The Internet is about to get a bit bigger! ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), has approved the expansion of Top-Level Domains, or anything to the right of the dot such as .com, .org, .ca, .uk, and .net. There are currently hundreds of gTLDs (generic TLDs) awaiting approval, and when they become available they could change the way companies register their domain names and how they use the Internet to market their brand.
What does this mean?
The new gTLDs will have names that can apply to a number of products, brands, and business sectors. For example, if you are a real estate agent then .realestate would be a natural choice for your website domain name, as would .home, .forsale, or .apartments. If a restaurant wanted to be high in search engine rankings, then .restaurant or .food would be natural choices for their domain. Potentially, search engines will prioritize websites based on their domain, making it easier for them to be found by surfers. This change will NOT change the way the Internet works, but it will change the way people will find information on the Internet.
What else will change?
For IDNs (International Domain Names) it means companies can also register names in languages that use a non-Latin based alphabet, such as Arabic, Chinese, or Cyrillic. Languages that use Latin characters with diacritical marks such as umlauts and accents can also be utilized in the new gTLDs. Companies with a global reach can register in their native language and any other language as well, making their brand resonate in their native language and script.
How can you protect your brand?
To protect your brand and trademark during the launch of these new gTLDs you can register at the trademark clearinghouse [www.trademark-clearinghouse.com], currently the only authorized source to protect your trademark from potential unauthorized use. It may take a few years for the new gTLDs to gather a following, but while they are being approved it’s imperative that you protect your brand and trademark. ICANN recently released the finalized standards for protecting trademarks during the launch of new TLDs, and you can read the legal definition here http://www.thedomains.com/2013/10/01/icann-publishes-the-final-rights-protection-mechanism-rpm-requirements-for-new-gtld-registries/.
What will the new domains look like?
So far there are nearly 2,000 new gTLDs up for approval, according to ICANN. They vary, but soon you may see web addresses such as www.jcpenny.shopping or www.honda.car , but the potential is limitless and companies my find themselves buying hundreds of new addresses to be sure that they optimize their potential. Visit www.icann.org for an updated list of gTLDs awaiting approval.
How to I register a new domain name with a new gTLD?
Currently, there are numerous websites that will allow you to preregister your name in anticipation of a new gTLD. GoDaddy.com and many other sites make it easy, but preregistering (and PAYING for preregistration) does not guarantee you will receive the domain, and some caution against spending money to secure the name. For additional information about what some industry leaders are thinking about preregistration, see what prweb.com has to say here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10373577.htm.
This is a new and exciting time for the internet – for surfers and businesses alike. Getting a website higher in search engine rankings is imperative for companies, but so is protecting your trademark and brand identity. Keep abreast of the information regarding TLDs by regularly visiting the ICANN website and your web hosting company. They will be your best resource for information as the gTDLs roll out over the next few months.
Need a little help with your website or ideas for YOUR new gTDL addresses? Turn to the experts at holland advertising : interactive. Call Bryan Holland at 513.744.3001 or visit www.HollandAdvertising.com. We’re here to help!