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First company abandons .com for new dot-brand gTLD

Kevin Murphy, September 12, 2014, 20:55:04 (UTC), Domain Registries

Wow. Somebody actually did it.

CITIC, China’s biggest conglomerate, has started redirecting its established .com domain to its new dot-brand gTLD, .citic.

Specifically, it’s redirecting citic.com (go on, click it!) to limited.citic.

Almost everyone reading this post will agree that as a memorable, attractive domain it’s a step backwards.

But CITIC does seem to be the first dot-brand to make the leap from .com to dot-brand with both feet, and it seems to have done so with little to no penalty to its Google ranking (at least as far as searches for its company name go).

A Google search for “citic” here returns limited.citic as the third result, behind Wikipedia and one of CITIC’s sister companies.

The original citic.com doesn’t appear in the top results.

The company also has ranking for group.citic, one of the five second-level names active in the .citic zone file right now.

It’s not the first dot-brand to launch a web site at its new gTLD — destination.monash and annualreport.axa spring to mind — but it does seem to be the first to throw away its .com completely.

CITIC does not appear to have activated its matching Chinese-script gTLD, .中信, in the same way, however. Only nic.中信 appears in search results for sites under that TLD.

Thanks to Jothan Frakes of NamesCon for the tip.

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Comments (28)

  1. Kassey says:

    Two issues: (1) Wrong order. Should be citic.limited to correspond to the company name Citic Limited. Limited.citic is just difficult to remember. (2) There is no established convention yet on the entry point of .brand. .brand may work if the average consumer has a way to know how to access them, e.g. if all major brands agree to use “visit” as the entry point, such as visit.citic, visit.axa, visit.hilton, then .brand may become popular. Otherwise, it just imposes too much work on the consumers.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Personally, I always thought www. would make a comeback.

      http://www.axa, http://www.citic, http://www.google etc

      I can see reasons why it might be confusing — people might automatically add an extra TLD — but it has the benefit of being a well-understood convention for denoting a URL in ad copy.

      • Rubens Kuhl says:

        http://www.citic is in their collision list. I’m pretty sure they will change it to http://www.citic after controlled interruption is over in mid-November.

        • Adrian Kinderis says:

          Guys, I think you have this all wrong.

          Adding http://www.tld is only going to confuse. www is an accepted convention and internet users expect to see http://www.blah.tld (that is a second level domain before the tld and after the www. You are asking them to learn more, not less

          I believe www should make a comeback for a short period of time in order to facilitate the understanding of new tlds. Eventually it will not be required and when home.axa appears on a billboard it will be recognized as a URL by the dot separating the words alone.

          A standardized convention across all brands would be helpful in the short term but certainly NOT www.

    • Hmm …

      Even though I foresee dot Brands making headway, there’s still something humorous in this phase we’re in.

      Basically, some companies will be abandoning a convention understood by everybody (“COM” on the right) in favor of confusingly inconsistent longer strings (“visit”, “home”, “limited”, etc. on the left).

      For now, the swap has clear disadvantages. In the future, maybe websites will arrive at a consistent left-side string to designate home pages — but probably nothing as regular or short as a .COM suffix.

      • Kassey says:

        If all major brands agree on using, for example, “go” as the entry point to .brand, e.g. go.google, go.amazon, etc., then .brand may overtake .com as the top extension. “go” is short enough to remember.

        • Rubens Kuhl says:

          go is subject to regulatory issues, due to being a 2-letter combination. One TLD already filed an RSEP for it. It would be easier to define a 1 letter like 1.google or g.google.

      • Adrian Kinderis says:

        Your logic hold up for as home page but what about every other page under that? running.nike, shoes.nike, charity.nike, 2014.nike, superbowl.nike?

        .com does not support this convention. It tells no more information to the end user and as a signpost on the internet is inadequate and, because of tlds, antiquated.

        • Home.brand is it. Everyone knows what “home” means. Easy!

          I see no need in marketing for www and have not for awhile. I am sick of typing it, so don’t and sick of seeing it take up valuable key messaging space.

          As for how others line up under – that is the fun part isn’t it.
          So many moves here, what is the market strategy, first test and learn steps … brand motivation/permission to innovate how they engage and deliver services to customers.

          Brands have to think about a .brand registry as a network that interconnects as opposed to a web site. It’s a different thing or can be.

  2. friend says:

    It would matter if they didnt have the .com.. but they do. And they won’t sell it if you try to buy it.

  3. Kassey says:

    Why go back? We’ve simplifying the naming convention over these years — getting rid of http:// then www. Now do I want to relearn the old way? I doubt.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      In my comment above, WordPress automatically added the http:// to each of the three domains.

      I didn’t type it.

      I think that’s a new “feature” of WordPress 4.0, released this week.

      Perhaps we’re not moving forward as fast as you think.

      • Kevin-

        This is a bit obtuse to the topic but more a focus on your comment regarding the http:// mojo in your comment…

        Pondering the http:// injection a bit… It represents some real Universal Acceptance (UA) wins and efforts.

        Recognizing the links means that the TLDs are recognized for URLs. Skype and other software does not, so this I’d file under “Win”.

        Converting the links to contain http:// helps overcome some of the laggard browsers / OS combinations or other software issues that do not recognize nTLD URLs.

        Matt Mullenweg of WordPress spoke at the NamesCon in January and he is fairly domain savvy (he owns MA.TT – and incedentally, he forwards matt.build there). Seems likely they did what they could to aid UA.

        -Jothan

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          I disagree. I think WordPress added the http:// because of the “www.”, not because of the TLDs.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          Let’s see what WordPress does to http://www.thisisntatld

          • Kevin Murphy says:

            Yep, WP added the http:// there too. This isn’t a UA thing, it’s a WordPress being shit thing.

            • Justin says:

              Instead of saying WordPress is a shit thing, you should appreciate that if not for WordPress, many people would not have started blogging and not got attracted to buy domains in the secondary market, but remain with the facebooks and/or twitters and/or the umpteen platforms. Anyway, we domainers, creating a non-existant industry, have always been disconnected from reality and the general public sentiment who are fed up with the exorbitant prices in secondary market, which resulted in these new gTLDs and .brands. Google will happily oblige the new gTLDs and .brands because it matches their own anti-domainer thinking. With the browser address bar having become an extension of the search engine, typeins are already a thing of the past. A domain name with the dot(s) anywhere within, is afterall just a more memorable sequence of alphanumeric characters representing a sequence of numbers identifying a website on the world wide web. It’s the product or the content that matters in the end. Domaining is dead! Although I hate Bob Parsons for the elephant thing, I admire his business acumen – he entered and exited at the right times! Look around and you will see most big names who actually made money with domains have all exited quietly and smartly 😛

  4. Wrong heading.

    Correct heading: First major idiot to move from .com to new extension.

  5. Snoopy says:

    Wasn’t there prediction that a whole lots of companies would be doing this? Like most of the companies who applied? What happen to .google, .apple, .yahoo, .sony?

    Instead of that we’ve got one unheard of company trying it , and two other organisations using it for very minor sites. Is that it?

  6. Moving from a .com to a .brand is a risky move at the outset, depending upon your business dependence on revenue run rates dependent upon SEO and other inherent market awareness of the .com site. That said for some businesses a forward will work just fine.

    .BRAND is about better communicating key messages, engaging and delivering services to target audiences on a branded ecosystem.

    My view: “home.brand” will emerge as the norm.

    Precise and obvious and consistent with user knowledge of what a “home page” means.

  7. Bean says:

    Companies don’t have to develope any new strategy whatsoever, what they have now ain’t broken. Only domainers care for the awesomeness and potential these new tlds.

    Most end user nowadays don’t even look at the url address bar, they just care what result comes up in their search engine. In fact, there is quite a few people I know that have been using internet for years and had no idea you could actually type a direct address in the url bar!

    Perhaps, if marketed properly, the general public might someday catch on to how malleable and customizable the new tld’s really are, even with making a catchy personal email addresses, than they ever did with dot com/net/org/tel/biz.

    • KC says:

      Hillary Clinton is teaching people to (DIRECTLY) visit her at HillaryClinton.com, so is Jeb Bush at Jeb2016.com and Donald Trump at DonaldTrump.com. Apartment.com, Rent.com, Booking.com, …

      More and more people will be asked to skip search engines and go direct.

      Why should you depend on the kindness of strangers (Google, Bing, etc) when you can tell your guests to come to you ‘digital’ home directly?

  8. Snoopy says:

    2.5 years later and they are back to the .com while limited.citic has been abandoned.

    What would that disastrous journey have cost them?

Leave a Reply to Bean