It used to be that many business names weren’t even finalized until after an extensive online search for an available and attractive domain name with a “.com” extension. That’s because for the past 20 years there have only been about 22 generic domains (.com, .gov, .edu, .biz) and a little more than 250 country domains (.eu, .us, .ca.) available. This situation made .com names rare commodities.

However, over the last few years the release of thousands of new domain extensions promises to completely change the internet and our current concepts of online branding. While .com used to be the go-to domain choice, that view is changing fast.

The release of new domains has enabled businesses to rethink what a domain name really means. Shouldn’t it be more meaningful? The answer to that question is a definitive “yes.”


Meaningful domains are the future of the internet

While .com used to be the gold standard for businesses, it doesn’t tell anyone about what defines your products or your brand. Up until this point, .com has been the default domain because everyone assumes that when a business has one, it can be trusted. But is that true? All you have to do is look at your email spam folder to see that you don’t need to be running a trusted business to register a .com at the end of your domain name.

Another assumption is that all the big brands use .com, so you need to use one if you want to become a big player. Actually, you might be surprised by some names branching out of the “not-com revolution.” Players like Google have their parent company on , and Lady Gaga’s foundation uses And if you’re a startup or small or medium sized business, a focus on branding and reaching local audiences is also a consideration.

There are over 600 generic domains available today, so the opportunity to carry your brand to your domain name is now available more than ever but how do you chose?

For many businesses, location is one of the most important features. Why not use your domain to distinguish your brand at a local level or tie your brand image back to an iconic geo? The trend for TLDs is all about customization to make your domain name work for you.


Geographic domains are meaningful…and help your business stand out

A geographic domain is a valuable asset that helps tell your business’s story. It’s also a rare commodity, especially in North America. At the beginning of 2017 there were only 66 geographic domains in the world, and only 5 of those were in North America (.nyc, .boston, .vegas, .miami, .quebec).

What makes some geographic domains particularly special is that they signify some tie or relationship to the geographic location used for their domain name. For example, .nyc is one of the strictest geographic domains for buyers. It requires proof of a physical address in New York City to ensure only New Yorkers can own .nyc domain names. This makes .nyc a highly valuable geographic domain as it communicates that there’s a real office with real people behind it who are actually located in New York City.


A .nyc domain helps your SEO ranking

One of the biggest reasons to use a geo domain is that it can help you rank better in local Google searches. In 2015, the owner of remarked “Very soon after launch, we started ranking highly in search engines very quickly, and within the first week we were on first page for terms like “nyc souvenirs”. Within the first month, we were ranked in the top 3 results for a number of souvenir-related queries.”

A possible explanation for this phenomenon is that search engine optimization (SEO) is all about click-through rates and localization. With a .nyc domain name, your website stands alone as a New York City owned and operated business. When people are searching for a local business and they see a .nyc, they’re likely to click through.

Having found a relevant website, visitors also likely to stay longer. Google monitors and tracks click-through rates and how long visitors stay on your website. As both of these numbers increase, you increase your SEO value which helps drive more traffic to your site.


People are more likely to link to a .nyc

A locally focused shorter and more descriptive domain helps build website traffic in more ways than just higher “click-throughs”. Overall, people who are online running their own blogs, social media accounts, and websites will tend to trust succinct domain names more as they are associated with authenticity.

Here’s another insight from the owner of “[We] believe that there is more trust from people when they see a shorter name and one word. They are more likely to link to you, to cover you in a blog, to send you traffic. When people don’t trust your site, they don’t share it. With our .nyc domain, there is no need for branding. It resonates strongly, and it’s easy to remember shorter domains.”


A .nyc signals you’re innovative

Is part of your brand story that your business is cutting edge? Then having a .nyc TLD surely proves just that. By having a .nyc domain, you can get a name branded to suit your business and location – short, memorable and SEO-friendly.  

Starting a business soon? Go ahead and search for your ideal domain name at You’ll be surprised at what’s possible.