Foreign Companies Using .US Extension

I noticed something interesting during my travels and don’t know if it’s isolated or more widespread. In several advertisements, I’ve seen foreign companies who do business in the US using the .US extension for their primary American website or in addition to their primary .com site.

Although I haven’t really seen many American-based companies using the .US extension as a primary website, I know that country code extensions are very popular in places throughout the world – especially in some European countries.

IcelandAir uses, BMW sometimes uses, ย ClubMed has used, Volvo uses (forwards to .com) and there are many other examples. It seems to be more of a European way of thinking as many EU people and businesses use their country codes far more regularly than we use the .US extension here in the States.

It’s just interesting to notice, as I have seen the above examples used to target US customers, and all of these companies own their respective .com – they just choose not to use them.

So what is it? ย  Foreign companies’ marketing departments not thinking like American consumers? A domain extension test? ย  Something else? ย  What do you think?

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I think it’s “foreign” companies using what they use in other countries, CCTld’s

    Some use .com , some use the CC of choice for that country.

    It doesnt get any easier to guess what .us is for and why they use it. (they own the .com plus many others) and have chose .us, and other cctld’s.

    I just completed a nice 2xxx sale to a foreign company, who also happen to own the .com, wether they use it or not i’m not sure. and as far as i can tell, lots of other cctlds.

    Lets hope more american business start to use .us.

    Do you own any/many elliot ?


  2. Seems to be an ongoing thing with foreign companies.

    Lets face it, .us is the Official Country code for America.

    Dont see many american companies using .us at this time, but i belive this will change sometime in the near future. not going to get big companies to change there name, I know this:) but for add on’s to there company .us is perfect.

  3. Very interesting post Elliot. I have found the same to be true especially while traveling through Europe this summer. I see this trend extending further into U.S. businesses as well. I could see .us being the standard extension for a US business, or anyone doing business in the US. This does not mean they will abandon their .com, but I think .us will become much more common.

    Overall I think that companies have no trouble embracing this extension while most Domainers steer clear of .us.

    About 20% of our portfolio is .us and these are some of our highest traffic and revenue names. I wonder when the domaining community will start taking an interest in .us as most people won’t touch these domains with a ten foot pole.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!



  4. From discussions I have had with foreign-owned businesses, they regard .us the same as, for example, Germany would regard .de. However, I don’t think that is necessarily the case. As always, having the .us is nice, but the .com is preferred.


  5. Also: DotCom has universal recognition and non-US companies see it as a world brand. DotUs allows a foreign company (in their mind) to construct a web site to focus on an American audience. Of course, most Americans default to dotCom, but foreign companies’ marketing departments are getting used to the idea of customizing sites according to their ccTLD audiences.

  6. Americans only need to see it to use it ๐Ÿ™‚

    .com / .us /.net /.whatever if the site is what there after, 1 char will make no differance,(getting a site to be as good as this is hard)

    It’s a good place for .us to be, when foreign companies are using it to promote it to an american audience,

    To late for big american companies to change now, but not to late for them to be used.

    Very few big sale domains, actually get used for what the name suggests, 90% or more are flipped between domainers.

    Wheras .us is mostly held by domainers, i bet 95% of the top keywords are held by specualtors, which holds the extension back, i know of 1 nice name that the buyer has had offers of over $70,000 but looking for $400,000 which i dont think will happen while i own a name ๐Ÿ™‚

    This may hold the extension back.

    I can assure you if this was just released like .mobi/.eu/.net was, auctioned off, it would rival .com , and you’d find more americans would rather .us than .com (that means nothing to anyone now, i know but it’s a good way of thinking, as there can be a new system/promotion of .us, well i say “can”, i meant there will be ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    It’s a small market, for .us holders to make money, but the profit is easier to make. the investment is less, and if pushed hard enough a sale can be made.

    I recently sold a nice name to a foreign company for $2xxx, from a reg fee purchase, this wont mean much to yourself (elliot/david) as you may well spend $2K + a day advertising 1 website ๐Ÿ™‚

    but reg fee to $2xxx in a matter of months is not to bad.

    I believe in .us, i belive in .com ( i sold a .com for xx,xxx in 2005 which i turned the money into over 700 .us names) and nice 1’s at that.

    .com not going anywhere, .us has somewhere to go.

  7. There are many American companies and businesses that use .US for their primary website, if you do a search for the string below at one of the major search engines you will see a lot of .US websites.

    โ€œ +inc +inurl:inc -inurl:state -inurl:ci -inurl:co -inurl:fed -inurl:k12 -inurl:lib โ€œ

  8. This only works if you donโ€™t include the quotation marks when doing the search, this string is meant to filter out the noncommercial sites like schools and libraries. +inc +inurl:inc -inurl:state -inurl:ci -inurl:co -inurl:fed -inurl:k12 -inurl:lib

  9. I haven’t seen companies here in Europe using the .us extension, except those examples you mentioned.
    I think those companies just want to secure their ‘presence’ on the US market for future purposes.

    Companies and others here in Europe advertise and use the CCTLD 80-90% of the time although .com is also well recognized in for example The Netherlands where I’m from.

    At the moment I’m actually staying in Belgium for a while. When I’m browsing through a local advertising newspaper, I would say roughly: 90% .be then some .coms and even a few .info’s

  10. As David Castello rightly says, I believe it’s companies not thinking like US consumers.

    In the UK where dominates dot coms are often left on the shelf like the ugly sister. I still to this day hand register lovely dot coms (city name + service/keyword) where the has long since gone. The owners of the’s obviously don’t feel the need to even do a defensive registration of the com to protect their traffic.

    It’s all to do with trust. British consumers want to see the when they trransact with a website because it tells them they are more likely doing business with a reputable company. They know products ordered will be shipped quicker and more cheaply. They also feel assured that in the event of a problem the company is in the same country and easier to contact.

    Now if Businesses have got into this mindset that the local ccTLD reassures consumers and therefore increases sales, they would naturally try and replicate that in countries they expand to or do business in. This is more than likely why they choose .us for websites aimed at the American market.

    As a domainer of many years myself, I for one have only recently just learnt that .us is not the best loved extension. If it’s taken me all these years to understand that then i doubt large marketing departments are so in tune with the domaining side of things to understand this concept either – hence they stick with what the figures tell them that ccTLD’s convert in their appropriate countries.


  11. To be factual; it shows the levels of patrotizm they have for their country code. But if I may ask; who will develop this cctld, if it is not Americans.

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