A New Domain for the Racing Industry
by Kevin Hofer
In just a few short days, a new top level domain (TLD) becomes available, and we wanted to make sure you were aware of this opportunity. When it becomes available for registration on August 5, 2015, the .RACING top-level domain will offer teams, drivers, tracks and other related businesses and organizations an opportunity to establish a unique online identity.
What are TLDs?
As a bit of background, Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the last segments of domain names … the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address. These are the endings to website addresses such as .com, .edu, .org, etc. Up until now, these were all handled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a private non-profit corporation. In 2014, this was opened up such that entrepreneurs could create their own TLDs. There are now, more than a thousand top level domains for internet addresses.
Why are there new TLDs?
In short, to give people more naming options. Many of the most valuable domain names are already taken. For this reason, website owners are often forced to make up names for their site just to find an available option. With the release of the new TLDs, website owners now have a chance to register a domain that may more closely aligns with their site and business. Many of the new TLDs are specific to industries or locations, which not only helps communicate to people exactly what the site is about, it also makes it easier for visitors to remember.
What is the .RACING domain extension?
The .RACING domain is a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) which will be released by the internet's governing body ICANN as one of the many domain alternatives to the existing .COM, .NET or .ORG suffixes.
When can I buy a .RACING web address?
.RACING domains will be available for registration on August 5, 2015
How much will it cost?
The cost to register a domain name varies bases on the registrar. Note that there is a specific process that governs the registration of these new top level domains. Please see the FAQs from some popular registrars for more information:
What does this mean for you, and what should you do next?
There are now over 1,400 themed top-level domains available for registration. From .accountants, to .restaurant, businesses now have many options when it comes to securing a domain name - and managing their brand online over the longer term. But does that mean you SHOULD register a .RACING domain for YOUR business? Here are some important factors to consider before making that decision:
The .com domains still dominate
The general web browsing public places the most amount of trust in domain names that end in .com. The .com domains, along with .edu, .org, .gov and - to an extent - .net domains, are familiar to consumers, and with that familiarity comes trust. On the other hand, domains that consumers are not familiar with provoke suspicion and concern. Consumers are less likely to engage with a brand and visit a website at a URL they are not comfortable with.
It's worth noting that, generally speaking, consumers have little enthusiasm for new top-level domains. According to a study from The Future Laboratory, of the people polled "28% would be wary of domains ending with .theirprofession. Just 15% thought this sort of suffix would be appealing".
Impact on digital marketing
From a digital marketing standpoint, of primary concern is how a new gTLD can effect SEO. There are a number of factors to consider here (domain age, key words, etc.), but in the end the net result seems to be neutral. Meaning there is no distinct advantage of a new gTLD over an existing one. But that doesn't mean a new gTLD won't rank well in search results. If you want to register a new domain for other reasons, that's fine, but you should not expect to register a gTLD for the sole purpose of boosting your search engine ranking.
Protecting your brand
In our view, one of the primary reason to secure a .RACING domain is to protect your brand online. Securing your desired domains keeps them out of the hands of squatters and cyber scammers that may try to leverage your brand equity for their own purposes.
Having said that, due to the proliferation of these gTLD's, the brand protection exercise can get expensive. While existing domains (i.e. .com, .edu, .org, etc.) are relatively inexpensive - most can be obtained for less than $10/year - new domains cost quite a bit more. As of this writing, the cost of a .RACING domain renewal is $39/year.
Ready to acquire your .RACING domain? Have questions about the process? Contact us today for more information.