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GoDaddy drops the .com, alienates businesses

Despite what GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving says, .com is still the best option for business websites.

In a somewhat surprising move last week, the provocative domain name registrar GoDaddy.com has decided to drop the .com from its logo and become just "GoDaddy."

I must say, I’ve become a big fan of GoDaddy over the years - maybe because of the Danica Patrick association - but I’m really not a fan of this move. It seems excessive. As part of this news, CEO Blake Irving was quoted as saying "10 years from now, we will look back at a world where every domain name ending in a .com like our kids look at record players." I think this is a misguided statement. Record players were replaced by new technology.

RELATED: Why .com is still the best choice

Contrary to a lot of misinformation, there are plenty of .com addresses available and, for most companies, .com is still the best choice. I believe this is GoDaddy’s way of pushing the other domains it manages, like .co and .me. In fact, with hundreds of gTLDs getting ready to flood the Internet, it’s in GoDaddy’s best interest to push the market away from .com. Most people don’t know this, but GoDaddy resells .com from Verisign, which has been managing the top-level domain name for the last 15 years.

It might be OK for people who want their own domain to create a family website, like "Kerravala.co," but for any business small or large, .com legitimizes it. The only reason people go to “.co” is when they mistype “.com,” which is probably why Apple put a .com button on the keyboard of its iOS products. In fact, I bet most people who are looking to use GoDaddy to buy a domain will still go to “GoDaddy.com” over any other address, even if .com is not a part of its logo. Most search engines still drive users to “GoDaddy.com” when searching for “GoDaddy” and any TLD that isn’t “.com.” That’s because search engines give greater weight to websites that end in “.com,” which makes it easier for the .coms to be found. Not to mention the fact that many websites that don’t end in .com redirect to a .com anyway.

If Irving really believes what he says, then I challenge GoDaddy to dump .com all together and sell it off to someone else. If it indeed is like the record player, then GoDaddy would be selling it at peak value and the CEO will be making a great move.

GoDaddy won’t do this though, because, as I said, .com has been legitimizing businesses for more than 25 years. I’m not saying companies shouldn’t use .net, .co, .me, .tv or whatever they choose, I’m just saying you also need a .com URL as part of the complete package. This is why 68% of GoDaddy’s registrations are .com, according to numbers GoDaddy released last week, and every major company in the world still relies on .com.

GoDaddy can dazzle us with images of a scantily clad Danica Patrick, but it shouldn’t try to pull the wool over our eyes. Despite the change in logo, .com is still the right place to be, and remains heavily tied to GoDaddy.

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