gTLDs are new top level domain extensions and are a generic extension to the traditional URL structure. They could be any term or phrase possible, including:

.brand                   .product               .location               .service

They will run alongside the current traditional extensions .com, .net etc. 1,930 applications have been made to ICANN for new domain extensions, ranging from product names, to city and country names. These new domain extensions are expected to be added to the Internet in early 2014.

Why should you care about gTLDs?

The new extension will allow companies and sites to develop pithy and descriptive new URLs.  In the sea of domain names this will enable the creation of more memorable addresses that will really stand out in search and a user’s mind.

Imagine the power of www.yourbrand.product!

The new domain extensions could potentially help to boost your site’s organic rankings as well as help to establish its reputation as an authority within a certain field.

The new gTLDs will open up new premium names and targeted domain extensions allowing you to tailor your URL to any number of possibilities. Theoretically it will allow you to do this at an affordable price, adding a small addition to monthly hosting fees.

One major feature will be the ability to target specific areas with geographic extensions. For example, www.karlsbikeshop.wales – These extensions will help to tag a website or company’s location as well as helping to grow a community online.

Ultimately it will foster innovation in the online world allowing totally unique and custom sites and domains for a whole range of products and services. This will mean companies will be able to interact with consumers and web users in a way never before seen.

What will this mean for search?

Initially there is unlikely to be much of a change to website rankings. Search engines will continue to value good quality content above all else. Where the change will have an impact is extension search. Google currently allows users to search by domain extension in their advanced search settings (Expect them to trumpet this particular feature with the introduction of the new gTLDs). So users will be able to search within lists of specific extensions such as .shopping or .redshoes and so on. This will also mean a rise in niche search engines devoted to each extension.

How do you get access to a new domain?

Purchasing a new gTLD for your company will mean an additional cost, and what those exact costs will be are not yet known. So if getting one is right for you then it’s important to act early to secure yours. Companies must apply to get names before general availability. There are a large number of domain providers applying for various gTLDs as well as other private companies vying for the rights to specific branded extensions.

They pose a rare opportunity to register descriptive, quirky, and memorable names that have never been seen before.

Before embarking on the above, give us a call at 4Ps to find out if applying for a gTLD would be the right move for your business.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how technical SEO is evolving to keep pace with new developments in web and data technology, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and incredibly geeky chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.