New TLDs: How to Make the Most of your Domains

There are two great ways to take advantage of newly released top level domain names (new TLDs) and I just wanted to make sure you’ve all considered this when you’re looking at your next domain purchase.

Firstly, you now have a great chance to get hold of a snappy, memorable domain that was previously pretty much fully taken, where you had competitors or other parties holding the .com or .co.uk versions and you didn’t want to take a less popular variant. You’ve now got hundreds of new variations to choose from, thanks to the powers that be recognising the need for an increase in choice as more and more businesses take to the web to showcase their services. And the increased publicity from all the launches means that society is becoming accepting of the changes that are taking place online.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can now get super-specific with your domains. The new TLDs are so varied that you can use them to enhance your web presence from the get-go. Take, for example, the recent release of the .dental suffix:

Mypractice.dental is instantly recognisable a being related to the dental industry and is surely a must have TLD for those working within it. Similarly the likes of .catering, .cleaning, .education, .florist, .pub, .rentals and hundreds more give a potential visitor insight into a business before you even view a site.

Where to purchase your new TLDs

The current list of TLDs currently available to be registered can be found on the Domaincheck website – http://www.domaincheck.co.uk/domain-names-gtld-list1.htm.

With more TLD’s being released every week, the new opportunities are endless. Keep an eye on our Facebook account and on Twitter @the_zebras for weekly updates, and if you’d like to register some either head to our Domaincheck store or give us a call on 0191 2612252.

 

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and General Manager of domaincheck.co.uk.

Information: Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

Brandon Gray Internet Services (Domain Registry of America/Domain Renewal Group) have been suspended by ICANN, the body who govern domain name registrations*.

This organisation and its various trading entities (see below for a list) have been trying to get domain name registrants to inadvertently transferring registrations to them by sending unsolicited and misleading marketing messages and “renewal notices” using data collected illegally.

Brandon Gray Internet Services has been around for a long time and has operated under several different names and guises depending on which market it was targeting. You may have encountered them as one of the following:

  • Namejuice.com
  • Domain Registry of America
  • Domain Renewal Group
  • Domain Registry of Australia
  • Domain Registry of Canada
  • Domain Registry of Europe
  • Internet Registry of Canada
  • Liberty Names of America
  • Registration Services Inc.
  • Yellow Business.ca
  • Internet Corporation Listing Service

They’ve been under scrutiny for some time, but recently ICANN has put new legislation in place on which it can act and has taken the decision to do so. According to ICANN this was the third breach of policy in 12 months, so the organisation have been suspended and cannot register new domains or accept incoming transfers for three months.

If you have your domains held with any of the above companies and would like to transfer to Zebra we’d love to help. Call us on 0191 2612252 and we can help you with the process or you can place these orders yourself via our control panel or online shop. Follow this guide: http://www.domaincheck.co.uk/helpdesk-dndm-transferin.htm

*Details of the case can be found here: http://domainnamewire.com/2014/07/21/domain-registry-of-america-suspended/ and here: http://domainnamewire.com/2014/07/21/domain-registry-of-america-suspended/

 

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain Name Expert, and General Manager of                                domaincheck.co.uk.

Business Buzzwords: Cloud Servers

Data Centre Services

If you’re a business looking for a high-performance, low-cost solution to hosting your data, you might have explored the notion of placing it in ‘the cloud’.

A confusing term, most commonly known for its association with Apple data storing products, the term ‘cloud’ has multiple meanings in the technology industry, which can make the prospect of placing your information on the nearest nimbostratus a little daunting.

When it comes to businesses, cloud servers are seen as a stable and controlled solution for those who don’t require their own dedicated hardware. Confused? We don’t blame you. At Zebra Internet Services, we’ve stripped back the lingo and offer the real deal for storing your mission critical data, using the slightly more accurate term of VPS Hosting.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, which is what’s usually meant when people describe hosting their information on the infamous cloud. In fact, what you’re actually doing is storing your information on a slice of a larger, physical server, which reduces your overhead costs without compromising on quality. As your business grows, so can your ‘server slice’, meaning you’re supported until the point a dedicated server becomes more viable.

Each VPS has the ability to run bespoke settings and operating systems, without affecting the entire server. The benefits of individual CPU usage and RAM make them an extremely attractive prospect to those running websites without a hugely complex functionality.

There are of course many businesses who need something more substantial than VPS hosting, in which case Zebra’s datacentre services division are on hand to ensure the safe-keeping and function of your material. Our ISO9001 accredited facilities, located in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Redcar and North Yorkshire are a safe, managed solution for those with larger storage needs. Call 0191 2612252 to speak to a member of our datacentre team.

 Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Sean Cardus

Sean Cardus is Head of Systems at Zebra Internet Services.

Nominet Launch .uk Suffix

.uk suffixIt’s been a pretty big year for the domain name industry, with the launch of the new TLDs by ICANN dominating domain news headlines.

Now leading UK domain registry Nominet have joined in the fun by announcing the upcoming release of the short and sweet .uk suffix.

.uk, which will launch on June 10th this year, is designed to be targeted at the more ‘modern’ business, offering a simplistic yet sleek approach to website identity, which Nominet believe makes .uk a more worthy rival to .com.

Some critics argue that the current contender, .co.uk, has already become as ingrained on the mind of internet users as .com, but only time will tell whether the shorter version domain becomes a preferred option for UK business owners.

So why are Nominet doing this? Never before has technology been so closely linked with the personality of the user, and a more social approach to the internet has meant that even domain purchases have seen shifts in consumer behaviour.

Nominet’s marketing angle revolves on the concept of the entire .uk portfolio (including .uk, .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk) being billed as a family, with each branch representing a different segment of their target market. The logos for the .uk domains have also had a facelift of sorts, and those with a sharp eye may have noticed that the ‘k’ of the .uk domain has been constructed from the widely recognised digital ‘share’ symbol.

Of course, there are other subtle indicators of Nominet’s brand value within the new logo, cleverly dissected in their recent YouTube video publicising the .uk launch. It’s release will also allow for more room within the world of domains, giving businesses a chance to further secure their digital brand and develop their domain portfolio. Registrants of the existing .co.uk domain are also offered ‘first refusal’ on a .uk domain, which should help eliminate immediate issues of typosquatting within brands.

With all of the recently launched TLDs, the full impact on search engine rankings is not yet known, but common sense would suggest that the likes of Google and Bing will have to evolve their algorithm to account for what will most likely become the norm for domain names in upcoming years.

For help or enquiries surrounding the launch of .uk, or indeed any of the new TLDs, please visit http://www.domaincheck.co.uk.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain Name Expert, and General Manager of                                domaincheck.co.uk.

Hummingbird: The Facts

HummingbirdThis month, the world of SEO has been seemingly shaken by what’s being hailed as Google’s biggest update since Caffeine in 2010.

Hummingbird has fluttered deep into the heart of Google’s infrastructure, conceptualising search and building on synonym-led queries that were introduced in 2002. SEO agencies across the world have been flooded with panicked calls from customers who’ve heard on the grapevine that Hummingbird could banish them from their rank positions, inciting a digital riot actually based on a deep misunderstanding of what the update actually means.

The idea behind Hummingbird is that Google will now be able to offer search results with an increased likelihood of satisfying the requirements of the user, not through keywords but the use of queries, particularly semantics, and conversational based searches. The scary announcement that over 90% of queries were affected is being challenged by the industry, as very few actually saw any difference in their traffic or positions.

What this doesn’t mean is an end to traditional and accepted SEO methods of great copywriting, authoritative link-building and, believe it or not, the use of keywords to drive traffic. What Google’s actually done is developed and built on an already existing system (Caffeine), and adapted its methods of pooling relevant data to suit our ever-changing technological world.

Despite their typically cagey approach to releasing details of new updates, this was actually the undercurrent of Google’s Senior Vice President and Software Developer Amit Singhal’s evasive statement back in September.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Camille Taylor

Camille Taylor is head of SEO and Online Reputation management at Zebra.

@CamilleTaylor34