Domain names · Artificial intelligence

Are there downsides to using ".ai" TLD as your Artificial Intelligence start-up's website domain?

Sanjeev Somani Next-Gen B2B Sales Productivity

December 5th, 2016

1) Given that ".ai" is really supposed to represent the Caribbean island of Anguilla, is there any risk of using it for a U.S.-incorporated artificial intelligence start-up?  From what I can tell, the use of ".ai" is unrestricted, but you never know...
2) When it comes to Google search, does ".ai" perform the same as ".com", ".co", or other more 'popular' TLDs?
3) Anything else to know prior to making a decision?

Thanks!

Mickey Hoh Integration Solutions & Digital Strategist @ CSC - Computer Sciences Corporation | National University of Singapore grad

December 5th, 2016

1) It depends on what kind of risks that you are referring to. As long as you comply to .ai domain policies, you should be fine. Your usage of 'ai' to represent artificial intelligence is fine too. I do not see anything wrong with it. For some country TLDs (ccTLDs), you would get into trouble if you use it for spam, gambling etc (which you are not using it as). As far as I know there is no restriction on the territory. This means that you could use it outside Anguilla.

2) Google has maintained that their search and rankings do not differentiate between '.com' vs non '.com' or any other TLDs or even the latest new gTLDs (.website, .site etc). What is important is the content and the SEO of your website. That said, .com is always the most popular. If you could get a .com, why not? However, a short .com name is very expensive nowadays.

3) Your emphasis should be more on the content of your website and the value your business brings. The domain name is important but not as important as your business. So, do think of a good name and good domain name, but don't spend too much time or funding on it. Once your business grows and get sufficient funding, you could always purchase an expensive .com.

Good luck!

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

December 6th, 2016

Domains are cheap. Why not get both the .ai and .com variations and let the .com redirect to the .ai? They don't have to be the same domain, either. The reason for a .com has nothing to do with Google and everything to do with non-search engine traffic: from radio/TV interviews, brochures, print media…anything whee the site visitor has to type the domain. No matter how many times you say "ai," some people will type the .com. So make your .com choice short, memorable, and benefit-oriented. If people are listening in their cars, you want them to remember how to get to you.

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

December 16th, 2016

There are a ton of great .com names if you know how to look for them. Like I said, I have a method where I can narrow down fitting available .com very quickly.


Sanjeeve, like I said I sent you a private message but you never acted on it so I'll post it here. These are currently unclaimed .com names ending in AI.com. If anyone wants them you can pick them up at any domain registar for about $10-$15 right now:

brainstormAI.com

brillianceAI.com

accumenAI.com

psionicAI.com

SphinxAI.com

grokAI.com

whizbangAI.com


Sanjeev Somani Next-Gen B2B Sales Productivity

December 6th, 2016

Thanks for these responses!

The .com version of the brand name I have in mind is already taken. ".ai" could be the next best choice, to highlight that my value prop is enabled by A.I.

I'm in the B2B space, so don't have to rely much on SEO, just wanted to see if there are any known handicaps with "ai". Google Domains doesn't support .ai registrations, but that could also be because there is a manual process involved in registering this domain with Anguilla.

".ai" isn't cheap by the way -- $100 per year, two year minimum!

Cheers!

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

December 6th, 2016

I should have mentioned that you need to think about this as a marketing tool, and you also need a clear idea of your overall marketing strategy. These are areas where I can help. Best way to reach me is to visit http://goingbeyondsustainability.com

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

December 7th, 2016

Sanjeev - I shot you a message.  If you're not married to your domain name I have an algorithm that finds all the best available domains associated with a keyword ... in this case "ai".  It's 100x better than any of the domain discovery tools you'll find online.

Something you'll want to consider is that you will eventually want to buy the .com version of your .ai, just so that someone doesn't grab it and pretend to be you ... besides if a ".com" domain ends in "___ai.com" and you own the ____.ai version, the owner will probably see if you own the _____.ai and if it looks profitable, they may jack up the price on you.

Mickey Hoh Integration Solutions & Digital Strategist @ CSC - Computer Sciences Corporation | National University of Singapore grad

December 6th, 2016

Yup. As mentioned, short .com names are expensive because most of them have already been taken (that's another story altogether and it is huge). So, what's left for .com would be some not so short or not so sweet names, typically sort of long to type. The short ones are expensive, ranging from a few hundreds to even millions. The retail price for a typical .com domain in the primary market is actually less than USD10. In some places, you could get it for a few bucks for the initial year. Those that are available from the secondary market are the short ones and the expensive ones. So, your next option is .ai, which you would have a better chance of getting a short name, maybe at 4-5 letters? Yes, you are right, the .ai domain registration is manual and it takes some waiting time to register (unlike .com which you could register in minutes online), at a cost of USD100. It is also not widely available for registration by popular domain registrars such as Google Domains.

If SEO is not an issue and your B2B customers would know you by name eventually, then .ai will do fine as they will not type .com to look for your website. It seems that you have already made up your mind to use .ai. I would say, go for it. If time and funding permits in the future, try to get a .com too.

Btw, let me know the outcome of your .ai registration once you get it. I would be happy to learn about your website and also your success stories!