We have already published a great number of articles concerning the TMCH:
The issue we are raising in this article is whether the new Generic Top Level Domains (Gtld) are of particular interest for a Network.
Experience shows that, in terms of the Internet approach, there are basically 3 major categories of companies:
- Companies that have an e-commerce site (and are generally present on social networks, and even sometimes have m-commerce activities)
- Companies that do not offer services on the Internet but take orders via their website
- Companies that simply maintain a basic showcase to promote their mark
For companies listed under items a) and b) above, efficient referencing is a major issue, for the following reasons:
- The merchant website is generally the major store in the company's network (often coming before the stores located in strategic places where the commercial lease is sometimes extremely expensive…). In this case, it is essential for the company to fully protect the traffic on its website.
- The issue is not whether a web user will find the site when entering the trademark on a search engine (well…hopefully it is the case!) but to make sure that visitors who are not sure about the exact field of activity associated with the trademark will not be routed towards a competitor's website that is well referenced, to the detriment of the Network. What can be done to prevent such a situation? When entering his question, the web user will use everyday words or, as is increasingly the case, will directly express a thought or ask a question that the Mark should advantageously anticipate, so that the search engine will priorize websites in response.
- This logic approach is generally based on the following 3 principles:
- The website must be built in such a way as to benefit from a good penetration rate on the web (just like a car with a poor air penetration coefficient will consume more gasoline, a poorly designed website - e.g. using a flash technology, or without any video contents, or without prior thinking on keywords, etc. – will oblige the site owner to make up for these deficiencies by purchasing Adwords on Google).
- A directing logic must be designed into the website, so that the latter is linked to the relevant questions. This requires encoding the pages and first thinking about the strategic words and ideas (i.e.: the ones web users will necessarily use in the area of interest). These keywords also have to be incorporated into the metatags, etc.
In order to meet these first two requirements, it has become increasing essential for website owners to call upon the services of fully qualified service providers.
- Finally, it is also important to make sure that resourceful competitors are not trying to tap part of the traffic through the back door to route it towards their own websites. In other words, any web user thus distracted is potentially lost. Astute selection of domain names can be highly instrumental in the effort to ensure efficient traffic protection, insofar as such domain names can help boost such traffic. Web and domain name watch may also be considered.
In this regard, the new Gtlds may come as powerful tools. Considering Gtlds as a simple, quasi-forced selling process is rather reductive and borders on taking a truly myopic approach.
In fact, major changes are going to take place in search engine policies over the next few months, as recently observed:
Overall, the issue that is raised by the new extensions is not really a matter of "mymark.newextension" (which, however, is a purely legal issue not to be overlooked, considering in particular that reaction is always more costly than pro-action), but rather a matter of strategic thinking on what could be reserved in connection with your area of activity (either by yourself or by your competitors) in the form "genericname.newextension", if the new extension corresponds, for example, to a marketing stance you are willing to take (e.g.: .luxury), or to a target group of consumers (.kids), etc.