ICANN Approves New Top-Level Domains

The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recently approved the addition of new Top-Level Domains (TLD’s), which will drastically alter the way the internet domains are structured.

Previously, standard TLD’s were used for websites, basing them on a .com, .co.uk, .net (etc) domain depending on either the type of website (.tv for video based websites for example) or the location (like .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .hk for Hong Kong, etc). However, the recently approved TLD’s will allow branded domains (such as .nike, .ufc, etc), as well as generic ones (.car, .bike, .typography, etc).

You can imagine the benefit of having both branded and generic TLD’s, but before you start planning how you can incorporate these new domains into your internet marketing campaigns, you should probably consider the price – applications alone cost $180,000, and domain renewal will come in at $25,000 per year.
Whilst that prices that majority of small businesses and sole traders out of the market, larger organisations will have no problem with paying those sorts of fees for highly desirable TLD’s.

Applications for the new TLD’s open in January 2012 and will run until mid-April, with the new domains appearing in around 12 months.

It’s hard to say how the new TLD’s will affect SEO, but my guess at this stage would be that they won’t make a huge difference. What I would expect is a drastic shift into how companies brand themselves online, as well as numerous legal actions surrounding branding and trademarks.

1 Comment

  • New Top Level Domains….But Not For You….

    As ICANN won’t even consider applications from individuals or sole proprietorships, effectively ignoring the interests and needs of the majority of Internet users worldwide. Take this a step further and add non-refundable fees of $185,000 per TLD (plus potentially unlimited annual costs/expenses) and how many new ICANN TLDs will actually be launched?

    ICANN’s main aims are to convince Internet users that they’re the only game in town and then try to herd everyone into a tiny part of an otherwise infinite universe. In this respect, ICANN has been quite successful. However, it’s rather like telling people that the only place they can shop on the entire planet is your local Safeway (not that one…the other one) and that really…..really, there’s nowhere else to go. Of course this is sheer nonsense and it’s understandable that people are starting to use the Alternatives.

    Anyone can now create their own set of Top Level Domains at no cost and without reference to ICANN, simply by opting to register NON-ICANN Dashcom (not Dotcom) domain names. Dashcoms are highly memorable & relevant web addresses such as “business-com”, “music-store”, “basket-ball”. Now available in any language or text, even Facebook Emoticons can be used (eg: musical notes “♫♫-♫♫”).

    Here is a part of the Internet that’s totally outside ICANN’s control yet able to exist quite happily alongside it. At present, resolution is via an APP, but new ISP links are coming online to negate that need.

    It’s only a matter of time before other new options surface, and none of them will have anything to with ICANN.

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