.online is a generic, meaningful extension that went live on 26th August, 2015. Just after a week, it has 50,800 registrations. As a comparison, .club had 45,000 registrations at this point, .website had 9,000 and there were 28,000 .guru registrations. Thus, except .xyz which registration numbers were inflated by free registrations, .online has the strongest start among nTLDs so far. The short version of online, .onl was far less successful, and it has only 5,000 registrations after 6 months.
The outstanding start of .online is really surprising to me. There are several reasons why this had happened:
- The story of abc.xyz by Google revitalized the burned out nTLD market.
- .online is an extension that is meaningful in many languages, English, German and also used in Spanish and Portuguese environment. Since most of the new TLDs focus on English or Chinese, .online fills a gap for the German market, where there is no good alternative for .de and .com.
- It is general, so can be used in almost every topics. While this is not the goal of the nTLD story, it seems that lots of users think on nTLDs like another .info and not a topic specific extension.
- It has search volume. I’ve tried to preregister several .online which has huge keyword+online search volume. I tried to get these in Early Phase 5 but all of them were bought in Early 1 or 2 for thousands of dollars: movies.online (it was registered in Sunrise), peliculas.online (movies in Spanish), filmes.online (movies in Portuguese), juegos.online (games in Spanish).
- There is huge marketing effort behind, I see .online adverts everywhere.
Why I don’t like .online (except the ones which has millions of searches and therefore type-in traffic)?
- 6 characters
- Another general extension, why is it better than .net, .info, .xyz, .website, .club, .zone, .etc? Not mentioning .com. It has no added value, of course a domain is online.
- It has a cheap sound. I cannot imagine that – except for the high search volume ones – there will be an aftermarket for .online. It is a domain name for those, who don’t ready to spend for already registered domains.
To summarize, .online is a quite popular extension at its start. One keyword .online domains are brandable ones, too. It is not my personal favorite but the market decides.