TLDs – you know them as the .com, .net and .org at the end of the URLs you use every day to access sites on the internet , but unless you’re in a related industry, or a modern “renaissance” individual, you’re not familiar with Top-Level Domains.
You may be familiar with .edu, .ca,. uk TDLs but have you heard of:
..and many others?
With the internet expanding faster than Kudzu in a Georgia summer, ICANN, the International Corporation for the Assignment of Names and Numbers on the internet has been releasing new TDLs monthly (click to see release calendar).
The very first company ever to use the .com TDL was Symbolics.com, now out of business. They registered their URL in 1985 and the URL was purchased in 2009 and is now being used for promotions and advertising by Networksolutions.com. The URL’s history, gained over the many years, is being leveraged for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes and links from Symbolics.com are beneficial to those choosing the service. Please note that, although history does weigh into the algorithm for SEO, it is only a factor in the complex, ever-changing alchemy that determines how your site will rank.
The new TDLs are a wonderful branding opportunity for the future and will also help categorize your business for search engines, but should you rush out today and request new URLs?
Well, here are some things to think about:
1) When will the TLD you’re interested in be released (if not available yet)?
2) Once released, the Registrars have 30-day period within which they must complete a process to build the TLDs into a program to protect trademark right holders. There are over 1000 registrars, organizations that are permitted to allocated URLs. Typically your hosting company is a registrar or has agreements with one. The good news is that you can register new URLs with anyone who has them (they do not have to come from your Hosting vendor).
3) It may take a little while for these extensions to carry any SEO weight but I wouldn’t discount getting on board early with a name that is meaningful to you.