I received an email from a very popular website hosting company asking for more feedback on gTLDs for photographers. For example, the new .photography, .gallery and .camera gTLDs.
Unfortunately the hosting company wanted me to lie about the value of the gTLDs to make them sell more. Of course I refused. So I decided to take their questions and use them here instead.
So in the Q&A below, you will see questions from one of the most popular website hosting companies, and the point of view from SEO, branding, etc for photographers.
Do you have any thoughts on the new gTLDs that have become available?
I definitely do. The new domain styles are valuable for photographers to have for their protection. For example, if I own johndoephotography.com I should also own johndoe.photography. Otherwise a competitor could purchase the domain and use it to redirect potential leads to their own site.
However, search engines are cracking down big time on exact match domains, so having a domain like that does nothing for SEO.
In addition, the majority of website users enter .com for all domains even if the actual domain is a .net. So why risk losing potential leads with a fancier domain for your actual business?
It makes sense to purchase the fancy domain for protection and have it forward to the actual official site. But with the lack of SEO value and the risk of someone not entering it correctly in a browser, why take the chance of losing business by having .photography as the official domain?
A while back I wrote more on this and recorded a video rant on top level domains for photographers. Please check it out.
Do you think you’d be recommending people to register them for their own blogs or businesses?
Yes, for protection and forwarding only. Not for the money making part of the business.
I love finding out what people are expecting from them going forward.
I expect to see a lot of photographers purchasing them for protection and the .gallery TLDs for off-site portfolios or client proofing galleries.
It wouldn’t surprise me if some photographers also put their equipment list on a .camera or .equipment domain rather than on their main site.
Is this something you’d be willing to talk with me about?
Not if you want me to lie 🙂
I am getting mixed responses from the community at large and am not really sure people even know about the availability of these domains yet – not just from REDACTED, but just in general.
Some photographers know about, less general public know about it. It has been how many years now since domains have existed and people still don’t use .info, .biz and other long time TLDs in the masses? Why would someone think the new TLDs would be any different? Why try convincing people to enter .photography when it’s second nature for someone to type .com?
Why try changing people’s habits instead of benefiting from their habits?
gTLDs, Habits & SEO
I care way too much about the people I educate than to lie about the usefulness of the gTLDs. Now, of course what I wrote as responses is an answer to the general photography community. There will be some cases where gTLDs will be more powerful and useful than others. There will be photographers who believe that having the .lighting or .gallery domain is more important than .com. It will happen and that is perfectly fine. If it’s working for you. If it’s making you money. If people are typing it in their browsers. Great.
If they’re not. Please rethink your strategy.
A great example of a gTLD working in favor of a website is Productive Photography. It’s a new site from Aaron Hockley, and as the site grows in the photography community, people are becoming more aware of .photography. The idea of having a website dedicated to making photographers more productive, without having to type .com is a play on words of sorts. So there the gTLD made sense. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the site because the emails contain awesome productivity advice.
If you have questions about gTLDs please comment.
Thanks for reading,