Are new domain extensions like .MOTORCYCLES too long for mass adoption?


Yesterday .MOTORCYCLES launched exclusively for entities in the powersports industry. In a sea of new domain extensions with more launching every week it’s easy for an extension like this to get lost in the sauce, especially one that is so vertically focused. Couple this with more stringent validation processes that go into buying a .MOTORCYCLES domain and it’s unlikely you’ll see a ton of these get registered right out of the gate.

The .Motorcycles registry goes beyond the standard requirements set by ICANN. The registry validates each applicant before releasing a domain name to ensure the applicant is from an eligible category of the powersports industry. This validation gives consumers confidence that any website ending in .Motorcycles will contain relevant content from a legitimate powersports entity. (Source – Yahoo Tech)

Along with a more rigorous validation process the extension is a long one at ten characters which made me think – does this impact the chances of mass adoption? While I don’t think an extension needs to be two or three characters to be a success (just look at huge gTLD winners like .CLUB) – I do think that probably once you get over five or six characters it could make it harder for consumers to easily type or even identify as a domain name extension.

Of course, we are also moving into a new world, a world where consumers are starting to get used to the idea that the main website for a brand can end with something other than .COM. The question is, are new domain extensions like .MOTORCYCLES at a disadvantage because they are so long?

Photo Credit: linie305 via Compfight cc

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Joseph Peterson August 20, 2016, 7:10 pm


    24 characters
    9 syllables
    10 syllables, actually, since it’s pronounced,”Harley Davidson Dot Motorcycle”

    This company owns but forwards it to the hyphenated version: So if they do buy a .MOTORCYCLE, I imagine they’ll do likewise, forwarding it to a hyphenated .COM.

    By restricting access to established brands and companies, the registry is aiming at buyers who – for the most part – already have established websites. For a few .MOTORCYCLE may provide an upgrade, but for most it will be redundant.

    Plenty of redundant domains are purchased for brand protection; but in such a stringently regulated name space, there’s far less risk of cybersquatting. Scare tactics won’t be so persuasive when the registry itself is vetting registrant credentials. So the brand protection argument seems relatively flimsy here.

    I wonder about some of these registry operators and their strategies.

  • Aaron Strong August 20, 2016, 10:47 pm

    There is no problem with the length. The larger issue with .Motorcycle is it suffers from singular/plural confusion syndrome (SPCS), as do many New G’s…. Is it Honda.Motorcycle or Honda.Motorcycles? …For example .Technology and .Photography is the same/similar length, but there is no confusion with singular/plural…

  • August 21, 2016, 3:14 am

    I think that is a great TLD.

  • Eric Lyon August 21, 2016, 10:09 am

    Personally, I think the hurdle for long gTLD’s is in the first 2 to 5 years while the industry tries to adapt to the new keyword extension angle being injected into everyday life. Like with other new gTLD’s, it’s hard for people to wrap their head around them at first and probably won’t pull the trigger on branding until they see plenty of other companies / start-ups branding with them.

    With another 10k+ applications coming for another wave of new gTLD’s soon, I think it’s pretty clear where the industry shift is headed. It may not be until we have 100k+ gTLD’s out there before people start opening their eyes for the first time and realizing that it’s all about developing keyword/brandable real-estate and no longer about being limited to a select few premium extensions.

    While this will eventually hurt resellers ROI’s and potentially push many people out of the industry when profit margins slip down further, it’s looking bright at the other end of the tunnel for developers and small start-ups that have more cost effective budgets in mind.

  • Joseph Peterson August 21, 2016, 5:38 pm

    @Eric Lyon,

    There are pros and cons to most things. You’re highlighting the benefits of increased choice, and you’re not wrong – in the sense that continuing to increasing supply will lower costs for those “developers and small start-ups”.

    However, perhaps you’re not considering some of the drawbacks. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see an era in which any and every keyword is available as a TLD. But that wouldn’t really be such a utopia. Multiplying these suffixes creates extra ambiguity for consumers. Which means extra COST for those “developers and small start-ups”.

    .PHOTOS might offer a cheaper option for a photographer. But that option isn’t so cheap once we take into account the additional burden of .PHOTO, .PHOTOGRAPHY, .PICS, .PIC. Not to mention domains in .COM or .CO.UK or whatever that end in these keywords. Instead of registering 1 domain, developers may find it necessary to register 2 or 4 or 8. And at renewal costs considerably higher than they’d seen with legacy TLDs.

    Today a plumber might just need [Blah] + [Blah].Plumbing. Would it really be an improvement if we add .PLUMBER and .PLUMBERS to the mix?

    We can see this either as multiplying opportunities or as multiplying the cost of doing business online.

    Fortunately, a 2nd wave of nTLDs is years away.

  • December 27, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I just added the nice post/link from Morgan to our platform, but the content management system gave me an error back. So I checked the parameters…

    please be aware, that it should be .MOTORCYCLES instead of .MOTORCYCLE

    Even a character more *-)

    Best regards from Switzerland!


    • Morgan December 27, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Thanks Piero – good catch, updating right now!


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