Archives For Google

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released the results of this year’s Most Innovative Companies survey last week.  The survey is conducted by BCG as follows:

As in past surveys, the 2013 results reveal the 50 companies that executives rank as the most innovative, weighted to incorporate relative three-year shareholder returns, revenue growth, and margin growth. The list has its share, as always, of well-known technology innovators (especially among the top ten), but automakers also show a strong surge, a trend that began last year and gathered strength in the current results. This time, we also asked respondents to identify up-and-coming companies at which innovation is driving rapid growth.

Since one of the “next big things” in technology is the introduction of hundreds of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) to the Internet, we decided to do a little research: What percentage of these successful, envelope-pushing companies applied to run their own new gTLD?

And, it turns out, over half of the most innovative companies -28 out of the 50 – invested in new TLDs. Of these,16 applied for more than one new TLD.

A whopping seven of the top 10 innovative companies applied for a total of 194 new extensions, including Apple’s .APPLE, Amazon’s .IMDB and Google’s .CHROME.

It seems that the most innovative also invested the most: BCG’s third most innovative company – Google – applied for 101 new TLDs while the seventh most innovative company, Amazon, applied for 76.

“This isn’t a coincidence,” said Taylor Frank, VP of Strategy and Development at FairWinds Partners. “Tech, search, e-commerce and automotive companies are going to do very well with their new gTLDs, whether they applied for their .BRAND, a .GENERIC, or both.”

Frank went on to explain that these new extensions are fertile ground for new business models and innovative approaches to community engagement, brand protection, human resources, and product development.

“The more interesting question is not whether there’s a relationship between being the most innovative and having applied for a new gTLD but whether companies that didn’t apply for a new gTLD will hold their ranking come next year.”

Some companies sell bags, some sell guitars, some sell phones, some sell shoes, and others sell everything from antiques to zippers. Just about all companies today sell “something” – and themselves — online.

As the Internet has grown over the past two decades we’ve seen more and more participation by businesses online to the point of ubiquity.  Businesses that started small, perhaps with a simple, one-page website have expanded their online presence to hundreds of sites with many thousands of webpages.  How content on these sites is organized and how the architecture that enables Internet users to find (either directly or via search) the content they are looking for seems like magic at times.

In some instances you’ll see a URL such as http://www.hilton.com/boston and in other cases you’ll see hiltonboston.roomstays.com.  Both have information about Hilton hotel properties in the Boston metro area.  The difference in the URL structure is based upon how the websites are set up.

Now the web is a-flutter with news – delivered by Google’s Matt Cutts in a recent blog titled “What to Expect in SEO in the Coming Months” – that the search engine giant is changing its algorithm in a way that will almost certainly affect most companies, and specifically those that use subdomain names.

Let’s take a quick look at how and some possible reasons why – especially why your company should take notice.

HOW

It all comes down, as so many changes and decisions related to the Internet do, to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As SearchEngineWatch explained in its breakdown of Cutts’ video, “If you’re doing deep searches in Google … you can see the same site popping up with a cluster of results on those deep pages. Google is looking into a change where once you have seen a cluster of results from the same site, you will be less likely to see more and more from that same site as you go deeper. Cutts mentioned this as being something that came specifically from user feedback.”

WHY

Cutts explains that this is going to clean up and improve search results. But why now? Could it be because new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are coming soon and with them a massive expansion of the number of domain names and websites? Will this make it easier for users and search providers alike to connect with the most relevant content? Or maybe not, but like most things coming from Cutts, it has many of us wondering.

As we’ve explained before, new gTLDs will change behavior. It’s just not clear exactly how or if their impact will be felt in search yet.

BUT REALLY, WHY SHOULD I CARE?

You should care because your company – large or small, private or public a) is probably on the Internet using subdomains and/or subdirectories, and b) may have applied for its own new top-level domain.

How your company decides to build its presence in the new gTLD landscape – whether it owns the gTLD or whether it registers in another gTLD – will impact how your company appears in customer search results and, therefore, how much search-driven revenue it gains, maintains, or loses.

Everything a company does online, from launching websites for specific campaigns to maintaining a comprehensive corporate homepage, is going to have to be translated into the new world of new gTLDs, which could begin launching this fall at a rate of 20 per week.

The architecture of existing websites as well as the architecture of a company’s new gTLD strategy will need to be carefully designed or “renovated” if the company determines that its domain name structure is no longer “SEO stable.”

The fact that 1,766 new gTLD applications participated in ICANN’s Prioritization Draw held yesterday is interesting for two reasons: first, because such a high percentage (92%) chose to participate, and second, because some very interesting applications opted to not participate in the Draw. Last night we took a look at the first new gTLD applications drawn. Today we’ll examine which will be at the back of the line. Continue Reading…

Trouble Abroad

FairWinds Partners —  December 5, 2012

It can be a scary world out there in cyberspace, even for big companies with ample resources. Just ask the likes of Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and others, who recently saw their domain names ending in .RO, the Romanian ccTLD, hacked. The attack, which hijacked the DNS records of the domain names and pointed them to a server in the Netherlands, came less than a week after Eboz, a little-known hacker group out of Turkey, attacked these and other companies’ .PK (Pakistan) domain names in mid-November. Continue Reading…

ICANN has long upheld the stance that its role, though critical to the everyday functions of the Internet as we know it, is very limited. In fact, on the Frequently Asked Questions page of ICANN’s website, it says the following:

“ICANN’s role is very limited, and it is not responsible for many issues associated with the Internet, such as financial transactions, Internet content control, spam (unsolicited commercial email), Internet gambling, or data protection and privacy.”

This delineation of what exactly it is that ICANN is responsible for and what it is not was stated again by its interim CEO Akram Atallah in a recent Reuters article about the deluge of public comments ICANN has received over who should operate certain religious gTLDs that were applied for as part of the New gTLD Program, namely .BIBLE, .ISLAM and others. While certain comments implore ICANN to make sure that these names do not fall into the “wrong” hands, Atallah told Reuters, “We don’t look into whether the Vatican has the right to the .CATHOLIC name. Hopefully, the process will get to a conclusion that is satisfying to the majority.” Continue Reading…

The Google Question

FairWinds Partners —  August 7, 2012

It has remained a mystery, an object of sometimes intense speculation, basically since new gTLDs first entered into conversations about digital strategy. “Talk all you want about their potential for online branding,” many digital marketers would say. “I want to know how Google is going to treat these new domains.” Continue Reading…

We may not know precisely when ICANN will finally publish the full list of new gTLD applications and applicants, but we do know that it will be at least a month from now. And certain companies have come forward over the past few weeks, announcing that they are applying for certain new gTLDs. So while we’ll have to sit tight for the full list, we at least have a small sneak peak of a few of the 2,100+ applications we’ll see on Reveal Day. Here’s what we’re looking at so far: Continue Reading…