Let’s say you that you have an idea for a great domain name. You go to either a registrar or a Whois site and you check to see if it’s available. Your hopes are somewhat crushed when you discover that the .com version of the name is taken. However, you notice that “the next best thing” is currently available, the .net. You think why not since you did want that name badly, so you go ahead and register it. Did you make a good move? If no other non .com extensions were taken when you registered this domain, then probably not.
How can buying the second most popular global extension be a bad move? Depending on what you plan to do with the domain, there are several reasons. For starters, .nets will probably always trail .coms (on the same names) in terms of type-ins because .com is the default extension in the major browsers and .com is just considerably more known than .nets. This severely hinders your ability to generate income from most .net domains. Secondly, .nets do not resale well. Not only does .net under-sale .org among resellers on the major domain forums but even lower extensions like .info and .us usually out-sale .net as well. Lastly, let’s say that you develop your .net and spend a lot of time and money building it up. Guess what’s going to happen? Yes, the .com version of your name is going to benefit some from all your work and money because some visitors while type in the .com to find your site again.
Of course, the exception to the guidelines mentioned above is the ultra-premium name. This great name can be in the form of a major keyword or a 2 to 3 letter domain. For example, a domain like Hosting.net or pic.net will still command very high premiums in the resale market. The previous guidelines mentioned are only for poor to above average domains.
These special cases aside, there are a few other reasons why you should largely avoid .net. Probably the most important of these is simply image. For instance, a domain sales site had better not use a .net because it will probably convey the message that the owner does not have quality names simply because the owner can not even get the best version of their own domain! Furthermore, unlike most other extensions that will be covered in this series, you have to take into consideration that .net has positioned itself as nothing but a .com wannabe. Do you see many domain names on TV using .net? No, but you see plenty of .coms and .orgs. Who wants to advertise a domain with a second rate extension? For more info on the extensions that do position themselves differently than .com, stay tuned to DBKV.eu for more installments in this series.