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Confusing New gTLDs

Choosing the right domain name is like choosing a Trademark, it has to be taken seriously because it is a long time image investment.

If new gTLDs have brought new options to those in charge of creating a name (precision, availability, novelty) and registering its (their) domain name(s), they also brought the possibility to make a terrible mistake when choosing the right extension for a domain name.

First, I would suggest to take a look at the list of “Singular versus Plural new gTLDs” and wonder:

  • What if I someone else buys (and starts to use) my exact same domain name in its plural version?
  • If I buy both domain names (one to use and one to redirect): what will be the trend in 5 years? Am I sure that I am making the right choice to use the plural version of the extension or should I use the singular one?

Second—and this one takes time—I’d suggest to carefully check the complete list of new gTLD applications by alphabetical order.

The same applies for Trademarks who will start to, or have started to, use their .BRAND new gTLD. Some strings can be the same with just one letter added. What happens if someone sends an email to Aigo Digital Technology Co,Ltd. (.AIGO new gTLD) and forgets the last “O”? The email could just never be received, because it was sent to a complete different company: American International Group, Inc. (owner of the .AIG new gTLD).

This is my list of confusing new gTLDs:

.CAB & .CEB - .CAB & .CEB
.CAM & .CAB & .CAL & .CAR & .COM
.CBA & .CBN & .CBS - .CBA & .CFA
.CPA & .CBA & .CFA
.CRS & .CARS - .CRS & .CSC
.FILM & .MOVIE (see here also)
.GAL & .GAP & .GAY
.GMO & .GMX - .GMO & .GOO
.HOT & .HOW - .HOT & .HOST
.IMMO & .IMMOBILIEN & .REALESTATE (see here also)
.INC & .ING & .INK
.JOT & .JOY - .JOT & .GOT
.KIA & .KID & .KIM
.MAN & .MAP - .MAN & .MEN
.MEN & .MENU & .MEO & .MED
.MOBILE & .MOBILY - .MOBILE & .PHONE & .MOBI (legacy TLD) & .TEL (legacy TLD)
.MOE & .MOI & .MOM & .MOV
.NET (legacy TLD) & .NETWORK
.NEW & .NOW & .NEC (&.NET)
.ONE & .ONG & .ONL
.PIN & .PID - .PIN & .PING
.RED & .REN - .RED & .READ
.RIL & .RIO & .RIL
.SAP & .SAPO - .SAP & .SAS
.SBI & SBS - .SBI & .SKI
.SES & .SEW & .SEX
.SKI & .SKIN - .SKI & .SKY
.TAX & .TAB - .TAX & .TAXI
.VIG & .VIN & .VIP

As you can see, the list is long and I added translations of most TLDs but IDNs (since I don’t understand most of them). For example, the .CATHOLIC new gTLD was just delegated in other languages and IDNs. These were not included in that list. This list will be completed at Jovenet Consulting if necessary.

By Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

Filed Under


Several Are Especially Problematic Max Menius  –  Dec 24, 2016 2:56 AM

An interesting list, Jean. And caution is indeed justified when opting for a TLD that is nearly identical or similar to another. From the list, these are especially troublesome:

.auto and .autos
.cab and .taxi
.cam and .camera and .webcam
.loan and .loans
.market and .markets
.photo and .photos

The singular/plural dilemma (ex. photo/photos) is the worst of all these scenarios. A company should never acquire & launch just one without obtaining an exact match of the other. That being said, if a company can acquire a matching pair and the tld’s are a good fit for the company’s focus, then the company should be able to confidently move forward.

"Acquire them all" Jean Guillon  –  Dec 24, 2016 11:46 AM

In terms of security, I believe that it makes sense to acquire them all (when they are not a .BRAND). The problem is that an end-user is often not aware about their existence. I will update the list in the future.

Strategy & Valuation Alex Tajirian  –  Dec 26, 2016 4:44 PM

Jean, I agree that these are important questions to answer before making any bidding/acquisition decisions. However, the requisite to a successful selection process is to have a clear actionable domain name strategy within your overall online presence strategy. It seems that your 2nd suggestion is a prerequisite for the 1st. For the 1st, you don’t suggest any analytical tools to make the appropriate decision. Regards

“[T]o acquire them all” is not necessarily Alex Tajirian  –  Dec 26, 2016 4:47 PM

“[T]o acquire them all” is not necessarily a sensible thing to do, as it ignores cost. You need to rely on analytics, not intuition.

Of course it is...not Jean Guillon  –  Dec 28, 2016 8:28 PM

You don't need to rely on analytics to take the decision to secure a .PHOTOS and a .PHOTOGRAPHY when you've just registered a domain name ending in .PHOTO. It is a matter of knowing that complementary extensions exist and it is a matter of understanding that there is a risk not to secure the same domain names in similar extensions. Corporate Registrars do such consulting very well. Cost are extremely low here: the 3 domain names all together cost less than €54 to register/renew at Uniregistry. No need of analytics here.

Not so expensive Jean Guillon  –  Dec 26, 2016 4:52 PM

By the way, there is a minor mistake on line 9 of the list : IT is “.BMW” and “.BMS”. Since I can’t update it here, I updated it at Jovenet Consulting: http://www.jovenet.consulting/reports/confusing

In regard to acquiring them all (when they are no .BRAND new gTLD), the price is not so expensive compared to what the cost is if the domain was registered by a third party. For example, buying a .PHOTO, as well as the .PHOTOS and the .PHOTOGRAPHY is a good security.

Still, better security for .PHOTO, ignoring cost, Alex Tajirian  –  Dec 28, 2016 11:14 AM

Still, better security for .PHOTO, ignoring cost, is buying .FOTO (4,170,000,000 results in Google). Thus, you need to use valuation analytics in your decisions; intuition can easily deruin you.

Mmmm Jean Guillon  –  Dec 28, 2016 11:26 AM

.FOTO makes sense for Spanish but it is a Trademark too. I would invest in a .FOTO Spec 13 new gTLD application, not as a generic :-)

.WTX ??? Stephane Bortzmeyer  –  Dec 28, 2016 7:13 PM

You mention a .WTX which could be confused with .WTF but .WTX does not exist.

Mistype Jean Guillon  –  Dec 28, 2016 8:19 PM

Well Seen Stephane. It is a mistype and I apologize for this. The list was took me time to extract. It is .WTC & .WTF (not .WTX where the “X” is next to the letter “c” on my keyboard”). I updated the list here: http://www.jovenet.consulting/reports/confusing

One letter difference does not confusion make Kathy Kleiman  –  Dec 29, 2016 3:38 AM

Jean, Normally I find you’re your posts useful, but this one struck me
as off-base, so out of respect for you, let me take a moment to
disagree. Just because two New gTLDs have a one letter difference does
not make them “confusingly similar.” We know this because a huge range
of organizations share the same and similar acronyms, yet manage to
happily co-exist. A few I have come across in the last few days include:

- CTIA and CTA (CTIA, now The Wireless Association (R), formerly the
Cellular Telephone Industry Association) coexists with CTAs across the
country include the Chicago Transit Authority, commodity trading
advisors and California Teachers Association.
- NABA and NABA (North American Broadcasters Association (Canada) and
North American Butterfly Association) co-exist and are not confused with
the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) or the NBA (National
Basketball Association).

When Lexis (online research service) sued Lexus (Toyata’s then-new car)
for trademark infringement, the Second Circuit of Appeals in the US
specifically found that two marks could coexist without causing
confusion to their audiences – and its ruling continues to allow us to
enjoy both products.

The world coexists with a million closely-associated words and acronyms.
With Google, people can quickly find the company, association or person
they are looking for. Respectfully, if what you are saying is that a one
letter difference automatically creates confusion, my CFO and CEO would
disagree completely :-).

CEO & CEB Jean Guillon  –  Dec 29, 2016 2:36 PM

Kathy, time to talk to your Chief Executive Board :-)

Reverse the Singular / Plural ICANN decision only Phil Buckingham  –  Dec 29, 2016 2:12 PM

Jean, Like Kathy,I respectfully disagree.Off base. As stats/analytics/cases indicate the decision by ICANN to allow singles and plurals,particularly when they are now owned by two separate companies/parties, was totally the wrong one(and would need to be reversed before a Round 2). However all other “confusingly similar” words and acronyms it seems,do continue and should “happily coexist”. As Co Chair of ICANN’s Subsequent Procedures WG -WT2 (re another gTLD “Round” ????) we will be discussing these very issues in early 2017.Perhaps you(and others)would like to join the calls(every two weeks, Thursdays).

Participate in ICANN? Jean Guillon  –  Dec 29, 2016 2:43 PM

Believe me I tried:


...and I dropped it.

I am now a proud member of the most important, and also most “not listened to” group, at ICANN : the NCUC

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