Five Things You Need to Know About New Top Level Domains


By Michael Ward, COO, Directnic

It’s the revolution you may not have heard of—but Google, Amazon and startups like have. These companies have applied to

manage a whole host of new top level domains (TLDs)—the part of the web address after the dot—that ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) made available to companies starting February 4th of this year. These won’t just affect the way we think about web addresses; they’ll change the way we search and do business. Below, five things you should know about TLDs and how they affect your company.

1. Shorter and Sweeter

We’re all familiar with those long, hard-to remember URLs on many company websites. anyone? The new TLD extensions will allow increased access to domains that are easier for potential customers to remember. With only about 22 TLDs out there until recently—the most popular being .com, .net, .org and .edu—companies have until now had to lengthen their URLs to near absurdity to find a name that isn’t already taken by another entity. With a wider array of choices, they will now be able to select a more succinct domain that better reflects their brand.

2. Less Costly, More Accurate

Premium domain names (domain names that have been registered previously and are now back on the market for resale) are often beyond the budget of a small business. So whether it’s too costly or that perfect URL is already taken, the new TLD extensions will increase access to prized domains with memorable words and keyword search terms. In 2014 extensions for everything from .shop to .website will be available for registration, vastly widening the array of choices for precious web real estate. According to eConsultancy, using a domain that says what you do or where you are may increase SEO. What’s more, these TLDs will in some cases be significantly lower priced than their premium .com counterparts, with the potential for significant cost-savings.

3. Acting Local

If a business has a brick and mortar store location, using a new TLD that’s location-specific will save consumers time and also help drive foot traffic. For example, a retailer located in New York City might opt to use the new .nyc extension. Local shoppers will have automatic awareness of the location without having to dig through the website.

4. Going Global

Some of the first TLDs to be made available for purchase will be those expanded into more languages, opening up significant opportunity for non-U.S. or Anglo companies. For the first time ever, TLDS in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Russian will be available for purchase, making it possible for businesses to have entire web addresses in the native language of non-US customers.

5. Join a Community

New community-based extensions like .ngo, .eco or .ski can drive awareness for people looking for a specific product or service. In addition, it can help put you in touch with like businesses and open the door to increased communication and visibility within your industry.

As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Being an early adopter in today’s digital age can define a brand as smart, relevant, and savvy. Making strides into the new world of TLD extensions can help customers take notice. And, as TLDs take off, you will be thankful for having had the foresight to seize the opportunity when you had the chance.