Despite the increasing availability of more and more alternative domain names, a survey carried out by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has shown that .com domains still dominate. 6,000 people from across the world who use the internet for more than five hours per week were surveyed earlier this year, and it was found that 88% of them were aware of .com domains, while only 18 to 50% of users were aware of other domains such as .biz and .info.
The survey also revealed the interesting fact that people outside Europe and the US seem to know more about alternative domain names. Only 33% of Europeans and 29% of North American residents surveyed were aware of the new TLDs they were asked about, while 48% to 54% of subjects in Asia, Africa and South America were aware of them. .email was one of the most widely known alternative domains, which seems to demonstrate that domains with a clear and obvious purpose are set to be the most successful.
Another finding was that people trusted the familiar domain names more than the newer, unfamiliar ones. There was a high level of trust in targeted country domain names and .com sites. Another survey conducted by Interbrand has found that when users are presented with a list of search results with similar website addresses, but different domain extensions, they were twice as likely to click on the .com option than the new TLD. These findings show us that .com addresses continue to prevail for the time being.
However, as people become more and more familiar with alternative domains, it seems likely that their trust will increase and users will become more and more comfortable with visiting these types of site.