Corporations and organizations fell over one another to stake out the most desirable real estate in cyberspace when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers opened up the Internet's naming system for new additions in January. The scramble for new top-level generic domain names — these are the letters such as "com" or "org" that follow the last dot in an Internet address — only ended when the application window closed May 30. ICANN is the Internet's ruling body.
A study by Sedo, the Internet domain name marketplace and monetization provider, revealed that the most sought after domain extension is .SHOP. Sedo’s research was based on the nearly 2,000 applications ICANN has received from organizations seeking new domain extensions that will join .com, .net, .org and 18 other suffixes that already exist.
Among the other most-wanted extensions were:
Obtaining the custom domain extensions for a website won't come cheap. The cost involved in the new top level domains process includes an $185,000 application fee, a $25,000 annual fee and any operational costs that will be assumed by the recipient of the registry.
Additionally, Sedo reports that any domain extensions receiving multiple applications could go to auction, further driving up the cost.
When determining if the cost of a new domain extension brings equivalent value, Thies Lindenthal, product manager for domain pricing strategies at Sedo, believes businesses should evaluate their fundamental strengths in a similar way to how domain names are traditionally priced.
Among the factors Lindenthal advises companies to consider are the number of applicants for the new domain, the number of Google searchesfor keywords or terms within the new domain, the expected cost-per-click of online advertisements that include the domain as a keyword and the number of registered .com domains that include the domain at the end of the keyword, such as MyShop.com as compared with My.Shop.
"Many factors make domains unique and difficult to compare side by side, but analyzing hundreds of thousands of domain transactions on Sedo's marketplace — and applying real estate pricing methodologies — has provided significant insight into the factors that determine domain value," Lindenthal said.
BusinessNewsDaily Senior Editor Ned Smith Contributed to this article.