And the Big Winner is??? Sub-Domains!

Morning Folks!!

At the end of the day I believe it will be sub-domains that will be the most triumphant of all. When it is all said  and done, sub-domains have more of a chance to bring order and clarity to the Internet than all the .whatevers.

There were no skyscrapers before room ran out and they had to build up. So if their argument is right, they have just as good a chance to build up, as build on .whatever. But it will be the headwinds of .whatever that will drive the building of skyscrapers. These fortune 500 companies already have their skyscrapers and since they are about branding why would they want to sheer away their power and stature by their own hands?? Makes no sense to me.

So I look at my 404's and sub-domains are #1. What are they looking for there? How did they get there? Why?


Point is as the .com owner I have ALL variables and they don't. They have 1.

Test it yourself.


Which do you think would be easiest to teach the masses? Look what happens below. Are those links? Typos? Huh?

If is your root, then pretty easy to go left of the dot and insert any and every product.Now I know you can do that with Sneakers.Nike.But what happens when you forget the space.Is that Nike.But.I am very confused because I am not sure if it is a typo.But probably not.I am sure it is something else. Of course .com denotes internet and a little less confusing.But choose your poison.

And a sub-domain can be divided again and again.

.com says Internet.

Why not take the 800 off of the toll-free and add something else?? There is a reason. 800 number means telephone. It means free call. It means easy. It meant in the old days that you did not need a dime in the phone booth to call an 800 number. Convenience.

.com has the same things instilled in us. The masses. Nearly 20 years of constant advertising and constant hearing of something.

The future is nothing more than a casino. But that casino works on historical and empirical evidence to tilt things one way or another.

Rick Schwartz


23 thoughts on “And the Big Winner is??? Sub-Domains!

  1. Harry L Shields

    Hi Rick, I’m building a business around one short url and hundreds of sub-domains. When I’m finished I hope to have over 10,000 meaningful, profit making, sub-domain sites. You just gave me more reason to believe that I really have something! Thanks

  2. Martin

    Interested post Rick. Do you see an opportunity for owners with short domains to sell their own subdomains. I have a domain for a regional area, should I be looking to open a registry service?

  3. Shane Kinsch

    Hi Rick.. I totally agree. I see the misdirection of brand managers attempting to rebrand the world by introducing .whatever when they should look at what they own today. The marketing and branding costs along with the operational expenses of running a registry will only line the pockets of Neustar and other registry operators.

    Say hello once again to for Nevada.


  4. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,

    My 6 letter .COM site mimics these characteristics you speak of. It never occured to me till this post. Those who heed your call to action on this beautiful strategy of yours, should do quite well .

    Isn’t it nice to be on the right side of this Market?

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  5. domain guy

    excellent point! and I agree somewhat. However this has not caught on in the masses. I know sold subdomains. However there is no fortune 5oo
    model up and working for others to point to. after confusion sets in on .whatever maybe this will emerge as the correct positioning.

    I think this new picture in the upper left hand corner of your blog makes you look like a gangster. too dark and emulates the wrong image for a king?
    This picture needs to be replaced with a more appropriate picture showing your correct stature in the domain community. you are the spokesman weather you realize it or not!

    Interesting negating on It was informative.


    I was taking the .whatever issue seriously, until it dawned on me, all the major actors pursuing the open string dream are actually domainers who are heavily invested in dot com, They are not giving that up They know and believe every argument Schwartz is making. So, what are they counting on? You know the answer!

    On another note, I have come up with a formula to know REAL TLDs.:
    When unsure, check to see what TLD that ICANN itself registered, and protected via

    If a TLD is not registered by ICANN such as,,, it probably means they don’t consider that TLD to be a important enough. I would think ICANN would know.

    If ICANN registers any .whatever extension via Godaddy, not via the Registry, I will take a look at that extension. All ICANN’s domain names are registered via Godaddy.

  7. sukhjin

    Honestly, I disagree. The strings “cotton.candy” will be more popular than “”

    Let me talk about my habits as a user. I use to go to google to search something, since the google chrome came in, I can just type in the “search term” in the google chrome url bar, it just search the results as I would have typed in search engine search bar.

    So I don’t think I have used the google search bar for about an year now, all I do is open chrome, instead of going to website, all I search is “Search something” and pops the results.

    This is small habit change, but very huge for google, because people are using google chrome URL, bar to search, and not typing the URL to go to website instead.

    So in near future, no one is going to treat the URL BAR as a URL typing, but instead they will use it for search.

    The chances of making mistakes goes up with subdomains, thus more confusions. Its better to have, than, because it will create more confusion, and people will just prefer typing search.whatever, because people like to search fast.

    So honestly, my 2 cents is that, it will the internet, but it won’t change too quick, but eventually it will change.

    New iphone do not even have “.com” button in keyboard. Not to say .com will disappear, thats not true either, but also I strongly believe that are Not the future.

  8. UFO


    I’ve been saying for years you should be able to use the taskbar as a SE. Google has finally it would seem. I’d always thought they might not go to that and hold back as long as possible because if MS use IE the same way and IE has so much market share it could lead to a loss of searches with Google. Fortunately for Google MS is so far behind the curve they haven’t done this, although they’ve tried some underhand attemps to dump users onto their search engine.

    I could say loads on these new TLDs that I haven’t said already, but the likes of Google will want and encourage these new TLDs as confusion means more search activity and less direct navigation.

  9. UFO

    @sukhjin Part 2.

    While you say the TLD is not material for search activity, lots of marketing value occurs around recollection and direct navigation, its what branding is all about. The heaviest of advertisers of URLs are the ones most interested in ensuring low confusion with users. Thats why they have all clustered on .com, they’ve had years to use other TLDs, major US corporates have had .US and never taken it up. .com stands for far more than a generic TLD that could be replaced with any other TLD on a random selection basis.

    Another aspect is the SE’s treat subdomains as domains. Hence for search potential has all the potential of a registry using that keyword as a TLD.

    Another point is that currently google does use TLDs as search terms unless they are specifically searched. I has given some uplift to .com on the basis that its more likely to have what users are looking for. So, clearly understand that the new TLDs while they may be keywords will NOT form part of the search. If I was searching for “Heavy Metal” then and would rank far higher than Heavy.Metal

    Now, IF Google starts making TLDs as keywords for search then all these TLD words are even more closely aligned to intellectual property rights. In fact Google could find itself as part of a class action for profiting via ads on search terms using these TLDs. It makes their job even more difficult.

  10. michaelcastello

    Your article is forward thinking and on the money. When you own a primary domain, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. Those that have primary domain names need to allow others to use them. As an example, you could let others use an email address or a sub-domain for free? The more people you get using, the more value it creates. That’s an asset. Free can always be changed to a fee down the road, once the user finds value in using it (and they will). Facebook and Google do it all the time.

    I am not talking about creating a company, or paying a company to do this for you. It is simple if you know how to do it. What I am suggesting is that you be frugal and do it yourself from the start. It’s the same thing if you own a house: you know when to take out the garbage, where the master water valve is, and how to switch off a circuit breaker. Well, your primary domain is like your virtual home. Learn how to use it. It’s yours, and you don’t have to worry about someone else claiming ownership of your comments or photos like the big companies do now. You own it, and you control the environment.

    Creating a sub-domain or forwarding email address is not hard. Do a search for “virtual hosting” or “virtusertable”. On most of my servers, I just have to put a line in the virtusertable file and I can forward any email address to an address of my choice. For example, on my server I have:

    That is all I have to do to enable any domain name I control to forward email to any email service. If someone writes to, it will forward to my gmail inbox. It took just one line – it’s that easy. I am going to start offering this free email service to my members of which there are thousands. The more they use these addresses in advertising their daycare services, the more eyeballs that will see my brand. It’s an extra service that we should all be offering.

    In my opinion, the new gTLDs are taking advantage of the premium domain names who keep their brands to themselves. We should beat them to the punch, but it’s going to take a general strategy for .com players to engage as a force. Even if we don’t, those who advance this idea will foster greater value in their brands. The sooner this is done, the better. I know,, and have had similar services. It is the correct course, but my strategy is for it to be free.

  11. Kassey

    @michaelcastello. I’m always amazed with your creative ideas! I didn’t realize that by giving away free email + free subdomain, the subdomains when all posted by the owners on the Internet will actually raise the importance of your domain. Marvelous!!!

  12. james

    Rick – someone who can do some professional videos should get this out on the net. The same way we are beginning to get bombarded with the new gtld videos, a video should be created explaining the sub domain process, traffic leakage, and all the other reasons why gtld’s could fail. I think businesses would take notice to this!

  13. Jeff Schneider

    Bingo Rick,

    Sub domains take full advantage of the Powerful Strategic Stature and world wide acceptance of the .COM Brand.

    While the competing .whatevers, as a whole will confuse and disenfranchise consumers trust in using them.

    You want International Brand Identity? Use the Strategically Superior .COM Brand.

    Your Virtual Business Foundations .COM Brand is in effect, an Internationally accepted and trusted symbol , for transacting safe internet business transactions. This trust built over 20 years of usage cannot and will not be duplicated by the .whatever fad.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  14. Observer

    As far as I know, most of those who tried the subdomain business with short domains with .whatever failed. I don’t know about .com. As for the free email address, all I know is the domain owners who provide free email service are having headaches for the users’ bad use of the free email service such as spamming.

  15. michaelcastello

    i completely understand. We started a GoLocal in 1997 for PalmSprings,com where we allowed visitors to register email addresses. I believe we had around 10,000 that were taken. Spam was and issue since we had to manage all the inbox email and we discontinued the service. A lot has changed since then and email service providers have successful systems already in place. We can take advantage of that.

    What I wrote about was email forwarding.Our servers only move the email to another mail service. I am offering it to daycare businesses that are members.

  16. Marian TUTELEA

    I don´t. I thing that will be much more better that and will be better tan

  17. MaxD

    “I am not talking about creating a company, or paying a company to do this for you. It is simple if you know how to do it. What I am suggesting is that you be frugal and do it yourself from the start. It’s the same thing if you own a house: you know when to take out the garbage, where the master water valve is, and how to switch off a circuit breaker. Well, your primary domain is like your virtual home.”

    Thank you for your practical advices. We know there are also plugins for WordPress, and maybe also for Joomla, to resell email addresses or giving away them for free, for instance, etc,etc., but I think THIS IS NOT ENOUGH: are needed hosting services DEDICATED to this promising business model, AND VERY SIMPLE TO MANAGE.
    Anyway, thank you again.

  18. michaelcastello

    I believe virtual hosting or a linode can be as cheap as $20 a month. We are property owners and we should learn how to get the most out of our names. Perhaps this could be a part of TRAFFIC in the future.

    I have already had a many daycare providers ask for email forwarding today and I am only offering it by private invitation. There is obviously a desire by the public to engage our domain brands. This is just one way we can achieve this.

  19. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Michael C.

    I like your long term Marketing Strategy using the .COM franchise as its base. Much wiser that employing a short term strategy based on a short term experiment, that has no track record. .Whatsthis? is a very risky business proposition, that only risk accepting gamblers should consider, rolling the dice on.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)


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