[Not] Dot Com
For PR pros, helping clients stand out from the crowd and increasing online visibility is an everyday objective. That can be particularly challenging on the internet, where dot.com is an all-too-common denominator. Google has created an alternative to this online anonymity: top-level domains, or TLDs, that inject digital cachet into this otherwise undifferentiated realm.
There are dozens of TLDs from which to choose, from .academy to .zone. Using a Google Domain TLD can enhance brand identity, instantly conveying the nature of a business and better communicating the value of the website. They can also be employed on a temporary basis, for specific marketing and promotional purposes. For example, a company staging a contest targeting its social media followers might create a website with .social as the TDL for the duration of the event.
Annual registration fees for the TLDs vary. Twenty bucks secures a year of .studio; for $30, choose from .builders, .construction, .contractors; .engineering costs $50. Interestingly, .design ($40/year) has a limited lifespan, with a maximum of nine years of registration.
When it comes to search rankings, TLDs with these descriptive endings are not treated any differently than the conventional .com, .org, or .net. They come up in searches just like any other domain name. And it’s possible to seamlessly redirect an old domain name to a new TLD—this ensures there won’t be any lost traffic to a site.
Customized top-level domains offer a simple, efficient way to boost the visibility of a website and reinvigorate a brand. Who wouldn’t want to be dot.cool rather than dot.com?