During the early days of the internet there was a need for a unified method of identifying websites. At that time the only method of identification was the numeric IP addresses used in the creation of websites. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was given the role of releasing and monitoring alpha-numeric domain names. During those early days, the only domain extensions available to the public were .com, .net and .org. In 2002, a few more were added. They were .biz, .info, .name and .pro.
.com became popular because commercial businesses used it as their preferred extension. As more people became used to the name, all but .com and Country TLDs took a backseat. Organisations used .org and the other extensions were either largely ignored or snapped up by the owners of the .com variant to avoid cybersquatting.
However by 2014, there were over one billion published pages
. It was very difficult to find unoccupied .com names to use and businesses had to resort to dropping vowels off brand names to be able to find domains. ICANN changed this up in a huge way. In 2014, they released 1,300 new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) shaking up the domain registration space.
This meant that people who were unable to find .com extensions for their preferred names could now look at other extensions. It is now common to find people using their preferred name in the first part of the domain and one of the new extensions for the part after the dot. It is still early days, so the general public will need more time to get used to these new extensions.
As a simple example, let us say that you open an online health store. You found a truly awesome domain name but the .com version is taken. You can easily opt for the .health version. The people that will visit the online store will find it a lot easier to remember the name because of the new extension.
This is good time for web owners as these new extensions make it easier for businesses to describe themselves and their business in a simplistic but creative manner. Here are some examples to get you thinking:
- Imagine a restaurant owner named Katy who was unable to register any .com variations for her business. She can now register katy.restaurant or eatkatys.restaurant
- A travel agent looking for a better domain name can go with thetravelling.guru
- A CPA expert can simply register toddjane.cpa
There are no limits to the opportunity. Reasons to get a new gLTD
As we have demonstrated above, the major reason you should embrace the new gtLD is that it makes it easy for you to find a domain name that fully describes what your business is all about, making it a part of company portfolio for branding
. This will make it easy for your targets to understand or get the message about what you do; at one glance. In our first example above, a domain that says Katys.com is open to misinterpretation and it is only when an individual clicks through that they will be able to understand that it is the site of a restaurant owner. Katys.restaurant on the other hand removes all doubt.
The second reason you should get new gTLDs is because of SEO. When delivering websites in search results, Google pays attention to URL.
Having your industry or your area of expertise in your domain is, therefore, very important. In the past, the only solution in this regard was to risk lengthy domain names that may be hard to remember for most people.
Today, however, you can have your industry in the first part of the URL and then have a description just after the dot. For instance, mathematics.com is unavailable and anyone seeking to tap into the mathematics keyword on a .com extension will need to be really creative to find a human and SEO friendly URL. With the new gTLDs however, mathematics.guru or mathematics.ninja are available and can get you higher in search results. They are also easy to remember and will be catchy for prospective visitors.
Similarly, local businesses looking to draw in new local customers can benefit from the new geographic extensions. Many searches include locations so this could be a massive boost for your SEO. Think of the individual that uses voice search to find “maths tutor London”. The search results will most likely include the website with the URL “mathstutor.london” or any of its variations. The actual position in the search results will obviously still be dependent on the quality of content on the site.
Hopefully you are now jotting down new domain names for your next website. You can register a domain at various different registrars. There are rules and restrictions guiding some of them but a large number are available to everyone. You need to look at all the opportunities that are available when you make a decision so be sure that you are going to also consider the new domain names. They might be exactly what you have been looking for. Take your time since there are many more extensions available than what you may initially think.