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September 17, 2014

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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.

Busy Release Week for New gTLDs Crests With 8 More Arriving Today - Meanwhile New Study Matches New gTLDs Against .Com in Search Engine Marketing Test

We've gotten used to seeing Donuts, the largest operator of new gTLD registries, open general availability for multiple extensions every Wednesday and today is no exception with .loans, .life, .guide and .church all making their debut. However, Donuts has plenty of company today with Radix Registry rolling out .website, .press and .host and the Rightside registry introducing .republican.

Today's entrants follow eight others that opened to all earlier this week, including six TLDs from Minds+Machines; .cooking, .country, .fishing, .horse, .rodeo and .vodka. Afilias joined in with .organic (though registrants must meet special requirements to purchase those) and - in one of the most highly anticipated launches of a new city TLD -  .Vegas Inc. lauched .vegas amid much fanfare in Las Vegas.

Loans, .Life, .Guide and .Church
Loans, .Life, .Guide and .Church

With so many entering the fray at once, diving into a sea already filled with hundreds of other new gTLDs and hundreds more still to come, it is, of course, getting harder and harder for any single extension to stand out in the ever growing crowd. Each release has been a long time coming, so there is no doubt that the introduction of each one is an exciting event for the registry operator, but each one also presents them with an extremely difficult challenge - how do you break through the clutter those on the outside see? It's certainly a day for them to celebrate but the real work is just getting started. 

Study image from Bigstock

Most agree that the key for new gTLDs will be widespread development in the new extensions. The more end user sites that come online, the more the public will recognize there are alternatives to .com.  Naturally a business is going to be reluctant to use a new gTLD if they think it will hurt them in search engine ranking or marketing. That makes a new research paper - called Search Engine Marketing Study: .Com Vs. New gTLDs - that Globe Runner, an interactive marketing firm based in Dallas, Texas, just released particularly interesting.

In a blog post about the study, author Bill Hartzer, a well-known SEO expert, wrote in his final thoughts, "Our overall goal when 

setting up these tests was ultimately to determine whether using a .Com domain name or a new gTLD domain name is better when it comes to search engine marketing and Google AdWords. We are not totally convinced that one is necessarily “better” than the other."

"What we did see, though, is that Google AdWords tends to favor the new gTLDs, as they served up more impressions, for less cost, and a better average position then the .Com domain names we used. At the same time, though, when it came to conversions, the public appeared to favor the .Com domain names," Hartzer wrote.

If you scroll to the bottom of Bill's blog post you can download the full white paper there. It includes all of the data Globerunner compiled, including the actual CTR, CPC, budget, and even the keywords that we used during the tests.

(Posted Sept. 17, 2014) 

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