Internet Marketing

Amazon Scoops Up the '.Buy' Domain for $4.6 Million

Looking to branch out beyond ".com," Amazon is the new proud owner of the ".buy" generic top-level domain (gTLD) after paying nearly $4.6 million at auction.

The online retail giant reportedly beat out Google and two other companies in the auction, where the ".tech" and ".vip." domains were also sold for millions. The auction was run by ICANN, the nonprofit organization that oversees Internet domain names.

Although the domain is sure to be valuable, it's still just a consolation prize for the purveyor of almost everything; in May, the company was denied its request to buy ".Amazon" amid objections from officials in Brazil, Argentina and other nations in the Amazonian geographical region. (The Patagonia clothing company had made a similar request for ".patagonia" earlier, but withdrew its application after locals voiced similar objections.)

Related: Data Driven: What Amazon's Jeff Bezos Taught Me About Running a Company

It’s not yet known what Amazon’s plans are for ".buy," though owning it will certainly add to its reputation as the king of ecommerce.

Amazon isn't the only company spending big money on top-level domains. The ".vip" domain was sold to a company called Minds+Machines for more than $3 million while ".tech" went to a group called Dot Tech LLC that plans to use the gTLD to create a dedicated environment for the tech industry.

Sometimes gTLDs outside of the mainstream ones like ".com," ".edu," ".org" and ".net," are viewed as second best, but a new study from SEO and online marketing company Globe Runner shows that when it comes to driving traffic to your website, the opposite may be true: in a test, unique gTLDs surpassed ".com" on several key metrics.

Related: 5 Dead-Simple SEO Hacts to Save You Time

That’s something businesses should keep in mind, especially now that ICANN is making more of these gTLDs available, including five new ones such as ".church," ".guide" and ".life."

This just marks the beginning. ICANN has been planning the biggest expansion of gTLDs in modern Internet history since 2011. In 2012 it revealed 1,930 proposals including ".apple," ".google" and ".nyc."

Related: Should You Switch Your Company's URL to a New Domain Extension