Here's another opportunity to the U.S. to fall behind in innovation. Marketers and advertising professionals are far more skeptical about new domain extensions than other groups, including their peers in countries like China.
Some 75% of marketers in the U.S. said new extensions would make the Internet more confusing, a belief held by only 50% of total U.S. respondents and 43% of all respondents globally. A report from Sedo, a domain marketplace, released Monday at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) suggests that campaigns by groups like the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) against new domain names skew opinions.
The Sedo study queried 1,150 people in the U.S., Europe and China found the latter leads when it comes to awareness and knowledge of new domain extensions. In fact 54% of those surveyed in the U.S. are unaware ICANN has begun to release new domain extensions, while just 4% of people in China are unaware.
Most marketers think domain names should end in .com, rather than .google or .microsoft or even .buy. However, results show that 44.9% of those in the U.S. who participate in the study would click on a domain name with an extension they're not familiar with, compared with 27.3 who would not; and the remainder who are unknown. In England those numbers vary: 45.3, 17.3%, and 37.4%, respectively. In Germany the results were 46.1%, 20.6, and 33.3%, compared with 70.6%, 9.8%, and 19.6%, respectively.
The study suggests the domain extension could give searchers a better understanding of what to expect when they click-through to the Web site. Survey participants in the U.S., England and Germany responded "potentially," but the majority in China said "yes."
Some 72% of Chinese respondents to the study believe that the new domain extension will have a positive impact on the way search engines present results, whereas 30% of U.S. respondents think similarly.
If the study aims to identify
the level of importance that marketers, advertisers and brands in the U.S. place on domain names, as well as the possibility of companies in these countries expanding the market, I would say the
outlook looks poor. Nearly half of U.S. respondents said that domain names are "very important" to their business, but few are making efforts to build out Web pages based on alternative
"Colors Explosion" photo from Shutterstock.
Sedo is not exactly an impartial participant in this brouhaha.
You're correct, Ken, they're not, but when I presented this topic at the Search Insider Summit more than a year ago, it got a very similar response. Nothing has really changed from then until now. Companies/brands keep adding Web content under .com, but there's no real place for it to standout. It just keeps getting more crowded online. Then what?