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73% of UK adults would prefer to visit ‘traditional’ web addresses instead of dot brand domains

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

March 25, 2013 | 2 min read

New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are set to roll out soon, where companies can create their own dot brands (e.g. www.shop.nike or www.DVDs.amazon) - but research has found that almost three quarters of UK adults would prefer to visit sites with traditional web suffixes, such as .com.

The research, carried out by Afilias Limited, a global provider of domain registry services, found that 73 per cent of UK adults would prefer to visit traditional web addresses; while 61 per cent of US adults said the same.

It was also discovered that over half of all those surveyed in the UK and US would not visit a website with an extension they didn’t recognise; with 65 per cent of UK consumers and 60 per cent of US respondents said they would navigate away from Internationalized Domains Names (IDNs): domains that use non-Roman characters, such as Russian, Chinese and Devanagari.

Roland LaPlante, CMO at Afilias, said: “The advent of new TLDs coming over the months ahead will result in major changes to the Internet. Some of the world’s best-known companies will roll out a dot Brand extension, but our research shows consumers are unaware that these changes are coming and would avoid the new gTLDs due to their unfamiliarity. However, the new gTLDs offer consumers great benefits, such as reducing the risk of purchasing counterfeit goods online.

“Our research demonstrates that businesses need to seriously consider the ways that they will integrate the new gTLDs into their online strategies and how they will educate consumers about their benefits.”

The report polled 2,000 UK and 2,000 US consumers in conjunction with YouGov, examining perceptions about and understanding of the new gTLDs.

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