The Russian .рф Extension launches tomorrow and could create some incredible opportunities in the IDN space. .рф stands for “Russian Federation” and ASCII characters will not be supported with this TLD. You must be a Russian citizen or legal Russian entity in order to buy .рф domains.
When I first heard about this launch I thought, this is going to be big! The reason I think it’s going to be big is because Russia has a whopping 59.7 million Internet users. To put that in perspective that’s more Internet users than all of Canada and Mexico combined and is just shy of Germany’s 64 million Internet users.
An extension like .рф has two avenues of potential – the first is search. .US domains rank well in Google US and Bing, .DE Domains rank well in Google Germany and Bing, .рф should rank well in Google.рф and Google .ru along with Bing. With 59.7 million people online having an advantage in search could mean strong traffic and revenue, all for the cost of a registration fee!
The next potential win with this extension could be type-in traffic. If Russia decides to make .рф the default extension for the country this could mean type-in traffic, and lots of it. Right now there are people making money off of type-in traffic on .DE, .CA, .CO.IN, .CO.UK and many more, if the IDN version of this TLD becomes the standard there could be some incredible opportunities ahead.
If you’d like to invest in this new TLD you might think that you have to be in Russia to do it. That’s what I thought initially and I was happy to find-out that 101Domain will be offering the required local presence (they are the only US-based registrar to do this). It’s great to see a US-based registrar step-up to the plate here and provide a really valuable service and opportunity to Domainers. I’m a big fan of 101Domain, it’s a very reliable company and they are ccTLD and IDN experts which means you’ll be in good hands!
Tomorrow, November 11th is the first chance the world will have to register the .рф Extension, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
Now let me know what you think about this new extension. Comment and let your voice be heard!