The new .au domains launched today!
Aussies love shortening things, like:
- Service Station – Servo,
- Afternoon – Arvo,
- Bottle shop – Bottolo,
- Definitely – Defo.
Ok, so maybe we like adding ‘o’ to things too.
The new .au domains are just like their .com.au cousin, just shorter.
Why are they being launched?
With millions of new websites created daily, .au domains offer a wider choice and greater supply of domains to the Australian market.
Do I qualify for a .au?
To obtain a .au domain, you need to have a business presence in Australia and the ability to provide proof of your local presence through an ABN or ACN. There is some flexibility with .au domains, meaning your registered business name doesn’t need to be an exact match, so get a little creative.
What if someone else wants the same domain?
Here’s the catch with .au domains. Anyone with the .com.au, .net.au or .org,au version of a domain has until 20 September 2022 to get priority preference for the .au version.
For example, as owners of baredigital.com.au we applied for baredigital.au and would have priority allocation. We also applied for bare.au, but as we own neither bare.com.au nor bare.net.au, if the owners of those domains apply, they’ll receive the priority allocation. You can check your Priority Status for a domain here.
When will I be able to use my .au domain?
Domains are registered on a first-come, first-served basis unless contested.
What if someone contests my .au purchase?
If a domain is contested, the domain registrar will determine the priority status of applications:
- Category 1: Owns the .com.au, .net.au or .org.au variant and it was purchased prior to 4 Feb 2018.
- Category 2: Owns the .com.au, .net.au or .org.au variant and it was purchased after 4 Feb 2018.
Category 1 applicants win out over category 2. If there are multiple Category 1 applicants, they fight it out (not in an octagon, but in negotiations facilitated by the registrar). If there are multiple category 2 applicants, the .com.au, .net.au or .org.au domain registered the earliest wins.
But I like my .com.au
Sweet! You don’t have to get a .au. Having multiple domains is purely for brand protection. You should have one primary domain for your website and email and similar variants to only stop other people from using them.
When strategising new business names, the first thing we do is to check domain name availability. There’s no point in having a great business name if you can’t have a related domain name. By buying up every variant of your name, you stop someone else from using it. The more Australian companies that use variants of your business name, the more search engine competition there is for it, meaning you might not appear at the top of Google searches for your company name, which would suck. So keep in mind that if you don’t register for your .au variant by 20 Sept 2022, it will open up to the public for purchase and anyone could buy it.
Which reminds me of that time a disgruntled employee of a major firm purchased a domain name very similar to theirs, and then created an anonymous diss site posting all sorts of company dirt. It got a little media exposure, they did some SEO work on the site, search queries skyrocketed, and it started ranking. So search for the company name and boom – the dirt site appeared just 3 listings below the main company site. If that story inspired anyone to buy up domain names, I take no responsibility.
Where can I buy them?
We use Only Domains as they don’t have hidden fees, but all major providers will follow suit and post the domains to market soon.
If you have a site with us and want to add the .au domain to your plan, let us know!