4 Perceived Threats to Today’s Domains and Why They’re Not Really Threats

One of the excuses some people give for not buying a better domain for their business is that any domain they could get might be wasted money soon enough (if not already). After all, look at how fast technology and the web move – how can you know that domain will do you any good in 5-10 years?

What you can do is look at what is known and around now to see if domains still have strength. What exactly competes with domain names anyways? What might make the domain you get today “worthless” in 5 years?

4 perceived threats to the domain you may buy today

1. Facebook

Facebook of today is starting to turn into AOL of 15 years ago. Back then, the world wide web on which domain names lived was still very small, and more people connected online through AOL than any other ISP. Many of those people would never leave the AOL world where they could chat, play games and do many other things. Facebook is developing a similar feel, now with over 750 million users, many of whom spend a lot of time daily on the site to socialize, share links and play games.

Why it’s not a threat: While many companies have put up Facebook Pages and even advertise them in commercials, most marketers and business owners understand the importance of having their own web presence. Facebook’s various whims have caused privacy concerns and occasional deletion of business pages that were legitimate because of controversy (most famously Roger Ebert’s Facebook page). With your own website on your own domain, you can have full control over appearance, visitor experience and how you can interact with your visitors.

2. Apps

With mobile devices more prevalent than ever and the app economy booming, it’s clear that time spent in apps has been digging into time spent on websites. Unlike websites, apps don’t have a web address, so except for housing an app on a domain, apps don’t generally interact with domains. Now even with seeing the next version of Windows adopting a more mobile OS experience, could apps spell doom for domains?

Why it’s not a threat: Thankfully, the web has evolved with the boom of mobile devices that access it. Further adoption of HTML5 will over time have most websites mimicking the navigation of apps when accessed by smartphones, negating the need for many sites to have their own apps. Additionally, desktops and laptops are not on the path to extinction yet, and with search sites like Google still directing traffic, having your own website on your own domain is still crucial to being discovered.

3. QR codes

While this wouldn’t be the top thought of most people, QR codes could certainly be a threat. The idea is that QR codes will take the place of URLs on any display advertising, including even television advertising, as people will be able to scan them and be taken to any URL the advertiser wants. They are still new and are not widespread enough to already be a threat, but it seems inevitable given their functionality and friendliness with mobile devices that they’ll boom sooner or later.

Why it’s not a threat: QR codes might indeed start to see much more widespread use and could start to take the place of URLs in ads, but there’s just as much of a chance of advanced scanner technology that would allow mobile devices to scan a domain and open a browser to go there, and domains would then be far more desirable for branding sake than a QR code that looks like any other. As for online marketing, quality domains make a difference SEO, SEM and display ads for luring people in, and QR codes aren’t likely to invade those areas anytime soon.

4. New TLDs (domain extensions)

Notice I stressed these are threats to a domain you might buy today – some believe that new TLDs coming in 2013 and beyond will do exactly that. After all, why get a “boring” extension like .com if you could get .store, .blog or your .location? On paper, the new extensions seem primed to reshape the web, and many articles have proclaimed that .com’s days are numbered without understanding the full picture.

Why it’s not a threat: I wrote an article published on Business Insider, 10 Myths About The New Top-Level Domains that tore into many claims that mainstream articles were making about the new TLDs. The conclusion of it was that a few new extensions may see some success, but due to many factors, most of all the application limits and costs involved in starting a new extension, the new TLDs would not reshape the web within 10 years if ever. The major extensions today are far too established and embedded into people’s minds for any new extensions to change the hierarchy without a long time to grow as well.

What does the future hold? Could a new technology possibly make the domains we know today obsolete? Sure, it’s possible. The potential threats of today aren’t likely to do it though, and it’s impossible to know what amazing new technology the future will bring. At Domainate, we are always looking at tech and web trends that affect domains. We strive to make sure the domains we get and help others get will retain their value and benefits for as long as possible. Contact us and we can help you figure out the right domain for your business that will have the best chances of succeeding today and continuing to grow tomorrow.

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4 Comments on “4 Perceived Threats to Today’s Domains and Why They’re Not Really Threats”

  1. JR says:

    I like this post. Actually, on the Google part, Google has drawn a lot of its value by squeezing it out of domain names. Google wants the confusion to exist because in that way they are more relevant (by you searching instead of typing in). However, Google cannot detach itself from domain names, in fact, ChromeOS apps require domain names to work. I believe Google is so dependent on Domain names that if they for some reason become irrelevant, so will Google.

    • Steve Jones says:

      Back when domains used to be a primary form of search (i.e. type in a relevant domain to find what you’re looking for), Google and other search engines obviously wanted to take that strength away from them, and they have largely succeeded in that. I think now however that they have a competitor like Facebook that ideally wants to gobble up the web, Google need to make sure they aren’t helping them do it. Giving more strength to the domain can help with that.

      The last thing they want is for nearly all of their results to be made of only a handful of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. – then people will just go to those sites and search. The problem is in some cases like Wikipedia, that may mean serving up lower quality results in its place (especially when exact match domains are abused by spammers). They have a lot to juggle sometimes with trying to please visitors and help themselves.

  2. Sharon Hayes says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Hayes Dot Com and commented:

    One of the excuses some people give for not buying a better domain for their business is that any domain they could get might be wasted money soon enough (if not already). After all, look at how fast technology and the web move – how can you know that domain will do you any good in 5-10 years?


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