A generic top-level domain, also known as a gTLD or suffix has traditionally consisted of .com, .net and .org for most businesses and organizations. Today we have a greater variety of options, 4-5 times more than just last year. These options can better help people understand what your organization does or what your website is about.
Owning a quality .com name is still a prize. I’m very proud of the fact that I own rosh.com. I picked it up in 1998. That leads me to the myth that domains outside of a traditional .com don’t do as well in search results. Google really doesn’t care, they want to rank quality, easy to use websites with great content, no matter what the domain. Google does make note of the age of the domain as part of their algorithm, and that is why older, more established gTLD’s with a lot of good content will often out rank the newer gTLD’s. It’s often an age and legacy thing.
What top-level domains are available today (or coming soon)? the list is quite long and include the things your business does such as; .build, .photography, .clothing, .construction, .diamonds, .graphics, .florist .plumbing or .marketing. Using these domains allows you to be more creative and descriptive so people have an easier time remembering your website address.
Maybe you are looking for something that describes your website such as .tips, .directory, .reviews or .guru — if you dare. Maybe a domain directly related to your product such as .book or .art is more to your liking.
If you are considering using these new domains, I would get in early. Often you can pre-register for some of the newly announced domains so you can acquire a clever, easy to remember name. Some domains only have a few hundred registrations leaving your creative options wide open.
It is important to note that these new domains tend cost more than the traditional gTLD’s that we know and love. The traditional domains are familiar and have earned inherent trust with the public. Just a few years a go, I might have recommended avoiding these new domain options because most people were not familiar with them. Trust is a big factor on the web. I don’t think that is the case today and the public is definitely moving forward.
One thing to consider is the possibility someone hijacking your name related to your industry. I’m not suggesting you sign up for every new gTLD that comes out. That is an expensive proposition. If your business is healthcare or healthcare is in your name, you might want to pick up .healthcare and other related domains to protect yourself.
Choosing a domain is important to your business. Don’t take the task lightly. Many of the new domains have not launched yet. Currently ICANN, the organization that governs this process, has close to 2000 new domains ready to launch. Many are in different languages, none the less the future holds a new wild west of website domain names that will allow website owners more creative and relevant website naming options.