Articles > Change is Coming – The New Wave of gTLD Domain Extensions
A variety of new domain extensions are planned to be released over the course of this year in a bid that many are citing to replace the traditional .com in website links all over the world. Users would soon be familiar with websites that would contain unique web addresses such as .poker, .gucci, .chevy, and many more that would join them. Many are calling this to be one of the greatest changes that internet has ever seen as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or the ICANN is all set to introduce a whole new range of generic top level domains.
Preparations in 2012
ICANN allowed businesses worldwide to apply for unique domain name extensions pertaining to their businesses early in 2012. This was done in order to increase the choice for new domain registers over the internet. As a result, businesses offered thousands of dollars to bid for gTLDs of their choice. Over the course of the year, ICANN received about 1,900 applications exceeding their expectations greatly. The authorities at ICANN decided to draw a priority lottery late in December 2012 to determine the domains that would be released into the market through a priority order.
What new domains can be expected?
With over 1900 applications, a good number of new domain extensions are likely to be released in the months to come. The priority lottery leaders include .catholic in Chinese which was the first to be drawn. The coveted second spot was won by Amazon for its .store written in Japanese. Google was slightly out of luck during the lottery as despite applying for about 100 domains. Google’s first slot broke through at #34 with .everyone written in Japanese. The highly sought-after .play domain was won by Amazon. Other notable extensions include .lol and .irish owned by Google and an Irish real estate agency respectively.
So can I register one of those new gTLD extensions?
That depends. These domain extensions will basically (not all) be held by private commercial companies that have to power to decide for themselves if they open up the extension for general registration. There are companies that applied for many new extensions, just to keep them for themselves (or use them soley for their own services), while others are hoping to make a lot of money by opening up the extensions (if they get them) for the general public to register. For example, one of those companies is DONUTS.CO which applied for hundreds of extensions.
What does this hold in store for SME’s?
As a result of the newly available domain extensions, businesses now need to be extra-cautious about the domains and grab those relevant to their businesses before a competitor may have an opportunity to exploit the same. However, a mass migration to these new domains is highly unlikely and it is yet to be determined as to how the search engines would be treating the newer domains. This has also opened up space for a large number of new domain registers as they would have a large number of short and highly relevant domain names to choose from.
Also many small businesses get access to a great number of domains that were previously unavailable for use. This can be the much-needed boost for many of the small businesses that are suffering heavily from the slow economy. On the other hand, there is also concern being raised about the internet closing its doors to small businesses as many of the newly available domains may get locked and may be controlled only by the super brands, leaving little for the small businesses. We will keep a close eye on the developments and will surely attempt to offer our customers these new gTLD’s domains as soon as they become available – and of course – as cheap as possible!