What is a Top-Level/Generic Domain?
Generic domain names are domain names comprised solely of a common word or phrase.
Generic domain names are easier to rank high in organic search results on Google, Bing and other search engines, which will drive exponentially more traffic to the website.
Generic top-level domain
Over time, more top-level domains were added to the original list. Presently, there are 21 generic top-level domains at the peak of the domain name system hierarchy. These 21 generic TLDs can be split into four categories:
- Generic – Domains that are used for general reasons.
- Generic restricted – Domains that must be used for their intended purposes
- Infrastructure – Meant solely for aiding the DNS infrastructure. The only TLD within this subcategory is .arpa.
- Sponsored domains – These can only be utilized by companies or entities tied to these industries including:
Today, there are more than 1,500 generic extensions available for purchase and worthy of consideration. While your first inclination may be to try and use a .com, such a TLD can sometimes be costly, and many of the domain names linked to that TLD are already taken. The market is oversaturated with millions upon millions of websites. Finding a domain name with a popular TLD that is relevant and helpful to your business can be quite difficult.
Because of this, it may be wise to consider purchasing a newer generic TLD. Benefits of this include:
- Availability – New domain extensions allow you the opportunity to use your company’s name, or use a word or phrase linked to your industry that would have been taken decades ago with the original TLDs.
- Cost – If a popular domain name is available, it may cost a lot of money. That same name with a generic TLD extension can cost considerably less money.
- Creative Names – New domain extensions allow you to be creative with your domain naming process. The domain name can be combined with the generic extension to create a full name, or a clever play on words, that helps the target audience remember the name.
- Rank on SERPs – Google’s search algorithm has been updated so that domains that do not use a main TLD are not ranked lower for that reason. You don’t need to worry about your rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) being affected by this newer gTLD.
Registering a top-level domain
In order to register a domain name with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), you must do so through a registrar, such as Domain.com. You can check if if your perfect domain name and domain extension is available through domain search. You will need to submit the following information when registering:
- Your domain name
- Your top-level domain extension
- Your contact info: first name, last name, email address, phone number, and physical address
- Your billing info
After receiving this information, Domain.com submits this info to ICANN and the DNS. Once confirmed, you can quickly setup your domain and build a website.