According to a report issued yesterday, the new gTLDs may not be revealed until as late as June 29. ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said in an interview with Domain Incite that he hopes to be able to host the reveal before he steps down from his position on July 1.
Applicants initially expected to hear if their applications were successful this week, but then last week ICANN pushed the reveal back to sometime in May. Now applicants may have to wait until the ICANN 44 meeting in Prague on June 29th before learning if their applications were successful.
According to Beckstrom, scheduling the reveal for June 29th is a personal goal, not a commitment from ICANN to meet that deadline. While he is pushing for a quick resolution of the issue, he stated the quality of the program is more important than a specific reveal date.
It was a technical glitch in April that forced ICANN to take its application system offline. ICANN is continuing to investigate what happened to the TAS that caused applicants to see file names and usernames of other applicants. ICANN plans to notify users of whether or not they were affected by the TAS bug by May 8.
According to ICANN, the bug was not a security issue, but rather a standard software bug.
“Obviously any time you have a software problem or technical problem with any program you come under enhanced security and criticism, and I think that’s understandable, that’s fair,” Beckstrom told Domain Incite. “What we’re focused on is resolving this successfully and I think ICANN has dealt with many challenges in its past successfully and we’re committed to resolve this issue professionally.”
Do you have a couple million dollars sitting around collecting dust? Then you just might have a shot at some of these multi-million dollar domain names! We’re counting down the top 10 most expensive domain names in Internet history.
#10: Slots.com – $5.5 Million
In 2010, Slots.com was listed for sale in a SnapNames auction. The auction concluded without a bid reaching the reserve, but domain management service Moniker worked with both parties to close the deal. In the end, Bodog Brand ended up buying the domain for $5.5 million. On his blog, Bodog founder Calvin Ayre called it, “one of the best deals I’ve ever made.”
Besides registering other top-level domain names, it’s also a good idea to register variations on your domain name too. There are many variations you can use that will make it easier for both people and search engines to read, which means you will get more traffic to your site.
Plurals, Misspellings, and Product Names
You can start by registering plural versions of your domain name, and even common misspellings, just to cover all of your bases. It’s important to register misspellings because there are “typo-squatters” out there who make a point of registering misspellings of popular domain names in order to steal away traffic of people who make innocent typos when they type a domain name into their browser.
You should also register domain names for all of your business’s product names. This will help increase your search engine rankings if people have heard of and are searching for your product. This will also protect you and your product names, so register as many domain names as you can for your company. It makes more sense to scoop up a lot of cheap domain names than to spend thousands in court to protect your name.
Should you register your existing business name or a name with popular keywords?
You might have an existing company with a name so long or generic that it just doesn’t work as a domain name. For example, if you have taken your brick-and-mortar business online, its name might not work. You could try using your business’s initials or a shorter version of the name, or if your focus is to go completely online, you could change the name altogether.
We recommend that you always register your original business name just so you don’t lose that option later on if someone beats you to it. However, you can also register a domain name that includes popular keywords (ones many of your potential customers are searching for to find businesses like yours) to attract more traffic and get the attention of big search engines. You can also register a domain that reflects your product more so than just your business.
You could then use the keyword-rich domain as your main site and redirect the traffic generated by your original company name to your main domain. If you are starting a new business, research popular keywords and see which domains you can register before you name it. Your domain and business names should ultimately reflect who you are and what you do.
Register Domain Names With and Without Hyphens
When you register keyword-rich keywords, buy ones both with and without hyphens (for example, www.yoursite.com and www.your-site.com). It’s a good idea to use hyphens if your company or product name is confusing when you spell it as one word.
Advantages to Creating Your Own Sub-Domains
There is a solution if you already have a domain name or can’t find an available one with the keywords that you want to use. You can take advantage of a sub-domain, which is anything that comes before the main domain. For example, if your site is www.yoursite.com, a sub-domain could be www.product.yoursite.com or www.newsletter.yoursite.com.
Search engines love keyword-rich domain names. If you use keywords in your sub-domain, you will be rewarded by search engines the same as you would be for using keywords in your main domain. The best part is that you don’t have to register your sub-domains since you already own the main domain. You can simply ask your web host to create them for you.
Most website owners don’t know about or take advantage of sub-domains or the fact that you can have as many as you want. People are more likely to click on a link whose domain name contains keywords they’re looking for, so if you use sub-domains that keyword will be the first thing they see, since it comes before even your main domain name.
For example, if someone searched for “Barbie” in a search engine and you used that keyword in your sub-domain, they would be more likely to click on your link (www.barbie.yourtoysite.com) before they would click on a competitor’s link that didn’t use a sub-domain (www.competingtoysite.com/catalog/barbie).
When you register your domain name, always register a .com name before a .net, .org, .biz, .pro, .tv, .mobi, or other “top-level” domains as they are called. If you use a .net, .biz, or .org domain name, you will only be losing customers. People will remember a .com name before they remember any other one. In fact, most Internet browsers will default to .com if the extension isn’t entered.
The .com name you want might not be available though. There are currently more than 72 million .com names registered, as opposed to only 10.7 million .net addresses. You can still use a .net address effectively with proper branding strategies, or if you rely mostly on search engine traffic. However, .com should always be your first choice.
With that being said, though, it’s always a good strategy to register the less popular top-level domains as well. For example, if you’ve registered www.yoursite.com, you should also try to register www.yoursite.net and www.yoursite.org. Even though far fewer people will type in the .org or .net name first, registering them anyway will help prevent other similar businesses to yours from stealing your traffic or damaging your reputation by posting something offensive or low-quality on the .net or .org address.
The non-profit corporation in charge of assuming responsibility for the domain name system is The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). You will find an up-to-date list of available top-level domain names at their website, http://www.icann.org/.
Your domain name can be up to 67 characters long and contain any combination of basic letters and numbers (but not special characters like < and &). It cannot begin or end with a hyphen, but you can use them to separate words. Choose a domain name that is memorable and also easy to spell, pronounce, and type. You want the people who only catch a glimpse of your name to be able to bring it to mind when they sit down at the computer later.
We recommend keeping your domain name to a maximum of three words. Be aware that “cute” or non-traditional spellings may make it difficult for people to find you. You can improve your ranking in search engines by using keywords in your domain name. You can gain more visibility if you can secure a domain name the contains a few of the keywords that people will be using to search for you because search engines give some weight to the words in the domain name.
There are several useful tools available that can help you brainstorm good domain names, including:
Domain Tools (http://www.domaintools.com/)
This is a free tool that lets you enter keywords and partial words into a “Domain Tools” lookup and then gives you a list of possible domain names using these words and their synonyms. It also shows which ones are still available and which are about to expire.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal)
This is a tool that shows you the popularity of search terms related to your website, including how many times they were used in searches in the previous month.
All you do here is type in your keywords and this tool will produce a long list of potential domain names. The ones with a check box next to them are still available (this feature is not 100% reliable though).