The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) system for submitting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) just closed, after over 1900 applications were submitted. Google had submitted its own applications for new TLDs, falling into four categories:
- Google trademarks, like .google
- Domains related to our core business, like .docs
- Domains that will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified
- Domains we think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol
For a bit of backstory, the ICANN application platform, called TLD application system (TAS), was taken down after a glitch was reported which allowed applicants to see each other’s user names and file names. ICANN set April 12th as the last day to submit applications before taking the system offline, after its board of directors approved an increase of the number of gTLDs from the current amount of 22 last June. ICANN, who moderates the address system of the internet, also began accepting non-traditional domain name endings this year, including ‘.sport,’ ‘,food,’ and ‘.bank,’ in hopes to prompt innovation in web commerce. Though, some critics have stated that the new extensions might only confuse consumers and force established online storefronts to spend millions on securing new versions of their brand web addresses.
Either way, Google seeks to make the introduction of its new generic TLDs a good experience for web users and site owners. Google pledges to:
- Make security and abuse prevention a high priority
- Work with all ICANN-accredited registrars
- Work with brand owners to develop sensible rights protection mechanisms that build upon ICANN’s requirements
Google's Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, states, "We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse - and perhaps shorter - signposts in cyberspace."