For those who haven’t already heard, the folks over at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) recently opened the door for tons of new top-level domain names (TLDs). If the acronyms are spinning your head, here’s the simplified version: Instead of .com, .net, .edu, .gov, .org, and the other URL-enders we all know and love, there will soon be many more.
There doesn’t seem to be much public support for the decision. Most rightfully argue that ICANN is just being greedy. Many believe it will be a big mess, especially for online reputation management. Corporations, of course, particularly those in the pornography and gambling industries, will be making a mad dash to lay claim on the juiciest online real estate.
As far as SEO goes, however, I don’t anticipate much will change. Search engine algorithms are designed to determine trust and authority, things that none of these new TLDs are likely to have until they’re better established. Even after they’ve had time to mature, I expect that very few of them will elicit the same level of trust as the tried-and-true TLDs.
So, as far as SEO goes, don’t concern yourself with the frenzy of new TLDs coming next year. Like I’ve said before, stick to trusted TLDs like .com or .net; .org, .edu, or .gov (if you qualify); or country-specific TLDs like .co.uk.