The Problem is Not Just The New gTLD Program... | DomainInvesting.com

The Problem is Not Just The New gTLD Program…

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Last month, a fake news report about Twitter appeared on a newly created website found on Bloomberg.Market. The website, created on a new gTLD domain name, had a design that apparently looked like the genuine Bloomberg website. The resulting confusion briefly caused a jump in the price of Twitter stock.

Shortly after this made the news, some people were quick to blame the new gTLD program. Yes, Bloomberg.Market was created using one of the new gTLD domain names, but no, I don’t think this is endemic to new gTLD domain names. I think this can be done on any domain name.

I just read an article on Boston.com about how The Harvard Lampoon pulled a prank on The Harvard Crimson using a .CO domain name. According to the article, “The photo, in which Trump is all smiles and thumbs up as he poses with some Ivy League students, was published to thecrimson.co, rather than the actual paper’s website, thecrimson.com, last Wednesday.” Just like the Bloomberg.Market situation, the .CO website “has the same layout and design as The Crimson’s website, and even links back to the different sections of the real Crimson.”

It’s not just new gTLD domain names or even ccTLD domain names that can be used for confusing pranks. As it stands right now, TheCrimson.org is available to register. Someone could have just as easily used that domain name. There are also plenty of HarvardCrimson, Harvard-Crimson, and TheHarvardCrimson domain name extensions available to register.

I guess the point I am trying to make and have said in the past, there are plenty of ways people can use all kinds of domain names for pranks, phishing, and for nefarious reasons. When something like Bloomberg.Market or TheHarvardCrimson.CO happens again, the news shouldn’t necessarily focus on the domain extension because this has been happening for a long time.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (16)

    John

    Some people need an “excuse” and opportunity to bash the new gTLDs.

    August 3rd, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Steve

    Wasn’t the entire new gtld program created to provide more “great” names to the public as “all” of the good .coms are apparently gone or too expensive???

    What a load of CRAP. All of the registries held back the “new premium names” for “premium” prices. How did that help the average internet user interested in finding an affordable exact match name????
    All or most of the traffic for the new extensions is/will BLEED TO THE .COM for years. Eventually they may get some traction but the public has had 20+ years of .com burnt into their heads. And on top of that there is a .com button on most phones!?!?!?! If you have deep enough pockets to wait it out then maybe but there are many dropping .com’s and cctlds that ARE worth $$$ and people actually visit/use them.
    I am sure people are still typing .com at the end of most of the new gtld’s.
    ie. NewYork.News will end up NewYork.News.com almost everytime for years.

    News.Club = News.Club.com

    News.Clothing = News.Clothing.com etc, etc, etc….
    pass the koolaid……

    August 3rd, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Ryan

      @Steve Did you seriously just argue that .com is here to stay because there’s a “.com button” on most phones? Nice flip phone reference, you seem to have a strong grasp on how technology evolves.

      7 million new TLDs have been registered since they were released last year, so I’d be interested to hear you elaborate on why Internet users are not finding value in them. Countless small business have embraced the new domains, and each week a different big brand announces they are ditching their .com in favor of a marketing friendly new TLD. And if you really think all the new domains redirect to .com, then do yourself a favor and check out Barclays.com.

      In reply to Steve | August 4th, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Quite a large % of that 7 million figure were free or super cheap though, so I don’t really think that number is all that meaningful.

      August 4th, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Steve

      “This will happen almost every time for the next 5+ years at least. imo.”

      Peruse the comments before you post Einstein. I posted this comment as well so obviously I see some value in some of the new extensions. I am just stating facts. 60%+ bleed. FACT. o.co to o.com.

      I don’t think most people have deep enough pockets to wait for them to get any investment value traction.

      In reply to Ryan | August 5th, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Steve

      I didn’t say redirect anything, I said Internet users mistakenly add .com on the end of everything. Nobody said anything about redirecting their new gtld to the .com.
      ??

      In reply to Ryan | August 5th, 2015 at 12:11 am

      Raider

      “Wasn’t the entire new gtld program created to provide more “great” names to the public as “all” of the good .coms are apparently gone or too expensive???”

      Did you get this from perception in our industry or did you read it somewhere? I myself never believed this. I think it’s naive for anyone to think the introduction of GTLD’s was to serve the public, when instead the full intent is to serve themselves. It’s nothing but a money grab by investors, lawyers, ICANN and whoever else has a hand in it.. I agree it will eventually DIE like so many other GTLD’s have, then we’ll see the release of NTLD”s, like domaininvesting.1, that’s next.

      In reply to Steve | August 5th, 2015 at 2:04 am

      Steve

      I was just regurgitating the misinformation that has been spewed by the gtld racketeers. Most of us know there are lots great names available still in .com and cctlds, many at very reasonable prices in the aftermarket.
      Some of the new gtld’s make sense and look great but my point is regardless of whether they make sense almost everyone on the planet with put a .com at the end of everything. It’s been proven with the o.co to o.com case.

      In reply to Raider | August 5th, 2015 at 9:58 am

    steve brady

    Precisely why URS is useless. Sites get deactivated within minutes when registars identify blatency. URS isn’t quick enough to rescue and only dispute resolution delivers the name.

    August 3rd, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    John

    Yeah I must admit holding back the best names is pretty bad and defeats the whole purpose to a large degree. Sad.

    Two times within around the last week I was exposing someone to a site on a new TLD. Both people said the exact same thing in almost the same words:

    “What, no .com on the end or something?”

    One was an employee in a Staples branch because I was having trouble navigating to the site with a certain smartphone model out on display. The other was a friend of mine I was giving the address to.

    Holding back so many of the best names defeats the whole purpose of eliminating “what, no .com on the end or something” from the public’s vocabulary, does it not? To a very large degree, as the poster above just pointed out, it’s “so much for second chances to get a great domain…”

    There’s another side to the coin, though. If all these top domains which have been held back were not held back, then we know what would have already happened, do we not? “Domain investors” and “domainers” would already have gobbled them all up themselves and hoarded them for sale at a premium instead of using them, would they not? So it would seem to be a rock and a hard place…

    August 3rd, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    John

    Maybe the answer is to release the “premiums” but lower the prices dramatically. Make the prices unattractive to “domain investors” and “domainers,” but still very affordable and attractive enough to end users to encourage them to take the plunge…? But how do you persuade someone to do that when they think they can get $xx,xxx to $xxx,xxx now, or some few years from now, regardless of how realistic that idea may be or how it may prevent awareness and demand from even happening?

    August 4th, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Domaining.today

    The premium prices are where they should be.

    To make them unattractive to domain investors, they would have to be 10x’s higher than they are now. And those with deep enough pockets would still make a play for the best names.

    The nature of the domain name game is to grab all you can afford as fast as you can, and wait for the unenlightened end-user to come calling.

    There’s nothing wrong with the way the new TLDs are being used. And in keeping with the topic of the post, .com isn’t immune from being used to abuse.

    August 4th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    John

    That doesn’t make any sense. The “domain investors” would already have opened their wallets then, the vendor shelves full of “premiums” would already be bare, and the “for sale” signs would already be up. You’re posting like some kind of cheerleader with a personal interest opposite to the new gTLD bashers, but as I have contended that kind of thinking is only going to work against the new TLDs. I actually want the new gTLD phenomenon in general to succeed and the best ones in particular to succeed, and I’m giving sound words about it. Digging one’s heels in about the hold-backs and the sky high pricing, and affordability and availability in general does not serve the cause of new gTLD success.

    August 4th, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Steve

    “Two times within around the last week I was exposing someone to a site on a new TLD. Both people said the exact same thing in almost the same words:

    “What, no .com on the end or something?””

    This will happen almost every time for the next 5+ years at least. imo. Click on my name and read the .co report. 60+% bleed!!!! ouch. facts are facts.

    August 4th, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Chris Maurice

    For all the pro arguments for GTLD, how many of them show up on the first page on Google, or the 2nd, for that matter?

    August 5th, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Christopher Hofman Laursen

    Hi Elliot,

    You will find this post at CircleID interesting, since it’s the same discussion. http://www.circleid.com/posts/20150715_new_gtlds_are_great_for_pump_and_dumps_phishes_and_more/

    With or without a new TLDs. There will always be ways to scam people.

    August 5th, 2015 at 3:34 am

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