ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), is coming up with some new possibilities for top level domains. So far we’ve got the ever famous .com and .net. We also have .org, .gov, .edu, .co, .uk, and .biz (probably a few more, but I forget…).
What does this mean for you? Alot. Soon, people will be able to search the web with not only those familiar domains I just mentioned, but with a whole new menu of options like .lol, .love, .theater and so on, and so on, and so on…..
This whole idea has been a controversy since it started because it will affect future search results and also categorizing spam. But, it’s hugely popular from ICANN’s perspective with over 1900 proposals for new top level domains (TLD’s) from big retailers like The Gap, Tiffany and Company, as well as Microsoft and Apple. By the way, if you want your own specific TLD, be prepared to pay some big bucks (roughly $200k per submission) = OUCH!
Google is also getting into the game, submitting more than 100 TLD’s like .android, .baby and .blog. Amazon is doing the same with 76 domains including .amazon, .fire and .deal.
What Happens Next?
The application process, once received, can take months to complete since some companies apply for the same TLD such as .pizza and .energy. With two companies vying for the same TLD, ICANN may make a decision on which company should receive ownership, the applicants may try to negotiate ownership by themselves, or the new TLD will go to auction. And, don’t even try to use a plural version of a singular name. For instance, if you decide to purchase .deal, don’t expect to also use .deals since ICANN thinks the strings will be too easily confused with search engines. Bottom line is a long one: Up to two years to complete the application process.
Once you get your TLD, it will be up to the owner of that TLD as to whether it will allow other companies to use it.
What’s the Best TLD?
Time will tell on that question. There are so many options to choose from: .free, .buy, .boutique, .app…..the list can go on and on. It would largely depend on the market for which the business is best suited.