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Google recategorises .ai domains as generic

AI head

Google recategorises .ai domains as generic

Search giant Google has updated its documentation to state that it now considers domains using .ai to be a generic top-level domain.

Previously, if your site was using a .ai domain, Google would consider it to have the target country of Anguilla – an Eastern Caribbean British Overseas Territory.

Now, it joins the ranks of .co, .fm, .io and many others in being considered a ‘generic country code top level domain’. This means, essentially, that Google does not consider the domain to be targeted towards a particular country, as the majority of websites using these domains are targeted at a more generic audience, despite having origins as a country-related domain.

According to Gary Illyes, an analyst at Google, this means, in short “nothing”. Illyes did go on to say that targeting Anguilla via a .ai domain has become slightly harder, but that not many .ai domains do attempt this anyway.

In the grand scheme of things, Illyes is likely right that for most people, this domain categorisation shift has little impact. However, that Google has made the .ai domain a generic one does indicate that more and more people are using .ai domains in the wider world as opposed to just in Anguilla – and with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-related platforms like ChatGPT, this doesn’t strike as a coincidence. Indeed, even Google has released its own AI chatbot, Bard, and has an AI search engine in the works.

It therefore also serves as a reminder that the rise of AI on the web is an occurrence that should be watched.

Here at Engage Web, we can see the power and potential of AI on the web, but are all too aware of its pitfalls, too. If you need help navigating the ever-changing waters of the online world and getting your business’ name visible amongst a sea of competitors, we can help – just reach out to us today.

Emily Jones
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