Generic Top-Level Domain

What Does Generic Top-Level Domain Mean?

A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is a top-level domain (TLD) category that is easily recognized by a suffix attached to a domain name. These are used by the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), with oversight by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is now controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

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Techopedia Explains Generic Top-Level Domain

Examples of of well-known gTLDs are com, org, info, net, and biz. Generic and restricted TLDs created during the early DNS days require proof of eligibility for domain name registration. These TLDs are gov, mil, int and edu.

In 2012 ICANN implemented a gTLD expansion program, which launched many new gTLDs that have been perceived as an annoyance, rather than a way to open the Internet to new creative possibilities. New TLDs, like "ninja" and "unicorn," are examples. Esther Dyson, an ICANN co-founder, stated that this expansion will create jobs for marketers and lawyers but serve minimal additional value.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.