In a recently published study investigating the ranking and the
attractiveness of Top Level Domains as assessed by Internet users the
ccTLD .de scored excellently and recorded the best TLD result, preceding
.com and .co.uk. Sabine Dolderer, CEO of DENIC, the independent provider
of the name service for the .de zone, values this as another proof of
DENIC’s competent performance to the benefit of the Internet community and
as an acknowledgement of DENIC’s nearly 23-year old proven and tested
business model of self-controlled domain administration.
The study, which was executed by EURid, the operator that administers the
TLD .eu, illuminates the interplay between the attractiveness of a leading
TLD – as a combined result of brand strength and customer service quality
– and the number of end users interested in domains under that TLD. EURid
included the generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) .com, .net, .org, .biz,
.info and .eu and the European country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD) .be,
.cz, .de, .dk, .es, .fr, .it, .pl, .se and .co.uk in its assessment.
The brand strength of TLDs, which was defined as the total of the three
key attributes « Awareness », « Relevance » and « Preference », was determined
within the scope of a comparative brand analysis carried out between
December 2009 and January 2010 in 10 countries with 400 participants,
While all ccTLDs included in the study scored 95% aided Awareness in their
home countries and thus were nearly level with .com, the results for
Relevance differed widely. Except for Sweden (.se) and Germany (.de) the
interviewed persons attributed much higher relevance to .com than to the
TLD of their own country.
More than three quarters of all the end users who participated in the
study preferred .com or their local TLD to any other gTLD. As regards the
Preference for .com or the respective ccTLD, the values varied
considerably by country: Only the country code TLDs of Germany (.de),
Sweden (.se), the Czech Republic (.cz) and Denmark (.dk) outscored .com in
this aspect of Preference ranking. The study found that the varying
assessments are due to the degree the individual TLD satisfies specific
brand characteristics: Users apparently prefer TLDs they feel to meet
conservative values such as « convincing », « trustworthy », « stable », « high
quality » and « safe » particularly well.
As regards the second pillar of a TLD’s attractiveness, customer service,
the German ccTLD also achieved very good results in the overall rating.
Here, .de scored second among all the investigated ccTLDs, preceded only
slightly by .nl.
The complete study “How Top-Level Domain Customer Service and Brand
Influence Customer Buying Behaviour” with all the results and analyses can
be found on the website of EURid for download at