Originally published 05/20/2014
No one is quite sure of the effect these new domains will have on search engines and behavior. Whether your site will became easier or harder to find is anyone's guess.
Earlier this year ICANN began opening up new internet domains, which means more choices right of the dot. You may have noticed some of them popping up in offers from your domain provider —.bike, .camera, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures was the hodgepodge released the first week of February.
It's hard to say how many in total will be released by year's end, but there seems to be a fairly aggressive push to get many of the thousand or so submitted for approval launched for commercial and personal use. So it seems that in addition to the actual universe, the virtual universe is expanding at an exceedingly rapid rate far beyond one's ability to track competitors, let alone customers.
While expanded options for domains certainly affords some greater opportunity for small businesses, there's no doubt it amps up a host of real and potential threats from brand or copyright infringement to prospect siphoning to just a way bigger pond for small fish to get lost in. Not to mention the added expense of registering more domains to protect your business and then manage and monitor all of that online real estate.
Plus, no one is quite sure of the effect these new domains will have on search engines and behavior. Whether your site will became easier or harder to find is anyone's guess.
So just when you thought you had things well in hand — your social media strategy, Internet advertising plan, SEO and site security and all the rest of it, I'm inclined to think like Chief Brody in Jaws, "You're gonna need a bigger boat" if you want to survive what's to come. By this I mean you'll need not just the additional knowledge of what's happening, but some added protection for your business, brands, products, and intellectual property.
Solopreneurs, start-ups and small businesses are notorious for ignoring the necessary steps to protect their own assets in this manner, often to their own peril, because of the upfront costs. However, in some cases, the associated costs for some basic protections and safeguards are fairly low. Even just talking to a legal expert about your particular business and concerns can provide valuable insight into what you should do and what is not really worth worrying about or investing in. At the very least:
Additional Reading and Resources
What the new top-level domains mean for you
What To Do When Your Website Copy Is Plagiarized
New Domain Spaces and Your Business
Get Growing is a syndicated business. blog. Many posts are also published on business2community.com.