:: By Kelly Meeneghan, 1&1 ::
As a Web professional, you have probably heard or been reading about the upcoming launch of new top level domains (TLDs) that the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is preparing to launch. Today, the most popular TLD, or domain extension, is .com and this is in large part due to consumers assuming this domain when searching a business’s URL on the Web. Unfortunately, the large demand and increasingly low supply of .com domains makes acquiring such a desired business domain name difficult.
Over the next three years, ICANN will be releasing more than 700 new domain extensions that will redefine the Internet landscape, covering topics like technology, industry, location and hobby. The new TLDs will offer vast opportunities for businesses venturing on the Web, as well as those looking to develop their online reputation further. Improved branding and targeted reach is all attainable for businesses in the soon-to-be less crowded Internet.
For example, a pizza shop owner in New York City may have trouble registering their most ideal domain name as a .com. The release of these new domains may open new possibilities to do so with a .restaurant, .pizza, or even a .nyc domain extension.
Though the first new TLD has yet to be released, it is an important topic for Web professionals to consider as soon as possible – especially those interested in success on popular search engines like Google. In fact, search engines have already begun to adjust their algorithms so that new TLDs will index as highly as regular domain endings like .com. Since such resources place a large focus on content relevancy in generating quality search results, the domain endings will be an important step in helping to communicate a website’s purpose and subjects.
Some Internet companies are working to prepare businesses and website professionals with the tools needed for the launch. 1&1 Internet, for example, launched a pre-reservation portal (www.1and1.com/new-top-level-domains) to allow people to express interest in registering new domains and stay fully informed throughout the process. Since the portal’s launch in July 2013, 1&1 has seen more than 1.55 million pre-reservations covering each category. The top 10 pre-reserved domains in the United States include:
These new TLDs are gaining more attention daily and rightfully so. It offers a vast realm of opportunities for businesses and Web professionals alike – opportunities that were often found to be of limited availability previously.
Kelly Meeneghan is a manager for 1&1 Internet (www.1and1.com), a global leader among Web hosts. As a reputable domain registrar, 1&1 is dedicated to keeping its customers fully educated and prepared for the new TLD launch. Therefore, the company has introduced a pre-reservation portal (www.1and1.com/new-top-level-domains) as well as newsportal (www.1and1.com/ntld-news) for those interested in staying up-to-date on industry news as well as the new TLD process.