Joe Alagna shared an article about preparing for the new gTLD domain names, and in the article, he wrote, “Although I like most of the vertically targeted domains, I am concerned about a few like .plumbing and .contractors. I was recently tasked with writing an article about each of those two TLDs. Forgive me, but as I sat at my computer, I couldn’t recall if the TLD was .plumbing, .plumber, or .plumbers.” It appears that the BBC has this very issue.
The BBC published an article today discussing whether anyone cares about whether England gets its own .England domain name extension. It’s an interesting discussion, but what caught my eye (and the attention of others) was a photo caption with a typo in it: “Tippers, a chain of builders merchants based in the Midlands, now has a website with the .plumbers suffix.”
As Joe Alagna predicted, the BBC confused the .plumbing extension with .plumbers, which does not exist, nor is their an application for this extension. Perhaps in the future, someone will apply for the .plumbers extension, but until that point in time, it’s going to be a typo, and likely a costly typo for companies who do use .Plumbing domain names.
When a searcher accidentally types in a url that has a suffix that doesn’t exist, they will likely be taken to a Google search page or an ISP error page. Perhaps they will realize they made an error, but if they are confused about the TLD and don’t notice the error, they may just start at square one and do a Google search for something else where they may or may not end up on the intended brand’s website. In fact, if someone is searching for Boston.Plumbing and they type in Boston.Plumbers, unless that website ranks very well in Google, other competitors will likely show up first.
At the very least in the short term, there will be confusion about new gTLD extensions. Some will be more confusing than others, but it is interesting to observe how this all plays out.
Thanks to Matthew Riches and Kevin Murphy for pointing this out.