Google Launches .NEW Sunrise This Week

On the same day that Google is making their big announcement of new and updated products, their Google Registry, aka Charleston Road Registry, is launching the Sunrise period for their .new gTLD, which is promising something… new! Google is billing their new gTLD as one that “must be used for action generation or online creation flows.”

Already underway is a “qualified launch period” that commenced on 6 September and runs until 14 January 2020. This period will see up to 53 .new domains registered to promote the gTLD. And ending this week has been a “sunrise notice” period where trademark owners are notified of the .new Sunrise Dates and policies.

Which brings us to the Sunrise period, which commences on 15 October, the same day as Google’s annual showcase in New York City that is expected to see the launch of the Pixel 4 and other hardware products. The Sunrise period for trademark holders to get their domain names will run until 14 January.

Leading up to General Availability in July 2020 there will also be a “Limited Registration Period”, from 14 January to 14 July. This is a period during where prospective registrants can apply to operate .new names, that will be allocated by Google Registry in batches provided that they demonstrate compliance with the .new registration policy and other specified criteria.

This will be the seventh of Google new gTLDs that will be publicly available out of a total of 46 that have been delegated, many of which will be for Google to use in house. The largest is .app, currently with 425,000 registrations followed by .dev with 164,000 – the only 2 with more than 100,000 registrations.

So what’s new about .new? Google explains in their policies posted on the ICANN new generic top-level domains page that “all .new domain names must be used for action generation or online creation flows. Navigation to a .new domain must bring a user directly into the action generation or online creation flow. Navigation or redirection to a homepage or landing page that requires the user to take additional steps or clicks to initiate action or creation will not be deemed to comply with this policy. An exception is provided for services that require a user to be logged in, navigation to a .new domain may bring a logged-out user to a sign up or sign in page. After completing sign in and any other required authentication, the user must be brought directly into the action generation or online creation flow. A user that is already signed in must be brought immediately into the action flow. Subscription services that require an account to access content or undertake activities may register .new domain names, provided that, upon request, Google Registry or its designee is granted access free-of-charge to verify compliance with this policy.”

Google goes on to explain “any .new domain must be compliant no more than 100 days from the date of registration; and a link to the .new Domain Registration Policy and other resources provided by Google Registry indicating that users can find the full Action Domains Requirements and more information about enforcement by following the link.”

Google Registry note in their policies document they “believe the benefit of the programme will be to promote the success of not only the .new registry but ICANN’s new gTLD program as well. By publicising quality .new websites to consumers at an early stage and indicating the type of specialised content they will find there, Google Registry will be able to guide interested registrants to the opportunities afforded by .new SLDs.  In addition, by launching and promoting select domain names before and during Sunrise, Google Registry will raise awareness of the Sunrise program and allow trademark holders who may have otherwise not been able to avail themselves of the opportunity to protect their brands during the .new Sunrise to do so. Google Registry will also be able to generally demonstrate the value of the new gTLD programme, which enhances consumer choice by expanding the SLD namespace, providing registrants with flexibility, opportunities for differentiation, and enhanced utility of domain names.”

As with all of Google’s new gTLDs, .new is a secure namespace that requires HTTPS to be used on all .new domains in order for the domains to work in web browsers.