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New Unique Top-Level Domain Endings On Their Way for Better Search Engine Optimization

Now, ICANN is allowing corporations to create keyword-rich domain names that help them stand out.

On Monday, June 20, 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted to allow unique top-level domains (TLDs), a landmark decision that promises to significantly impact how Internet users and searchers navigate the web – and how businesses market themselves online.

 

The decision, passed with a 13-1 vote with two abstentions, allows for corporations and other entities to file an application to ICANN and register a unique TLD. A TLD is the method by which websites are identified and addressed online – such as .com, .org, and .net. Within the past decade, ICANN has authorized additional TLDs, such as .biz and country-specific suffixes. Now, ICANN is allowing corporations to create keyword-rich domain names that help them stand out.

 

For example, a financial institution could register .bank. Coca-Cola could register .coke. And an internet marketing firm could pay to register.seo, or .click, or a variety of appropriate domain endings. This would have the added effect of reducing the length and complexity of typical URLs, which helps to simplify internal directories and streamline website architecture – not to mention make it easier for users to find a particular page in a website.

 

The decision, applauded by an audience of tech and business insiders on hand for the announcement, is viewed by ICANN as a way to promote innovation and competition online while allowing several benefits to users, businesses, and search engines alike. Internet users benefit by having an easier time navigating the Internet and finding specific websites. Search engines will likely benefit by the increase in global search activity as a direct result of firms taking advantage of new TLDs.

 

Perhaps the most impact, however, comes for businesses that use the Internet as a major vehicle and medium for marketing and advertising, particularly search engine optimization. Corporations have a new way to promote their brand with keyword-rich domain names, which can boost search engine optimization and increase web traffic to any online destination.

 

The decision also allows for corporations and industries as a whole to protect themselves from online fraud, since essentially a registered TLD will become proprietary. Scammers attempting to mimic a particular company through domain spoofing or other techniques will be hard-pressed to do so if the company has its own TLD.

 

Social media – a powerful new method of marketing virtually any company online – is also made more accessible. The major players, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, now have a method by which users in their respective networks can be found very quickly. For Acme Marketing, for example, going to the company’s Twitter feed can be as simple as typing in acme.twitter.

The requirements are stiff – an application fee is $185,000 and only 1,000 can be registered each year – but it is likely there will be no shortage of applicants.

 

In short, ICANN’s latest announcement promises to expand the spectrum of opportunities for companies to use the Internet for brand establishment, marketing, and search engine optimization.

 

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