New research has revealed that all possible four-letter combinations for .com domains using only the 26 letters of the English alphabet have been registered. This means that businesses looking to obtain these domains will have to enter the aftermarket to get what they want.
A Croatian firm discovered that all combinations have been snapped up, which includes everything from well-known brand names to more abstract four-letter domain combinations. All 456,976 possible four-letter .com domains are no longer available, with the combinations going the way of the two and three-letter domains, which were fully subscribed a long time ago.
Of course, it’s not the case that each domain is being actively maintained and some will be available to buy for people or brands that have a use for them, however, it could cost a significant amount of money. So what does this mean for businesses that would ideally want a .com name. Well, they will have to pay for it, or look at other options.
For many this will mean looking into new gTLDs that are being launched by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and will start to appear on the Internet as early as February. These new domains will provide an option for brands to secure their own URL and in the process create a range of new opportunities. We might start to see URLs such as ILove.Nyc, Buy.Camera or Diner.Menu.
This new gTLD landscape should give brand owners far more flexibility and creativity to come up with new URLs that reinforce their particular theme or current promotion. Another benefit of the new gTLDs is that short, memorable domain names tend to be more successful among consumers and visitors, so given the fact short .com domains have run out, the future landscape offers significant opportunities.