Monash University has become the first ”brand” in the world to have its own top-level domain on the internet.
Monash has trumped Google, Amazon, Apple and over 600 other major brands around the world by securing the domain name .monash, which was switched on over the weekend.
Monash paid a $180,000 application fee to the global governing body for domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and will pay an annual fee of $25,000.
ICANN is in the process of evaluating new TLDs, to join .com, .net and .au on the internet and new TLDs that have already been approved to go ”live” on the internet include domains in non-Roman script, such as Arabic and Chinese, and generic domains such as .menu.
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Other new Australian TLDs such as .afl, .iinet, .auspost, .melbourne and .sydney are expected to follow, with 1900 applications made to ICANN.
Australian company ARI Registry Services is the technology provider for some of the new TLDs.
ARI chief executive Adrian Kinderis told SmartCompany Monash was the very first “.brand name” released into the TLD program.
“Monash saw the opportunity to be first, it is one of the pillars of its business to be seen as innovators and to innovate,” he says.
“The big advantage is clearly the marketing advantage, creating a centre of truth on the internet, by promoting .monash – it shows if it doesn’t end in .monash it is not us.”
Kinderis says SMEs are more likely to reap more benefit from a more generic TLD rather than a branded one like Monash.
“There is an opportunity to get something more closely aligned to their business so they get a lot more cut through,” he says.
“If you are a shoe shop and you register .shoes or .fashion you can ensure your domain name is more closely associated with your brand and what you do.”
Kinderis believes TLDs will be “good news” for search engine optimisation.
“Google applied for 100 of these names itself, which is a great sign we think,” he says.
“You would expect the TLD search results will be more compelling and higher. Domain names are not the be all and end all in respect of search, but they certainly play a role.”
Ian Tebbett, chief information officer at Monash, said the university was “open-minded” about the advantages of having a TLD.
“Looking back over how the internet has developed reveals that few foresee the full potential of new technologies,” he says.
“It’s only by ‘hands on’ experimentation and adaption that break-throughs occur.”
The first domain Monash will create will be about.monash and will provide some basic information about Monash University and explain how we will be using the .monash site.
“We have some day one benefits where we can see that the new TLD can bring some simplicity to the way our websites are accessed around the world and where we can openly experiment without impacting our current (.edu) presence,” Tebbett says.