We will start this article by providing a direct answer to this question. gTLD name is a generic top level domain name. This is just a type of top level domain name handled by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) as part of the DNS (Domain Name System) of the World Wide Web.
The basic types of generic top level domain names include the ones that end with .com, .net, .info and .org. Additionally, experts consider .name, .biz and .pro to be generic top level domains. But, it is worth mentioning that this second group of domain names is restricted. In other words, there are certain requirements that people must meet in order to buy a domain name like this.
To make things clearer, we will mention all the types of top level domains managed by IANA. First of all, there are infrastructure top level domains also known as arpa. Next, there are country code top level domains or ccTLD. Furthermore, there are internationalized top level domains known as IDNs which are separated into two categories – testing top level domains and internationalized country code top level domains. Finally, there are generic top level domains or GTLD.
What is gTLD name is a question that can be answered through examples too. As we already said, there are some basic, historical generic top level domains and by analyzing them, you should get a better picture of his type of domain names.
The list starts with .com. This is a gTLD that is mostly used for commercial entities even though people use it for different purposes too. It’s good to know that this is the most popular type of domain today. In addition, this is a completely unrestricted gTLD name meaning that any individual or organization can buy one.
There is also .org domains which are used by organizations. Just like in the case of .com, these domains are now unrestricted. Another example of a gTLD that was once restricted is .net which was used only by network infrastructures in the past. Nowadays, people are free to buy a domain name that ends with .net regardless of the purpose of their website.
.edu is another generic top level domain which was used for educational purposes. Today, it is mostly used by US t3rd level colleges and universities. Next, there is .gov, a GTLD used by governments around the globe. However, it is mostly used by US government agencies and entities. The government agencies and entities in other countries use complex domain names which include the country code after .gov. The same goes for .mil which is now mostly used by US military.
It’s interesting that these generic top level domains were introduced back in 1984. But, over the years, the IANA and ICANN have introduced new GTLDs. Today, we have hundreds of GTLDs to select from and their number is growing. It is possible for organizations and even for individuals to suggest new generic top level domains, but it is up to ICANN to decide whether they will accept these suggestions.
Although search engines are not discriminating against specific kinds of domain names, the fact is that the vast majority of websites use generic top level domain names and that’s why they appear high in the search engine results. This is especially true for .com websites. It is natural for Internet users to feel more comfortable when they see a .com domain extension and to visit a website with an address like this. Of course, it is possible to witness online success even with a different kind of domain name.