Home  › Marketing › Strategies
dotchinesewebsitelogo

Why the ICANN New gTLDs Will Present New Opportunities to Brands

  |  July 10, 2013   |  Comments   |  

Fully internationalized domain names will go live before the end of this year. Are brands ready?

The more than five years wait since ICANN, the governing body for the Internet's domain name system, approved policy enabling "New gTLD" domain name registries (non-ASCII top-level domains) is approaching its end.

On July 2, the long-awaited ICANN Registrar Agreement text was approved and the last major hurdle for global TLDs was cleared. The new gTLDs are expected to go live before the end of this year.

"New gTLDs" are the radical new top-level domains - the part of the domain name to the right of the last dot - which will herald fully internationalized website and Internet service URLs. For instance, websites servicing Chinese users will no longer require any ASCII at all in their URLs.

With the new gTLDs, a business such as Reuters in Chinese is able to resolve its Chinese website from a URL such as 路透.中文网 (Reuters' Chinese website) rather than cn.reuters.com.

Fully internationalized domain names (IDNs) will soon go live in character sets as diverse as Chinese (both simplified and traditional), Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Russian, and many others.

For brands, businesses, and the agencies that serve them, this represents excellent new marketing and communications opportunities.

Establishing IDNs as a URL to your (or your clients') non-English site shows commitment to your local audience. Consumers, partners, media, and government regulators will appreciate the gesture.

Fully internationalized URLs also eliminate the cognitive dissonance between your localized brand and your URL, leading to much more memorable web addresses. For example, it's far less dissonant for Microsoft's Chinese customers if the company's site is reachable as 微软.在线 rather than its current Chinese URL, www.microsoft.com/zh-cn/ (the former uses Microsoft's Chinese name, 微软, a dot, and the gTLD "Online").

IP protections are enhanced, as a greater claim is demonstrated if localized URLs perfectly match localized brand names. A knock-on effect of localized brand/localized URL matching is that your SEO results will be better once your URLs perfectly match your brand names.

Additionally, consumer protections are enhanced because local web browsers will be better able to identify phishing scams, once they expect to see the genuine URL in their own script.

New web users, including cashed up silver surfers and rural users, will particularly appreciate fully localized URLs, as these consumers are the least likely to have English abilities. IDNs really do allow brands and businesses to serve all equally, in their own languages.

And entering localized URLs on smartphones, tablets, and Windows 8 devices will be much easier using local script handwriting recognition rather than confusing ASCII keyboards.

Once a local script can be used for 100 percent of the web address, the kinds of puns we've become accustomed to seeing in English URLs will start to appear in culturally relevant local languages. New promotional opportunities, as yet unimagined by marketers, will be created.

I believe that in "compact" languages like Chinese, meaningful sentences will be written into concise URLs. And naturally, there are traditional promotional and experiential marketing opportunities and news generated for brands and businesses that embrace IDNs.

The web as we know it - ASCII bound, regardless of the local language and script(s) of our international markets - will soon change forever.

artoisokoski

 This is a guest post by Arto Isokoski, co-founder and CEO of TLD Registry, a pan-European Internet domain name registry.

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guest

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Sr. Paid Search Manager
      Sr. Paid Search Manager (Bisk Education) - TampaCurrently seeking a Sr. Paid Search Manager in Tampa, FL for Bisk Education! Bisk Education is a...
    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...