What are new gTLDs?This initiative undertaken by internet gatekeeper ICANN, has seen the internet go from 22 top-level domain names (gTLDs) such as; .com, .net or .org to 100s of gTLDs options like; .photography, .email, .tips, .bar. More gTLDs will be added each week, gradually taking the number of new domain names to over 1000, new extensions in the next few years. These new domains are creating more space, and more options for businesses and individuals. With the new categories you will be able to register a gTLD specific to your business, trade, hobby, cause, city, and community.
Types of gTLDs:
- Country code (ccTLD) signify a specific country, e.g. Denmark is .dk, Australia is .au, and America is .us.
- Generic TLD (gTLD) represent a purpose, e.g. commercial use .com, government is .gov, information websites .info.
- New gTLD (gTLD) specific domain extensions according to categories, e.g. .club, .wales, .surf, .photography and .guitars.
New TLD categoriesThere are over a thousand, new domain extensions coming. Below is an overview of the most popular:
- Geographic represents cities and regions e.g. .london, .berlin, .nyc, .scot.
- Generic naming categories e.g. .tattoo, .guru, .science.
- Community refers to a specific group, e.g. .chess, .army, .football.
- Brands refers to organisations that have applied for their own TLD. Using their brand name/ trademarks, e.g. .nike, .apple, bmw. Most of these wont be available for registration by the general public.
- Internationalised (IDNs) are non-Latin alphabet domain names such as .??? (Japanese for everyone).
What it means for you?At a glance below some advantages and disadvantages of the new gTLDs: Pros
- Distinguish yourself from your competitors
- Create a truly unique name for your website
- Maintain and strengthen your brand
- Establish a sense of local identity, with location-based extensions
- Be more visible on specific keywords
- Increased expenses in protecting your brand/trademark
- It might take some time for customers to get used to the new web address
What about SEO?Currently we can only speculate the impact new top-level domains will have on SEO ranking. A websites TLD is just one of the many pieces in an algorithm, that power search engines such as Google.
This video by Matt Cutts, briefly answers how will Google treat the new gTLDs regarding influence on ranking and PageRank.
For more information visit: ICANN website for the latest news, developments and policy updates. ICANN Wiki, is a comprehensive webpage explaining the new TLD program.