Imagine when company URLs will add their brand names as the web domain suffix – .pepsi, .apple, .google, etc. – instead of the 22 current generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs): .com, .org, .net, etc.
After years of planning and bickering, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the international body that coordinates Internet names, approved the expansion of gTLDs and allowed organizations to add web domain suffixes for their brands, generic names, or even cities: .orlando, .green, .walmart, .hosting, .nyc, .food, .news, etc.
This is not only a huge opportunity for corporations to gain more control over their Online Presence, but will also shift the way search engines – Google, Yahoo, etc – find results, the way organizations use Search-Engine Optimization to improve visibility of their websites in search results, and the way companies direct traffic to specific parts of their sites.
However, there are three major issues that hold back the race for new domains:
The upgrade will not be cheap! The application fee alone is $185,000, and the annual fee comes up to $25,000. The millions of dollars in expenses might cut the market down to a few large corporations and cities, but the handful of lucky investors will be “provided (with) a platform for creativity and inspiration, and for the next big dot-thing” said Peter Denegate Thrush, chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors. “Today’s decision will usher in a new Internet Age.”
Once large corporations take action, we will definitely be facing corporate legal disputes over company trademark legitimacy, especially from tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There will also be a bidding war for generic suffixes such as .app, .search, .food, .autos, .news, .bank, etc.
Price and legitimacy won’t be the only factors which filter out potential organizations that can use these customizable gTLDs. Only “established public or private organizations” can apply once they prove that they have the sufficient, technological infrastructure to support the generic domain.
“ICANN has opened the Interent’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagaination. No one can predict where the historic decision will take us,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and chief executive of ICANN in a statement.
Do you think this will turn out to be a good investment for the majority of corporations, or will only a handful of organizations benefit? Do you think it will pay off right away? You can answer any of our questions or give us your feedback by tweeting us, posting a comment on our Facebook, or even leaving a comment in the box below.