Two things that new TLDs definitely won’t “solve”

They won’t put a noticeable dent in phishing, nor will they alleviate the scarcity of good (.com) domain names.

There are a lot of benefits that new top level domain supporters say the web will realize when new TLDs are released.

Let me start by saying that I’m not really opposed to new TLDs at this point. They’re coming. It’s time to embrace it and the opportunities they will create.

But I get very frustrated when I see people espousing so-called benefits to new TLDs that simply don’t make sense. Not all new TLD backers make these claims, but I see them repeated often. Here are two that get my blood boiling because they’re flat out wrong.

“New top level domains will eliminate/significantly reduce phishing.”

The theory here is that people will know the web site they’ve landed on is trustworthy because of the top level domain. For example, I’ll know a Citibank web site is legit because it’s at .citi, not (which may not actually be a Citi site).

The problem with this argument is that most people who fall for phishing attacks don’t realize what domain they’re on anyway. Phishing emails typically trick the user in one of two ways. They either create a URL that’s similar to the brand (such as a typo) or they mask the URL in a link.

So now let’s say .citi is available. Will the same people that today fill out a phishing form at suddenly stop getting duped? Not a chance.

“People will no longer have to register bad web site names like

This is commonly argued as “all the good domain names are taken; new TLDs will alleviate this scarcity”.

And it’s a load of B.S.

There’s no scarcity of available domain name. Let me repeat that: there are plenty of good second level domains available.

Where there’s scarcity is in available .com domain names. And that won’t change with new TLDs. could have hand registered a better second level domain name in many other extensions, but it believed it needed a .com domain name.

Consider the facts:

There are 100 million registered .com domain names.

As of the end of May there were 8.2 million registered .info domains, 2.3 million .biz domains, and 15.1 million .net domains. .Co has about 1.3 million registered. .Me is under one million.

That means there are over 90 million domain names already registered in .com that people haven’t bothered with in .info. About 100 million .com domains that aren’t registered in .biz, .co, .me, etc.

There’s no scarcity in good second level domain names. There’s only scarcity in second level domains under .com.


  1. says

    To make a TLD acceptable replacement for a .com requires marketing, and a cool string.

    .biz and .info missed the boat, but .me and .co have had decent progress with startups.

    Remember also, the idea with new gTLDs is that you have a LOT of them, so that people start paying more attention to the TLD. That’s the only way to break the .com mindshare stranglehold, and it won’t happen overnight.

    • says

      @ Kevin Murphy – I thought about mentioning your last point. Maybe in 10 years there will be some validity to the claim…but most people pitching it pretend that it will change overnight.

  2. Dylan says

    On the topic of scarcity, I might remind all that country code TLD’s were not mentioned here – even in the larger one’s such as .de for Germnay and .uk for United Kingdom there is still plenty of space. Remember, not everyone lives in the US 😉

  3. Duane says

    Learn what happens when things are built with no purpose.

    Airports with no passengers, streets with no cars, housing with no population, museums wih no visitors. Equals NO SALE, meaning no reason of existance!

    Ghost town ( Ghost TLD’S)

    With an expanding district due to economic exploitation of the local natural resources, but dwindling water supplies due to the continual expansion of the Ordos Desert, Ordos officials were faced with a local infrastructure planning problem. Hence in 2003, Ordos city officials launched the creation of a new 1 million person city district. Located on a 355 square kilometres (137 sq mi) site 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the existing city of Dongsheng, the new city is located next to three existing reservoirs on the site of two former villages.

    “Kangbashi” was made world famous by a news report in November 2009 picked up and expanded through an April 2010 article in Time magazine, for having few residents but massive amounts of empty residential housing and high-tech public works projects. Subsequent reports have supported the claims that Kangbashi only presently houses around 20,000 to 30,000 people which are only there because they are being payd by the government for maintnance of the parks no one visits, the streets no one drives and buildings no one lives in.

    Try to invent something no one realy needs and you have a city with no traffic!

  4. says

    Lance Howard on CNN was jumping out of his shoes over banking TLDs yesterday.

    10 years, no way.

    A billion dollars of marketing will pour into new extensions over the next three years. Billboards in Times Square, neon lights in Vegas. TV, magazines, online ads, bus stops, taxi signs. Brands and Google moving to the right of the dot. Consumers are going to be hit in the face with notcoms unlike anything before. Awareness and mindshare of the top level will happen quickly. Vertical integration is a game changer.

    Marketing specifically targeting those the extension is intended for.

    Nobody NEEDS cars in any color but black, but they sure WANT red, blue, gray etc.

    Every artist in the world will want their online address to end with .art. It is how they define themselves, it’s Who they Are. .com is not an acceptable substitute for .art for them.

    There will be mass confusion for a short while, then people will adapt, we always do.

  5. says

    @Murphy – “.biz and .info missed the boat, but .me and .co have had decent progress with startups.”

    The above statement is not accurate. .biz and .info have much larger footprints and general use pattern than either .me or .co.

  6. Duane says

    “There will be mass confusion for a short while, then people will adapt, we always do.”

    Yeah and I also here people are patriotic and thats why the.NYC will do great.

    Funny thing is, because every american and there grandmother are so patriotic and also adapt?! The .US extension took off like a supersonic rocket. :-)

    Just like .biz .tel .mobi .travel .pro and all that other BS.

    Nobody adapts to any market or business. People rule markets and they also rule every business. So to be clear it is exactly the opposite. Markets adapt to the need of customers.

    I personally woud like for new GTLD’s to take off because that means new oppertunity, but I am afraid it is going to be one of the largest money burning machines to date.

    Billions down the gully. Just like the 169 Billion Dollar city of “Kangbashi”. Great new housing and business buildings, but no business wants to open doors because there is no traffic on the streets.

  7. says

    “Dotless” still takes the cake! Many that believe dotless is the future for new TLD extentions. Dotless solves all of the major growing concerns consumers have, such as too much bandwidth / download usage and intrusive advertising. The bottom line is that consumers are paying extra monthly fees to internet service provides because they go over their data plans because of all the unnecessary junk they are subjected too while connected to the internet.

    See it all and save!™ | .LESS

    Check out my website and LinkedIn page for more info

    Aaron Pace

  8. FarmerJohn says

    “Every artist in the world will want their online address to end with .art. It is how they define themselves, it’s Who they Are. .com is not an acceptable substitute for .art for them.”

    What defines an artist is his/her body of work and not some lame generic TLD.

    Maybe you meant “Every hack in the world.”

  9. says

    I agree with you that there are plenty of great domains out there still available to register in respected TLDs.

    Just be creative with what you’re looking for and be prepared to move away from .com!

    I think phishing could be significantly improved though, partly because all the banks will be hammering their new security measures (provided by their .brand) in all their marketing channels. Hopefully public awareness will be high enough to produce a significant reduction. I fully expect this advertising to happen. If it doesn’t I fear you may be right!

  10. Typo Pete says

    Do the math:

    More TLD’s + fatter surfers.fat fingers + more mobile devices with tiny keyboards = more typos

    It’s not going way. It’s going to get worse.

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