If you haven’t renewed one of your .co.uk domains, you might be getting an email from Nominet. They are currently doing a survey to better understand why less people renew their .CO.UK/.ORG.UK and ME.UK domains. I’m giving up many of my .CO.UK domains for .COM now – which I should’ve done years ago. All mediocre 2-3 word domains should go – and I challenge you to do the same. Recent Google updates indicates there will not be much value in average domains the coming years – especially under the .CO.UK TLD. My only hope for .CO.UK have been that Nominet might eventually launch the new .UK extension – but the amount of time it has taken makes me wonder if it will ever go ahead.. (No doubt, it’s a big decision so I understand it will take time to make a great launch of such a new initiative).
The low renewal rates for .CO.UK domains are rather obvious if you invest in .UK domains and use them for business. After 5 years with .CO.UK domains, my impressions are the following:
5 reasons why people don’t renew domains
-Uncertain future: While the orginal proposal of .UK wouldn’t go ahead, even the future is very uncertain. It sounds like Nominet are going to come with a new proposal where they try to satisfy most of the negative response. Now it has been 4 months since the last update and domain investors have been waiting for years to discover the outcome of this proposal. No wonder that people don’t renew their domains – the future is unpredictable and might even be negative for the launch of .UK.
-Losing value for ‘decent’ domains: Unless you have a generic 1 word domains in highly competitive sectors, short domains (1-3 characters) or a top 2 word generic domain in competitive sectors – the value are not going up. Let’s face it. Google seems to have penalised 3 word hyphen domains or at least made it harder for owners of them to succeed in Google. Read more about the Penguin update here.
-Domains registered for speculation: Many domains have originally been registered in speculative nature. Domain investors buy domains and hope they will get considerably higher offers a few years later. But there are way too many ‘average domains’. They are both cheap and easy to find. Unless you have excellent domain names, they will not be worth much unless you develop them into profit making websites.
-.COM preference: Regardless of any survey conducted by Nominet, it’s clear that a large amount of international brands in UK prefer to use .COM. Is it because .com domains sound better, because they are more international recognized and more memorable? Another reason is that with .COM domains it’s easier to rank well in Google.com – while .CO.UK domains often struggle. Why would a German, Brazilian or Chinese citizen ever click on a .CO.UK domain? They are not even shown for them.. Google have a .COM preference and nothing will change about that..
-Weak economy: People invest less in domain names during economic slowdowns and hope to get find bargains instead. Many cannot afford spending enough to secure premium domains in United Kingdom.
-Less type-ins = less preferred?: .CO.UK domains have very few type-ins compared to .COM or other ccTLDs like .SE and .DE. They are simply too long (6 letter extension is double the size of .DE and .SE). Most people buying domains already know this, but if you don’t – Affiliate Specialist rather tell you