Verisign: .Com Domains Have More Click Appeal In Search Results
Consumers prefer to click on search results with a .com domain rather than a new domain, according to Verisign-funded research.
Some are controversial. Others are clever. But Verisign wants marketers and business owners to know that none of the new domain extensions has the click appeal of the venerable .com.
According to recent Interbrand research — funded by Verisign, which runs the .com registry and has financial reasons for encouraging .com registrations — consumers are more likely to click on web addresses that end with .com than on one with a new and less familiar domain.
Interbrand tested 1,000 online shoppers in the U.S., showing them a search results page that had similar web addresses with different domain extensions. Sixty-one percent skipped past a higher ranking new domain in order to click on a similar .com listing lower on the search results page. And after having a new domain recommended to them, 62 percent still clicked on the .com version of the address.
The Verisign/Interbrand study also claims that 94 percent of consumers in the test group were correctly able to recall a .com address, compared to only seven percent who could correctly remember a new domain extension.
As I mentioned above, the test was commissioned by Verisign, which has business reasons for touting the familiarity of .com addresses. We also don’t know specifically which new domain extensions were used in comparison with .com addresses — some would be harder to remember than others, for sure.
Google has said that the domain extension you use doesn’t matter where SEO is concerned. But the Verisign/Interbrand numbers probably point to a separate truth: Consumers are largely creatures of habit, and it’ll probably be a while — if ever — before new domain extensions have the familiarity of the now 30-year-old .com extension.