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What Are These New Domain Names You Speak Of?

December 12, 2012

There may be a lot of hype within the online industry with regard to new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), but the awareness hasn't trickled down to many consumers as yet.

Fairwinds Partners' white paper - 2013 : Year Of The Address bar states 74% of consumers surveyed had no idea the new gTLD program existed, and only 4% could successfully name one of the 1,400 plus potential new domain name extensions.

Furthermore, 44% of those surveyed believed new gTLDs either "probably or definitely" would cause confusion among ordinary users of the Internet. Just 27% of the respondents said the new gTLDs either probably or definitely would not cause confusion.

While after learning more details about how some of the proposed names would be used, the number who maintained the same belief of confusion being caused dropped substantially, still a full third felt the new extensions would still cause confusion.

Trust in new gTLD's also presented as being an issue. 

On average, 70% of respondents said they would trust branded gTLDs, while only just over half (51%) reported that they would trust generic-term gTLDs.

"This once-in-a-generation change to the Internet will thrust both brand owners and consumers alike into new and unfamiliar territory," states the report. "The existing body of knowledge and research about Internet navigation behavior thus far does not account for these upcoming changes."

Based on historical precedent, the white paper states "having a clearly defined purpose for how a gTLD will be used can increase the likelihood that consumers will trust that gTLD."

Fairwinds Partners' report is based on the results of a survey of 2,008 Internet users between the ages of 13 and 64.

2013: The Year Of The Address Bar can be should be noted that FairWinds Partners supply services related to the new gTLD program.

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