Preparing to Hoard New Top Level Domain Names?

Jul 1, 2008 • 4:25 pm | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Miscellaneous

Last week there was a lot of buzz generated by the ICANN announcement that they would open up the web to allow for an "unlimited number" of new Top-Level-Domains (aka TLDs such as .com or .org or .info, for example) to be created. The initial information from Wall Street Journal was that these could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, although another report directly from ICANN states that they would be free, and require the submission of an application for evaluation.

Barry actually wrote a post on his personal blog about the new domain extensions, and specifically called out to the SEM community that it might be worth pooling funds to buy the (.seo) and (.sem) TLDs before spammers or domain speculators got a hold of them. Although the cost isn't there yet, these domains will eventually fetch a decent amount of money on the open market, or will they? In either case, I sure would love to own chrisboggs.seo...

Three different conversations are going on within search-related forums and discussion boards, and all are focused mostly on how both search engines and users would react to an influx of additional TLDs. The Sphinn thread leads to the question of whether a TLD implies more authority or trust related to a particular subject. As Kim Krause Berg points out:

Perception is everything. Just because a site ends with .seo doesn't automatically equate to credibility or expertise.
This is certainly an interesting slant to the topic. If someone saw a site that was .insurance, would they possibly trust it more than an site?

WebmasterWorld Forums member Simsi asks:

How do you think Google will approach this? Especially considering they seem to have move a lot more localized with SERPS.
This is also an interesting perspective...will French words forming TLDs do better in France? Doubtful unless other factors are included, but certainly an interesting question.

Lastly, the conversation at High Rankings Forums forecasts havoc brought on by this potential proliferation of TLDs. A UK member states that:

Word on the street here is that certain domain names are going to go for €600,000 (yes, that is not a mistake). There is such terror over cyber squatters that some companies are prepared to pay this. Is it me, or is this just a bit of cyber insanity to entertain me because the summer months are so slow and boring?

These are all great takes on this subject...go share your thoughts and please save the .seos for me!

Previous story: Webmasters Report July 2008 Google SERP Changes



07/02/2008 06:54 am

Wow, George, that is a scary post to read. However as I read on Barrys own blog, I think we should club togeather and bite off a slice of this pie for the .seo or .sem names. I for one would be interested in that.

chris boggs

07/02/2008 03:08 pm

Ben I removed the first comment you are referring to, since Mr. Riddick the third has been spamming all kinds of ICANN-related posts on the Internet with the same manifesto. Additionally, the domains will not cost anything - rather they will be subject to an application and approval process.

Rob Abdul

07/02/2008 10:07 pm

The approval process makes sense. The dot com will still be the king of the hill!

No Name

07/23/2008 06:35 pm

All of the points are certainly valid ones. Cybersquatting is going to be an issue that is going to have to be spearheaded by the top-level domain owners or their management firm and their ability to work well with brands to prevent this from occuring. Localized search will just absolutely thrive on these new top-level domains. How could Google or any other search engine ignore the relevance of a site on a .nyc or .detroit for a local search in that area? As for the pricing on the top-level domains, ICANN's major concern is to cover their costs on the application process. This process includes a number of reviews of the application by physical people. Also, popularity is going to come into play. If there is no standout organization for a given TLD then it will be placed up for auction and sold to the highest bidder.

Chris Boggs

06/30/2011 02:02 pm

Interesting to note that the link to that announcement from 2008 which is anchored "directly from ICANN" in the first paragraph above, now redirects to the ICANN home page.  In fact, the actual annoucement is now nowehere to be found on the site.  It does look as if they mostly got rid of the /announcements/ directory, but pne could think they wanted to remove any mention of "Free" when it came to the application process.

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