Houston Search Engine Optimization may face new challenges with the implementation of ICANN’s new gTLDs in 2013. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, recently approved a plan to release new gTLDs, or generic top-level domains. Twenty-one gTLDs currently exist, such as .org and .edu.  ICANN will begin accepting new applications for these domains from January 2012 – April 2012, which includes a hefty fee of $185,000 per domain.

The idea behind the implementation is to foster new options for consumers and competition. The types of domains that stand a chance for acceptance range from cities, to brands, to categories. For example, a brand such as IBM may have a .ibm to its credit.

What does this mean for SEO, particularly Houston SEO, and what varieties of domains stand a chance for being approved? Although it may be possible for a .seo to be a future gTLD type, it is extremely unlikely that any single company will be allowed to control the domain. Domains are moderated by groups with no invested interest in the industry. Houston Internet marketing may have a new city-based .hou tag to look forward to, however, provided someone applies for the domain.

Remember that search engines do apply favor. New gTLDs may prequalify for additional authority and relevancy that will probably be obtained through peer regulation and the rigorous application process. Some domains, such as government or education domains, currently carry more authority than others since the domains are only available to non-commercial entities publishing reliable information. It is likely that some of the new domains may mirror these qualities. On the other hand, some gTLDs may be open to wholesale ban if they address sensitive national or cultural issues.

Some sites may want to obtain a new gTLD relevant to the industry and migrate their current site over to the domain – their customer base would naturally follow.  The former site could then be used to develop new industry specific tools. However the new domains affect the industry, it will certainly be interesting to watch it unfold in Houston web marketing. Contact our Houston SEO Service, Directory One, at (713-465-0051) for more information.