ICANN brings up new domain name extensions
I hope you may already have heard about this news from news papers and other social media blogs. It has been in news for so many days. Well lets dig a little deep into this new type of domain name extensions brought by ICANN.
First thing I understood from this new move by ICANN is that, they are promoting brands! Well are they? Did you look at the pricing to grab a new extension? The new product launched by ICANN is called as gTLD – means global top level domain extension. The application fees for one extension is US$185,000 and the annual rate for renewal is US$25000. Obviously this game is for biggies.
Consider a brand name Horlicks. The company that promotes horlicks can actually buy an extension .horlicks and use it to promote their products under the brand horlicks. So it can be like baby.horlicks and junior.horlicks and senior.horlicks Once a company bought a gTLD then they can register any number of domains under that gTLD. ICANN says this new gTLD’s can be used for branding over the internet. Well I do think so, its possible but with the mercy of search engine algorithms.
No way customers are going to memorise all these gTLD’s, whether its a brand or not – that doesn’t matter. To know more abour Horlicks – an average customer who is not much aware of a gTLD wil just Google “Horlicks” – and the first page is his goldmine. Now if Google outputs a .horlicks gTLD website as the first result for any query releated to “Horlicks” in Google, then I would say the new product from ICANN is totally wort the money. Which company ever prefer a 3rd party website or even a wikipedia page to rank first for a query related to their product. They obviously prefer their company website as the first result. But for this to take place Google should change their current algorithms in favour of brands – which may or may not happen.
One problem that arise is the nature of “search”. How can google predict the intentions of a searcher ? When he searches Horlicks – what he is expecting? like details of contents inside horlicks or to buy horlicks or to read about complaints created by horlicks users – it can be anything. So it becomes difficult for Google to output “branded domain” for all search queries related to that particular “brand”. Anyway its quiet agreeable to output a branded website to an exact query of brand name, say output “www.junior.horlicks” for a query like “Junior Horlicks”
What I was talking about is the ROI on such a branded domain. ICANN is aiming at dollars spend on annual branding by big companies. Still if they manage to bag in a few, I doubt how successful this new attempt from ICANN will be. I would prefer to buy “www.horlicks.com” through an auction rather than a gTLD like .horlicks. If I own www.horlicks.com – then I am quiet sure of ranking high for many search queries related to the brand. Its possible to rank high even for negative queries. And the ICANN track record is not very impressive when it comes to announcing new TLD’s. Their last 14 announcements turned flop.
Lets see Time will prove everything!