A big change on our Internet
Top-level domains like .COM, .NET and .ORG are about to become part of a much larger, more diverse family. Today their number stands at 22. Soon, there will be over thousand to join this bandwagon. Those root domain names are not cheap. The fee to apply was $185,000 and there’s an annual fee of $25,000, both of which go to ICANN. Not to mention, there are extensive legal and administrative costs tied to running a domain. However, there are still over thousands applicants.
In order for your root domain name being the first 500 released, companies have launched an intensive war to win the game called “Digital Archery“. Here I am not planning to talk about the detail of this game. I may provide more detail of it if I win this game later. Today, my plan is to give you a taste of our future Internet via looking at some root domain names the big guys like Amazon and Google are going after.
List of gtlds that Google are applying
Because I see Google is the one has the greatest potential to shape the Internet, I would like to peek at what root domain names they are applying. Using the applicant name ’Charleston Road Registry Inc.’, I can fish out 101 root domain names google bought. Some of them are obvious but some of them may give us insight of what Google is heading to. Lets categorize them as following:
- Existing products: ADS, AND (short form of Android), ANDROID, APP, BLOG, CHROME, CHANNEL, CLOUD, DOCS, DRIVE, EARTH, DCLK (doubleclick), MAP, GMAIL, MAIL, GOO, GOOG, GOOGLE, SEARCH, WEB, PLUS, TALK, PAGE, NEW, SITE, GUGE (chinese name of google), SPOT
- Education, Degree and License: MBA, PHD, PROF, MED, CPA, DDS, ESQ
- Ecommerce: BOOKS, BUY, CAR, SHOP, PET, STORE, DOG, PET, FREE, EAT, FOO, CAL
- Entertainment: GAME, FILM, FUN, MOV, MOVIE, MUSIC, PLAY, YOU, YOUTUBE, TUBE, SHOW, LIVE, FLY, TOUR,
- Social: LOVE, LOL, WOW, MEME, HANGOUT, RSVP, MOTO
- Family: BABY, BOO, DAD, MOM, FAMILY, HOME, KID
- Business: CORP, LLC, GBIZ, INC, LLP, SRL (private limited), GMBH(Germany),
- Development: DEV, PROD, TEAM, TECH, ZIP
- Others: DAY, DIY, FYI, VIP, EST (eastern standard time), DOT, HERE, HOME, HOW
- Unknown: GLE, ARE, ING, NEXUS, SOY
According to the list above, isn’t that clear that Google is trying to take personal marketing to the next level? As the root level domains starting to flood the market, each person may soon be able to get their own domain name without adding too many weird characters to make it unique. In other words, we can start locating a person using URL instead of a company or organization. How is it going to change the world? I am not sure yet. It is a million dollar question. May be the way we perceive the Internet also need to be evolved.
Interesting Statistical Data
- Applicants are distributed across 60 countries.
- There are 884 applicants in US fighting for 714 root domain names.
- Surprisingly, Cayman Islands (KY) is 2nd and Luxembourg (LU) is the 3rd. They have 91 and 85 applicants respectively.
Below is the top list:
Popular root domains
- APP is the most competitive root domain whereas HOME, INC and ART are the one closely followed.
Below is the list of root domains with at least 5 competitors
- Google and Amazon are the obvious winners. Google has applied up to 101 domains while Amazon goes after 76.
- Google and Amazon are fighting against 21 domains.
- The richest company Apple only applies for their own name “APPLE”.
Below is the top 10 list
List of root domains that Google and Amazon compete against
What is Next?
Purely based on the root domain name purchase, you can tell Google and Amazon are the ones betting the most to reshape the domain space. It is going to be fun. However, on the other hand, has anyone ever thought of it is quite a burden for users to remember the extensions when they type the url? A browser plugin to help you to scan all extensions and redirect you to the one you want to go the most may be needed. Stay tuned!