I read an interesting report today from CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority that talked about an apparent pivot towards .CA domains in Canada. Here’s a highlight from the report, and then I’ll share my two cents, hint – I don’t necessarily degree this is as exciting as they make it sound…
The pandemic has brought about an exceptional year for Canada’s internet landscape, and particularly for the .CA domain. Data from CIRA —the non-profit organization that manages the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians— suggests that Canadians are choosing a .CA domain name for their websites more than ever before.
The findings come from the Q1 2021 .CA Insights Report, which showcases .CA domain registration data from January to March 2021. Using a combination of .CA Registry data, third-party vendors, and publicly available data, the report shows the emerging trends in Canada’s online presence and the pandemic’s impact on Canadian domain registrations.
Overall, the first quarter of 2021 has seen a large rise in .CA domains registered, demonstrating the value of the Canadian brand both nationally and globally.(Source – Yahoo Finance)
Okay, so reading this at first it sounds like .CA domains are on a tear…but when you look at the growth numbers, while they did triple year over year, that tripling was from 0.35% to 0.99%. In my book, it’s hard to claim explosive growth in anything when the growth rate is 1% y/y 🤷♂️
While I know that interest in domains grew during the pandemic as consumers shifted from in-store to online, I don’t know if I think .CA suddenly reached a tipping point. That being said, I don’t mean to totally poo poo .CA domains. I know that people like them in Canada and yes, they’re definitely more popular as a ccTLD than say .US domains in the US, but we really use .COM as our ccTLD here.
At the end of the day, I think during the pandemic, more Canadians than ever before launched online businesses, and when they did, they found the .COM was taken and .CA became their next logical choice. So while I think it’s great that .CA saw some growth over the last year, I don’t think there’s any fundamental shift where Canadians would now rather have a .COM than a .CA. Instead, like I said, I think more people started online businesses, saw the .COM was taken, and went for .CA.
Overall the reality is domain names as a whole have seen and will continue to see incredible growth as the whole world makes the shift to buying online. What do you think? Is there a fundamental shift happening in Canada that is biasing Canadians towards .COM or is this just a part of the general shift we’re seeing globally as more people launch businesses online?
I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!