As domain names grow in popularity and more businesses set up online stores, web addresses are getting even more specific.
Most websites in Australia do fine with .com, .net, .org or a .au variation but major companies and organisations around the world are now on a path towards web addresses completely devoted to locations.
London, Tokyo and New York have all started to shift towards web addresses ending in the capital cities, and now Australia’s first city-specific web address – .melbourne – has also joined their ranks after getting a tick of approval from global regulators.
The year-long process applying for the new domain was led by the Victorian State Government, City of Melbourne and technology provider ARI Registry Services, and successfully passed the rigorous technical and financial evaluations set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in May 2013.
ARI Registry Services said .melbourne is one of the first Australian new domains to be approved ahead of nearly 40 other Australian applications and an overall pool of approximately 1900 applicants globally.
So could .melbourne be the next big thing for businesses based in Victoria’s capital?
While the first organisations to make use of the address will most likely be official and governmental bodies, ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis said there was potential for other businesses to benefit from .melbourne premium domains.
“Geographical locators have always been important as a part of identifying where an online business is physically located,” he said.
“The success of, and immense value in, the .au brand is testament to this. .melbourne is part of an evolutionary change that will take this identification to another level.”
Kinderis said seeing the potential of a strong city brand was one of the reasons that The State Government of Victoria and City of Melbourne decided to go through the lengthy application process.
ARI Registry Services, the Victorian State Government and City of Melbourne will continue to work together on the remaining necessary steps that need to be taken before .melbourne sites are available.
“…melbourne will become a quintessential part of the city’s business brand. Internet users will turn to .melbourne for familiar, trustworthy and local online content while savvy businesses will use the namespace to tap into the booming ecommerce potential of the city,” Kinderis said.
ARI Registry Services, Victoria’s State Government and the City of Melbourne expect the final steps of the process to be completed in 2014.