The Demise Of .gb.com And Why UK Businesses Should Avoid Pseudo Domain Names
What are the worst possible domain name extensions for a UK business? Pseudo domain names.This month we received an email from a business owner whose website and email accounts disappeared overnight. Not good news for any business.
Our first thought was that she had simply not renewed her domain name, but that wasn't the case. Instead, her chosen domain name extension - .gb.com - had ceased to exist.
This wasn't totally unexpected. In May, 2016, Centralnic announced that it would be sunsetting a number of domain name extensions including .gb.com.
This meant that from July, 2017, new registrations would not be permitted.
More importantly for existing .gb.com users, renewals would not be permitted either.
What has to be remembered is that the likes of .gb.com aren't true domain names. Instead you are buying and using a sub-domain. In the case of .gb.com, the true domain name is .gb.com (as in www.gb.com). Anyone buying a domain name with the .gb.com extension is really just buying a sub-domain of .gb.com (as in www.example.gb.com).
Domain names like .gb.com and .uk.com have never been widely used because they are not true domain names and because they cause confusion with customers who are far more familiar with .co.uk and .com domain names. Indeed, many pseudo domain names like .gb.com look like typos and the danger is that any marketing spend simply drives traffic to more familiar domain extensions.
Unexpected or not, any business that has invested time and money in a pseudo domain name like .gb.com is now left having to rebuild their online profile on another domain name. That can be an expensive and time-consuming business.
Centralnic has offered to move customers to other unfamiliar or pseudo domain names that are not being sunsetted, including .xyz and .co.com, but our advice to any business reeling from this online disaster is to move to a top level / relevant country code domain name that is widely recognised and will not simply vanish overnight.
For UK businesses the choice is clear. Nominet research has shown time after time that UK customers prefer .co.uk over all over domain name extensions by some margin.
Second choice would be a dotcom, particularly if you have international ambitions, but even then, owning the .co.uk will benefit the UK side of your business.
Here at Brandwise, we are more than happy to help any .gb.com refugees find a permanent home that will allow their business to thrive and prosper online. As well as the thousands of domain names listed for sale here, we can use our network of domain industry professionals to secure domain names for sale elsewhere at the best possible price.
Just get in touch via our contact page with your needs and we will see how we can help.
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