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Millions Spent on new TLD extensions. The ICANN gold rush!

Thu, 31st May 2012, 22:52

The application process of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for new generic top-level domain name has now closed. ICANN will publish a complete list of all the applied for strings in June but some,including Google,have jumped the gun by announcing some of the extensions applied for. Among these are (dot)google and (dot)youtube. Also applied for are some domain extensions the company "thinks have interesting and creative potential,” like (dot) lol.

Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like these will soon become a reality along with the 28 TLDs presently utilized. like .com, .org, .net .me, and more obscure ones like .jobs and .aero. The initiative is expected to create between 300 and 1,000 new gTLDs per year. As HostJury wrote in an earlier post, applicants have to pay a $185,000 evaluation fee just to apply, as well as approximately $25K in additional annual fees if their applications is accepted.

There had been a lot of controversy around establishing new TLD. Many large corporations and non-profit organizations have argued that this process would force them to spend more money than necessary on securing their trademarks. An even greater burden is faced by smaller companies who already spend a small fortune acquiring every conceivable variation of their domain in an effort to thwart imagination deprived newbs entering the marketplace with a cloned domain.

Here are some of the domains Google has applied for (and the company’s reasoning behind applying for them):

  • The trademarks, like .google
  • Domains related to their core business, like .docs
  • Domains that will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified
  • Domains they think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol

Google says it’s “just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, they hope people will find options for more diverse and perhaps shorter signposts in cyberspace.”

Besides Google, a number of other companies announced the gTLDs they’ve applied for. Web.com, says it applied for (dot)web. CloudNames applied for .cloud and .global and Radix applied for 31 gTLDs, including law, music, movie, baby, blog, bank, and app. (do the math, thats $30M plus in TLD applications from just one company!)

Nobody could argue that there isn’t many exciting possibilities, and benefits attached to refining TLD. Still without implementation of some safeguards, we will likely have to wait for June 13 to find the full extent of the blood letting. Along with the domain squatters who are rubbing their hands in glee.. but thats another post!

Another Q still unanswered.. who is going to get .amazon - the Internet retailer or Brazil.

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