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The Global Domain Name Preferences Survey: 85% Type Domains Into Browsers

Posted on the 04 February 2015 by Worldwide @thedomains


The, a trade association whose members include new gTLD registries, domain name registrars and consultants to the industry (Disclaimer a company I’m a Director of is a member of the DNA) released the results of a poll conducted by  Research Now a a global firm headquartered in the U.S., the Global Domain Name Preferences Survey.

This Domain Name Preference study was conducted during the period of October – November 2014 in 10 countries and had over 5,000 completed responses.

The poll results are 18 pages.

The study including internet users search and browsing habits in general not just about the new gTLD’s and contains some excellent news for all domain holders.

Here are the highlights:

1. Domain names continue to be highly relevant to typical Internet users. While there is a slight preference for popular
search engines as a tool to navigate the Internet, almost everyone (85% of those polled) types a domain name
into a browser address bar part of the time.

The poll asked users “I do this all or part of the time:

Type the domain name address directly into the browser address bar”

85% responded yes

“Type a company or relevant term into a search engine”

93% said yes

The Survey indicated that India Internet users most often typed an address name compared to other countries and that Australia and U.K. Internet users most often applied search as their primary tool.

China users use bookmarks the most often.

Nearly everyone (94%) checks the domain name at least some of the time before clicking on a search result:

2. Internet users around the world are very open to using domain names that include new domain-name extensions: validating the opinions of those who pioneered this effort to offer new options and opportunities.

Often, respondents essentially voiced an equal preference for new domain-name extensions as compared with .com or the local Country Code Top-Level Domains (i.e., ccTLDs such as Australia’s .au) even though they were not aware of ICANN’s “new gTLD Program,” which is introducing hundreds of new domain extensions.

3. Nearly 60% of all respondents voiced a preference for more domain name and domain-name extension options.

4. The fastest-growing Internet markets show the greatest interest in expanding domain name options:

75% in India,

69% in China

In countries with greater Internet usage penetration, e.g., the U.S. and Germany, opinion on the desire for new domain-name extensions was more evenly split.

In countries with high Internet penetration, the “reduced” demand for new domain-name extensions was around 50% — that still represents a large potential market for a new product.

5. Why would new extensions be welcome?

50% said new domain names in meaningful combinations will be easier to remember

50% said new domain extensions will make it easier to obtain short, memorable names

5. Internet users generally remain unaware of the opportunities in the New gTLD Program, Numbers varied widely from country to country but results indicate low awareness of the availability of new domain-name extensions and new types of domain names.

These four key findings yield a powerful result:

Internet users still use domain names widely, voice a preference for more domain name and domain-name extension options, and “get it” when it comes to the possibilities. When Internet users generally become aware of the new options, there will be widespread acceptance and perhaps even eagerness to adopt the new product.

6. There were consistencies in answers across most questions:

Geographic (city names) are easily understood. They ranked extremely well when related to local efforts such as retailing and creating a restaurant webpage. In some jurisdictions there was a preference for a city name as a place to buy shoes, e.g., The survey revealed some new domain-name extensions that caught the imagination of respondents – domain names with extensions that have particular value and meaning are appealing. Since this survey was limited in the number of domain names used as examples, there are likely many popular names that strike a chord with the Internet-using public. Extensions with clear meaning stood out, such as, and, which scored extremely high. The responses to this question and others in the survey indicate a desire for a “safer” Internet. Also scoring very favorably were labels such as .international and .global, when linked to the name of a hypothetical corporation such as “” They neared a statistical dead heat with .com and ccTLDs used. Again it appears that the fact that the extension added context and meaning to the domain name made it more appealing to the respondents relative to other choices. In the U.S., .com remains dominant. This was especially true in the first question asked: Where would you go to buy shoes online? U.S. 83.1% 3.3% 4.9% 2.4% 2.7% 3.9%

Australia 7.2% 42.5% 8.1% 33.9% 1.8% 6.5% About The Survey

The survey was designed to measure global attitudes about awareness, acceptance, preference and knowledge related to domain names. Established top-level generic names and country-code names (gTLD and ccTLD) were tested along with new generic top-level names. Five types of questions were asked:

Sample questions can be found in the appendix.

The DNA selected Research Now (, a global firm headquartered in the U.S., to conduct the survey.
Survey Detail

Breadth: 10 countries

Total sample >5000 Internet users

31 questions (with multiple parts)

Average: 12-16 minutes to complete

Margin of error

4.4% @95% confidence

Countries Surveyed











You can read the entire results of poll including the questions asked by clicking here

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