AdWords is now Google Ads. Our new name reflects the full range of advertising options we offer across Search, Display, YouTube, and more. Learn more

Small Business
3.9K members online now
3.9K members online now
Your business is up and running, you're looking for information and guidance to help you become more savvy and efficient. This is the place for you.
Guide Me

Understanding the Terms: Domain Names

[ Edited ]
Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

Understanding the Terms: Domain Names

When you’re giving directions to your business location, you use a street address instead of map coordinates. This makes it easier for your customers to remember your address. The same concept can be applied to helping your business be found online using a domain name. Here are some common terms you’ll see when picking a domain name.

ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They coordinate the Internet’s global domain name system and are responsible for the maintenance, stability and security of the internet. Find out more about their operations on their website.

IP stands for Internet Protocol. An IP address is a unique identifying string of numbers given to every individual device on the internet. Like a map coordinate, the IP address is what’s used to identify and locate information online.

Domain Name is the unique name that identifies a website.This is the equivalent of your business’ street address online, and it’s an easy way to reach the exact location of your website without having to remember its numeric IP address. The domain name is part of the full URL for your website, which includes a protocol (such as HTTP), the domain extension (such as .com) and any other references.

DNS stands for Domain Name System, which helps users find their way around the internet. It’s what translates a domain name into the coordinates your computer needs to find a website. Without the DNS, we would have to use IP addresses of websites instead of a domain name. This means that instead of having your customers go to your domain name, such as, they would have to type in the IP address of your business.

gTLD stands for Generic Top Level Domain, which is the suffix following a domain name. Generic top level domains are .com, .info, .net and .org domains, which are the most common domain extensions you’ll see. In addition to these common extensions, there are now thousands of domain name extensions available, giving you a new opportunity to register domains that perfectly represent what you and your business are all about.

Originally published June, 2014

1 Expert replyverified_user