By now, you’ve read that there are big changes coming to the Internet.
ICANN, the governing body for Internet domain names, has decided to liberalize the current system of top-level domains. That means, beginning in January 2012, organizations and brands can apply for a range of new domain name suffixes, such as their brand name.
Of course, this education process won’t happen overnight. As users grasp the new domain structure, cybersquatters may look to exploit possible confusion during this transition period by registering key names in the new gTLDs. Blanket registrations are a prohibitively expensive option, so brand owners should have a policy in place to help prioritize what domains are absolutely vital to register and which ones they can simply monitor and respond to if a brand infringement occurs.
Visualize three circles of a dart board and imagine that the inner circle contains the domains your audiences are most familiar with and therefore trust the most. This might include .com, .net and any key international territories. These are the domains where your company absolutely must have a presence, and where it should register all brands, keywords, variations and misspellings.