Let’s Talk XYZ Domains – To pick or not?

Let’s Talk XYZ Domains – To pick or not?

This Blog is an in-depth review of the XYZ Top Level Domain and how it measures up against the rest of the market

The first thing a viewer will notice on this website, is that we have gone with a XYZ domain instead of the traditional .com domain. So, what was behind that decision? Before we dive into the pros and cons of the XYZ domain, let’s try to understand what XYZ domain is all about.

The .com, .in or the end part of a website name is what we call a Top Level Domain (TLD). Earlier, there used to be eligibility requirements for using a certain type of TLD but now businesses use TLDs that best suit their purposes and the distinctions are fast going away. When it comes to websites, we take .com as the default TLD in our minds – mainly cause 46.8% of all websites use .com as their TLD and its visibility has made it synonymous with being kind of the default TLD.

So why the need for new TLDs?  

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names routinely releases new TLDs based on different criteria because despite the Internet being infinite, Internet real estate – website names are not. According to a study, 99% of name queries for .com return an ‘already taken’ message.

XYZ is a Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD). According to the official statements. XYZ is for the Generations X, Y, and Z – A web address for people of every generation.  According to Daniel Negari, the creator of the XYZ domain

We [the next generation of internet entrepreneurs and innovators] deserve the chance to have a short, memorable, and affordable domain name too

As much as it is informative to know about the history of the XYZ domain, what a person or company looking to buy a xyz domain would be looking for – Should I buy a XYZ domain with a short website name or should I stick to the .com domains, and find a workaround?

Let’s look at how XYZ has fared over the years and how much of internet rumors hold any truth to them.

XYZ has over 2.2 million websites to its and forms around 8.47% of the new gTLDs and 0.2% of the total TLD market size. On the other hand, COM domains form around 46.8% of the domain market with over 141 million websites to its names, and it is counting only the active websites. However, numbers alone do not paint the complete picture – taking things in proper context actually paints a bleaker one.

Given XYZ’s lower market share, it being used by fewer sites is the obvious conclusion but the surprising insight is that XYZ domains are infact used by mostly by Low Traffic sites.

XYZ real journey began when Google’s parent Company – Alphabet Corporation bought the abc.xyz domain name. Overnight, this translated into increasing XYZ domain registrations increasing from 3000 to 10,000. Combine this with a market penetration strategy where XYZ domains were being given out for very cheap prices and even for free, bundled with hosting plans. The result is clearly evident from the fact that more than 65% of the XYZ Domains are either parked domains or awaiting deletion. The rest don’t fare that well either – XYZ domains have become synonymous to Spam as these cheap domains were bought for next to nothing, and people wanted to take advantage of Alphabet using the XYZ domain. The extent of XYZ domains had reached to a point where webmasters had taken precautions of blocking all xyz domains from accessing their websites. Xyz domains have become link directories, spinner sites and myriad other black-hat churn n’ burn sites.

7.33% of XYZ Domains are Parked Domains and an interesting insight came to light – XYZ Domains actually consist of a large number of Premium Domains that have been parked with no development in sight.

Alphabet’s adoption of the XYZ Domain and marketing initiatives for XYZ Domains, let to the common misconception that the era of COM domains is over and XYZ is the next big thing.

This resulted in the unique opportunity for investors to buy up domain names that were not available with the older TLDs.

According to John Colascione, a sample of 100 premium XYZ domains rakes up $1,532,989.00 in domain sales with only 2 out of those being developed and 1 in the process.

We will never know why Alphabet went for the XYZ TLD but most assume it because abc.xyz is a play on their brand name and the frenzy created in its wake, actually resulted in XYZ being the 6th most popular TLD worldwide. The other contributing factor would be the dirt cheap prices of registering a XYZ Domain.

According to data available online, around 2600 XYZ domains rank in the Top 1 Million Websites i.e. 0.26% share – which actually correlates to its 0.2% market share in domains. Still, for most search queries on Google, you will hardly see any XYZ domains in the first page or even the first ten pages. This again boils down to the lack of XYZ domains with good content. A look at the most popular XYZ domains from a traffic perspective makes it clear –  Torrents, adult content, and piracy.

Torrents, Adult Content & Piracy – The XYZ Theme

There are also unverified reports of several advertisers not letting XYZ domains use their services to reach to their audience. Technically, there are no penalties for having a XYZ Domain when it comes to SEO and a well curated XYZ domain should be able to rank properly over other TLDs and many people have infact done that over the past 4 years. But here’s the DealBreaker – for every 1 person saying XYZ Domain are viable, there are a dozen others who say the opposite. At first sight this might not seem significant but it does make us wonder about the perception of XYZ domains in people’s minds.

Most people associate XYZ domains with spam filled, malware ridden traps and have a mindset of trusting .com domains over XYZ ones – getting people to click on a genuine XYZ domain may turn out to be a challenging ask. XYZ Domains can be registered from $0.65-$0.99 and but the Sunken cost may turn out to be way more. Saving a few dollars on domain name will be futile if that ends up ruining the website purpose in the end. One of the fundamental lessons of marketing is that changing perception of people is amongst the most difficult tasks.

So, the final verdict of whether to pick or not to pick a XYZ TLD –

Sometimes it’s better to take the safer path and stick with the crowd, avoid XYZ domains until the perception of the XYZ TLD being spam filled goes away.

However, given the dirt cheap prices of XYZ domains, it’s advisable to buy one for your brand name in case things change for the better in the future.

In case anyone is wondering about the irony of a Blog post on a XYZ domain advising against opting for a XYZ domain – We simply prefer a good challenge.

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