Business

New Top-Level Domain Group Pushes Cities to Own Their Domain

The GeoTLD Group is making a push for major cities and regions to use a dedicated top-level domain to promote their local communities. A number of metropolitan governments are already on board.

Whether your website is based in .london, .brussels, or .sydney, a new trade group is ready to leave its geographical mark on your domain.

The GeoTLD Group, publicly announced last week, will promote new top-level domains (TLDs) tied to geographic regions, whether cities, larger regions, or specific cultural identities. The group is discouraging the use of country-based domains in favor of ones that emphasize local flavor.

“As a place branding tool, domain extensions like .tokyo work reciprocally: for local businesses, institutions and private persons it is valuable to position themselves regionally through their domain name,” the group states on its website. “In addition to that, they will receive better search engine rankings and take advantage of their city as a brand.”

In other words, visitbrussels.be might have been used previously, but the alternative domain visit.brussels is far more direct and puts more of a local imprint on the URLs. Convention and visitors bureaus, for example, could benefit from this strategy.

In a news release, GeoTLD Group Chairman Sébastien Ducos emphasized that the recent expansion of top-level domain offerings created an opportunity to change the way that domains are used.

“With the new geographic TLDs, we enter into an age where local communities have their own slice of the Internet. The new digital identities have been well accepted by Internet users and are increasingly used by everyone locally—from governments and local companies, to individuals,” Ducos said. “With an international association we are now able to connect and promote the interests of our members and engage the different stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally.”

So far, the association counts 23 large cities on its member rolls, including New York, London, Tokyo, and Berlin.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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