If you’ve been reading my recent emails to the Organic Food Industry group on LinkedIn or if you watched my video recapping the Top 5 Organic Food Products from Natural Products Expo East 2014, you probably noticed that I mentioned a company called .ORGANIC (“dotORGANIC”).
And if you’ve been a little confused by it, I completely understand why.
.ORGANIC is doing something that has never existed before – the company is offering organizations in the organic industry a .ORGANIC domain name.
In the past, all of us have had the option of using a .com, .net, .biz, .org or one of several other domain names. But now, qualified organizations have access to a .ORGANIC name.
For example, https://livingmaxwell.com could be https://livingmaxwell.organic.
.ORGANIC debuted a few weeks ago at Natural Products Expo East 2014 in Baltimore, and the reception was fantastic. Among many others, Stonyfield, Applegate, The Rodale Institute, Bitsy’s Brainfood, NibMor, and OMRI (the Organic Materials Research Institute) have already signed up to use a .ORGANIC domain name.
“It’s exciting to see these organic leaders adopt the .ORGANIC domain so quickly. The speedy adoption by such reputable organizations reinforces our belief that .ORGANIC will really help distinguish the organic space on the Internet,” said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and CMO for Afilias, the company that manages the .ORGANIC domain.
THE UNIQUE DIFFERENCE
Aside from its name, there is one thing separates the .ORGANIC domain from nearly all other domains: pre-qualification.
Any organization that wants to purchase a .ORGANIC domain must be engaged in the organic sector and must meet certain criteria established by .ORGANIC, as spelled out in the registration process. This should have an impact on two areas.
1) TRUST When consumers see a USDA certified organic seal on a food product, there is an immediate level of trust that the product is truly organic.
Similarly, every single website that has a .ORGANIC domain name has been pre-qualified by a third-party organization. So, when consumers see a .ORGANIC address in the search results, they’ll know that this company is truly involved in the organic industry.
Maggie Patton, Co-Founder of Bitsy’s Brainfood and an early adopter of .ORGANIC, believes this additional level of trust is a huge win for shoppers. “Reading a label and seeing that a product is USDA certified organic lets you know that the ingredients are vetted, clean, and not produced using GMOs. And to be able to transfer that validation and quality standard to a domain name is an important and marvelous thing.”
Without question, .ORGANIC is going to be an important point of differentiation, for both individuals and companies, and the pre-qualification process also prevents “squatters” from taking over domain names.
2) SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS While it has not publicly acknowledged that a pre-qualified domain name, such as .ORGANIC, will lead to higher search results, Google has consistently maintained that it wants to deliver the best search results possible.
And the search experts that I have spoken to believe that because pre-qualified domains have been verified and are real (i.e., not link farms or other gimmicks), Google will place a greater importance on these domains when delivering results.
Furthermore, if you want more evidence that Google believes that new domain names are of real importance, the company has bid on more than 100 of them to manage! That’s how highly Google thinks of them.
COMMITMENT TO ORGANIC
For the last few months, I have been acting as a consultant to Afilias, the owner of .ORGANIC and the 2nd largest domain registry in the world, and I can assure you that this is a company that is genuinely concerned about maintaining the credibility and standards of organic.
Not only did .ORGANIC jump at the chance to sponsor our dinner and after-party at Expo East 2014 to raise money for GMO-labeling efforts in Colorado and Oregon, but .ORGANIC is also sponsoring the Rodale Institute’s Walk for an Organic Planet.
So, when you buy a .ORGANIC domain name, you can take comfort in knowing that the individuals behind this organization are truly committed to the organic cause, something which means a great deal to me.
Without question, .ORGANIC is a very new offering, but I believe it is just a matter of time before a majority of the organic industry is using it, myself included.
To learn more about or to register for a .ORGANIC domain name, click HERE.