Generic top level domains (gTLD) were introduced to the internet last year, expanding the number of domain name suffixes and allowing people to create their own .anything. At a cost of $185,000 they’re not cheap, but there are now 100 gTLDs that have been delegated – one of the final steps before domains can begin taking registrations. Some of the gTLDs that have been delegated include .rich, .sexy, .pink, .luxury, .coffee, .clothing, .tattoo – and our personal favourite .ninja – and many more. Over 12 alphabets will be available to register including Japanese, Chinese and Arabic – offering hundreds of thousands of opportunities to businesses that want to set themselves apart from the .com era. Of course Google is straight in there, but they are represented by their domain name registry company Charleston Road Registry. The only domain they have had delegated so far is a Japanese symbol meaning everyone, but .google, .android, .youtube and .tech are on their way through the process as I write. Microsoft and Apple are straight on the ball too with .docs, .skype, .microsoft and .bing, and .apple for Apple. You can view the full list of gTLDs that have been delegated here, but the chances are you want recognise many – if any – names on the list. A large number of the registry companies have been created specifically to harvest and manage gTLDs.
So Why Are gTLDs Being Introduced?
All domain names are overseen by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They follow a hierarchy, with top level domains (TLDs) like .com being at the top, second level domains like google.com being second, and suffixes or prefixes like google.com/images and images.google.com being third. Countries get their own top level domains like .co.uk, .de, .au, etc which are known as ccTLDs. So if you want the best of the best, a gTLD is the fish to go for. The introduction of a vast array of new domain names opens up new opportunities for businesses that are struggling to find a second level domain in .com, .org, .net and other gTLDs. The internet is literally running out of space – name wise at least. New gTLDs have been introduced by ICANN in the past that have never really taken off, including .biz and .info. That’s why they’re letting the market decide this time. Anybody can apply as long as they cough up $185,000 and meet certain criteria – and people are certainly taking advantage of it! However, it must be said that of the 1,930 applications for 1,410 unique domain names, few are actually generic. .app, .reviews and .website are just a handful of the truly generic terms; most are aimed at specific industries like .clothing, .build, .college and .coffee while geographical names like .nyc and .london make up 66 of the total applied for.
Generic Top Level Domains Won’t Enhance SEO Though
Back in 2012 Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam and search quality, said that generic top level domains won’t receive any initial preference over an existing domain name.
I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.” Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.
So if you’re hoping to register a gTLD in the hope of boosting your rankings and visibility, think again. If you are looking to enhance your online presence though, MonkeyFish Marketing can help with that! We have years of experience in the internet marketing industry and use a variety of ethical techniques to increase lead and sales generation, site visibility and the internal marketing process to bring our clients an excellent ROI. Please give us a call on 01282 504730 for a no obligation chat about our online marketing services what we do and how we can help you.