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.RUHR: First New Geographical TLD Starts

dot RUHR logoThe Internet became a bit more colorful today, with regiodot GmbH celebrating the launch of the new domain ending .ruhr, the first of the new domain endings with geographical reference to cities or regions.  “With the introduction of .ruhr, Germany is at the starting gates for the largest expansion of domain names in the history of the Internet”, said the delighted lawyer Thomas Rickert, Director Names and Numbers at eco – Association of the German Internet Industry.

Starting on the 21st January 2014 is the month-long “Sunrise Phase”, during which only the owners of registered trademarks will be able to register Internet addresses with the new ending .ruhr. After this, from the 25th February, there will be a phase for anyone interested from the Ruhr area, and then, from the 27th March 2014, there will be general availability, when anyone can register their .ruhr-desired-domain.

From .berlin to .tokyo – global scale with local significance

The geoTLD .berlin will be the next to follow, with its Sunrise Phase starting on 14th February.  The exact starting dates for further endings are yet to be announced, as the Internet address administrator, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is introducing the new TLDs a few at a time. The range of Top Level Domains will be further enriched through .tokyo, .africa, .paris, .wien,  .nyc, .tirol, .kyoto, .swiss and .moscow, along with hundreds more.

“Regional Top Level Domains allow a stronger identification with one’s own region, as well as shorter paths in Internet searches”, said Rickert. It can be very useful, for example, for restaurants or for the manual trades, whose services are usually provided within the local region. With an address like, no one would expect to find a pizza service in Los Angeles. “Users can more quickly find what they are looking for. Also looking at it from the perspective of search-machine rankings, a regional domain can be helpful”, said Anja Elsing from regiodot GmbH, explaining further advantages of the new geoTLDs.

Pre-register multiple times – pay only once

Each domain will only be offered once worldwide. “Whoever wants to increase their chances in the delegation process should reserve their desired address with multiple registrars”, Rickert recommends. Payment is only required at the end of the process, and only once, when the desired address is actually received.

The new address endings give both businesses and private people interesting opportunities to leave the well-trodden path and branch out in new directions. Instead of being an unavoidable ending tacked on to a web address, these new gTLDs could become a creative component in the naming process of a company. It is therefore becoming more possible to play with ideas, to vary, and to think around corners. “Hundreds of new endings offer the possibility to get closer to the target group thematically (such as .software or .golf), geographically, or linguistically (for example, using the Cyrillic alphabet or Chinese characters)”, said Rickert. “As an association, we at eco want to ensure that everyone interested knows about the chances connected with the new TLDs and can take action before it’s too late. An early application for a desired domain is essential.”

This eco announcement was sourced from: