A New, Digital Gold Rush Is Beginning

Written by  on Apr 18, 2014

For years, a few generic Top-Level Domains like .com, .net, .org, .edu and .gov have been the foundation of the internet landscape. Now, 25 years into the life of the World Wide Web, that foundation is getting an expansion. 

Since October 2013, 175 new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have been added, with as many as 1,300 possible in the next few years.

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Until now, the ‘rules’ were pretty straightforward:

  • .edu was for educational institutions
  • .gov was for the US government
  • .org was for non-profits
  • .com was for pretty much everyone else
  • .net was for the latecomers who can’t get their desired URL with .com (if we’re being honest)

With the number of gTLDs exploding, we’re entering what’s being called a ‘digital gold rush.’ Individuals and companies alike are clambering to stake their claim.

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a nonprofit that oversees the domain name system for the entire world. On their website, you can find a list of the new gTLDs that are already delegated (available).

.tokyo, .guru, .plumbing, .diamonds, .coffee to name a few.

As if choosing your domain name wasn’t complicated enough, now you have to search through hundreds of possible gTLDs to match. 

Should my food blog be .cooking or .recipe? Or maybe .kitchen?

Don’t be .hasty

It may be tempting to snatch up as many new domains as possible right now, but here’s my advice: take some time to build a plan.

Remember, .com has dominated most of the internet for the past 25 years and people are used to tacking it onto the end of your domain name.

Sure, lots of people use search engines to help them get where they need to be, but many type in URLs too. It’s possible to redirect a user from the wrong URL to the right one, but only if you own both.

Moving our site to www.bkmedia.group would be pretty cool, but there’s a problem: we don’t own the .com. Anyone mistakenly navigating to bkmedia.com (or emailing ‘eric@ bkmedia.com') isn’t going to get through to us.

If we moved to www.bkmediagroup.sexy instead, we could redirect anyone navigating to our old URL. Problem solved.

All in all, it’s an exciting time for the internet, but take your time. Stay updated with the new gTLDs that are coming online and think about what you need, if anything. Your URL can play into SEO, so if you’re considering a switch, let us know! We’d be happy to weigh in.

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