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Brand Domain Names (Like .apple Or .coke) Coming Soon

Brand Domain Names (Like .apple Or .coke) Coming Soon

by Brad MerrillJune 17, 2011

Brands will soon be able to operate their own TLDs (top-level domains) like .apple, .coke, etc. ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, is expected to approve the change on Monday at a special board meeting in Singapore.

Right now, only 22 generic top-level domains exist — such as .com, .org, and .net — plus about 250 country-level domains like .uk. After the change, several hundred new gTLDs are expected to come into existence. This will be a big opportunity for brands to take control of their online presence. It’s gonna change how search engines find results, and how publishers use SEO. 

“We’re advising people to buy their brands, park them and redirect visitors to their existing site, at the very least,” says Theo Hnarakis, chief executive of Australian domain name-registration firm Melbourne IT DBS. If the change is approved, applications will open in January for 90 days, and then close again, probably for years. Applying will cost $185,000.

The new gTLDs will allow small businesses to get domains not available at the .com level — like mexican.food or furniture.nyc.

To prevent cyber squatting, owners of the new gTLDs will be required to maintain operational sites. This change will also increase ICANN’s involvement in how gTLDs are operated, bought and sold.

[Reuters, Image Credit: Widjaya Ivan / Flickr]

About The Author
Brad Merrill
Brad Merrill is the founder and former editor of VentureBreak.