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There are now more than three million .eu domains registered in Europe, making it one of Europe’s most popular extensions.

The EU is a lucrative market of 500 million potential customers whom startups and SMEs need to connect with. A .eu top level domain (TLD) helps European companies achieve greater visibility within this market, which is especially important if your startup or SME has operations or offices located throughout the continent.

The .eu domain was first launched in 2005 and now more people than ever before are aware of it. A 2015 survey from EURid, the non-profit organisation that operates the domain, shows that most Europeans are familiar with the .eu extension, particularly in central and eastern Europe.

Over the last few years, the popularity of the extension has grown exponentially. EURid’s latest progress report for Q1 2017 showed that there were more than 185,000 new .eu registrations and an 81% renewal rate in that quarter alone. The total number of .eu registrations now stands at 3.7 million with Germany on top with the most registrations and with Austria showing the most growth.

People are not only more aware of the domain extension and trusting of the sites that use it but also familiar with its many business benefits for European companies.

They understand, for example, that a .eu domain helps businesses target and reach users more accurately with more relevant targeting specific to Europe, which can contribute to better rankings in search engines.

According to one business headquartered in Germany, the .eu domain “fits perfectly”, helping it promote and build its European business which counts more than 100 branches in 50 different countries.

Businesses like this one also recognise that a .eu provides important consumer protection and security. The domain extension is subject to rules and regulations from the European Commission so consumers know that a website with a .eu domain is a safe place. EURid works with law enforcement agencies like Europol and intellectual property agencies like EUIPO to share information on domains which helps prevent cybercrime, copyright infringement, and illicit activity.

In other words, EURid is committed to ensuring that the .eu domain extension brings greater transparency to websites so that users know that the company can be trusted.

The .eu domain name extension is available to all residents or companies registered in the EU as well as EEA members Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

EuroDNS, a domain registrar based in Luxembourg accredited by EURid, is currently offering all .eu registrations at €9 instead of €18 from September 1 through to September 17. The offer includes the .eu domain registration, an Alpha SSL certificate, and an email address. Click here for more information.

Featured image: Christiaan Colen/Flickr