Domainers have been busy buying up .pro domains since September 2008, when RegistryPro relaxed the domain extension’s certification requirements.
Launched in 2004, .pro domain ownership was limited to an elite few professionals in fields such as accounting, engineering, law and medicine. Plus, to be eligible for a .pro domain, these professionals had to be based in Canada, Germany, UK and the US.
The registration process was full of cumbersome twists and turns, and .pro ownership cost several hundreds of dollars.
Unleashing the .pro domains
Starting in September, the .pro domain certification process was eased up, and the cost came down to under $50.
While the mainstream has yet to become familiar with .pro domains, their value is becoming very apparent with some big dollar sales:
- Video.pro $35,000
- Movie.pro $22,000
- Stream.pro $11,000
- Streaming.pro $18,000
- Foto.pro $6,100
- Travel.pro $3,900
Many domainers agree the .pro domains’ popularity and value will increase throughout 2009, and potentially take some market share from .com domains. They may have a case, considering their value from both a professional branding and lucrative SEO perspective.
Plan to buy .pro domains?
If you plan to buy .pro domains, a couple key elements apply:
1. The .pro domain name should contain keywords relevant to your business or industry.
2. The .pro domain name should be as short as possible so it’s easy to remember and type in.
Based on a search engine optimization keyword report, here are some .pro domains that could be valuable within your industry:
- Real Estate
And a few other clever and potentially lucrative .pro domains available via Sedo or Afternic:
The .pro domains have again dropped in price, providing some great domains for those who act fast. Entrepreneurs can find out what’s left on the market and snag a .pro gem for as little as $29.99 at select hosting companies like Network Solutions.
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.PRO domains might not be popular now, but they will once the start to emerge in Google’s results. But I don’t think the .PRO domains will ever overtake .coms, except maybe in the professional services indusutries.
.pro domains are way too expensive to go mainstream…let them get to $9.99 and then we’re talking!
.Pro domains were respectable. They are no longer limited to true professionals, so they will quickly lose their exclusive status and be just another domain type. Consequently, I prefer .coms and .nets to .pros.
Don’t expect the .Pro domains to get high profile fast. They’re intended for professionals and to maintain trust with the public, not to be exploited for the sake of high volume sales. .Pro domains are and will remain valuable in the domain realm.
pro domains won’t get super hot until 2010…the general public’s too slow to cash in. Look how long it took .coms to kick in.
Limiting .pro to “true professionals” resulted in there being about 20 .pros developed in the first 3-4 years after launch. RegistryPro would have gone bust years ago if it wasn’t for the financial support of it’s parent Hostway. The sooner the remaining license based restrictions are removed, the better. No domain extension can prosper with restrictions. It’s about time Hostway sold the contract to run .pro to a more commercial and realistic registry like Verisign or Afilias. RegistryPro have done nothing to promote .pro since it was launched.
Alex hit the nail on the head! If RegistryPro and Hostway had any marketing sense, .pro domains would be bought up and publicized worldwide long ago. There has been no effort, or at least it looks that way, to get .pro domains popular. I suppose they are hoping the .pro domain extension gets popular through a grassroots approach. While it will likely happen, it could have turned the wait to months instead of years. At least a few can still get some great deals in 2009 before everyone else jumps onboard.
Relax people! the .pro domains are growing, and growing fast. Why the panic? The longer it takes others to learn about .pros, the more you can get! If you’re buying the .pro domains remember you still need to have a valid license. They’re not like .coms or .orgs-you need a professional certification.
It will be interesting to see how the search engines treat .pro domains. You would think that they would rank higher, as they as the licensing requirement gives them more credibility.
.Pros still need licensed professionals, to buy them?