New domain structure could challenge the SEO industry

WebimaxStarting in 2012, corporations and municipalities will be able to buy specific domains (for example, .webimax, versus at a price of $185,000. The purpose of this move is to add personalization specific to the originating source, and help classify genres of websites into consolidated groups. But it could cause difficulties for search engine optimization, says Kenneth C. Wisnefski, CEO of WebiMax, an SEO firm.

“This can work well for organizations that embrace this idea and want to characterize their organization by domain name, however search engine optimization firms will be challenged with how a deviation from the norm (.com, .net, and .edu for example) will factor in on ranking webpages”, states Wisnefski. “I suspect search engines, including Google, will address the new structure and discuss what this means for their search algorithms.”

Wisnefski notes that these changes will “present some hurdles for SEO firms, notably on how we adjust to the changes with indexing current and existing webpages.”

While corporations may see limited benefit from securing their own corporate domain extension, municipalities and specific interest groups could benefit greatly from these scenarios and in turn, it could greatly impact the nature by which people use search engines.

“While it might not have great value for a large company to secure their own dot company name, cities and states could see huge benefit from this” Wisnefski exclaimed. “If you are in New York City and want pizza, you might type in and be directed to selected establishments. This changes the current search process and in turn will shift focus towards these extensions over time”.

The proposed structure also includes participating parties to complete a thorough filing to prevent domain squatting from taking place.

“Domain squatters have been an issue in the natural search space for some time”, states Wisnefski.

“The one secure part of this process is the thorough application that needs to be completed to prevent these people from cashing in on domain-name selling. It is quite clear that we [in the SEO industry] will wait to see how many companies express their intention to take part in the new structure, and if this is something we need to adjust our optimization strategies around”, concludes Wisnefski.


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