It’s one of the most ubiquitous words anywhere in the world today—and now it’s getting its own domain name as part of ICANN’s New gTLD program.

ONLINE_thumbnailJune 18 marked the beginning of the .online Sunrise phase, and it is likely to be a gTLD in demand—not just with corporations, but with anyone wishing to promote their digital capabilities—from teenagers to baby boomers, entrepreneurs and academics. It has been a popular keyword on the web for years, as the following numbers show:

  • There have been 668,556 .com domain names registered containing the word “online” since 2000 (Source: VerisignDomainView)
  • There have been 1,300+ domains containing “online” involved in UDRPs since 2,000 (Source: UDRPSearch.com)
  • The keyword “online” receives 823,000 global monthly searches (Source: Google)

One of the beauties of the word “online” is that it’s understood the world over, regardless of language. It’s become part of everyday use with every generation. So as a domain name, it’s likely to be in demand, as much for defensive reasons as promotional ones. If you’re worried that others may hijack your brand names with .online, you may find it useful to register them in this domain early.

Offered by the Radix registry, .online supports names in Latin characters only. Sunrise is expected to run through August 17, during which those with a validated TMCH filing can apply for a matching .online name. Multiple applications for the same name will result in an auction. General availability is expected to open on August 19, when names will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and privacy protection will be allowed. The first week of general availability will be an Early Access Program, when fees will be higher.

We’re expecting a high level of interest in .online but as always, brands need to make strategic decisions about what names to register, and balancing the cost with the risk. CSC® Digital Brand Services client service partners can advise.

.online goes online