The new GTLDs, these “different” extensions of domain name, offers companies more opportunities, to better control their presence and their image on the Internet. At the same time, this development has opened the door to new threats, which can not be ignored, and which require the implementation of domain protection strategies.

GTLDs, the new generic domain name extensions :

Behind the acronym GTLDs for “generic top level domain” hides one of the pillars of the Internet.

The domain name extension is the set of letters found at the end of a domain name url after the dot. The best known and most used is .com, but we can also mention .org, .net and .info. Some types of extensions are country-specific, like .fr for France.
Created just over 30 years ago (1985), the .com extension is no longer able to correctly answer all requests for domain names. Icann, the organization responsible for managing extensions and domain names, has set up a program to expand the domain name system.
Since 2013, new extensions have appeared, offering a wide range of possibilities.

The diversification of domain name extensions (with things like .fun; .hospital; .organic; .cam; .shop; .paris; .breizh, etc.) is an opportunity for companies to assert their presence and their online image.

GTLDs, new opportunities, new threats : 

With extensions directly related to an activity (.yoga, .football, .run), a city (.paris, .barcelona), a sector of activity (.art, .tech) or a brand (.apple, .ipad ), the possibilities for the company (even more so if it is known) to protect its web traffic, its brand and its image have greatly multiplied.
At the same time, this evolution has opened the door to a range of threats, from interference to fraud and counterfeiting. The threat is real, the pirates are very responsive, do not waste time and watch constantly the slightest flaw. To be honest, the appearance of the new domain name extensions is for them a real boon, a new Eldorado.

Do new domain name extensions pose a risk to a business ?

The risks are numerous, especially with regard to security, the image of the brand, the decrease in traffic and the loss of customer confidence. The company must take care to protect its digital image. This involves the protection of domain names that can be used for malicious purposes. The user found himself on a counterfeit site, having used a seemingly authentic address, and who buys a disappointing product will often direct his resentment towards the company.
In addition to diverting customers from the company and taking ownership of its revenues, the action of these impostors is a lasting blow to the image of the company.

What strategic response can we put in place ?

In order to take advantage of the new domain name extensions, while at the same time protecting against misuse, it is necessary to put in place an active and proactive protection strategy. Because in the face of such a threat, inaction is the worst response.

Until then, the traditional answer was simply based on the registration strategy of all domain names, relating to the company. This strategy is certainly effective but not always entirely necessary or within reach of all budgets. Indeed, the growth in the number of available GTLDs does not allow all companies to systematically register new extensions as soon as they appear.

Some registrars offer an online brand protection service that includes the eve of new extensions that they then advise you to register as a priority, the domain monitoring to inform you as soon as possible. a domain name with the name of your trademark is registered so that you can possibly initiate a recovery procedure for this domain.

One of the additional answers is to use the legal notice tool. Thanks to new technologies, it is possible to trace and identify malicious sites, as well as networks exploiting the declensions of domain names. This allows the optimization of the effectiveness of the notices. This can eliminate a complete network at once, rather than having to target each site individually..

In any case, it is often necessary to use the services of experts in protection. They will gather detailed information on fraudulent activities, and advise the company on the best practices to adopt.

The benefits of a good protection strategy :

A good upstream protection strategy will prevent activists and hackers from hijacking the company’s domain names and blackmail, cybersquatting or redirect your traffic to their site.
In addition, the information gathered in the fight against misuse can even be exploited in an advantageous way by the company.
An examination of the tariffs and commercial practices offered on counterfeit sites may make it possible, in particular to have an idea of ​​potentially recoverable markets, with their various customer segments.
For example, analyzes show that some counterfeits appear in response to market failures. The analysis of this protection information by different departments of the company will therefore offer new opportunities, allowing the optimization of decision-making for marketing, manufacturing or new commercial developments.

In addition, using the new extensions to make live a few sites in the niches that represent extensions, with appropriate content and without duplicate content, is undoubtedly, for companies that have the means, the opportunity to improve their SEO , or even lower their advertising expenses online Adwords type.