ICANN announced the timeline of its new gTDL (generic Top Level Domain) programme with information improved domain names that will help Internet browsers understand what a website is about from the first glimpse and provide a more tightly controlled online environment.The opening of applications in October will mark the beginning of a new TLD era, the one of dotBrands, dotCities, dotIndustry and a gradual transition away from the dot com phenomenon.
At the moment, the current TLD system presents both advantages as well as important drawbacks (especially in terms of security and brand- protection). Its benefits are its money and time- efficiency leading to anyone wanting to obtain a domain name being able to purchase one quickly and without spending much thanks to the existing 100,000 registrars worldwide (Mashable.com). Apparently, the situation will slightly change with the new gTLDs as the domain name application procedure that will be in place is said to be complex and lengthy (not consumer friendly). Its main disadvantage is the fact that anyone can buy a domain name without restrictions, giving raise to brand piracy and phishing sites.
The main benefit of the new gTLDs is their control by a principal setting its policies, assuring consumers that a certain website is trustworthy and authentic, a factor of utmost importance especially when it comes to e-commerce. Therefore the final result will be a safer, better organized online environment. From a marketing perspective, this will not only help brands protect their brand equity but also build more brand awareness by tying their name to an important industry term (xyz.digitalsignage). A brand can also become a registrar of its own dotBrand gTLD which makes sense (an additional source of revenue for some maybe?). Consumers will be more able to evaluate a website’s content without having to visit it based on the brand+TLD combination (nokia.mobilephones).
Its drawbacks that haven’t been addressed yet are: SEO chaos (with search engines and consumers not adapting), loss of premium industry term to competition, too lengthy applications in case of public objections. Another possible future shortcoming is the consumer confusion that could be created as new brands can choose between a standard TLD (.org, .net) or a new gTLD and people might not remember exactly which extension belongs to which brand. Also, because of the check up process the cost of registering might increase as well.
At the moment there are 21 gTLDs administered by 21 registry operators and 900 registrars (click here to see the list), responsible for the TLD’s technical operation and of performing domain name registrations. ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) expects a diverse pool of applications in Oct with new gTLDs to be created to fulfill the program’s goal ”foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS”. Hope so.
Want to know more? Check put the presentation below (brandtds.com).