There have been numerous discussions regarding the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ recent rollout of hundreds of new domain name suffixes. And yet little documentation in the ways this will affect the online community of buyers and sellers has surfaced.
In a previous article we discussed some of the implications of the new ICANN internet domains as the scheme was beginning to be implemented.
It will take some time before the full extent of the expansion is known. Many investors are waiting to see how the .com infrastructure of the internet adapts and how the real-world outcomes will play out.
Types of Domain Name Suffixes
The .com, .net, .org and .info domains make up the core group of generic top level domains (or gTLDs). Others such as .biz, .pro and .name are also considered to be generic but they carry restrictions and access is often limited.
Then there are the so-called sponsored suffixes which include endings like .gov, .edu, .jobs and .int and are awarded based on eligibility. National suffixes such as .gov.ca and .co.uk and international suffixes including .biz and .info are still available.
The new domain suffixes simply extends each family by adding more of a personal or descriptive touch to the registries. Now, domain names such as .photography, .mobile and .app amongst many others are becoming more commonplace.
Effects on Registrars and Investors
It used to be that if you wanted to secure a ‘good’ domain you would have to think hard to come up with an original term or phrase and then hope it wasn’t already taken. There was something valuable in a name.
While the addition of new domain name suffixes isn’t new, this is the first time that a scheme to extend the versatility of the internet looks more like digital reform.
The release of these new gLTDs will, and have already, depreciated the value of many domain names. Registrars are extremely nervous and so are investors.
The domain name reseller GoDaddy.com is now advertizing the recent addition of extensions. Their site reads, ‘Find the right name right now with hundreds of domains specific to you’.
Image courtesy godaddy.com
Think of it a bit like the stock market. Decisions can decisively alter the direction of the market and you will need to take extra precautions to protect your assets.
Leveraging the New Paradigm
The reality of the situation is that the rollout has been far from ineffective. The landscape of the internet has changed drastically and the playing fields have been levelled. Now, we’ll discuss how to leverage the new paradigm to your advantage.
You will need to conduct considerable research and spend time building up your portfolio’s worth. There are a number of ways to go about this:
- Create a website: Domain names on their own are generally considered to be less valuable that those that have a website attached.
- Monetize your site: Create well-informed AdSense campaigns that drive visitors to your online content and sales channels.
- Create a network: Establish a solid string of backlinks to the inventory in your portfolio and update your websites with engaging and quality content regularly.
- Track your analytics: Your analytics are an integral part of your site listings and go a long way towards convincing buyers to bid across your live auctions and/or classifieds.
Adjusting Your Business Model
Ultimately, you should rethink and re-strategize your investment portfolio. Some of your domain names may have already become obsolete and the trend looks set to continue as more suffixes enter the fray.
Corporate conglomerates who successfully added their trademark names to ICANN’s list will eventually be allowed to conduct business using their brands as an extension.
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) stand to gain less from acquiring brand specific websites, though entrepreneurs will be able to find greater value in new gLTDs that align their businesses with particular cities or niche skills.
Rather than registering a domain name like dragonfireapps.com it is now possible to register the URL dragonfire.apps. You might think that this change is insignificant however this frees you up to pursue creative and imaginative combinations – many of which will become highly sought after.
Embracing your competitive edge, your country or your favourite anything is the key to building a successful website portfolio for the purposes of turning a profit.
The rollout presents the perfect opportunity to seize new domain names as they become available and best of all, you won’t be competing with the general public, at least not yet. As stated in the previously aforementioned article, it seems that most consumers and SMEs are unaware of the recent changes.
The Future of the Marketplace
Over the coming months we’ll see many more investors enter the market specifically to buy and sell domain names. If you’re planning on being one of them, take this opportunity to read up on a few of the challenges facing entrants to buying and selling domain names.
While many of these entrepreneurs will stay loyal to the established .com, .org and .net extensions, there can be no denying that these changes are here to stay. You may end up doing yourself a disservice if you underestimate the value of some of these new suffixes.
Supporters of the expansion have lobbied hard for years to get this reform pushed though. Despite the numerous setbacks, analysts agree that the potential benefits to businesses are great. Prior to the expansion, over 100 million websites ended in the suffix .com which overcrowded the namespace.
‘There were just too many registered domain names forcing users to hyphenate or change their string’, said Cyrus Namazi, ICANN’s vice president for industry engagement.
Cyrus Namazi, ICANN’s Vice President. Image courtesy bbc.co.uk
In the next article and conclusion to this short series on the recent expansion of gLTDs we’ll talk about the effects of these changes in relation to global online branding, SEO algorithms and pricing models.