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September 30, 2013

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Verisign Research Says Small Businesses Still Prefer Websites to Social Media -  Meanwhile Sedo Study Sheds Light on Prospects for New gTLDs

A couple of new studies are out with findings that should be of interest to all domain investors. In one, released today, Verisign engaged Merrill Research to canvas more than 1,000 businesses scattered around the globe to see how they view the importance of having their own website vs. other popular marketing platforms like social media

The study (.PDF file) found that 72% percent of participants reported having a website to represent their businesses as their primary online presence. Social media, which some predicted might one day make domains irrelevant, was a distant second at 13%. 


65% of small businesses with an online presence said they elected to create a company website because it makes their company look more credible, and 60% said that a website is critical for a small company’s success. Overall, 82% of small businesses with an online presence would recommend investment in a website to other small companies in their industry. 

A few more interesting tidbits from the research:

          The preferred domain extension for small business is .com: In the U.S., nine out of 10 (89%) of small businesses with an online presence prefer a .com domain name for their company website. Globally, that number is 61% (ccTLDs are commonly used in many other countries).

          Small businesses have not caught up with the mobile trend: Globally, only 21% of small businesses with a website have a mobile version of their website.         

          Small businesses are missing out on inexpensive opportunities to claim their brand online: Overall, two-thirds of respondents said their small businesses are using a branded email address. Nine out of ten (92%) of these small businesses say they feel that branded email makes their business look more credible, yet the 63% without branded email (i.e., name@company.com) didn’t know it was an option for their company even if they do not have a website

The latter point indicates there is still a lot of room for growth in domain registrations, whether it be for email addresses only, or for fully developed websites. Clearly, domains are not about to diminish in importance any time soon. The report was accompanied by an infographic that you can see here (also in .PDF format).

In another study issued today, Sedo unveiled some new research they did into the prospects for new gTLDs. The report, Advertising and Marketing Industry gTLD Awareness Report (.PDF file), found overall awareness of ICANN's new gTLD program is lacking in the advertising and marketing industry, but, conversely,  the study indicated new web addresses will ultimately be successful

More than 360 individuals responsible for the advertising or marketing programs at their companies, or who work at advertising or marketing firms, were surveyed in August 2013, revealing that:

  • 54%  were unaware that new gTLDs will be introduced this year.

  • 62% felt that the introduction of these new web addresses would make the internet more confusing to navigate.

  • Even so, 64% believed that the use and adoption of new gTLDs would be ultimately successful, despite the initial confusion they may cause.

  • 35% said that the main advantage of new gTLDs would be an increased ability to secure a memorable website address, while 28% said that they would be persuaded to purchase one of these new web addresses for this reason.

There is much more information in the report including how the respondent ranked the individual new gTLDs chances for success. They deemed .app the most likely to be successful, followed by .inc and .shop. You can read the full report here.  

(Posted September 30, 2013)  

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