An Interview With Daniel Negari of .XYZ
.xyz is a nTLD (new top-level domain) used by internet users around the world. Their goal is to foster entrepreneurship and innovation and to help internet users spread their message. The .xyz message spoke to us, so we reached out to Daniel Negari, .xyz CEO, to further discuss the TLD and where he sees nTLDs progressing in the next few years. Read our interview with Daniel below:
Ana: .xyz is a great fit for many different websites and individuals. Why do you believe .xyz fits so well into multiple different niches and what encouraged you to brand it in this way?
Daniel: X, Y, and Z are universally recognized as the ending of the Latin alphabet, so .xyz is a domain ending that just makes sense. .xyz also doesn’t have a literal meaning or connotation, so for someone getting a website for the first time it gives them the ability to create any kind of web presence they want rather than being labeled by an industry, location, or other niche. The freedom of .xyz opens up endless naming and usage possibilities, which is why we say “.xyz is for every website, everywhere®”.
My mission has always been to bring competition and choice to the marketplace, so when we applied for a domain extension I wanted something that would be truly global. Ultimately we want people across the world to be able to share their knowledge, passion, and interests without being restricted by any barriers or high start-up costs.
A: What are some of your favourite .xyz live websites?
D: With more than two million registrations in over 200 countries and territories, I have many favorite .xyz websites. As an entrepreneur myself, it's been especially exciting to see so many innovative businesses branding with .xyz. MIT chose Engine.xyz as the launch pad for their $250 million startup accelerator that’s designed to simplify the path Tough Tech entrepreneurs take to bring truly impactful technologies to market. Skype’s co-founders are making the future of delivery more efficient and cost-effective with their autonomous delivery startup, launched on Starship.xyz. Premier production studio turned culturally conscious parent company, The Milk Group, pivoted from Mi.lk to Milk.xyz for their popular editorial platform that highlights the most visionary leaders and brands in art, music, and streetwear culture.
It’s no surprise to see the many apps and communities adopting .xyz to connect with their audiences. Mozilla executive Aza Raskin is using Elsewhere.xyz for his Augmented Reality app that creates 3D video when used in conjunction with Elsewhere 3D glasses. HBO created Hooli.xyz for fans of Silicon Valley, when a faux tech giant launched a new division (HooliXYZ) in the storyline of the hit show’s second season.
There are also some truly amazing individuals using .xyz to showcase their work. MelissaHung.xyz is the online portfolio of an independent journalist who writes for NPR, Vogue, and Catapult, and received the White House’s 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Video producer and gaming writer Andy Kelly uses Ultrabrilliant.xyz to share his work at Vice, The Guardian, PC Gamer, and his award-winning short film series Other Places. We find new inspiring .xyz users every day, and our team loves highlighting them in the #WebsiteWednesday series on our blog and on our community page.
A: Can you tell us a little bit about .XYZ and SEO? How does a TLD like .XYZ affect a brand's SEO?
D: Google has verified that their algorithm treats all gTLDs the same. As a generic extension, .xyz is recognized and indexed by Google the exact same way all other generic domains are, including .com, .net, and .org. The SEO advantage for the user lies in getting a relevant and short domain, like the name of their brand or a keyword closely related to their industry.
Businesses can rank higher for their brand name with a URL that closely matches it, making an exact match on .xyz more desirable than a convoluted domain name using a legacy TLD. It also may help increase type-in traffic since their customers can more easily recall what their website name is from memory after seeing or hearing it in an ad. The fact that Google themselves use abc.xyz for their parent company, Alphabet, is just further proof that they recognize the value of nTLDs.
A: What are some unique ways someone can use a .XYZ domain other than simply creating a website?
D: Our customers have long been using .xyz as a custom email address in order to ensure brand continuity with their web address online, and it’s also a great way to secure the social media handles you want, i.e. @Enginexyz, which then doubles as a way to promote your website URL via social.
If you are a cryptocurrency investor, one exciting new way to use your .xyz is as a custom identifier for your Ethereum wallet via the main ENS network. As of September 2018, our customers can harness the power of the DNS to function as an easily memorable customer identifier for their Ethereum wallet rather than needing to remember and give out the confusing mix of numbers and letters that make up an ETH wallet hash.
We are also continuing our support of tech innovation through a highly affordable class of domains called the 1.111B® Class domains. Just as the name suggests, it’s made up of 1.111 billion possible 6-digit, 7-digit, 8-digit, and 9-digit numeric combinations. The 1.111B® Class is priced at 99¢ a year, every year and is ideal for use in Internet of Things device connectivity, as vanity identifiers, and for trading digital currency.
A: What advice would you give to those that may still be hesitant when it comes to using a nTLD such as .xyz?
D: If you want to get the name you’re searching for at a reasonable price and brand on a domain that your audience will remember, then .xyz is for you. The overcrowded legacy TLD namespace makes it difficult to find an affordable, short, and recognizable domain name. .xyz is one of the fastest growing nTLDs because it’s truly flexible, unrestricted, and affordable. When you get a .xyz you are joining millions of other forward-thinking businesses, individuals, and organizations all over the world that chose .xyz in order to reach a worldwide audience.
A: How do you see nTLDs progressing in the next 10 years?
D: The large demand for domain names is only going to increase in the next 10 years. Companies are moving away from relying on apps and social media alone, and recognize the immeasurable value of owning their own piece of the internet and having complete control of their image. There are even more naming options becoming available, which I believe will increase momentum for nTLDs like .xyz. You see large companies with major marketing reach, like Google and Amazon, now launching their own portfolios of domain endings, which is a strong indicator that the new domain markets as a whole will only continue growing in the coming years.
There are millions of new users coming online every day for the first time in emerging internet markets. I see that as a momentous opportunity for the industry, and I believe that growth will bring even greater demand for global, flexible, and affordable domains. As a universally recognized nTLD, .xyz is the new go-to domain ending for internet users everywhere.
A: How do you think those within the domain industry can continue to promote and grow nTLDs?
D: There are many ways to promote and grow nTLDs. First off, make it a priority to spread awareness of nTLDs through education. We’re helping new internet users succeed online through our Quarterly How To Get Online series, Internet "How To" blog posts, and with an informational eBook for entrepreneurs. We also regularly sponsor hackathons and tech development organizations in order to spread awareness of .xyz to the next generation of internet users.
Those within the industry can also train their sales teams on the benefits of nTLDs and about the many thriving businesses, organizations and individuals who are using them. Sales representatives can then pass along this education to the customer during the sales process.
Generating exposure for adopters of nTLDs is another important step in ensuring their growth. We promote our top .xyz customers through our Live Sites page, the previously mentioned #WebsiteWednesday blog posts, and our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Lastly, simply choose nTLDs when launching new websites and landing pages. Consider an nTLD as the first choice, and not the second or third.
Exposure for one particular nTLDs is beneficial for the nTLD namespace as a whole, as it increases the awareness and trust the public has about new domains. For example, the ICANN Transaction report shows that in February 2014 there were only 190,989 dns-udp-queries received for .xyz. In January 2019, we had over 28 billion queries. I believe these results are truly fantastic, and am a big believer in the saying that “a rising tide raises all ships”.
A: We understand that you've had some great success in Asian markets, including Japan and China. Can you tell us about your goals and plans for this market, and why you think .XYZ gained so much traction in these markets?
D: .xyz is popular in Asian markets for a number of reasons, the main reason being that we prioritized the Chinese market early on in .xyz’s availability. We made a strong commitment to internet users there and set accreditation for .xyz as a top priority. As a result, .xyz was one of the first foreign-operated domains to achieve accreditation, and our status as a top domain in China is a direct result of us delivering on that promise. XYZ is also an acronym for “little universe” in Mandarin when romanized in pinyin as “Xiǎo Yǔ Zhòu” – a great encapsulation of what the open, global Internet is.
Another major reason for our success in Asia is that .xyz transcends language barriers. People across the world are familiar with x, y, and z as the last three letters of the Latin alphabet, and that resonates as an ending when they choose a domain name. You can register .xyz domains in over 200 languages as well, so .xyz is ready to serve any market in the world.
Our goal in Asia and every other region of the world is to be the #1 TLD, just as we currently are in Vietnam, Morocco and Turkey. We will continue to provide an ideal domain for these markets and I will keep investing in the next generation of internet users by supporting tech education organizations, such as Indonesia’s Generation Girl. We’ve supported domain investors in China by creating tools to help them invest in .xyz domains. For example, our premium .xyz domain search tool – which allows you to browse available keywords, popular locations, 1 and 2-character domains, and even thousands of valuable names we’ve made available at standard prices – is accessible in both English and Chinese at www.gen.xyz/cn/jingpin. They can also complete their portfolio by using our CNOX tool to search for valuable domain names that have been registered in .com, .net, and .org, but are still available in .xyz. The steady growth we’ve observed in registrations from Asian countries shows the value in these efforts.