Domains ending in .uk are more popular among advertisers in the UK than .com domains, but not massively so, according to research published today by Nominet, the .uk registry.
A study of 10,000 UK ads found that 65% of them contained a URL, and that 55% of those was a .uk, compared to 42% that were .com names.
I find that first number quite surprising – why are 35% of advertisers not doing something so simple and risk-free as including their domains in their ads? It doesn’t seem to make much sense.
The break-down between .uk and .com surprises me less. In my experience on both sides of the Atlantic, fewer Brits than Americans think of .com as a purely US-oriented TLD.
We share a language after all, and the pervasiveness of the phrase “dot-com” in the late 1990s saw many big British online brands, such as LastMinute.com, opt for generic domains.
Interestingly, Nominet also managed to uncover a correlation between how business-focussed a publication was and use of .com domains over .uk.
Computer Weekly, a trade publication, had .uk addresses in only 33% of its ads, while Computer Shopper, a consumer publication, had them 64% of the time.
At the two extremes, news weekly The Economist had .coms in 82% of its ads, while Auto Express ads were 80% .uk addresses. The average across all magazines was 60% in favor of .uk.
It’s the most comprehensive study of .com versus .uk I’ve read, containing far too many statistics to enumerate here, but it’s also a quick read. It can be downloaded here.