Dec 05, 2012
2013: The Year of the Address Bar
2013 will be the year that Internet users wake up to the world of Internet addresses and start thinking more about what they put into their address bars.
Why all the attention paid to something as seemingly simple as domain names? Starting next year, the top level of domain names, or the space to the right of the dot, will open up to vast new options beyond the existing .COM, .ORG, and others. Rather than a short list of simple suffixes, Internet users will now have a plethora of possibilities from which to choose.
Brand owners, on the other hand, will find that their customers will initially be confused by the hundreds of new gTLDs that launch. Those brand owners will need to adapt their digital strategies to take into consideration the fact that their customers will be confused and will have increased difficulty finding them. With more options available to Internet users at the top level, brand owners will face new challenges to distinguish themselves from their competitors and to ensure that their customers can find them.
This once-in-a-generation change to the Internet will thrust both brand owners and consumers alike into new and unfamiliar territory. The existing body of knowledge and research about Internet navigation behavior thus far does not account for these upcoming changes. This paper combines new market research with FairWinds Partners’ expertise to explore initial conclusions about the dramatic changes that are about to impact the Internet.