the Online- Marketing Playing Field
AUGUST 2005 - Many
people use Internet search engines the same way they use the
Yellow Pages: They gravitate toward the most prominent ads,
often simply to whatever they see first. Search engines weigh
many factors in determining how results are presented; the
most important is whether a domain name matches a search keyword.
Unfortunately, memorable and relevant dot-com web addresses
that include such keywords are nearly exhausted. Those still
available are composed of awkward strings, random letters,
and numbers that make it difficult to rise to the top of search
engine results. Purchasing a memorable URL—a string
with a keyword representing the subject business—is
often too costly.
“.pro” domain was established in 2004 to create
online marketing opportunities for licensed professionals
such as accountants, lawyers, physicians, dentists, financial
advisors, and health-care providers—businesspeople
who have limited Internet promotion options due to the lack
of available .com addresses. It was created by the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international
nonprofit responsible for Internet domain name management.
can choose from two types of .pro domains: generic, such
as taxes.pro, and industry-specific, in the form of anyname.cpa.pro.
Barrett is president of EnCirca, Inc. (www.encirca.com),
an ICANN-accredited domain registrar.