London is to get its own new top level domain, ICANN has confirmed. In 2014 London businesses will be able to apply for a domain name that reflects the global brand recognition of the UK capital – .london.
As part of the opening up of top level domains to new applications there have been number of geographic applications, with New York City, Paris and Wales among the many looking to tap into the benefits. London is one of the first to be signed off though and so will have many people keeping a close eye on proceedings.
Known internationally as a centre of commerce, culture and tourism, London is a city that truly holds its own on the world stage. By aligning themselves using the .london domain, businesses can show off that they are part of a dynamic and thriving business hub. Even globally recognised brands like Selfridges have confirmed they will be snapping up a .london.
As well as the positive branding aspects of these new domains, businesses can take advantage of the new space opening up by grabbing the domain they always wanted. With less available choice on the popular .com and .co.uk TLDs, the chance to get a great name with a credible extension will be a big draw. London businesses are also expecting to see SEO benefits from being explicitly linked to the capital – search engine queries such as ‘tailor in London’ or ‘pub food London’ may soon start prioritising those businesses that thought ahead to associate themselves with London.
The new domains are expected to launch between spring and summer 2014, with a number of phases to ensure domain names are distributed fairly. A Trademark Sunrise will let those with registered trademarks sign them up to protect their brands. The London Limited Registration phase will allow all London businesses to register their business name, subject to validation. The Landrush phrase will deal with domain names that are expected to be in high demand, with the possibility of auctions if two or more parties apply for the same name. Eventually, all remaining domain names will be opened up to registration on a first-come-first-served basis.
This is the chance for UK businesses to make the great city of London one of the first things customers see when they visit their website. Keep your eye on the blog and the UK2 Twitter feed for more news and dates for the .london domains.