Over 1000 new gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) extensions are becoming available now, as if people weren’t confused enough by the web. Today it’s simple .co.uk, .com if you want to be international, even .eu at a stretch. You just need to do a Google search and look at the first page results. All you get in the UK is .co.uk, and .com, which has a 53% market share, in your results, there may be the odd .gov.uk even a .org thrown in for good measure. How often do you get a .info, .biz, .co, .me, .mobi, .pro etc. We already have hundreds of domains but this new change is different.
The new domains are not just country extensions; these are generic descriptive words that from a marketing perspective can have some excellent value! Also it’s pretty good news for registrars who get to sell them and I understand the application fee to get the gTLD from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was at least $185,000 each! Nice business!
So What Are They?
A gTLD is a domain at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System. Supposedly TLDs are better for SEO but I don’t think that has been confirmed by anyone official. Where they will help is by giving us more memorable domains e.g. prada.boutique, seo.ninja or tourguide.london. I also find it hard to believe that although Google’s Matt Cutts says the new TLDs won’t have an advantage over existing domains that they won’t some how feature in one of the 200 or so signals Google looks for to rank a site. It may take five years, but why would you not rank Hyatt.Hotel over Hyatt.com if I search for Hyatt Hotels?
Many brands have applied for their own name domain extension, the reasons for this will vary but brand protection will be a prime one. Domains like .amazon will likely be available through Amazon for something like myshopname.amazon. Some other brands who have registered are;
Then we have the more generic terms such as;
and many more!
This means you can register some great memorable marketing names. We recently registered telaeo.tips and telaeo.academy for a new website builder called Telaeo. If you are a photographer you might have packshot.photograpy instead of packshot.co.uk. The options are huge. For a full list take a look at the resources at the end of this article.
What You Need to Know
There a re quite a few of these domains already available but even if they are not you can reserve many of them. The reservation periods are Sunrise, Land Rush and Early Access. If you have a trademark you don’t need to worry too much as it would be illegal to register the gTLD unless your trademark is not international in which case Sunrise is for you.
The Sunrise Registration Phase
If you hold a trademark then you are allowed to register your domain in the Sunrise phase. You will need to be registered in the TMCH (Trademark Clearinghouse) and provide the associated SMD (Signed Mark Data).
Land Rush Registration Phase
The Landrush phase is the first opportunity registrants will get to buy domain names with no special prior requirements. If you have registered during this phase don’t think that you are guaranteed your domain. Many others may have also registered for this name. When it becomes available it will be up to your domain registry to snap it up before the next person!
Early Access Registration Phase
The If you’re willing to pay a premium on a domain you can register during the Early Access phase.
If you think your business would benefit from an exciting new memorable domain then it’s worth registering but as far as the web sphere goes I suspect it will take a long time for these domains to gain a popularity where you would think to go to Hyatt.Hotel or Hilton.Hotel automatically rather than trying a .com first.
If you need any help you always know where to find me, www.emotio.co.uk. In the meantime I have of course registered several domains just to hedge my bets!