Domain Management in Australia
Australian website domains are managed by .au Domain Administration Limited (AuDA) who develop and administer the rules for internet domain names in Australia. Domain can ‘registered’ with Domain Registrars who have been approved by auDA
Also it is important to note that domains are ‘registered’ not ‘owned’. If you gain access to a domain you get to hold it as long as you continue to renew the registration fees.
If you don’t continue to pay the registration fee to renew your entitlement, the domain is no longer under your control or as the industry refers to it: ‘dropped’
What is a dot au domain?
While we are familiar with .com.au domains for Australian Businesses (e.g. websiteconcierge.com.au), auDA has announced the release of .au direct domain names available from 24 March 2022 e.g. websiteconcierge.au
If you currently hold a domain name in any other .au namespace (eg. com.au, id.au etc.), you’ll be able to apply for Priority Status to register its exact match in .au direct during a six-month period from the launch.
This enables current domain owners to register .au domains before these domains become generally available. It seems auDA is trying to prevent abuse of the new domain types.
Note that a person applying for a .au domain name will need to provide evidence of their Australian presence, and eligibility for that domain which will be validated by registrars prior to registration of a domain name licence.
Why You Might Consider Registering a .au Domain
Preserve Your Online Brand
If you already operate a website, you might consider holding the corresponding dot au domain to prevent competitor(s) from undermining your online presence.
Access a domain that is not otherwise available
You might want to secure a domain but it isn’t available in one of the other Australian domain types.
It’s easier to type
An argument that some domain registrars are trying to make is that the dot au domain is easier to type because its shorter. I don’t subscribe to this view. It sounds like to thin sales argument that to generate more sales for domain registrars.
What does a dot au domain cost?
There is a surprisingly wide range of pricing for registering a domain in Australia, and while there arent prices advertised for these new domain types yet, I think its reasonable to assume the pricing will reflected those offered for other Australian domains from that registrar.
Using your New dot au domain
Don’t do this
Many years ago in ‘ancient SEO’ times, there was a strategy where businesses purchased multiple domains and redirected these to their website. The idea was that each indiivdual domain would attract Google search traffic for tagretted search terms then direct this to the business website.
At the time, I investigated this scheme and exposed it for the scam it was. A domain does not attract organic traffic by itself.
Redirect to your current site
If you suspect that prospective visitors might try to reach your website by typing the dot au version of your domain, then you could redirect the dot au domain to your current site. I’d suggest using a 301 redirect for this purpose.
You could also provide a simple ‘landing page’ on your dot au site, from where visitors can click through to your normal site.
What should you do now ?
Consider if you want to claim and pay for a dot au domain to preserve your brand. If you already hold a related Australian domain you’ll be able to register this from your existing domain registrar after March 24
Below is auDa’s nifty flow diagram that spells out your eligibility for a dot au domain if you already have an Australia domain:
An online marketer with deep experience in Sales & Marketing as well as technical skills accumulated over the many years of working in this industry. He has been knee-deep in websites and online marketing since the mid 80’s.
Peter is a lateral thinker who sees solutions where many don’t.
Website Concierge is a reincarnate of Succinct Ideas, providing quality website support and online marketing for small businesses.
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