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42Works Blog

Posted on October 21, 2019

Does .COM Matter Anymore For Building A Credible Online Presence?

.COM has been synonymous with the internet since the dawn of the world wide web. There was a time when .COM was an abundant resource on the internet, but unfortunately, we have left them long behind.

Due to the shrinkage of domain name availability, more and more businesses are finding it difficult to find a .COM domain name that matches their brand identity or fits their niche. To counter these, brands are paying big money, and employing extensive corporate branding services, which ends up eating into the balance sheet of the business.

But are we all still living in a world of bygones? Is .COM still the most important factor for a credible internet brand identity? We take a look and try to find out.

What is a .COM anyways?

Every website on the internet has a unique address to locate it, this online address is called a URL or Uniform Resource Locator. The URL of any website ends on something called a domain extension, which happens to be .COM. A domain extension can be of many types like; ‘.EDU, .ORG, .GOV, etc’. 

These domain extensions help people in recognizing different brands, agencies, non-profit entities, etc. Therefore businesses started to look at a .COM domain extension through the lens of the brand identity prism.

This over dependence of the domain extension on the marketing strategy leads to businesses molding their brand identity to suit their domain extension. 

Internet History

Unlike today, in the early days of the internet, there was no predefined public domain name system. Due to the small size of the global platform, websites were segregated in different categories. The domain extensions back then had a very critical role to play, which was to be the visual differentiator between different categories.

With the introduction of the public internet in 1985, a few domains were released, ‘.COM for commercial websites, .EDU for educational sites, .ORG for Non-Profits, etc’. 

When the internet was made public to the common people, nobody had seen anything like it before. Thus it was only necessary to build visual clues to help users better navigate the infant internet. Thus making it important to incorporate the domain extension as a key part of the brand marketing strategy.

What Does the Tech Say? 

Now the question remains if there’s any actual technical advantage of having a .COM domain extension. The answer to this question is a pretty straight forward ‘NO’. Having a .COM domain extension has no edge over other extensions. 

So why do so many people still believe that a .COM domain extension reigns superior over the rest? The answer to this question is the fact that .COM has had a psychological impact on the huge majority of internet users around the world.

 A .COM extension has always been associated with big and credible business’s corporate branding, Think about any world-famous business and there is a high probability that their domain extension is a .COM.  

Evolution of The User

The internet has existed for many decades now, the initial sensory overload many users of the world wide web had is no longer an issue. People from all walks of life have merged with the internet better and have evolved a lot as netizens. 

Even older generations have started to understand the difference in the nuances of surfing the internet. The user of today cares more about the brand values of a business rather than the actual domain extension. 

To achieve a positive brand image in the public imagination, businesses employing corporate branding services must look past domain extensions and look towards creating a safe and secure web-using experience for their users. This goes along with focusing on content for building a credible brand identity.  

Our Take

It is our understanding that businesses must make informed decisions when it comes to creating and maintaining their online identities. Even though we do conclude that a .COM domain extension is no longer required to build a credible brand. It does not mean that it is harder to market and propagate a Non-.COM domain extension for a multitude of reasons.

It is thus important for businesses to partner with capable and experienced corporate branding services and website development partners to propel their brand into online stardom.


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