GoDaddy Marking New gTLD as a “Premium Domain”

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Almost a year ago, I shared a video from GoDaddy that explains what a premium domain name is. The video is shown as a pop-up when a searched domain name is listed for sale via Afternic and available to purchase during the standard registration sale process. In the sales box at the top of a page, there is a link that says “What are premium domains?” and clicking the link generates a pop up with the video.

The video emphasizes .com domain names several times. On the description section of the YouTube page with the video, GoDaddy wrote:

“Have you ever done a domain name search and seen one that costs way more than most?

Why so much? Because certain types of domain names are more likely to drive traffic to a website – they’re called Premium Domains.

Short, memorable, easy-to-spell names that end in a popular extension such as .com tend to be more valuable because many website owners want one – and there aren’t that many to be had.

Imagine you’re starting a new pet shop in Seattle. You’d want a relevant, easy to type domain name for your website that customers can find and remember, like SeattlePetShop.com.”

It looks like GoDaddy is now (update: it is possible that this has been the case for a while but I didn’t notice until today). identifying non-.com domain names as premium. By way of an example, I searched for Tonys.Pizza today via GoDaddy, and the top result (smartly) was the domain name I searched. The price of the domain name is $499.99, and it appears to be a premium domain name retained by Donuts:

From my perspective, there are two things of note here. GoDaddy seems to be endorsing new gTLD domain names as “premium,” which may give confidence to buyers and boost sales. On the other hand, the premium domain name video the company is showing doesn’t seem to offer an endorsement and seems a bit contradictory. In fact, one example they highlighted in the video was CoolExample-2017.Guru vs. CoolExample.com:

Perhaps a second video should be created by GoDaddy when showing non-.com domain names.

Ultimately, I think GoDaddy has that explanatory box there to help differentiate domain names that are available to register and domain names that are owned by third parties and priced at a higher level. If someone is really looking at the video while contemplating a purchase decision for a domain name that uses a new gTLD extension, it might be helpful to show a different video. From my perspective, GoDaddy is highlighting premium to mean two subtly different things. In one way, it is a *higher* aka “premium” price because it’s owned by a third party, and in the case of the video, it is illustrating a higher *value* aka “premium” domain name.

15 COMMENTS

  1. They should also inform customers that renewal rates on these “premium” ngltds are unregulated and can change at any time for any reason. Lack of renewal price stability makes any “premium” domain “non premium”. I believe .club was the latest to arbitrarily raise renewal rates.

    tonys.pizza estimated value is $760, you cant go wrong at $499. You can always sell it and make a profit 🙂

  2. Umm.. the word “premium” is used for any domain that is being sold by somebody (person or registry). All my domains which are listed with Afternic are being shown as “premium” at Godaddy, and that is nothing new. Likewise, SedoMLS makes your name “premium” with a ton of other registrars.

    • I think it is interesting that the video that is referenced seems to promote .com when compared to a new gYLD. Perhaps they need to explain it better.

  3. Elliot, any domain listed on premium domain names or afternic will show up as “premium”. You could register thisdomainisnotpremium.ninja and list it for sale and then it would have the little premium badge next to it. This isn’t anything new. I only own a couple of gtld’s b/c I’m not a fan of them but they have had always had the premium tag next to them as they are listed as premium domains. I think you should look into this a little more and update your post as I believe it is a bit misleading the way it’s currently written.

    • What do you think is misleading with the way it is written?

      GoDaddy is marking new gTLD domain names as premium, and the video they link to as a means of illustrating what premium means seems to promote .com domain names over the new gTLDs.

      In my opinion, I think the word “premium” is being used to mean two subtly different things. In the video, it seems that the company is differentiating between higher *value* “premium” .com domain names, but they are also using “premium” to indicate privately owned domain names that are listed for sale for a *higher* “premium” price.

      It is very possible this has been this way for a long time (even since the new gTLDs were introduced) and I never looked up a new gTLD domain name this way so I never noticed.

    • I added an update and clarified a bit since I don’t know when it started and it may have been like that for a long time.

  4. GoDaddy wants $89 for Sergios.pizza and GoDaddy’s appraisal tool says the value is Less Than $100.
    GoDaddy wants $9 for Ricks.pizza and Dons.pizza and appraises both at $286 and $154 respectively.

  5. The new gTLDs do not drive traffic like a .com. What drives traffic is: GENERIC plus .com or BRAND plus .com. ie, RoundTable.com So Pizza.com is a premium generic traffic driver and RoundTable.com is a premium brand domain. Behaviorally people take a generic or brand name and just add the .com first level domain to the end. But the New domains have it BACKWARDS. They have the Generic word for the first level domain as the generic and people cannot easily guess the brand part of the entire URL. So everybody can now buy .store or .pizza so the generic part of the domain (the traffic) value) is NOT exclusive nor premium. Premium is when there is only one generic or brand available with a TLD like Pizza.com NOT .Pizza It is also very likely that if you owned Tonys.pizza and had a radio spot tagged with your domain that customers would intuitively and incorrectly type in TonysPizza.com. Additionally, these new GTLD domains are longer and create a longer URL than .com, .net, .org. And we all pay a lot of PERPETUAL MONEY for our domains names with annual expiration’s and renewals. So these premium prices from an ICANN registrar is just greed. Premium Domains and prices should only be in the realm of domain name owner sellers not ICANN registrars.

    • I cannot agree that new gTLD domains create longer URLs. To me, tonys.pizza is obviously shorter and clearer than tonyspizza.com.

      • I see nothing wrong with a local pizza place using Tonys.Pizza. The only concern I would have is the annual cost compared to a longer .com and the possibility of price increases in the future. I would want to lock in a set price for a long term in order to do a deal like that.

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