The End Of Dot Com Domination?
New rules okayed by the body that oversees internet addresses (ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) now allow a virtually unlimited number of domain name extensions – “.anything”. ICANN will accept personalized domain name requests for almost any word in any language, including in Arabic and Chinese, based on themes as varied as company brands, entertainment and political causes eg “.coke” or “.map”
The possibility of domain names ending with almost any word in any language presents organizations across the globe with possibilities of marketing their products, brand, cause or community in unique, never seen before ways.
There are currently 22 top level domains (including .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .com.au, .jp etc). In 2010 .COM lead the way with 89.2 million address registrations, followed by .NET (13.5 million), .ORG (8.3 million), .INFO (6 million) and .BIZ (2 million). Did you know that ICANN approved the “.xxx” extension for porn websites in March this year?
The new domain name system will be implemented towards the end of 2012 and requires an application fee of $185,000, which puts it firmly out of reach of individuals and small business. In cases where there are multiple parties claiming the same domain, names will be auctioned off to the highest bidders, which could be the case for specialized generic business types, such as “.hotel” or “.bank”.
So why would any company even want this? Well, it is an opportunity to get creative with customers. There would be an advantage to be one of the first to do something super cool and innovative with it.
Will the new corporate or generic domain extensions appear high in search results? Less popular domains, like .biz and .tv struggle in Google searches. So how could thousands of generic words and brands do any better?
No matter what your opinion, it is a fundamental shift in the infrastructure of the internet. How it affects us “little guys” remains to be seen.