Today marks the biggest expansion of the domain name system (DNS) ever, with over a thousand new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) introduced into the Internet’s Root Zone, but who does this move benefit?
Country top level domains like .co.uk and .de have a purpose in showing the country that a website is targeting, and the gTLDs like .com and .org tend to represent websites or companies that are more global – targeting the whole web (or maybe just the US). But what about the host of new gTLDs? What information do they demonstrate to the user?
Some generic TLDs like .xxx are certainly useful, because they allow websites to define themselves as offering adult material – and this means that parents and others wanting to filter such sites will find it a little easier. Great. But what about .music or .books or .news? What about .play or .red or .review?
All these extra gTLDs offer a number of problems for users and businesses alike. Are these gTLDs going to be limited to those involved in that industry, with .music only being offered to bands or record labels? Well who decides what constitutes music and what makes up a band? And if it is open to everyone then what is the point as it does not describe anything about the website. Would bands and labels need to buy the .music version of their band or brand names to avoid scammers buying them up or dilution of their trademark? This is just another expense that everyone doesn’t need.
There are also some new gTLDs which may be run by companies like Google, Amazon, or Apple – and if this is the case for a gTLD for something like .books then it makes it pretty irrelevant, as it will just come to mean an author needs to pay Amazon for a quick and memorable way to point to his or her author page on Amazon.com. It is quicker to type in the author’s name into Google and click the Amazon result, than type .books anyway.
The whole range of new TLDs just opens to fronts that brands need to protect their names and trademarks on, and more possibilities for scammers to create sites that look legitimate with good names, but are something much more nefarious. They are a waste of time, energy, and money.