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With almost 400 million domains registered worldwide, there is no shortage of decent domain name registrations, especially with 1400+ new domain extensions to choose from and a speculation of more to hit the market beyond 2020.
There are approximately 145 million .com domains (~35%) registered worldwide. Most people will likely guess .net and .org to be respectively 2nd and 3rd in line behind .com, accounting for 5-10% of .com registrations. But believe it or not, both extensions are respectively 5th and 7th.
The general internet population, especially within the United States, is likely to be amazed that a majority of domains registered throughout the world are ccTLD domains — country code top-level domains.
ccTLD domains, specifically .us, .uk, and .il, were introduced back in 1985 with .au, .de, .fi, .fr, .jp, .kr, .nl, and .se making their debut in 1986.
Today there are more than 200 active ccTLDs a person can use when registering a domain name. In fact, I often encounter a variety of ccTLDs over the course of a given week as I make my rounds throughout Austin and read Austin-centric magazines.
A large percentage of ccTLDs are not available for global registration. Most ccTLD’s enforce restrictions upon registrants proving the legitimacy of residence in given country.
.tk (Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand), .de (Federal Republic of Germany), and .cn (People’s Republic of China) are respectively 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in line for number of domains registered.
However, .tk is a special case due to being able to freely register .tk domains with certain registrars, which drastically skews domain registration numbers. It is what it is, but worth noting when considering .tk stats.
Nevertheless, I’m reminded how much ccTLDs are adored over .com by way of a friend traveling throughout Europe. She sent us the following picks from her various stops. A love for ccTLDs and hyphens. I certainly didn’t see that coming, especially hyphens!
And sprinkled lightly, if I can even call it that, were a few hyphenated .com domains:
Then there was the sole .brussels street sign promoting its use:
While the use of ccTLD domains are quite common outside of the United States, I’m forever amazed to discover companies branding non .com domains, especially using the United States ccTLD: .us.
A few days ago, while in route to pick up a power strip for my office, I encountered a landscaping company rockin’ a .us address: UrbanDirt.us.
Likely using a .us to represent their presence as a company based in the United States, I thought this decision to be strange, especially considering the matching .org and .biz are available as are hyphenated .net and .com domains.
It wasn’t long after encountering UrbanDirt.us that I encountered a Youth Flag Football sign donning a .us domain: nsports.us.
While sitting at the red light pondering why in the world an organization would brand nsports.us, I discovered nsports.us is an abbreviation for Neighborhood Sports.
I soon quickly discovered nsports.com is registered, offered for sale by VIPBroker.com, and redirected to a Uniregistry landing page. nsports.net is available for $2500 while nsports.org — the better domain in my opinion — is hand-reg available.
And for good measure, I discovered NeighborhoodSports.com available for $1988. Although it’s a long domain name — 18 characters long, it and nsports.org could prove to be a good investments for brand protection, redirecting both to nsports.us, or simply developing a new brand presence using either.
The traffic light finally turned green, and off towards Lowes at 620 and 183 I traversed. Just as I was about to turn into Lowes, I saw yet another .us address on the side of an 18-wheeler: OriginAmericas.us.
Now what made this gem of a find truly bizarre is OriginAmericas.us and OriginAmericas.com didn’t resolve. Why? Well, both are available for hand registration (Yes, at this very moment of publication!).
I then searched Google, putting two and two together, discovering the parent company, Origin International, forgot to register either one. More interesting, they managed to purchase and redirect origin-americas.us to origin-international.us — their main web presence.
To make matters worse, origininternational.com is available to be inexpensively purchase for $2288. Talk about baffling!
How can an international oil recycling and terminal storage company, based in Baltimore, Maryland, leave the proverbial back door and windows open with said domains left available for anyone, including competition, to purchase for pennies on the dollar?
Think about it. OriginAmericas.us is being advertised throughout the US, if not globally, and nobody owns it. That’s FREE advertising. And there’s no telling how many missed opportunities of folks visiting OriginAmericas.us has produced. If I were the Head of Marketing for Origin, I’d dust off the ole’ resume.
Needless to say, I sat in the parking lot of Lowes in disbelief at such an act of negligence by a global company. I quickly snapped out of it, ventured into Lowes and retrieved the power strip for my office.
In route towards the office, I received a text from wife to stop and pickup an order of bbq from Rudy’s. By now, you oughta know I simply can’t go to Rudy’s without stopping to glance at the various domains being advertised via Rudy’s Bulletin Board.
As I awaited curbside arrival of bbq goodness, I quickly scanned and what do you know, I discovered two more .us domains being advertised: educandi.us and bibolove.us.
Of course I couldn’t help but to visit both websites as I patiently awaited the arrival of good ole’ brisket.
I soon discovered BiboLove.us stands for breathe in, breathe out love, and is the brainchild of Soyinka Rahim, a Grassroots Spiritual Practitioner. In addition, BiboLove.com is available for $2095, which can likely be a bit expensive when you’re a single-person entity.
Interestingly enough, I stumbled upon the available registration of Bibo.Love. Yes, there is a .love extension with more than enough to go around (sorry, couldn’t help it). I don’t recommend .love domains although a few brave souls have entered the waters.
As for Educandi.us, it’s an Austin-based boutique edtech advocacy and consultancy company. Not certain what all this entails, but I was stumped by educandi.us redirecting to Sites.google.com/view/educandi.
Wait, what? A technology company can’t get their web address right. Maybe I’m a bit too skeptical, but it doesn’t sit well that a tech company can’t get something as simple as their web address correct.
Either way, the matching .com is registered, listed for sale, and redirected to a Uniregistry Market page.
It wasn’t long before the bbq arrived curbside and I was back on my way to the house. However, I had one stop to make though before heading home, the office.
I arrived at the office, setup the power strip, and quickly discovered the french-based manufacturer of the power strip also donning a .us address when discarding the packaging: legrand.us.
I’m not one much on brands, especially when it comes to power strips, but I unknowingly grabbed a Legrand power strip.
Headquartered in Limoges, France with 37,000 employees throughout the world, I didn’t realize Legrand is a 6+ billion dollar company specializing in switches, electrical connectors and other circuit components, circuit breakers, electrical cabinets, conduits and other cable management products.
I was relieved when I typed in Legrand.com and it resolved to the companies main website. Not certain, but I believe Legrand.us is strictly a microsite for their US-based customers.
Much like Legrand, I certainly wish the aforementioned companies would have secured and, in some cases, still can secure their matching .com brand for a drop in the expense bucket.
It’s taken .com 30 years and counting to be the premium domain extension and preferred extension of millions of businesses and personal brands throughout the world. And for the foreseeable future, that’s likely not going to change anytime soon.
But hey, if you can’t get your .com or beat it, then I guess you have to settle and join the .us camp.