An IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) is a domain name that contains at least one label that is displayed in whole or in part, in a language-specific script or alphabet. Examples are Arabic, Chinese, Russian or the Latin alphabet-based characters with diacritics such as French.
IDNs evolved because various countries, whose first language is not English, pressed for localized versions via a variety of working groups, discussion teams and government funded bodies.
Despite the fact that there are many different IDNs available at present, and more are being released every month, awareness of IDNs is still relatively low.
If your organization is serious about doing business in the global marketplace, you should definitely consider the opportunities that IDNs will bring.
Some of the opportunities are listed below:
- Owning an IDN would give you a competitive advantage in terms of search engine optimization
- IDNs provide more localization for your products and services
- Over 100 million .com domains are already registered, with key marketing domains already taken. Many IDNs are still available though, and at a relatively low cost compared to the price you may have to pay for them in the future
- IDNs are already being re-sold on the secondary market for five and six figure sums, therefore they are a good investment
- There are 873 million native Mandarin Chinese speakers in the world, and only 340 million people listed as ‘native English’. Imagine the extra people you could reach if you owned a Chinese IDN