Ranking high in search results should be every business owner’s top priority.
Not surprisingly, the main question with today’s new .brand top level domains is will they rank equally as well, or better than .com domains? Initially, there was a lot of uncertainty about search performance regarding .brand domains. However, Google has stated that they don’t offer any inherent SEO advantage, and keywords in a top level domain (TLD) do not give any advantage or disadvantage.
But not everyone is buying it. Trends are developing. Some of the world’s largest organizations are starting to change the way they build domain names and how they use them in their digital marketing efforts. There are nearly 600 .brand TLDs currently registered. Most of these organizations have not yet begun to use them, but there are several live examples already on the web. With a hefty price tag of approximately $200,000 USD, you can guess which types of organizations have gone with their own .brand TLD. More than 40 percent have been applied for by Fortune 500 companies. Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, Nike, BMW, and MLB are just a few of the corporate giants that are using .brand top level domains.
So if there is no apparent SEO benefit of having these .brand TLDs, then what’s all the hype about?
Why are these corporations spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on them? Despite what Google has said, a .brand TLD does have several benefits that make it an attractive option for businesses. Marketing becomes somewhat easier and more flexible. One example would be the ability to register whenever you want without fear that the name has been taken. It also allows companies to create endless second-level domains for campaigns and products with shorter and more memorable URLs. This flexibility is invaluable with today’s big corporations. The ability to avoid domain registration panic when releasing new products or campaigns is huge, and having a short, simple, meaningful URL is not only easier to remember, but it can improve click-through rates from link sharing.
Another great benefit of owning a .brand TLD is that it reinforces consumer trust. As the brand manages all second-level domains, only the brand itself can use their TLD. So any website with a .Nike extension is guaranteed to be the brand’s authentic website. This is particularly beneficial for brands that rely heavily on consumer trust, such as financial institutions. Lastly, creating micro-sites for new products or services becomes simplified and gives businesses the ability to personalize the experience of users landing on their site. A great example would be the .apple TLD. This allows Apple to control how they roll out their new products online, giving them a unique URL. Whenever the iPhone 9 comes out, the website will probably be www.iPhone9.apple.
For more on .brand TLDs, visit https://icannwiki.org/Brand_TLD