This is an announcement that is hugely significant for the future of the web.. If you didn’t know, ICANN is opening up domain suffixes so that companies can buy the part “after the dot.” (ie .coke, .sex., .help., etc.) This part is known as the “generic Top Level Domain” (gTLD) Read the ICANN announcement here.
I’m still processing this information but the first thing that comes to mind is – how are they going to open up the bidding? How are companies going to compete for this? Early indications are that ICANN will charge $185K per domain and it seems like it will be a flat rate (so I guess the “little guys” will be shut out of this new venture).
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Still, will there be an “opening day” like a LiveNation sale? Talk about a high stakes online sale. Can you imagine trying and reading a little squiggly “CAPTCHA” phrase with a $185K domain at stake?
This is a great opportunity for opportunists to “flip” the gTLDs. It seems that ICANN will do a lot of regulating to make sure that those who are “more deserving” will be the ones who get the gTLD.
Also, I think I’m going go buy stock in GoDADDY and/or Network Solutions. I am sure they will be involved in the market for gTLD and with $185,000 per gTLD, there’s going to be some serious money exchanging hands.
Of course, those internet marketers out there will have the satisfaction of knowing that there will be just that much more to learn about how search engines will treat gTLDs and of course, that many more sites to build and optimize.