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New .London domain will be unleashed at the end of April

London will become one of the first cities worldwide to have its own domain, with “.london” web addresses set to go on sale come 29 April.

This is one of a massive number of generic top-level domains which are coming into existence, close to 2,000 of them in fact, as we reported at the end of last month.

Those based in London who want to reserve their own .london domain will have a three month period where they will be granted priority over others – and furthermore, trademark holders will also be given priority in snagging their web address.

A YouGov survey of London-based SMBs found that 26 per cent intended to take advantage of a .london address, which equates to almost 220,000 small businesses. Half said they would do so because they were proud to advertise the fact that they’re a London firm, and that the move would enable customers to find them more easily. There’s also a good chance it could inspire loyalty in London-based customers, of course.

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners (who commissioned said survey), commented: "This is an incredible response from London's small business community which sees .london as an opportunity to claim an exciting new web address that is uniquely associated with our city's powerful brand.”

“We already know that tens of thousands of businesses have expressed an interest in a .london web address including major brands like Selfridges, Radisson Blu Edwardian and Carnaby.”

Not everyone is welcoming this flood of new top generic top-level domains (gTLDs) with open arms, though. Bigger firms are open to potential domain pinching from opportunistic scavengers, who then try to sell the domain on to the big brand in question at a highly inflated price – or worse, keep the domain and take advantage of the brand’s pulling power. And the more gTLDs that emerge, the more of a headache it could be for major brands to ensure they’re all reserved and not misused.

We’ve got some further thoughts on that issue in our article which asks: Will the new generic top-level domains change the way we browse the Internet?

If you want more details on the new .london domain, point your browser here and read up on it.