Brief history of top-level domains and challenges for information professionals
Top-level domains, in addition to fulfilling the technical function of enabling access to network resources, allow information professionals in generalóand content managers in particularóto work with domain names for branding and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Likewise, they facilitate the performance of metric analyses thanks to their hierarchical structure. The massive creation of new TLDs that was started in the early 21st century by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opened the possibility of being able to select (or even register) a wide variety of web domains. However, the sources of information about TLDs as well as their management and usefulness for both the commercial sector (SEO, web content management, and digital analytics) and scholarly community (webometrics) are not well known among information professionals. The objective of this text is to explain the meaning and function of TLDs, to highlight their different categories, and to show their evolution over time, in order to provide useful information for professionals dedicated to the generation, dissemination, storage/retrieval, and analysis of online content.
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