Would .Mtl Be a Mistake?


The Gazette, a Montreal-based newspaper, published an article about the possibility that the city of Montreal would apply for its own new gTLD extension. The article indicates that .Mtl would be the extension the city would apply for, and I tend to agree with Christopher Hofman Laursen of the European Domain Centre, who believes this application would be a mistake.

I like geographic new gTLD extensions, and I believe many have a great shot of being successful (both in terms of profitability and adoption/usage). I think and assume Montreal could successfully operate a new gTLD domain extension, but I believe they should apply for .Montreal, and not .Mtl. The city’s “branding” is Montreal, and by not applying for this exact extension, I think it could reduce the commercial usage. For example, I would want to own Hotels.Montreal, but I wouldn’t really have an interest in Hotels.Mtl.

As far as I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong), people don’t generally refer to Montreal as MTL in the same way that people refer to Las Vegas simply as “Vegas” or New York City as “NYC.” This makes me assume that a .Mtl extension wouldn’t be as in demand as a .Montreal because there isn’t as much of a personal connection to it.

In many cases, a shorter domain name is better than a long domain name, but in the case of a .Mtl, I would think that the extension could be confusing because .Mtl doesn’t resonate with me the same way that .NYC resonates, and it doesn’t seem to have the same meaning. Perhaps it’s the fact that I lived in New York City for ten years and have only been to Montreal three times, but .Mtl doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I like the idea of a city having the desire to get its own domain name extension. I believe it can help the city brand itself online, generate local interest and promotion, and may even become a profit center at some point. I think it would be a poor choice for the beautiful city of Montreal to apply for .Mtl instead of .Montreal though.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Agreed. Not just a mistake, but a huge mistake, as well as extremely unappealing and a turn-off.

    “In many cases, a shorter domain name is better than a long domain name, but in the case of a .Mtl, I would think that the extension could be confusing”

    Can’t say it enough – there are so many exceptions to this idea (short vs. long), which I won’t even call a “rule” now, it isn’t even funny. Targeted customers ready to spend money not only even type three and four word or more keywords into their search engines, but often even search for the three or four word .com’s themselves in the search engine. I know this because I’m not really a full-blown “domainer” like most of you here, but very much an end user who check those traffic logs and has seen this firsthand. There’s a whole lot of really long three, four, or more worded .com’s worth a fortune as the “authoritative” top of mind keyword/phrase, but a nice snappy little short one like “Staples.com” by itself, for example, is worth peanuts in comparison when you remove all the resources and millions of dollars spent building a business and brand on it. Also see what I wrote here: “Benefits of Premium Domain Names Video by Heritage Auctions” – https://www.domaininvesting.com/benefits-premium-domain-names-video-heritage-auctions/.



    Yes. .Mtl? Ugh, see you later and just what were you thinking anyway (get the picture?)…

  2. P.S. As just one example I’ll allude to here on the top of my list, one of my really long 4-word domains gets exactly that kind of traffic: people search in search engines for both the whole 4-word phrase of the SLD as well as the whole 4-word domain itself.

  3. The short version of Sydney is SYD, but Sydney acquired .SYDNEY

    Melbourne is Melb, but Melbourne went with .MELBOURNE

    I assume .MTL is the airport code or some such stuff, useful for technical stuff, but seriously poor choice for public awareness

  4. Being from Montreal, I can confirm that we don’t refer to it as MTL when speaking, although a LOT of people I know (including me) use the abbreviation “Mtl” in writing.

    I always search for local business on Google using “mtl” as a keyword instead of typing the longer “Montreal”. I suspect that this cultural factor may carry more weight than you seem to estimate in this article.

    Even though the SEO side of me would much rather buy mybusiness.montreal than mybusiness.mtl, I also think that shorter domain extensions are better in many ways. They take less effort to write, less typos by users looking for the business, takes less space on business card, etc. That’s better for user, search engine, and business.

    Also, we don’t see a lot of successful businesses using longer domain extensions and that may cause an impression on business owners that these domains are not worth investing in, or cause a bad impression on clients of business that invest in them.

    There are many more factors to weight-in. I will let the experts pick one and be glad when it becomes available!

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