In 2014 the .uk domain name was added to the existing family of UK domains (.co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk etc.) and certain domains were reserved from the public for five years.
When the .uk domain extension was released, the rights were reserved for owners of existing UK domains (.co.uk, .org.uk etc.) to claim their equivalent .uk domain. This means, for example, if you’re the owner of mycompany.co.uk, then ‘mycompany.uk’ was reserved for you and is unavailable to anyone else until 25th June 2019. This is known as .uk rights of registration.
Why register a .uk domain?
In years gone by having a domain extension that showed your customers where your business operated was a vital ranking factor for search engines. Google would see that a website had a .uk domain name and boost its rankings for UK-based searches. Although domain names are no longer a search engine ranking factor, choosing the right domain extension is still just as important and there are many reasons to register a .uk domain name, especially if you already own the equivalent .co.uk version.
Pride in Britain
Even though Google stopped considering a .uk domain extension important for UK searches, customers do still find reassurance in a website if they know it’s British. If a UK user sees a .uk domain extension then they know the information they’re reading is relevant to them. Or with an online store, for example, they’ll know they don’t have to worry about international shipping fees on their purchases because they can see the website is for a British business.
If you own the .co.uk version of the domain name it’s possible that customers might mishear or mistype your domain name when looking for your website and end up on the .uk version instead. If you’ve registered .uk as well then this won’t be a problem as you can simply redirect them to the proper version.
Although the .uk version is reserved for registrants of the .co.uk equivalent until 25th June 2019, after this date the .uk domain will enter the public market. This could make it possible for scammers to impersonate businesses by using a similar domain name. Registering the .uk whilst it’s still reserved will prevent this risk.
If you already own a UK domain name, then the equivalent .uk domain may be reserved and waiting for you. Visit our domain checker page to register your new .uk domain name.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019