By: Heath Minger, Social Media Manager
There are lots of new website addresses becoming available in 2014 that do not end in .com. Will these new domain names be beneficial to small businesses, or hurt them because of the unfamiliarity?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has a key responsibility of introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names, while ensuring the security and stability of the domain name system (DNS). ICANN introduced a new generic Top-Level Domain Program which was developed to increase competition and choice in the domain name space. There are roughly two dozen gTLDs now (.com, .org, .net, etc.), but soon, there could be hundreds.
These new TLDs will be beneficial for small businesses that have had to settle for long, hyphenated, or otherwise cumbersome .com addresses because their first choices for a domain name were already taken. A business may be able to have their domain name end in the name of their city, for instance, like random.cbus for the Columbus area. Another option will be to have the business name plus the industry for the business, like tennispro.sports.
There is lots of skepticism about whether or not the new TLDs will have a big impact on internet traffic and sales. Some say that the new TLDs will be too unfamiliar and uncommon and will only have a positive result depending on how much the registries that are launching them invest in marketing them. Jonathan Hirshon, principal at Silicon Valley marketing company Horizon Communications, says “Getting people to go beyond .com, especially in the heartland and other less-technically savvy parts of the country-good luck with that.”
Hirshon points out two extensions that he feels are growing rapidly and may have commercial potential; .info and .xxx. For small businesses that are looking to export, having a domain name with a relevant country code extension, such as .cn for China or .usa for the United States, would make sense, he notes.
George Minardos, commercial builder who has spent several years securing the rights to sell website addresses using the .build extension says, “This should be looked at as an updated branding opportunity. Very soon, the name to the right of the dot is going to be as significant as the name to the left of the dot. The Internet is changing so fast, it’s not smart to be stuck in old ways.”
At Media Management Services, Inc., we continually pursue the latest developments and trends in the marketplace to implement your marketing goals.
We provide a full range of services across traditional and digital platforms. Whether buying TV and radio time or designing an inbound marketing campaign or developing a social media strategy, we help you create a consistent message across multiple platforms. We're not just another advertising agency - we're an extension of your company.