Turning “Dot-com” into “Dot-boats”

RennekeBrent Renneke, associate editor, Boating Industry – Just as boating businesses are starting to become comfortable with social media, another Web development is on the horizon, and, like Facebook and Twitter, it has the potential to make your website more popular than ever before.

Responsible for the Internet’s naming system, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is working to make the “dot-com” domain a thing of the past by introducing a new domain system that allows companies to better brand themselves through their URL, according to this article in the Vancouver Sun.

With a gTLD, or a generic top-level domain, a boating business could register its website with a “dot-boats” domain (ex. BobsMarine.boats), or they could market their site to a specific geographic area. For example, a dealer could register a site under “boats.miami” or “BobsMarine.miami.”

Depending on how the Internet greets these new domains, the benefits could be huge. For boat dealers, businesses would be able to register under a domain that could increase their search presence, either through better association with the boating business or a geographic location.

ICANN will be opening the application process later this month, which will eventually lead to the launch of 400 to 2,000 new domain names, according to this article. The application is in-depth and requires applicants to prove they have the resources to manage the domain, first of which is the steep price tag to apply for a specific gTLD. For example, if Apple would want “dot-apple” for their products, it would cost the company $185,000 for registration.

Applicants also will have the option to apply for a domain name with the purpose of opening it up to a community (called a community-based application). For example, an applicant could register “dot-boats” with the purpose of opening it up for registration to exclusively boat dealers.

If a company looks to register the domain “dot-boats” for their specific website while another applicant looks to register the domain for the purpose of a community, both applications are considered in a lengthy process. According to the ICANN’s Application Guidebook, decision makers would take into account what best promotes “competition and consumer choice” on the Internet.

It is a development with potentially huge implications. However, how new domains will fit into the search process remains to be seen. Will Google update their algorithm to take advantage of the specificity of a “dot-boats” domain? We still do not know the answer.  In the short term, the smarter web development investment remains with things like search engine optimization until we find out how the Web reacts to the change.

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  1. Playing the TLD Game Without Spending $185,000 (plus potentially unlimited yearly costs):

    You can now create your own set of Domains and TLDs at no cost and without reference to ICANN, simply by registering new Dashcom (instead of Dotcom) Domains.

    Dashcoms are brand new web addresses in the format “sport-com”, “rock-music” and “high-heels” (you can even use Facebook Emoticons to register site names such as “♫♫-♫♫”)

    With users and members in over 90 countries worldwide, resolution is via an APP although ISP links are now available to negate that need (ISP links that are also available to ICANN)

    Dashcoms can be registered totally free at sites like Dashworlds.com

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