New gTLDs – A way to separate yourself from the herd
How the new gTLDs will change the way we interact with domains and urls.
When Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?” he clearly had no idea what 21st century would be like. Name matters! In fact, in today’s digital world, name matters more than anything else.
Take a domain name for example - On the Internet, the only thing unique & identifiable with you or your business is a domain name. And, it is not only about a unique identity. Domain names are just as important to protect trademarks and copyrights, boost brand awareness, build sustainable credibility and fine-tune positions on search engines.
“The Domain name is 21st-century real estate. The economy is being increasingly driven by the Internet sector” - Warren Adelman, former CEO of GoDaddy group of companies
Priced at $35.6m, insurance.com stands as the most expensive domain sale till date. This had a functioning, viable business behind it. But, imagine a domain name being sold for millions just for the sake of its name! Rick Schwartz sold sex.com for a staggering amount of $13m and all that money was paid just for the name – without any business or enterprise behind it. The current market of domain name seems interesting, isn’t it? The best part is that we have just taken baby steps in penetrating this sector so far, leaving immense scope of explorations ahead.
What are new gTLDs?
Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) have been in existence for over 5 years, beginning their journey in 2013. A top-level domain (TLD) is the last part or the part that comes after the last dot in a website address. For example, in www.google.com being a website address, the .COM is the TLD. Similarly, .NET, .INFO, .GOV etc. are all examples of TLDs. But, they are different from ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) which end with two characters and are geographically aligned. For example .IN (for India), .UK (for the United Kingdom), .AU (for Australia) and .CN (for China) are some common ccTLDs. “A better domain name will lower your lifetime marketing costs” - Frank Schilling, Founder of Uniregistry Corporation
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) opened up the window for new applications in 2012 where organisations could opt for new gTLDs in relevance to particular businesses or interests. 1230 new gTLDs have been delegated till now out of 1930 applications received by ICANN. It’s been a few years and new gTLDs like .science, .guru, .wine etc. have created quite the buzz. There have been monumental volumes of registrations for .xyz .top, .club and others which all point towards one major statistical fact – that gTLDs are quite the rage now. Companies and organisations can cash in on new gTLDs and enhance their security, revenue, branding, as well as user interaction.
Just a Fad?
Rick Schwartz who definitely earned a fortune from the same space, once stated in a blog, that gTLDs are basically worthless and only a few might actually gain traffic & be of value. He said .COM would always assert more value & gTLDs are nothing but a waste of time & money. This sounds quite like the music ‘expert’ who said that online music is no threat to discs or CD sales because people want tangible products which are physically available. He said online music would remain just a phase & CDs will remain dominant in the long run. We all know how much that worked out. The important thing to remember is that almost everything becomes a fad in the ever-evolving world we live in. Newer generations will always, come, conquer, and do things differently. To top it all, the new gTLDs functioning presently have mostly been immensely successful – be it in terms of revenue or registration volumes. Registrants have a vast choice of domain names to choose from. The importance of new gTLDs has been surging and taking over the Internet space rapidly. That shows where the domain market is heading.
In the last few years that gTLDs have been active, they have garnered over $20m registrations and every day new success stories are coming to light
How can new gTLDs affect your brand and business?
Let’s start with a simple question - Can you think of anything else other than the Internet that has been able to enhance the way people subtly or powerfully connect with each other?
“Domain Name Server (DNS) is the Achilles heel of the Web” – Tim Berners Lee, inventor of World Wide Web (WWW)
New gTLDs help you form a unique identity, tells the world who you are, what you do, and what you can offer others. The need for gTLDs has skyrocketed over the past few years with companies & enterprises readily investing in the same - And, why not? The Internet has grown in every aspect & impacts almost everything around us today. Isn’t it wise to tap into the booming markets to make yourself and your brand grow?
These new gTLDs are opening up innumerable opportunities and scope for new business models. The only limitation, given the current state of affairs, is probably your imagination. It is only a matter of time before new gTLDs infiltrate and impact every market sector, every industry, future brands, etc. Few basic advantages of getting a new gTLD for your brand or business are:
• Opens up opportunities for new markets.
• Strengthens brand image & assets.
• Protects brands from infringements & online abuse.
• Expansion of brands, products, and services.
• Enhanced interactions with partners, collaborators, customers, and affiliates.
• Alter demographics & behaviour pattern.
• Redefine a brand image.
These are just some benefits that can be tapped to create the market of infinite opportunities that the new gTLDs bring along since its inception.
“A Brand is not just a logo, a website, or your business cards… It’s an experience” - Unknown
To secure a strong digital foothold for yourself, as a brand or your company, it is now imperative to invest in a relevant domain name. Generic TLDs offer limitless possibilities (home.loans was sold for $500,000 early this year) and can give you a unique, short, and relevant web address for your business or service along with a horde of other advantages.
The only question remaining is how to get your own unique new gTLD and separate yourself from the herd. For that, one should refer to the set of guidelines and processes setup by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number). A dot-com might still be the show-stealer for many, but numerous others are identifying the fact that innovative and unique gTLD is what the future is all about. So, “May the force be with you…”