The top-level domain tags with with we are all familiar because of the World Wide Web actually antedate its arrival: .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, .org and .arpa (the last of these refers to ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet, created in 1969; it is used today only for technical infrastructure purposes) all were first implemented at the beginning of 1985. During the Web era, a number of new ones were introduced, including .aero for aviation companies, .coop for cooperatives and companies that support them; .info for “informative” resources; and .biz for businesses, all created in 2001. There are also four domains (.test and .example being two) which have been “reserved” to avoid confusion, as well as “pseudo” top-level domains such as .bitnet and .csnet that are not part of the official World Domain System, or even the Internet in some cases. Some other domains, such as .nato (late 1980s-1996), are no longer in use. Exact match domains like cdltestanswers.com are not readily available anymore and these new top level domains will give businesses more options.
On October 23, 2013 ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) announced the release of the first new generic top-level domains into the Root Zone of the Internet. Unlike earlier domains, of which four have been released so far, these ones will be in non-Roman scripts such as Greek, Cyrillic (for Russian), Hebrew, Arabic, Devanagari (for Hindi), Chinese and Japanese. Their names will also be foreign; for instance, شبكة is Arabic for ;web
How these new domains will change the Internet
Profound changes in the online world will take place as a result of this new development. One is that entrepreneurs in countries whose languages use a non-Roman script will have the advantage of being able to use their own scripts for their URLs. Always before, they have had to learn the English alphabet (which is invaluable anyway, considering the importance of English as a world language); this can be difficult for some.
The world will be changing for businesses too. They will have a wider range of choices for domains, which will make it easier to create separate sites for branches in other countries. The huge increase of gTLDs from 22 to over 1400 is a change that “promises to promote global innovation, competition and consumer choice.” Since English is a native language for only a small percentage of the world’s people, non-Anglophones will be playing a more active role in world trade.