More businesses are investing in the tried-and-true .com after seeing their efforts with new domain names fall flat.

Remember the 1970s TV show called “The Jeffersons”? It was about a family who hit it big and was able to move up to a better class of living. As the theme song went, the Jefferson family was “movin’ on up, to the East Side, to a deee-luxe apartment in the sky.” In this case, the East Side of New York was considered prime real estate, compared to where the Jeffersons had come from.

Similarly, I’ve noticed a number of companies movin’ on up to prime online real estate by switching from one of the many alternative domain names to .com. Recently, I wrote about a few companies, including overstock.com, Visa International, Connectify, and Teamwork, that switched to .com after having tried an alternative top-level domain. It appears this has become a trend, as a number of additional companies have recently switched to .com to have a deee-luxe online presence.

Despite the hundreds of options available today, when it comes to domain extensions, GMO Internet, Decoded, FastMail, and Signature Labs are the latest examples of companies that moved up to .com. Here are the details:

GMO Internet, one of Japan’s leading Internet services providers and operator of the country’s largest domain registrar, recently acquired Z.com for $6.8 million from Nissan to spearhead its global growth strategy. Securing “Z” under the .com Top Level Domain provides the group with a powerful tool to build a strong global brand. As a “Z” myself, I would have to agree it’s a smart move. Too bad I didn’t buy that years ago!

With offices around the world, Decoded, a company that teaches coding and software development skills to business professionals, recently spent $50,000 to get Decoded.com and move away from Decoded.co. This is a strong proof point for my argument that, for most businesses, .com is the best choice, as Decoded had a fully functioning .co but felt the steep investment in a .com was worth it to move into the prime real estate of the Internet.

Fast Mail, the hosted email service that used FastMail.fm as its primary domain name for the past 15 years, recently switched to FastMail.com. In this article on DomainSherpa, the company cited .com’s credibility and familiarity with consumers as the key reason for this change.

Signature Labs is another company that recently switched to .com. The maker of the traffic ticket app Fixed reportedly paid $40,000 to upgrade from GetFixed.me to Fixed.com.

As more domain options continue to flood the internet, I am sure we will see more defections from alternative TLDs. The bottom line is that companies that are taking a chance on new gTLDs are moving into an uncharted territory, as there is growing confusion and the ROI is questionable. This is why companies need to do their due diligence before they decide which domain to choose for their online presence. So when choosing a domain name for your business, don’t live beside the Bunkers – instead, choose that high-end real estate and move on up like the Jeffersons did.

Article courtesy of Zeus Kerravala ~ Network World