ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ), the entity that tightly controls what domain names could be registered just relaxed its rule paving the way for a slew of new names to be introduced to domain names.
At present, there are already 27 TLDs (top level domains) available like the popular .com, .org, .net, etc. Starting second quarter of 2009, ICANN will start accepting applications for new names and will approve or reject based on an independent review process as well as based on thrid party objection.
What does this mean to the web?
We could start seeing domain names ending with industry specific tags like .travel, .food, etc. and city specific tags like .nyc, .paris, .la etc. There is no end to it and ICANN hasn’t limited the words that can be applied for either to see what the industry will come up with. There will be numerous options for any business to register a domain name with. And I am not sure if it can be structured. If you had a .nyc domain name, could you still have your .com address and if you were a hotel in New York City, could you also have a domain name with .travel? You are still a business, so you could have a .biz domain name as well.
Having said that, not everyone could register a TLD. You have to be serious enough and shell out around half a million dollars and promise to take care of it.
What does this mean to us?
With a habit of visiting multitude of websites daily, sometimes it’s hard enough for me to remember between a .com and a .net these days. With the flood gates for domain names being opened with the possibility or hundres of new TLDs, the advantage is not in our side. We are going to get confused. Period.
I wouldn’t be able to remember if the hotel someone recommended or the review i read pointed to a .com or a .biz or a .travel or a .hotel name in it. Especially if there were different hotels registered with each of these TLDs.
What does this mean to Google?
If I were Google, I would be very happy this morning as all this is good news for a search engine. If you were confused or unable to find the business names anymore by your .coms or .nets or .biz options for a name, you would naturally turn to a search engine. The results shown by Google are going to be even more important down the line when there are a zillion more sites with crazy names attached to them with no apparent structure.
I think this just made the consumer dependence on search engines like Google even stronger. More and more people are going to flock to Google to go anywhere on the web as the directories would be too big and too cluttered to find what you want.
Even now, how many times have you caught yourself going straight to Google before you get to a website? This is just with the few common TLDs like .com, .net and the occasional hypens in the name. Imagine with hundred more options for domain names and my head starts to spin already.
It’s Friday. So, lets push aside the gloom that’s about to descend on us and see if we can come up with some funny domain names? I have a feeling the first TLD that will get registered next year will be .porn.