After an announcement to open registration of .IN domains for anyone from inside & outside India, lots of existing customer started calling us to verify impact of this on their website strategy. 5 Out of 10 new customers we meet raise question about .IN domain.
Before the announcement; .co.in domains were allowed only for owners of registered Indian trademarks or service marks and registered Indian companies.I remember the process I followed for booking http://www.imageonline.co.in/ (for the obvious reason as .COM was booked by some one else). I approached NCST (the only one) http://domain.ncst.ernet.in/ with set of papers (though forms were available for download on their website and their service was prompt). As proof of existence of company or brand was must; I sent them a certificate issued by registrar of company as a proof that domain applied is for Image Online; which is an alive existing Indian Company. It was for minimum of 2 years period & rates were INR 1500 for 2 years. Before approving the domain they were checking the DNS entry & I need to pre-inform my ISP about booking of .co.in domain so that they can prepare for check by NCST. At that time booking of .in domains were still not allowed.
On 16th February 2005, open registration of .in domains were announced & allowed for anyone from inside & outside India. To protect the interest of Indian companies & brands government announced sunrise period, where owners of registered Indian trademarks or service marks who wish to protect their marks been given the opportunity to apply for .IN domain names before the general public; though it was compulsory for them to submit proofs for their trademark.
These figures after the announcement are really interesting!!!!!
As per online news at http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050407/biz.htm#7 around
1, 00,000* (I am sure you are not one of them) domain booked within 90 days.Most surprisingly only 2000* were booked in Sunrise Period (How serious our brand owners are!)
More then 45000* domains were booked within 24 hours of the open date (Now I don’t want anybody to move my cheese)
Look at this figure .IN domains were booked by registrant from 108 countries (I love my India, either Indians are there every where or lots of non-Indians knows the Indian brand or important domain name better)
I am sure you must have got the answer to the main question Do I really need to buy .IN domain for my website?If not, let me ask you why you never thought of booking even .co.in domains prior to January 2005? If you were not serious at that time, why are you so serious now? Thanks to media that has generated fear, If it is a need go ahead & book it now.
I hope you will not take me wrong; I am not against booking of .IN domain, I am trying to indicate if you already have .com domain, it is not must for you to book .IN domain (At least for small companies & not so popular brands where domain snatcher feel worth investing money to block domain) If yourcompanyname.com is not available but at the same time yourcompanyname.in is available I will definitely advice you to book .IN names.
One of my customers proudly said, that they spent around 2, 00,000 INR for booking .co.in & .in domain for almost all of their brands, let me tell you they don’t have their own web site yet! It was their fear & not the need!
Having said that, is there any specific technical advantage booking .co.in or .IN name?Here is what Google Says “Our crawlers may identify the country for a site by factors such as the physical location at which the site is hosted, the site’s IP address, the WHOIS information for a domain, and its top-level domain.”
Refer to 4th FAQ at http://www.google.com/webmasters/faq.html
What does this Means? This indicates how Google identify that a particular site represents a company from a particular country. Google try to fetch the country information from IP address based on where site is hosted, WHOIS information which gives the physical address of the company, and it reads top-level country domain information (e.g. .IN)
When country is known for a particular services (India for IT), buyer will always opt to filter other pages to get pages only from a particular country, this is possible by selecting an option provided below search box (in Google there is a button to opt for “Pages from India”
if buyer visits http://www.google.co.in/), it adds one more possibility to appear on the search engine top pages, if buyer opts to display pages only from particular country, (and if you have your domain booked with top level domain for that particular country) though apart from only top level country domain, Google also treat it as country page based on WHOIS information & IP address.
Moral of the story:
If it’s a fear – DO NOT REGISRER if it’s a need – GO AHEAD & REGISTER.If you want to register .IN Domains, here is the list of different registrar
- gen.in (general)
* ChargesRs.786/yr ( USD 18.00/yr ) for 2nd level (.in)
Rs.393/yr ( USD 9.00/yr ) for 3rd level (.co.in)