When choosing a domain name, most people still default to registering a domain name that ends in .com as they believe it is the only viable Top Level Domain (TLD), the safest, and the best for optimizing their search engine optimization (SEO). In the past that might have been the case. However, today there are a variety of different top level domains to choose from, ones that are just as viable, safe, and SEO friendly. Ones that can even make your website stand out more than when using a .com.
So, does having a unique top level domain other than .com put your website a risk? The majority of people still might be wary of visiting websites that don’t end in the traditional .com, .edu, or .gov extension. However, in this guide, we will showcase how different top level domains are safe and can even boost your branding.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers also known as ICANN is responsible for overseeing internet domains, they are the ones who overall control policies when it comes to domains and top level domains. ICANN officially recognizes three different types of top level domains.
Generic TLDs are the main and most common top level domains that people come across. These TLDs are available to anyone and the most common types are .com, .org, and .net. However, in 2012 ICANN opened the internet addressing system for individuals or organizations to apply for new gTLDS thus allowing for hundreds of new Top Level Domains such as .Vegas. Vegas is 1 of only 4 United States cities that have their own TLD and there is no restriction on our TLD in any way, there is no requirement to live or operate in Las Vegas to own a .Vegas domain.
Another type of top level domain you might encounter is a sponsored TLD (sTLD), these are a lot less common than gTLDs. This term not only applies to the TLD but also the application process ICANN uses for creating these TLDs. Sponsored TLDs are only available to specific organizations, for example, .gov is the most common sTLD since that top level domain is exclusive to government organizations. Other common types of sponsored top level domains are .edu and .post. Unlike generic top level domains, not everyone can use these domains. For example, in order to use .edu you would need permission proof that you are using it for a university domain.
The final type of top level domain is a country code (ccTLD) which is meant to represent a specific country, sovereign state, or a dependent territory. These top level domains are easy to spot since they only consist of two letters. Additionally, using these TLDs is not necessarily limited to living in that specific country, if you live in the United States and want to use .uk you are not restricted from using it.
In fact, some ccTLDs have “re-branded” to identify with a more generic audience. Example: .io this is often seen with tech-based websites to come across as more sophisticated. In reality .io is the ccTLD for the British Indian Ocean Territory.
All of these TLDs fall under the oversight of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers also known as ICANN or IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). These are the two organizations that are the governing bodies for the domain name industry.
Domain registrars are also referred to as “DNS registrar” which stands for domain name server registrar. A domain registrar is a company that handles the registration of a domain name and the subsequent management of that domain name for a registrant (end-user). ICANN oversees both registries, the organization that operates a specific Top Level Domain (TLD) and a registrar, the organization that sells / “registers” a domain name for the end user (“registrant”). An analogy of the difference between a registrar and a registry is to think of a registry as a manufacturer and the registrar as a retail store. A registry offers its product, in this case, a specific TLD like .Vegas to a retail store like GoDaddy to put it on their shelves allowing the public to register a domain name in that specific TLD.
A part of the role of the domain registrar is to keep track of what names are available within the registry’s database and offer alternatives if a specific domain name is unavailable. Another thing to keep in mind is you will never directly own a domain name, you “rent” a domain name for anywhere between 1-10 years at a time. If you are unable to or don’t want to, renew your domain name, then that name is put back in the database and becomes available again.
The .Vegas brand is available to anyone who wants to be a part of the expressive branding of Vegas through registrars from around the world, such as GoDaddy, United Domains, Rebel, Eurodns, and many others.
Due to the regulation of the domain name industry by ICANN and IANA, gTLDs are safe, since they have the same requirements as .com. Any top level domain is safe, just because it is not the common .com does not affect the operation of your website at all. While a majority of people trust .com more because it is the most familiar top level domain, having a gTLD like .Vegas will not make your website vulnerable. In fact, since Vegas is such a staple brand and image, having .Vegas makes users more familiar with the branding.
When people hear the term “generic” they have negative connotations, but in actuality having a gTLD is a very sought-after and respected top level domain. So how can having a gTLD other than .com improve your branding? Well, while users are more biased towards .com since it is the most recognizable gTLD, that does not mean using creative gTLDs such as .Vegas will hurt your SEO score in any way. In fact, Google has stated that they do not treat new TLDs any differently than .com.
The perks to having a gTLD like .Vegas is it makes your domain more personalized. While even if your business is not locally in Las Vegas if you want your branding to be synonymous with Vegas, then certainly having a domain name with the gTLD improves your overall branding image. Vegas itself is a universal and recognizable brand. In fact, Vegas spends over $100,000,000 every year to promote its city, so take into consideration how this can assist with promoting your own brand if you have a .Vegas domain
You can use a .Vegas domain if you want to promote your brand in an exciting and vibrant manner. This will enhance the strength of your brand in this area even more than a gTLD that is commonly used. With the vote from the City of Las Vegas, as well as the Nevada Development Authority, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and the Las Vegas Convention and Vistors Authority Dot Vegas Inc was given their endorsement to apply for the .Vegas top level domain.
We acknowledge our responsibility to manage and market the .Vegas TLD and we wish to use our expertise to help your company gain access to the most exciting branding available. If you are interested in owning a piece of your own Vegas branding, then why not choose .Vegas for your domain? Connect with us today and turn on the excitement of being a part of the Vegas branding. Have questions or need assistance? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist you with any questions, comments, or concerns.Back to all articles