Before starting a new website or even starting a new business itself, one of the most important decisions people have to make is choosing a domain name. A domain name is identification string that are used in various networking contexts, application specific naming, and addressing purposes.
Since 1985, when the first .com name was purchased, domain names have been valuable pieces of the virtual world. The market has been limited since most of the short and good , very easy to remember domains are already owned. How do you think is the market changing? Is the future domain names already here?
In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a plan to dramatically increase the amount of real estate available online by allowing web addresses to end with almost any word in any language.
In the past few years, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has been busy in adding new TLDs. ICANN has tried to expand beyond .com in the past, but unfortunately some of those TLDs, including the notorious .biz and .info, quickly became havens for spammers, causing legitimate businesses to shun them.
But today, ICANN is working to change the rules of TLD registrations, opening the floodgates to hundreds or even thousands of new TLDs in the next few years.
New gTDLs are the new breed of domain name extensions, which mean something on both sides of the dot. The first generation of TLDs were much less descriptive such as .com, .net and country code TLDs such as .fr and .de. Over the last many months you have been able to register domains with a .bar, .ski, .tattoo or .guru.
New TLDs are certainly going to be a part of our future. It is a natural progression from the finite to the broad. .COM will be the most important of Top Level Domains, likely forever, or until some sort of new disruptive addressing technology breaks through; but new TLDs are not going to be that disruptive, they will just be a new part of the online ecosystem.
The way ICANN structured new TLD operations will surely guarantee their success but success in new gTLDs is not going to be measured in hundreds of millions of registrations. New TLDs are generally priced higher than .com but those registries won’t need tens or hundreds of millions of registrations to be successful. Most of them will be successful if they register ten or twenty thousand domain names. ICANN built several fail-safe measures into the system.
Registries had strict requirements in the realms of technical and operational capabilities as well as financial resources. They were required to put up financial deposits and back up registry systems that would safeguard registrants in the case of any failure of the operation.
About the future of new gTLDs my opinion is that there will be a learning curve for people accepting the more meaningful TLDs over the next couple of years. While some less meaningful TLDs will disappear or relegate to niche existence other strongly generic terms will drive this development and gain more market share in the future. This is also because of internet searches considering the TLD as one of the ranking factors for search page ranking in the future.
Believe that also brand TLDs will have a strong positioning in the future as compared to the general marketing expenses a bigger brand is spending the maintenance fee of an own .brand is very affordable and supports the brand visibility globally.
New gTLDs will continue to grow steadily. A significant percentage of the current sales are domain investor and trademark holder registrations. Retail penetration will increase over time and is critical for long term success. Registrars will increasingly use a more targeted marketing approach and offer services and content to address the specific needs of industry verticals and niches.