly 3 weeks that number has increased by almost 5 million domains. This means per week there have been 1.5+ million parked domains added… and counting.  That is a large jump in a short period of time and something that should be concerning to new domain registries, domain investors, and people and businesses uses new domain extensions.

NtldStats basically considers the “Parking” section to show domains that are registered but not in use. There could be a number of reasons for a domain to be considered parked by NtldStats.  Parking domain name servers, parking IP address, domains with no DNS records, domains with no name servers, etc.

What's odd to me is that back in July of this year there was a similar jump in parked new domains. The new domains that were parked jump from roughly 12 – 13 million up to 16 – 17 million parked domain names. It came down a couple months ago and then suddenly jumped back up again.

Why this has happened I don't know. Whatever the reasons it is definitely not a good sign for new domain extensions. While some new gTLD advocates might point to the 7 million new domains that are not parked, that isn't a good number either. Most of those 7 million domains in my opinion are used for spamming.

I interview an IT manager at a company that said he blocked ALL new domains from the company's email. Why? They only got spam.

Eli the Computer Guy also tells his great story of how used a .INFO domain, that .INFO domains never caught on, and nobody undestands them. Nobody else has pointed this out but several years ago .INFO has just under 8 million domains registered. Today that number stands at 5.4 million and continues to drop. New domains will follow a similar path.
Even if we looked at the supposedly strong new domain extensions, same percentage is parked. What do I mean by “strong”? Those new domain company's that have NOT heavily discounted first year registrations and done focused marketing. For instance .CLUB, considered the poster child by some for new domains, has 73% parked domains.  That's 630,000 parked .CLUB domains out of 836,000 registered.

None of this looks good when the claim is these new gTLDs are for businesses to use because of a dearth of .COM availability.  Screw new domains, bottom line… they are NOT working.

What are your thoughts about 70% of new domains being parked?  Do you think that going up to 18 million parked domains in a short period of time is odd?  Will parking new domains become more popular? Will the numbers go even higher?

.US Whois Privacy is in the Works

american flag

Neustar, the domain registry for the .US domain extension, intends to introduce whois privacy for .US domains.

The announcement came during the .US TownHall that Neustar recently held. It was one of several talking points during the TownHall webcast.  From what Neustar representatives said during the last .US TownHall it was the most requested action that Neustar take with .US domains. In addition Neustar said during the .US TownHall they get requests from customers and registrars to add a whois privacy option for .US domains all the time.

Currently whois privacy, which shields domain registrants' information from the public, is not available for .US domains.  Many country code top level domains (ccTLDs) do not allow for whois privacy. The reason is that country domains, like .US, have specific requirements on who can register and own them. To make sure people and companies meet that criteria many ccTLD operators do not allow whois privacy.

Since whois data includes address information many people prefer to use domain privacy with their domain names.  Think of the whois database as somewhat similar to birth records or marriage certificates. Except people can access it digitally on a browser, which is great for spammers not for everyone else.

In recent years many other country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries have moved to start allowing for domain privacy.  Recently New Zealand's ccTLD .NZ made moves to roll out a whois privacy service for individual registrants.  The move to allow who is privacy seems partly due to all the new domain extensions that have been released in the last two – three years. New domain extensions allow for whois privacy.

Our neighbors to the north, Canada, with .CA have allowed private individuals to have whois privacy at the registry level for years.  Many other ccTLD registries have also allowed.

It should be noted that .US whois privacy policy is still being worked out. Neustar has to write up a proposal then sent it to the United States Department of Commerce, which contracts with Neustar to run the .US domain extension, for approval. It will happen at some point in the future but is likely a long way away. We are counting on a slow company and highly bureaucratic government organization to allow .US whois privacy.  It will obviously take awhile for this to happen. 🙂

Unlike .CA, which doesn't charge at the registry level for domain privacy, Neustar intends to make some money.  During the .US TownHall I was told they were thinking of charging between $0.50 cents – $1 dollar for .US whois privacy.  Neustar said they wanted to make a way for domain registrars that offer .US to make money and cover administrative fees.  I'm not sure if they intend to keep to the $$0.50 – $1.00 promise as stated in the TownHall. Honestly I doubt Neustar will keep it inexpensive. 

.US TownHall – IDNs and Premium .US Domains

Other talking points at the .US TownHall was the consideration of releasing International Domain Names (IDNs) for .US domains. This would mean what is to the left of the dot, the domain, could be other languages besides English.  I doubt this would be popular with .US domains but hey, Neustar wants to make more money.

Also Neustar is considering releasing 1 and 2 character .US domains at auction. I believe they are also considering releasing some premium .US domain names they own. Neustar holds back many premium words like Home.us, Domain.us, etc. When and if this will happen remains to be seen. I assume just like offer .US whois privacy they would have to ask the Depart of Commerce for permission first. I'm not entirely sure though.

.US Future

While I think moving to offer .US whois privacy is a great move for Neustar, the .US TownHall didn't leave me confident in the .US future.  Neustar claims they are hard at work promoting .US at code workshops, start-up events, and other places. They also pumped the marketing they have done for the .US domain space. 

Seems it is mostly “smoke and mirrors” as Neustar representatives proudly stated there are over 2 million .US domains registered. This was due to a recent promotion at a domain name registrar that offer .US domain registrations for only $0.10 cents. The .US domain grew by 300,000 domains in only a few days. This pushed .US domains over 2 million domain registrations but few of these domains are likely to be renewed. 

I asked how they intended to increase usage and registration numbers without running registration deals like this. The answer was mostly that those teaser first year registration deals are “common industry practice” and they were working on marketing at events. The .US stakeholder council and .US TownHall were designed to connect with the public. 

Still I doubt any of this is enough to catch up to other country extensions market penetration such as .UK (United Kingdom) and .DE (Germany). Both .UK and .DE are widely use and recognized in by citizens of Germany and the United Kingdom. Obviously the .US domain is not known by many Americans. The preference in America is .COM domains. 

Perhaps President Donald Trump will push Americans to adopt .US domains? That would be patriotic and “Make America Great Again”. Let just “Make .US Great!” Wishful thinking but anything is possible.
.US whois privacy is a great and positive move in my opinion by Neustar. I've had many people and clients say to me they might have registered a .US domain. They were turned off by the fact they couldn't use whois privacy though. It is a major drawback. 

What are your thoughts about .US and Neustar? Do you believe .US whois privacy is a positive move? What else should Neustar do to have .US get adopted on a wider scale?