As I write, new top level domain extensions (TLDs) are being released, which will drastically change how the url landscape will look forever. Since the dawn of the internet we have all been used to .com, .co.uk, .net and so on. That’s about to change.
In case you haven’t heard a whole new set of TLDs has been approved for release by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This has been in the pipeline for years, nearly 10 in fact! The new TLD’s are being rolled out for pre-order, a select few are even available right now. Some of which will require you to submit trademarks and applications for, in order to have a chance of competing for the domain e.g. britishairways.flights and many of those available cost a small fortune e.g I wanted seo.expert but wasn’t prepared to fork out the sum for it.
What are the advantages of the new TLDs and why would you want one?
- .com, .net and the like don’t convey meaning. .golf, .actor, .expert does.
- It enables you to have a 1 word, easy to remember domain that otherwise is all but guaranteed to be unavailable in the .com world e.g. yoga.expert. (Caveat: you need to be quick to pre-register or purchase and potentially be willing to pay over the odds).
- For those that missed the original .com bubble it’s a chance for us to grab powerful, memorable and potentially valuable domain names.
- SEO advantage. Well no actually, Google have said that the new TLDs will not increase chance of ranking however I and others think that this is likely to change. Having a .london TLD can only be useful to search engines in helping them understand that e.g. bobtheplumber.london is a site about Bob the plumber in London and that Bobs site might be relevant to London plumbing type searches. Also it might conceivably help brands e.g. thomascook.cruises, if just because Brands might setup micro sites which can rank in addition to their regular TLD site.
- The new TLDs are only of value if you have a use for them! Are you going to setup a new web site based on one or even dare to change your existing domain for a new one?
How to get a new TLD
Grabbing a domain with a new TLD of your choice is far from guaranteed. Pre-registration is still on-going for many TLD’s and those that are available might already have been snapped up with the domain name you had in mind. I suggest looking at 123-Reg though other companies are offering pre-registration. As the process of releasing new TLDs has only just started it’s worth keeping a regular look out for new ones. 123 Reg and other services will send you email alerts as the TLDs become available. Over 1300 are planned for release over the next few years!