Is your domain name real?

You want to buy the perfect keyword domain name for your website but you realize even the most obscure ccTLDs for that exact term have been registered. So you look around for other opportunities that will allow you have the exact keyword without buying one in the aftermarket. And then you stumble upon the perfect solution – (fake example) – now that seems perfect!

But wait! That is not a domain name you’re buying, it’s a sub-domain! What??! Yeah, it’s a sub domain, not a fully qualified domain. It’s like buying – only the root domain (mwzd in this example) is usually a two letter domain in a gTLD or ccTLD. So essentially you’re paying registration / renewal on a domain which is really a sub-domain – kind of like paying for use of without the relevance!

This of course doesn’t apply to ccTLDs where third level registrations are allowed by the registry either exclusively or in conjunction with second level registrations – for example,,,,, etc The easiest way to tell whether what you’re buying is a domain or a sub-domain, check if the ‘extension’ is officially delegated by IANA or allowed by the relevant registry.

Big deal, what’s the difference? After all Google says it’s all about the content in any case. Partially true, but this is where it gets complicated, while good content will help you get ranked, hosting this content on a sub-domain will actually only benefit the root domain, not your specific sub-domain url.

So you might build the world’s greatest website about domains on but the benefits will accrue to, not to your ‘domain’. It is also a lot tougher to get a sub-domain to rank. So do yourself a favor, make sure you’re buying a real domain and not being taken for a ride. Ask an expert if you’re unsure, after all, you don’t do a root canal on yourself! Do you own any sub-domains? Please share your experience via a comment!

7 thoughts on “Is your domain name real?”

  1. We bought one for our company a few years back but did not renew it – our web designer told us it was useless.

    1. It’s not just them Anjan, tons of extensions out there and none of them make sense to me, but I guess enough people register these domains to make the whole process viable for the promoters.

  2. For the low price $185 000 (usd) just to get your foot in the door and no guaranties,to a not for pforit organization although 20,000 customers at about 10 bucks a pop per year will get back on your feet but then there hosting servers and people to run it and maintain security yadda yadda yadda they say its for competitive reasons is it really or is it for the money in there pockets 5,000 when you submit your gTLD proposal and 180,000 for all the board of directors to fly around the world to review it!

  3. Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this website needs a
    great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

  4. Please keep in mind that for ccTLDs the ‘official’ extensions are mandated by the local registry.

    So while Japan is listed as .jp, the registry actually allows the following SLDs: higher level academic institutions, such as universities JPNIC members most forms of incorporated companies, including foreign companies registered in Japan educational institutions for individuals under 18 Japanese government ministries and their endeavours groups of two or more people, or groups of registered companies local government authorities network service providers registered organizations and non-profit organizations

    In addition, geo SLDs are reserved for the local governments in Japan: reserved for the government of Tokyo Metropolis
    pref.(prefecturename).jp: reserved for the prefectural government
    city.(cityname).jp: reserved for cities designated by government ordinance
    city.(cityname).(prefecturename).jp: reserved for non-designated cities and, wards and cities within Tokyo
    town.(townname).(prefecturename).jp: reserved for towns
    vill.(villagename).(prefecturename).jp: reserved for villages

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