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The End of the Dot-Com Era?

Monday, 11 Jun 2012 | 5:44 AM ET

Thousands of domain names are about to be released that are being snapped up by firms and brands looking to make their mark online, and on their URL.

Adam Gault | OJO Images | Getty Images

The premium domain of dot-com that was followed by the dot-orgs, dot-infos and dot-nets will now be joined by “personalized” company and brand domain names.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN), that aims to promote competition and consumer choice in the domain name market, owns around 20 percent of the new domain names and will reveal which companies have applied for them on Wednesday.

Ben Crawford, chief executive of global domain name registry CentralNic, told CNBC that the introduction of new names will allow users to know what they’re accessing.

“There will be domains that actually tell you much more what’s on the website you’re having a look at so, smith.college versus smith.photography versus smith.XXX is obviously going to give a consumer or a search engine a good indication about what the actual website behind that domain is.”

Crawford said companies are jumping to get their hands on the new domain names that will show them to be global, official and in legal control of their own brand names, following complex and high-profile cases of "cybersquatting", where brand names have been mis-used, mis-represented and traded by un-official websites.

“Companies have jumped at this opportunity to get their hands on these top-level domains because…consumers and search engines will clearly be able to determine what’s official content versus what’s not,” he added.

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