Friday, December 30, 2011

APB - Major Changes Coming for Web Domains

If you have not heard about this you need to investigate immediately! Starting in January 2012 ICANN the organization that control domain names for the Internet (.com, .org, .net, etc) are taking applications for new "Top Level Domains" (TLD).

This has HUGE implications for companies and brands. This has not been widely publicized but has far reaching implications both positive and negative. A few examples to clarify what could and will likely happen. Big brands and industries will begin having their own TLD's in late 2012. For example you might see .Coke, .IBM, .Ford as example for companies. Other organizations might want to create categories and then "market" them to potential interested companies. .Car, .Music, .Sports, etc. A few facts to be aware of...
Time line:
  • Application period: 1/2012 - 3/2012
  • Applications published: 4/2012
  • Application evaluations: 4/2012 - 12/2012
  • Application approval/rejection notice: 1/2013
  • ~$250,000 - Application Fee
  • 90 Page Application that will likely require outside consultants to assist
  • Application fee unlikely to be refunded if application rejected
The Implications are staggering and inactivity is not an option...a few things to consider. If you think you can't afford this I ask you what it would cost if you were Apple and someone else applies and is awarded the .Apple TLD. Maybe a competitor or unethical company that would like to knock-off Apple or simply force Apple to find a way to pay them for the Apple domain for a much higher price? The positive is once a company owns its own domain it than owns everything to the left of the domain and that provides unlimited marketing opportunities.

The one thing we know is that Google algorithms use the info to the right of the "." as the first check currently. We are also certain that Google is preparing for this in their search algorithms for the future and this has the potential to be very complicated and expensive if you don't have a plan.

Good luck...

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