Google to "aggressively" launch .brand gTLDs


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Google plans to market its branded generic top-level domains (gTLDs) "as quickly as we can", company representative Hal Bailey told an industry event in London.

The search company applied for 101 gTLDs, including .google, .android and .gmail.

"The time frame to get .brands out seems to be three to five years, but we will not wait three to five years. We will be aggressive ... Speed is important," he told The Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress.

There is "no right" way of doing things, he added, and that companies with .brand gTLDs are "pretty" likely to benefit from a first-mover advantage for five to seven years.

Bailey noted that "after speaking to a few brands, one thing that has become very clear is that brands realise how much work they have in front of them.

"But there are lots of opportunities – this platform is truly wide open," he said.

Security, authenticity, distribution and promotion were listed as the four key motivations for a typical .brand gTLD, with Bailey adding that a .brand should not replace a .com domain because "you're building a different platform, perhaps with different technology".

For the search company, its .google application "is the core part of what we applied for", Bailey said, noting that "we have seen registries go down, and .google will be a safe environment for users".

Speculating on how .youtube might be used, Bailey said "we might allow the users to get a" that affords them a personal space on the video streaming site.

Google may encourage collaboration within its generic registries, he said, so that restaurants could register their own space under .eat, for example.

"It's all about how we engage people," he said.

In the session, Bailey also discussed how Google's search engine will deal with .brand gTLDs, a common focus for brand owners.

"We look for signals for what is the most important search query," he said, adding that simply having a .brand does not mean it will automatically go to the top of Google's ranking for relevant searches.

Speaking about .brands, he said: "We dont see an immediate impact ... but it might become a relevant signal."

After being asked more than once about search and .brands, and clearly reluctant to discuss the topic, Bailey said: "I am worried that what I say about search will be misrepresented ... When it becomes a signal it becomes a signal."

As a final piece of advice, he told the audience: "Think about your partners – they can help you figure out what you want to do – but there is no one expert in this area."

This article was first published on 26 September 2013 in World IP Review

The Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress, Google, gTLDs, Hal Bailey

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