New gTLDs To Begin Rolling Out

January 13, 2014


Short for “Top Level Domain” a TLD is a part of the root structure of domains that make up the end of a URL. These have traditionally been the .com’s, .co.uks, .orgs and .gov’s. However with plans announced by ICANN, who are in charge of the TLDs, the internet is soon to have a massive increase in the amount of available TLDs.

Previously there had only been 22 TLDs, slowly increased with a handful of new gTLDs every few years. However in 2011 ICANN announced plans to radically overhaul how gTLDs were created. Alongside the ability to use non-latin characters such as Chinese and Arabic, organisations were open to apply for new gTLDs. The idea behind this being to allow for greater flexibility in how people can use the web, as well as allowing business greater control over their brand.

New gTLDs such as .app, .lol, .bank, and many more, totalling just under 2,000 gTLD submissions by mid-2012, were applied for. A massive amount compared to the current 22 in use. Since then they’ve been reviewed and passed through public consultation with the first batch of gTLDs expected to start going live this month. Current approved gTLDs include .beer, .technology, and even .wales.

Many were, and still are, sceptical of ICANNs plans, especially with the $185,000 price tag for gTLD applications providing a financial incentive for ICANN to relax their previous gTLD restrictions. Many also say that the new gTLDs will create confusion, and surely many legal battles. One brewing issue is Amazon’s application for .book, currently opposed by authors unions.

As they start to enter into the wider web the impact of these new gTLD will be closely followed. Will business need to register hundreds of new domains to protect their trademark, will it bring a new era of integration between apps and the web, and one of our concerns is how will it effect the future of SEO?

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