It is generally assumed that operators of websites on non .com domain names will lose some traffic to the .com domain name. Even savvy Internet users can accidentally navigate to a brand matching .com domain name instead of the correct domain name. Depending on how the .com is being used, lost traffic can either be a relatively minor issue to a big problem.
A couple of days ago, Rick Schwartz shared some data involving one of his .com domain names where a non .com TLD is being used by another entity:
Want to thank iFlirt. SITE
For those that are BLIND to TRAFFIC LEAKS
250,000 went to MY iFlirt .COM in 2021. Made ME $12,000.
How much did it COST them?
Imagine how much traffic loss a MAJOR company can & WILL lose!
— Rick Schwartz 👑 The DomainKing® 👑 Since 1995 👑 (@DomainKing) December 27, 2021
Rick has the domain name parked with pay per click advertising, and the domain name reportedly earned $12,000 with 250,000 visits. That’s a lot of traffic.
One major issue beyond traffic is lost email. I have no idea if that would be an issue in this situation, but misdirected email can be a major issue. This is particularly troublesome for companies that compete with the .com domain name. I always think about the counterparty who told me his startup (on a .CO domain name) was having major email issues because I owned the .com. Needless to say, within a few months of acquiring my .com domain name they raised a ~$50 million round of funding.
I think it is becoming much more acceptable for companies to use non .com domain names. In fact, TechCrunch wrote about .XYZ domain names yesterday. Savvy users who are accustomed to reviewing long wallet addresses are more likely to pay attention to the domain name extension. For many businesses though, utilizing a non-.com domain name can lead to a significant amount of traffic leakage.