Google's Iam.Soy website header

You might remember back in January this year we talked about the release of hundreds of new generic top-level domains. These included specific brand names like .NIKE, .APPLE, and .AMEX, as well as more generic terms like .GURU, .COMPANY, and .SHOP. While small business owners and individuals were excited about this at the time, it’s been awhile since there was any news on the gTLD front – until yesterday.

If you follow Google’s business blog, or spent any time on Twitter yesterday, you no doubt heard about the launch of Google’s first new top-level domain in the United States: .SOY

What is .SOY?
.SOY, which translates to ‘I am’ in Spanish, is a TLD that is intended to be a place on the web specifically for the US Hispanic audience. One of the advantages of new top-level domains (beyond .COM, .NET, etc.) is that they say something more specific about the name that comes before them. In the case of .SOY, this domain lets people know immediately that the business, individual, or organization that they’re visiting on the web has a desire to form a connection with the Hispanic community.

A business that has a .SOY domain name is indicating to its Latino audience that it offers content that was created specifically with them in mind. And it’s not enough to have your website auto-translate into Spanish either. This is audience is truly bilingual – using a mix of Spanish and English and switching between the two moment to moment. In fact, Google’s research shows that US Hispanic mobile users tend to search in English, or a mix of English and Spanish.

Why .SOY?
Google recently reported that Hispanics are set to make up 30% of the overall US population by 2050. In 2010, they had upwards of one trillion dollars in buying power, and the Census Bureau reported that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States increased at more than twice the national rate of since 2007.

With all of these statistics in mind, it becomes obvious that this is an audience that digital marketers cannot afford to underserve. In fact, Google reports having seen the number of web searches that include Spanish question words almost double in the last three years; something for SEO and SEM experts to keep top-of-mind.

In addition to better serving the Latino population online, .SOY comes with another great benefit. The addition of all these new generic TLDs allows business owners to claim domain names they wanted or needed, but had missed out on before. Domains like .COM and .NET have been around for so long that it’s almost impossible for many small business owners to secure a descriptive and easy-to-remember name for their website.

Who already has .SOY?
In order to get a running start for the new domain, Google brought on a number of launch partners – and Webs is delighted to be among them.

Webs.soy header

You can find out more about the other early-adopters of .SOY in Google’s blog announcement. Ready to get your own .SOY domain? Visit Iam.soy today to get started.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Content Marketing Manager at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social media tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog and Google+.

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