There has been a lot of talk recently about how the new gTLDs are being adopted by internet users with emphasis being placed on whether some TLDs are adding value to the domain name industry. This is a lively debate which I certainly don’t intend to address in full however something I have noticed is that there is one type of TLD which is consistently being sought after by users; the geo TLD.
These TLDs stand apart from most others as their main focus is not on a profession or industry but more precisely on a place or area. These types of domain are not a new phenomenon, ccTLDs (Country Code TLDs) have been around for a number of years however not always used for their intended purpose. For example .tv would not immediately be associated with the tiny island nation of Tuvalu but on the whole they’ve helped smaller geographical communities with establishing an online presence.
More recently however the new spate of gTLDs has seen the introduction of domains that as opposed to being associated with a country, they’re associated with regions or cities. With some sceptics believing this restricts the appeal of these TLDs, the initial stats indicate that they’ve proved popular.
Of all new gTLDs released .berlin is currently listed as the second highest purchased TLD out there, this is despite these TLDs requiring a contact address within Berlin. It is possible to sidestep this requirement by using a proxy service however the number of these domains that have been registered is still outstanding.
This week also saw the introduction of .london, which at Domainmonster we know has been hugely popular and this has been reflected statistically as it has already shot to 9th on the list of new gTLDs.
So why are these domains so popular? After having discussions with our customers it is evident that this appeals to business owners who are looking to either protect their brand associated with these areas, or wish to distinguish themselves from other businesses using the same name outside of these areas. It is almost like a badge saying ‘hey, we’re from London just like you!’ from the get go. Businesses are able to connect again with their potential customers however the potential for these domains is not just restricted to small businesses. Large companies with national or multinational interests are able to re-enforce their presence in these areas too with domains able to be used for certain branches or franchises in these areas.
Another reason for this seems to be that these TLDs make the world smaller again. Local communities are able to share interests on a smaller scale with this developing a regional identity online. The internet is great to find people around the world that like the same things as you, but to be able to find people nearby in your community helps with connecting with others in the same geographic area.
The examples mentioned above are just a couple of a large number of domains to be released, over the next year we will see the .scot, .wales and .cymru, .paris, and .nyc TLDs launched. This seems to just be the tip of an iceberg that really should get internet users interacting locally again.