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Understandably, people are skeptical about the emergence of descriptive domain extensions, from travel to life. After more than two decades of navigating an Internet dominated by .com and .net top-level domains (TLDs), there have been mixed reactions to the upheaval in this familiar landscape, but fear and suspicion are not grounded in facts. It tends to stem instead from some common misconceptions.
Common misconceptions about descriptive domains
Even though more and more global brands and organizations are choosing meta domains for their websites, landing pages, products, marketing campaigns, and more, there are still a few misconceptions about meta domains that discourage companies from using them. Here are three we encounter often:
Misconception #1: Websites with meta domains are not as secure or reliable as websites with .com or .net domains. People are increasingly aware of the threats of phishing attacks, with 76% of businesses falling victim to such attacks in 2019. Depending on the length and specific characters of your domain name, there can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few million homogeneous variations of Your domain is available for fraudulent use in phishing schemes. But thanks to the new built-in monolithic blocking technology offered by some registries, purchasing a newly minted TLD can make your business more secure than choosing the old extension.
Misconception 2: Customers may be confused by descriptive domains. According to another misconception, people who aren’t tech-savvy don’t understand descriptive domains – and will automatically add .com to the end of a URL that contains one. But these days, most people go to websites by typing keywords (such as “Google Maps”) into a search engine – without remembering and spelling out the entire URL (such as “www.maps.google.com”) in their browser. While it is true that meta domains are fairly new and it will take time for everyone to get used to them, they are less likely to lead people to the wrong website.
Misconception 3: Domains with new extensions are bad for SEO. Unlike old misinformation, meta domains don’t damage your site’s SEO or quoting your search engine results page. In fact, Google says that all TLDs are equal in the eyes of search engines, making this claim 100% without foundation. With more new extensions available, a keyword-rich descriptive domain that isn’t hijacked by prefixes, hyphens, or misspellings can have a greater impact on SEO than its .com counterpart.
Related: Benefits of Using Multiple Domains for Your Business
Why do people resist descriptive domains?
If these claims aren’t true, how do they spread to such an extent? Throughout history, humans have always been slow to adopt new technologies.
It takes time for new ways of doing things to grow, and for the status quo to change.
E-commerce, for example, was introduced about 40 years ago in its earliest form, but it wasn’t until recently that it became a huge representation of shopping behaviour. In 2020 alone, more than two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, electronic retail sales exceeded $4.2 trillion worldwide.
However, companies are moving towards new domain extensions. A report published by NetNames found that 92% of large companies surveyed in the US, Britain, France and Germany already have or plan to invest in descriptive keyword domain names with extensions such as .studio or .life, over the next three years. The tide is starting to turn as business owners and entrepreneurs become aware of the many benefits that descriptive domains offer. It won’t be long until these domain extensions are all over the place.
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Accept descriptive field change
Descriptive domains are an increasingly popular choice for companies looking to create an authentic digital identity. In a crowded market, they are a very influential differentiator, standing out from competitors who use outdated traditional domain names.
Instead of settling for a second or third choice field, you can still choose from several descriptive fields relevant to your brand and business, just like voila.coffee or cove.cleaning. Where there was a dearth of field options, there is now an abundance.
Just as skeptics have come up with the usefulness of cell phones and electric cars, they’re gearing up into the meta domains — joining the thousands of business owners who are already using them to boost their brand. A number of leading companies, from Fortune 500 companies to startups, have already taken the first step in adopting new domain extensions. But, as with any technical innovation, the opportunity to enter the ground floor will not last forever. In time, you will be grateful that you captured yours when you did.
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