TLDs: Google Enters Domain Game With .esq; .io - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

TLDs: Google Enters Domain Game With .esq; .io

How important is a domain name? Very important.

Consider this: what's easier to remember or put on a business card: familylaw.esq or losangelesfamilylawattorney.com? With .com becoming increasingly crowded, short names are hard to find. That's why we're excited about the new Top Level Domains (TLDs).

Earlier this year, we reported that a Google shell company had registered a ton of these new TLDs, including .esq. Now, the company's plan is coming to life: a domain registration service, like GoDaddy, that will provide access to the company's newly acquired 101 TLDs.

Google Goes GoDaddy

Right now, GoDaddy is the most notable domain name registrar out there. But Google is about to get into the game in a big, big way.

Google Domains just launched in invite-only beta form, and it should provide access to the company's 101 new TLDs. According to Mashable, the company will toss in free private registration, Google DNS servers, branded email that forwards to your existing inbox, and more.

At last week's Google I/O conference, a company representative pointed out that out of the nearly 460,000 four-letter .com domains, none are available. That's why 1,400 new TLDs have been approved, and why Google registered 101 of them.

There is one small warning to behold, however: some TLDs, like .photography, can wreak havoc on older browsers and email software, as might the 100 or so that are in non-Roman script, such as Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, or Arabic. If you're looking for maximum compatibility, your best bet is to stick to a TLD that uses Roman characters and is less than six characters long.

Buyer Beware

One of the trendiest TLDs in the tech industry is the ".io" extension, one that startup companies associate with "input/output" but which is actually a geographical marker for the Chagos Islands.

Why does this matter? According to Gigaom, in the 1960s, the British government commenced a mass expulsion of the Chagossian people from their lands in order to lease the island to the United States, which uses it as the Diego Garcia military base (a vital bomber base and CIA prison for the War on Terror). The U.S. lease on the land is up for renewal, while the land itself is in dispute between the displaced Chagossians, the United Kingdom, and the Mauritius government.

In the meantime, the revenue from .io domain sales is split between a private company and the U.K. government. While new TLDs won't carry the stigma of a mass expulsion, if you're law firm is going for one of the trendy geographical names (.io, .tv, .me, etc.), it might be worth checking the history of the name first.

Have your eye on a new TLD? Tell us about it @FindLawLP. After you snag it, of course.

Related Resources: