Russian .рф Extension Launches Tomorrow – Why This Could Be A Major Opportunity

The Russian .рф Extension launches tomorrow and could create some incredible opportunities in the IDN space. .рф stands for “Russian Federation” and ASCII characters will not be supported with this TLD. You must be a Russian citizen or legal Russian entity in order to buy .рф domains.

When I first heard about this launch I thought, this is going to be big! The reason I think it’s going to be big is because Russia has a whopping 59.7 million Internet users. To put that in perspective that’s more Internet users than all of Canada and Mexico combined and is just shy of Germany’s 64 million Internet users.

An extension like .рф has two avenues of potential – the first is search. .US domains rank well in Google US and Bing, .DE Domains rank well in Google Germany and Bing, .рф should rank well in and Google .ru along with Bing. With 59.7 million people online having an advantage in search could mean strong traffic and revenue, all for the cost of a registration fee!

The next potential win with this extension could be type-in traffic. If Russia decides to make .рф the default extension for the country this could mean type-in traffic, and lots of it. Right now there are people making money off of type-in traffic on .DE, .CA, .CO.IN, .CO.UK and many more, if the IDN version of this TLD becomes the standard there could be some incredible opportunities ahead.

If you’d like to invest in this new TLD you might think that you have to be in Russia to do it. That’s what I thought initially and I was happy to find-out that 101Domain will be offering the required local presence (they are the only US-based registrar to do this). It’s great to see a US-based registrar step-up to the plate here and provide a really valuable service and opportunity to Domainers. I’m a big fan of 101Domain, it’s a very reliable company and they are ccTLD and IDN experts which means you’ll be in good hands!

Tomorrow, November 11th is the first chance the world will have to register the .рф Extension, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

Now let me know what you think about this new extension. Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Alfredo November 10, 2010, 8:22 am

    I think that it will be difficult. There are a good catchers in Russia. Good Luck. 😉
    About the .рф, I have good vibrations about it.

  • Morgan November 10, 2010, 8:24 am

    Thanks @Alfredo – appreciate the input!

  • JJ November 10, 2010, 8:33 am

    Its already rigged by the Russian government and domainers in the region…. They will get the good bites 😉

  • JS November 10, 2010, 9:11 am

    If I am not mistaken, you need both
    (i) Russian citizenship or Russian legal registration
    (ii) local presence
    in order to register a .рф. (In which case the landrush is def. not for everyone).

    Beside these ownership limitations, there are some transfer limitations.

    Let’s also consider the fact that RFCC has done quite well at demonstrating their inability to run a registry in an efficient and predictable manner.

    definitely not for everyone.

  • Federer November 10, 2010, 9:25 am

    Also Ownership update fee after 1 year is $299.

  • Em November 10, 2010, 11:50 am

    Should be interesting. Only thing i don’t like is that nasty $299 change of ownership fee whcich will begin after one year.

  • Tim Davids November 10, 2010, 1:26 pm

    just don’t let the russian mafia catch you good names 😉

  • JJ November 10, 2010, 5:51 pm

    also they took domains away a few years ago when the government had another extension

  • Aaron Krawitz November 10, 2010, 10:43 pm

    @Morgan – fantastic post, and I too think .рф will be a huge opportunity.

    • Morgan November 11, 2010, 12:14 pm

      Thanks @Aaron!


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