What Are gTLDS?
Generic top level domains or gTLDs are the new extensions that will soon expand the web in huge proportions. A top level domain are the extensions we use everyday such as .com, .net, and .org among others. Before the new ones currently coming out we had a total of 22, after the new ones are released there will most likely be over 1000.
ICANN aka the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the ruling force of how the web gets divided and named. ICANN is a non-profit organization, this is good as it means they can remain neutral to the naming process and help resolve naming issues that may arise. Back in January 2012 through April 2012, ICANN took applications to purchase these gTLDs. The process is of getting an approved gTLDs is very long and isn’t cheap. If you were to buy a gTLDs the cost was 200k, plus there could have been added fees if problems in the application process arose. Still, buying a gTLDs has enormous business potential. Owning a gTLDs you are in charge, you can choose who has access to that TLD, you could limit it to only people in your company, or you can make it public. This means not all gTLDs will go public, however, most agree there will be a significant number of them that do. The details of all this can be found on the ICANN website.
Ok, So What Does This Mean To My Business?
As any business owner knows brand recognition and brand protection are very important. It can also sometimes be a real pain in the butt to stay on top of maintaining and protecting your brand. The new gTLDs fall under brand protection and brand recognition. How, you ask? Let’s say you own a plumbing construction business called Flush Plumbing, Inc., just doing a quick look at the list I have of the new gTLDs, that may be going public soon, I found at least 13 gTLDs you should be thinking about and paying attention to. And that was only to the “s” section. Each business owner knows his or her company best and which of these extensions would be most important to them, however, getting a bit of advice from a web expert would be helpful as well.
Let’s look at our fake company we mentioned earlier, Flush Plumbing, Inc., Flush should really watch .plumbing, .inc, .construction and numerous others on the approved ICANN list. Why? Well brand protection for one, does Flush want some other company taking the domain name flushpumbing.inc or flushplumbing.plumbing and using those internet names as they choose to? Or would the owner of Flush rather he owned them to protect his company name? And what would happen to his brand recognition if some one else bought one of those domain names and used it say, for a poker site or some other off the wall business? What would his customers who happened across one of these sites think? I’m not advising business’ to develop all these domain names into an individual site only hold them as assets of your brand, you can always forward those extra domains to your business site already up and running. Call it insurance if you want, but it comes down to protecting your business brand.
Other Useful Ideas for gTLDs
There are other business ideas that these new gTLDs could come in handy as well. Such as upping your internet presences. As an example, let’s take Flush Plumbing again. Originally the company only did new construction plumbing, but lately, the owner has thought about getting into the service side of things. As such he may want to develop flushplumbing.service into a totally separate site from his construction one. Or maybe he wants to start an advice blog site on plumbing in which case flushplumbing.tip might be useful or flushplumbing.blog, the point is there are other ways that can help promote your company with these new gTLDs.
Remember not all of these gTLDs are going to be public. Some will remain privately held and will have restricted access. In which case, it shouldn’t affect most business’ much, if at all.
How do I Watch What is Happening with the New gTLDs?
If you already have an account with Go Daddy, watching what happens with the gTLDs is easy. They have the list on their site broken into categories for easy search. Their list can be found here. They have a “watch” link that will add that extension to your personal watch list, then Go Daddy will inform you when something happens with that extension.
If you don’t have a Go Daddy account I have made a .PDF from the list Go Daddy has on their site, I did some editing to it though. I eliminated any foreign spelling and foreign characters gTLDs’ and also eliminated the repeats that the Go Daddy list has. The total number of English version gTLDs I have on my list coming soon is currently at 647. Here is the list of the new gTLDs coming soon. Having this list at least gives you what extensions are coming soon so you can watch the news, ICANN or another source to find out what is happening with extensions you may be interested in.
Happy Domain Hunting! Call Me if you need my help!