What do consumers really think about .com?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently published their findings from its Global Consumer Research Study, which measured aspects of consumer awareness, perceived consumer choice, experience and trust related to the legacy TLDs such as .com and .org and the new generic TLDs (g-TLDs) coming into market, like .email and .club.


The survey was conducted across 6,000 individuals from 24 countries located throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America.  This study is intended to service as a baseline of data and will be followed by a subsequent survey to take place approximately one year later.


Below are some of the notable highlights and findings around awareness and trust of top level domain names.


Awareness and Visitation follow Suit

Awareness of the legacy domain extensions .com, .net and .org are consistently high across all geographic regions.  Beyond these legacy domain extensions, awareness is relatively low with half or less of consumers across all regions. The degree of visitation follows the same trend as awareness.

ICANN blog


Familiarity and Exposure are advantageous for Legacy TLDs

An average of 90 percent claimed to trust the top three legacy TLDs (.COM, .NET, and .ORG), with the highest numbers found in North America, South America and Africa. By contrast, when shown new TLDs, the numbers were much lower. The average trust in new extensions was 49%.


Trust among New TLDs is Driven by Implied Purpose

.Email was the most trusted (non-geographic) new TLD at 63%. .XYZ and .guru had the least trust at 35% and 42% respectively. Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s global domains division, acknowledged that, because TLDs like .Email have an implied purpose and associated functions, some of the drivers of recognition may actually be linked to a general association rather than specific awareness of the extension.


While the domain name landscape is ever-evolving, it’s clear that acquiring a legacy TLD such as .com or .net provides significant advantages in the minds of the consumer by imparting familiarity and inherent trust.


You can view full results from the survey on ICANN’s website.

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