One Year From Launch, .MX Domains Gaining A Foothold On .COM.MX
A recent informal study conducted by Sales.mx has revealed some surprising results. A survey of developed .mx top-level domains indicates the new extension is already in use by a wide variety of businesses, clubs, schools, organizations and individuals.
Major findings of the study include that a) a significant number of end-users have chosen to forward their .com.mx domains to their .mx developed websites., b) When not using redirects (a.k.a. URL forwarding), others are still branding their .com.mx mirror sites with .mx logos, and c) in many cases the corresponding .com.mx domain name of a developed .mx domain was found to be unregistered, suggesting a clear preference for the latter.
A search was performed on Google.com.mx using the search filter site:.mx.
Use of this filter returned results from only .mx domains, excluding all other tlds such as .com, .net, etc.
The search was further narrowed to display only pages from Mexico (Páginas de México).
Working within the first 100 results, a survey was conducted to measure the relationship between developed .mx domains, and their corresponding .com.mx domain counterparts.
For example, if the domain Widgets.mx was included in the sample, then the domain Widgets.com.mx was also evaluated to obtain one of several possible relationships, of which were:
- .com.mx counterpart is unregistered
- .com.mx is registered, but under a different owner
- .com.mx is registered under the same owner, and forwards to the .mx
- .com.mx is registered under the same owner, and does not forward, but resolves to its own site.
Of the 100 .mx domains surveyed, the results are as follows:
- 20% of developed .mx domains did not have a registered .com.mx counterpart
- 39% of developed .mx domains were registered under a different owner than their .com.mx counterpart
- 41% of developed .mx domains surveyed were registered under the same owner as their .com.mx counterpart
- Of the 41% of .mx and .com.mx pairs registered under the same owner, 39% resolved to separate websites (Mostly mirror sites of each other)
- 25% of all developed .mx domains surveyed (and 61% of those registered under the same owner as their .com.mx counterpart) forwarded the .com.mx to the developed .mx website
The charts below show a visual representation of the data.
Figure 1 (below)
Figure 2 (below)
Possibly the most interesting finding here is the significant percentage of .com.mx domains that are being redirected to their corresponding .mx developed websites. In cases where the .mx and .com.mx counterparts were both registered to the same owner, forwarding the .com.mx to the .mx domain was largely preferred over having both domains resolve to separate mirror sites. (See Figure 2).
It is also of interest that of the cases where the .mx and .com.mx domains are registered under the same owner but resolved to separate mirror sites, 25% (4 of 16) used the .mx in their logo. (See Figures 3 and 4 below) In no case was any site using the .com.mx in their logo. Thus there seems to be evidence for a branding preference among Mexico end-users towards the .mx top-level domain.
The study shows that 39 of 100 .mx to .com.mx counterparts were registered under different owners. It is unclear whether those who registered these .mx domains did so because the .com.mx was already taken, or whether they would have preferred to register the .mx regardless.
However, the results do show that in a significant number of cases (20 of 100 surveyed) the .com.mx was still available to register, indicating that in these cases end-users demonstrated a preference towards choosing the .mx version. *
The study did find one very high profile domain in the sample – CNN.mx – owned by Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS). This case turned out to be quite interesting when evaluated against its .com.mx counterpart. The result was that the domain CNN.com.mx forwards to Mexico.CNN.com, whereas the first-level domain CNN.mx resolves to its own domain. This suggests that com.mx is being tied to the global .com brand, whereas the .mx is being branded at the local/national level.
Domains for a number of Mexican political candidates were also found in the sample. Of these, 4 of 6 currently redirect their .com.mx to the .mx. (Cf. MarioZamora.mx, DavidMonreal.mx) It would be interesting to know whether this has anything to do with wanting to appear progressive. Regardless, in all of these cases, their constituency are likely to be increasingly exposed to the .mx first-level tld through their PR campaigns at the local and national level.
Several online journals and periodicals which forwarded their .com.mx to their .mx developed sites were also found among the sample. (Cf. Filosofia.mx, PeriodicoVictoria.mx) The implication here is that subscribers to these publications are also experiencing repeated exposure to the .mx top-level domain through their websites.
Other noteworthy cases of sites forwarding .com.mx to .mx were:
- Mercado.mx – top generic keyword domain (meaning market in English)
- Manana.mx – another top generic name (meaning tomorrow) and site of the self-proclaimed largest, most popular gay nightclub in Puerto Vallarta
- ToursPorChiapas.mx – Local tourism site
- Ipade.mx – IPADE Business School, a PanAmerican Graduate University
- Raia.mx – an interactive web-design firm
- Entec.mx – an international building technology solutions provider
Discussion Appendix A – .MX Branding
Two sites from the sample branding .mx logos on a .com.mx mirror site.
Figure 3 (below)
Figure 4 (below)
1. Note that the study conducted is biased not to find results for .mx domains which forward to their .com.mx counterparts. This is presumed to be due to the fact that all results returned using the site:.mx filter are for developed domains, whereas only undeveloped .mx domains are likely to be forwarding to the .com.mx.
For a full comparison, a study under the search filter site:.com.mx would also need to be conducted, and the results contrasted. Sales.mx may carry out such a study in the near future.
2. The method by which Google calculates the order of results on a search query using the filter site:.mx is not known at this time, and there is no guarantee that the results represent a random sampling of all developed .mx domains. It was noted that the number of sites for certain categories of end-users such as politicians, schools, and radio stations, appeared to be somewhat higher than one would have expected from a completely random distribution.
3. In the 20% of cases where the .com.mx counterpart to a developed .mx domain was found to be unregistered, the methodology of the study does not factor for cases (if they exist) where a .com.mx domain was previously registered to a different owner at the time the .mx domain was first acquired, and later dropped to show as available during the period the study was conducted. However the author of the study takes the probability for this discrepancy to be extremely low.
One of the greatest challenges faced by a new domain extension, if not the greatest, is achieving a significant level of end-user adoption. Such adoption is key to establishing traction in the marketplace.
A key question among early investors of .mx since its initial launch little over a year ago, has been the anticipated time-frame for wide-scale public public end-user adoption, (and therefore potential return on investment) given the already existing and ingrained .com.mx second-level domain.
Here, an analogy is often drawn in public forums between .com.mx/.mx and .co.in/.in (cctld’s for India), wherein the general argument is raised that Mexico’s adoption of the later top-level domain is likely to mirror the similarly slow strides by which India’s .in has advanced on .co.in.
Although the author knows of no such study that was ever conducted within the first year of launch of India’s top-level domain to measure adoption, based on the results of the current study the anecdotal evidence for this analogy when compared to the current data seems to be weak.
The data herein appears to show that Mexico is already embracing .mx and that the new extension could experience an accelerated rate of local end-user adoption, at least more so than has been related concerning other new top-level country code domains launched in previous years..