Google’s Announces New gTLD Applications
It was a good day for New gTLDs as the first 24 hours since the close of the application window for new generic top level domains saw several announcements from big companies making big moves in the New gTLD namespace. Probably the biggest news of the day came from internet search behemoth Google, which claimed over 50 New gTLD applications. According to this article from Adage.com:
“Among the top-level domains (the part of a web address to the right of the dot) Google is applying for are “.google,” “.docs,.” “.youtube,” and “.lol”, the blog post said. The company applied for more than 50 top-level domains in total, according to a person close to the situation. “
Former ICANN Chair, internet pioneer and chief Internet Evangelist at Google, Vint Cerf provided more details about their applications and New gTLD philosophy at Googleblog:
“In 2008, ICANN announced a program to expand the number of generic TLDs (think .com, .org, .edu), developed through its bottom-up, multi-stakeholder process, in which we participate. Given this expansion process, we decided to submit applications for new TLDs, which generally fall into four categories:
- Our trademarks, like .google
- Domains related to our 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 we think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol
We want to make the introduction of new generic TLDs a good experience for web users and site owners.”
While details of all the applications weren’t revealed, the scale of the announcement is profound. Over 50 applications puts Google among the largest investors in the New gTLD space. This is of major significance as Google possesses . . .
The Power to Change Internet User Perception
There is probably no company in existence today that could have more influence on the perception of end users in the internet namespace than Google.
With a 66% market share in search, Google controls the pathway through which the majority of internet users find information and navigate the web. And, it appears they are very receptive to the idea of using New gTLDs as a tool to present that information and direct users to content.
Ask, how quickly awareness of the right side of the domain equation will become important to average users if Google moves it’s flagship product to Search.Google? Combine that with the power of brands using their New gTLDs to promote goods and services sans .com. What are the implications if Google Local Search results begin to demonstrate a tilt toward geographical TLDs like .NYC, .LONDON, .SYDNEY? What difference would it have made if Google had chosen to ignore, or assume a negative stance toward new domains? Today’s announcements can only be considered a big win for New gTLDs.
The Not so Big Winners
Perhaps New gTLD players not so thrilled with Google’s announcement are other prospective applicants who will be vying for some of the same strings.
Do you think Google applied for .lol and NOT .app? Doubtful. And there are 46 or more other strings applied for by Google yet to be revealed.
Google’s large scale entry into the foray of registry applications will create a new level of competition for TLD strings which others surely had their eyes on.
Directi announced 31 high profile TLD applications today also, including .app. .APP could see half a dozen or more applicants, from some serious long ball hitters. Other applicants for .app could find themselves outclassed.
And we still haven’t heard from Demand Media, Apple, Microsoft, Donuts, TLDH, and other, as yet unknown major applicants.
There will surely be some exciting times in the coming months/years in the internet namespace. Big change looms on the horizon.