First Wave of Generic Top-Level Domains are Launching

There are over 143,764,550 registered domain names ending in .com, .org, .net, and .info. As one might guess, .com is the most popular and comprises roughly 78% of all the registered domain names. There are so many that new businesses are having a difficult time finding a domain name that ends with .com and still connects to the name of their business.

To alleviate this problem, hundreds of new extensions will be released for the end of domain registrations. The new extensions will allow business owners to further identify themselves and their business. These are known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs). They are being launched by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

For example, an electrician can choose to register a domain name like www.service.electric. A magician could register a domain name like www.entertainment.magic.

ICANN is offering a 30-day sunrise period for trademark owners to register corresponding domain names before those options are offered to the public. A handful of domain registries are allowing businesses to ore-register the domain name they are interested in getting.

The sunrise period for .bike, .plumbing, .clothing, .singles, .guru, and .ventures will close January 25, 2014. Those with corresponding trademarks have till them to register their new domains. On January 29th, those gTLDs, along with hundreds of others will be available to the general public to claim and register.

Overall, this will change the internet dramatically. People will no longer be able to assume the end of a domain based on the type of organization. Users will need to have a better knowledge of the website they are trying to find and businesses will need to work on their SEO to make sure their websites are easily findable through search engines.

Websites will need to work to distinguish themselves from other websites that may register drastically close domain names. For example, this new system will allow the registration of things like www.entertainment.magic and www.entertainment.magicians, and Users will need to decipher which website they were actually looking for.

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Melanie graduated in 2004 from Bowling Green State University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over five years with previous experience in both sales and marketing.