City-Specific Domain Names to Be a Boon for Local Business Owners
Thanks to a new crop of domain names rolling out this year, local business owners across the globe will soon be able to affiliate their websites with the cities in which they reside.
Rather than .com, .net or .org addresses, businesses can now add city names -- like .london and .nyc -- to their domains, which will in turn improve search rankings and increase sales by herding relevant traffic, according to CNN.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit created in 1998, is responsible for regulating the new addresses, and has approved roughly 60 cities since introducing the initiative last January.
While .berlin and .vienna are currently rolling out, London will begin accepting applications from local businesses today, with new site names expected to go live in three months.
Business owners must apply for the names via domain registration sites like GoDaddy, where the cost is approximately $50 to $85 per year, reports CNN.
And thus far, they are applying in droves. While Berlin has received nearly 50,000 applications, roughly 1 in 4 local London businesses is expected to sign up for the service.
ICANN held a lottery to determine which cities would receive local addresses first. The rollout has to be staggered so that new servers can be gradually added and so that the global internet infrastructure remains intact.
Addresses for .nyc, .miami, .vegas, .tokyo and .paris are slated to roll out next.