When it was announced way back in 2010 that Canon was starting the process of purchasing their own branded .canon top level domain (TLD) it was met with mixed reaction. Now, six years later, the company has unveiled the fruits of that labor: a brand-new website for their global online presence at global.canon.
The new site will replace the old .com address and will have the benefit of instantly validating any .canon address as an official company URL. The move will likely confuse some people, given that the .com TLD remains the most popular and commonly used TLD, and the fact that consumers will likely still default to canon.com when trying to navigate to the corporation’s online presence. But the move sets Canon apart, being one of only a few corporations with one of these new branded TLDs (others include Barclays bank and automaker BMW, as well as rival, Nikon), as well as allowing them an SEO and security benefit to sites they host on it.
Canon’s old .com address will redirect to the global.canon address, which will either limit the number of consumers thrown off by the new URL, or cause greater confusion. In a statement, Canon talked about the security benefits of the new address.
“Since .canon is a domain name that can only be used by the Canon Group, users of .canon sites can be assured that the information they are receiving is reliable. In order to ensure that customers can safely access Canon information beyond the global site, the company also plans to extend the .canon domain name to other Canon Group sites.”
It will be interesting to see if more corporations follow suit and move their websites over to branded TLDs. As of this writing, even Canon’s regional websites have not used the new TLD. Nikon has a parking page for its TLD, although it doesn’t redirect you to any of Nikon’s homepages. The benefits are certainly nice, as is the security of knowing that the information you are viewing is legitimately from the company and not some scam or spoof site. It could also make the process of finding the company website you are looking for that much more complicated, so the jury is still out on whether this is a good direction.