Has your recent search for a viable domain name been similar to Jack Donaghy’s of 30 Rock?
I recently received an email from Google announcing that they were offering me a free domain as part of their new domain registrar service. My first reaction was, wow, a free domain, that’s cool. But then I thought why is Google getting in the domain registration business? Well, there was an accompanying video to go along with the free offer, so I tuned in.
For as long as I can remember, the internet has offered domain names which ended with a choice of several top level domains (TLD), like .edu, .com, .org, .gov, .net. And for all intents and purposes, the only domains that mattered to me and anyone I worked with were .com’s and .org’s. Somewhere in the early 2000’s, some additional TLD’s were released, and clients would occasionally ask whether a .biz, or a .info domain would be appropriate for their new website domain. I think while many hoped those TLD’s would be catchy and marketable, the reality was that a .com domain was too much a part of the general public’s awareness of how the internet operated. It was challenging enough to get someone to remember their web address started with a www let alone ended with a .biz. Best to stick with a .com.
Google is getting in the business of domain name registration now because ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has released a slew of new TLDs; almost 1500! With this release, Google wants to promote purchase and use of these TLDs to further facilitate access to information. TLD’s provide a degree of categorization of information. For example, the .esq TLD is just for people in the legal profession. The .soy TLD, Google hopes, can be promoted as a TLD for useful information for Latin Americans. Classification will help Google organize search results.
What will this advent of 1500 TLD’s mean to our own navigation of the internet? Well, there are a number of behind the scenes kinks to work out, but the big picture view is that domain names will now be even more catchy, more marketable. Sure, we’ll still be reached at www.alliedpixel.com, but how about also being reachable at alliedpixel.rocks? or alliedpixel.productions? or alliedpixel.paris (for that new office we’ll be opening up next year)? And, as was noted in Google’s video, of the almost 60000 possible 4 character domains available in the .com TLD, there are zero available. No worries now – there’s going to be something that fits your organization! Google’s service, Google Domains isn’t available yet, but start your searching now and be prepared for an explosion of new domain names!