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New Domain Names:
Consider Carefully

Brad Holt on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 2:05:58 pm

In a move that may enhance internet marketing for national brands as well as cities and regions, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved an increase in the number of Internet domain name endings known as top-level domains (TLDs), which would be in addition to the familiar .com, .org and .net.

Under ICANNís plan, new Internet addresses may end with almost any word in any language, offering more branding opportunities than are available with the current 22 TLDs, which include .jobs, .museum and .travel.

The cost of acquiring a new TLD is steep, and there are risks and added expenses involved in administering your own domain registry business, but chambers of commerce should stay current with this issue and be wary of competitors who might seek a marketing advantage by registering an iconic regional name.  ICANN will publish all TLD applications on its website and allow a period of time to hear objections and resolve disputes. 

In the wake of ICANNís announcement, several internet publications questioned ICANNís motives and the actual need for the new TLD naming plan.

  • PCWorld warned that the $185,000 application fee would be kept by ICANN whether the domain was granted or not, and that there was an annual fee of $25,000.
  • Few people have bothered to use existing alternate TLDs such as .travel, .jobs or .museum, raising the question of how much need exists for new TLDs. Most Internet users rely on search engines to locate destinations on the web.
  • Buying your own TLD means you will set up a domain name registration system. ICANN says that an applicant for a new TLD ďis, in fact, applying to create and operate a registry business supporting the Internet's domain name system. This involves a number of significant responsibilities, as the operator of a new TLD is running a piece of visible Internet infrastructure.
  • All of the past work done to optimize current web pages for best rankings on search engines could be erased when you switch to a new TLD. On the other hand, some internet experts say domain names are virtually irrelevant because of the efficiency of search
    engines.

Read More:  Infoworld   PCWorld   Mashable   Evan Williamsí Blog

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