The simpler a domain name, the better – that’s what many people believe. In the past, Australian’s would have to make do with the .com.au ending to their domain name, as that was all that was available.
However, back in March, the .au direct method was launched. This meant that an Australian domain name could now simply end with .au, leaving the dot com bit out altogether.
To make sure existing domain name holders could easily grab their new .au alternative, auDA (the .au Domain Administration) made sure that all .com.au domain holders could buy the new .au version of their domain as well. This protected period lasts until 20th September. However, as things stand now, the number of people who have done so hasn’t even reached 10% of the total.
This means there are millions of .com.au domain name owners who are potentially storing up a big problem for their site or business – or both. After 20th September, anyone can come along and buy the .au version of any domain, providing no one else has done so before them.
How big a problem could this be?
Currently, it’s hard to tell. It could be that lots of people are aware of the date and keep putting it off, preparing to buy their .au domain before the date but leaving it until the last possible moment. That in itself could potentially create issues if the websites they’re intending to buy the domains from end up crashing due to increased traffic.
It does seem likely, though, that there could be millions of current .com.au domain holders who are not going to grab their matching .au domains. And if that is the case, they won’t realise until the name is sold to someone else how many problems this could create for their business.
We’ve written about cybersquatting before in our blog, and it does seem likely that Australia could see an uptick in such cases. For example, if a famous brand doesn’t buy up their .au domain for whatever reason, and someone else buys it, the brand needs to make a case for getting the name from that individual. Sure, they might be able to buy it off them, but you can bet it will cost a lot more. And even if they made a successful case for cybersquatting, they’ll need to go through the motions of compiling a case to start with.
These are all elements that can easily be avoided if they buy their .au domain equivalent now. If you are reading this and you own one or more .com.au domain names, make sure you get in and claim your .au names before the date given above. And don’t leave it until the last minute before you do, otherwise you could end up unable to load the website to complete your purchase.
If you want to know more about buying premium domain names for the best price, speak to one of our experts today.