There have been a lot of difficulties with domain name extensions recently that are not officially recognised by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).
When I first started I didn’t know that CentralNic was actually a group of private individuals that had the foresight to register domains such as .us.org .eu.com .uk.com .uk.net .us.com .cn.com .de.com .jpn.com .kr.com .no.com .za.com .br.com .ar.com .ru.com .sa.com .se.com .se.net .hu.com .gb.com .gb.net .qc.com .uy.com .ae.org .gr.com and resell on ‘subdomains’.
Am i a fan of such extensions? If I’m being honest, they make me nervous.
1. People in China looking to choose a URL to click are more likely to click the .cn than a cn.com. I appreciate that the restrictions are difficult to get around to register a .cn, but if it is a commercial area of interest then you need to invest in the resources to allow you to do this. Same with Norway, the .no is the true IANA Norway extension, the new co.no domain that has had a few interesting moments since launch is again a ‘privately managed subdomain’.
2. As has recently been highlighted, these are not as protected as the IANA extensions. The most recent examples of this include;
The Google decision to remove all 11 million co.cc websites from it’s searches. The .co.cc space is not an officially authorised second-level domain like .co.uk or .com.au. Rather, it’s offered independently by a Korean company (http://co.cc/) that just happens to own the domain name .co.cc.
Google classes the firm as a “freehost”, and has exercised its right to block the whole domain. More can be read on The Register here
Only this weekend, CentralNic lost control of the gb.com domain name and this created chaos at Registry level affecting the majority of the domains. As I type they appear to have regained control, however it highlights the risks. They are in the process of trying to launch a new extension … the .com.de?
.de (Germany) is the largest ccTLD (Country code) in the world, it is one of the extensions where there is only one to choose from, the launch of the .com.de may create some confusion and people may think it is a true German extension, however, be advised, it still is a privately ran operation reselling subdomains!