The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been very busy over the last 10 months delegating numerous new generic top-level domain (gTLD) names and adding them to the root zone so that devices around the world can now take advantage of the incredible world of new namespaces which is about to be unleashed upon us. Over 1300 new gTLDs will become available over the next few years and you can see a list of all the newly delegated “strings” over at ICANN’s website — though this doesn’t necessarily mean they are actually available to everyone (nor are all of them even in English)! This list also does not cover the bigger brand names like .coke or .ibm.
If you’re a little lost, don’t worry. We covered some of the specifics of new gTLDs last year when ICANN was still in the application approval process and how it works for the bigger brand name domains through the Trademark Clearinghouse.
Today, we’re taking a look at just a few of the best and worst new gTLDs out there — many of which can be registered right now.
Top 5 Best new gTLDs
.tips (available for registration)
.wiki (available for registration)
.watch (available for registration)
.expert (available for registration)
.shop (coming soon)
When you think about how people search or access the internet, most of the time they are seeking information, videos, expert advice or shopping outlets. Websites which are largely research and information oriented would probably do well to select domains using .tips or .wiki particularly if search engines start adding any kind of weight to websites using those gTLDs in the future. Their shortness will also make them an attractive choice compared to anything else.
It’s not hard to imagine video websites popping up with the .watch gTLD, and as a generalized term it could also be a great choice for any sort of presentational website where you’re watching something to absorb the message. Anyone who has a brand centered around actual wrist-watches will most likely want to buy a few of their product names in the .watch namespace.
Google’s recent launch of “Helpouts” involving live paid video chats with experts to help resolve your problems lends credence to the idea that we may soon start seeing a lot of .expert domains popping up to address the innumerable needs of netizens worldwide. Individuals and perhaps even businesses could use this gTLD to entice visitation and interaction with themselves or their brand’s more intelligent facets.
Lastly, .shop would be a great way for businesses at all levels to identify themselves as an e-commerce destination using a name which is almost as short as .com. Would you want to immediately go out and replace your .com website with a .shop gTLD? Probably not right away (if at all), but you may want to register a name now before it’s snatched by someone else later on. In any case, the .shop gTLD has not yet been released for immediate registration although many domain registrars will let you pre-register them now.
Top 5 Worst new gTLDs
.cool (available for registration)
.fail (pre-registration only)
.wtf (pre-registration only)
.xyz (availabe for registration)
.gripe (pre-registration only)
On the other side of the gTLD coin, we have our top 5 worst new gTLDs almost all of which were applied for by a newly formed domain name registry organization comprised of “industry pioneers” and collectively known as “Donuts”. Armed with large sums of capital investments they applied for every single one of these domains except for .xyz along with over 300 others which are arguably far more viable than these 5 gTLDs will ever be. For instance, they were also awarded .tips, .expert and .watch.
But we can’t help but wonder – who the heck is going to use .cool? It could almost be said that to use it might actually make you or your brand somewhat “un-cool”. Unless of course, you’re using it to denote temperature or something. So perhaps the folks over at Coors Beer can think of a good name to use here, but beyond that it’s probably best to avoid this one.
If you’re thinking of buying a .fail or .wtf, it’s probably because you’ve got something humorous or outlandish to point out. Unfortunately, it’s not a forgone conclusion that everyone actually knows what the W.T.F. acronym stands for, and “fail” also falls short of the real usefulness barrier unless you happen to be the one registering something like “epic.fail” — again, probably for some kind of humorous content. We’re happy to be proved wrong, but it seems unlikely that tons of websites will be using these two new gTLDs.
Now think of “XYZ” and what jumps to mind? Unless it’s something like the mere end of the English alphabet or the Cartesian coordinate system you’re probably just as stumped as we are about how useful the .xyz gTLD will be. The new gTLD names are meant to more closely refine the purpose or content of your website which search engines may even start factoring into their rankings. So with that in mind, what does XYZ give you? Not much if you ask us.
Finally, the .gripe gTLD is one of those names which just seems negative right from the get-go. It doesn’t do much in the way of supporting a balanced or potentially positive review as sites like Yelp or a search engine’s local business reviews would allow for — it’s more likely to be a giant whine-fest. But isn’t that what we have internet forums for? No brand or business is likely to work with this gTLD, although it’s conceivable that an angry customer might decide to see if their website will go viral on a domain such as: verizon.gripe. Or for all we know, the always irritable Grumpy Cat might actually like to use it.
Leave us a comment and tell us how you think these terrible new gTLDs might be better than we think, or get in touch with us to find out how your project or organization can approach this brave new world of generic top-level domains.