Get the latest news from Afilias and its Industry Experts.

dot Brand or dot What? Consumers unaware of New Top-Level Domains, including .Google, .Microsoft and .Nike

Afilias research reveals 75 percent of UK and US consumers oblivious to new Web extensions

Afilias Limited, a global provider of domain registry services, today announced the results of research on consumer attitudes towards the hundreds of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) that will launch beginning in 2013. The results? At this moment, the major online initiative where companies like Google, Microsoft, Nike and Amazon will create and use their own “dot Brand” domains to promote their websites has fallen on deaf ears among the UK and US public.

The program, in which 1,000-plus new gTLDs will be launched by organizations and household brands, was only known by 21 percent of UK adults and 22 percent of US adults. Internet governing body ICANN created the new gTLD program to foster innovation and improve consumer security on the Internet. However, the research revealed that 73 percent of UK adults would prefer to visit traditional Web addresses like "" rather than “” In the US, 61 percent of adults would prefer to use a “heritage” gTLD.

The results have been published in Afilias’ “dot Brand or dot What?” report, which polled 2,054 UK and 2,000 US consumers in conjunction with YouGov, examining perceptions about and understanding of the new gTLDs. 

“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,” said Roland LaPlante, CMO, Afilias. “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 survey also found that UK and US consumers have trepidation concerning Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), domains that use non-Roman characters (as in Russian, Chinese and Devanagari.) Only eight percent of UK and US consumers recognized IDNs as domains designed for foreign-language communities while 65 percent of UK consumers and 60 percent of US respondents said they would navigate away from IDNs. This figure reaches more than 70 percent for “over 55s” in both markets.

LaPlante added, “Education is also needed to ensure the growth and support of IDNs. Consumers should understand that if a domain name isn’t written in a script they recognize, it doesn’t mean the site is dangerous. In reality, websites using IDNs will create an improved, more relevant Web experience for consumers around the world.”

The Afilias “dot Brand or dot What?” report is available for downloading from the Afilias website.

Afilias provides registry and DNS services for more than 21 million domains, including seven million .INFO domains and one million .MOBI domains registered worldwide. In addition, Afilias supports .ORG, .AERO, .ASIA, .PRO, .AG (Antigua and Barbuda), .BZ (Belize), .GI (Gibraltar), .IN (India), .LC (St. Lucia), .ME (Montenegro), .MN (Mongolia), .SC (the Seychelles), .VC (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and .XXX.

About Afilias

Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias’ reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS. For more information on Afilias TLD services, visit