The Internet Domain Names War in 2009 Could Lead to Chaos or Evolution

New personalized domain names available starting 2009

On the 26th of June 2008, the board of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) at the annual meeting in Paris, agreed to introduce new domain names starting with the second quarter of 2009. Practically, the new domain names will not have any restriction in definition. For example, they could range from service names like .travel to city TLDs (top level domain names), such as New York - .nyc or Berlin- .berlin.

As a consequence, alongside the current 21 top level domain names, an undefined number of user created domain names will appear. The offensive names will not be admitted and the trademarks will not be reserved. In case of the latter, the valid objections will be taken into account.

Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN stated: "The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net. It's a massive increase in the 'real estate' of the Internet." But this ICANN decision could have both advantages and disadvantages.

Since 1995, a reference year in the Internet history, when the Internet was declared the global information system, the dynamic of its evolution was hard to predict and changed along with the breakthrough of new technological discoveries. In the present days, the Internet represents the reference place for finding and exchanging information of any type. The key role in information circulation across the Internet is played by the domain names and search engines which brings relevant data to the users as a result of search queries.

Having in mind that many of the current domain names are still unused, the emergence of new TLDs could have a negative impact on the current Internet structure and information flux. Besides the expensive cost and their superficial existence justification, the creation of a high number of random domain names will generate an increase in Internet structure complexity.

Existing search engines could be forced to change the indexing mechanisms and ranking algorithms and as a consequence the way the search results are displayed. Therefore, the search result relevancy for a certain keyword or key phrase could not be the one desired by users (the amount of the unstructured information will be increased).

It is still hard to imagine a domain name called .fish in competition with traditional .com, .org or .net in a SEO campaign. Based on these simple arguments, the new top level domain names, depending on their number (they could be thousands) and indexing priority, could determine with an equal probability evolution or chaos in the actual Internet information flux circulation.

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