If you want to stake a new claim on the World Wide Web, there's a whole lot of Internet real estate opening up this week.
For the first time in a decade, hundreds of new web domains will be made available this Wednesday. And small businesses may jump at the chance to grab one.
Chad Pickard owns the bike shop Spoke-N-Sport in Sioux Falls and knows the value of his website address and ones that sound like it.
"We do actually own a couple of domains that forward to our same website. We're not trying to capture every domain like Sioux Falls bike and Sioux Falls, S.D. bike and stuff like that. We're just capturing names we feel people would search for," Pickard said.
But starting this week, businesses owners like Pickard will have the chance to buy a new address that relates to the product or service they sell. This week seven new domains are being released, including bike, clothing and singles.
"The reason that's so huge is to date there's only been 22 domain names, like dot-com, dot-edu, dot-info. So now there's just a gold rush happening for all the potential domain names that are available," Paul Ten Haken of Click Rain said.
Most of the web address with the new domain names will run $10 to $40 a year. However, some can run hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars for businesses.
"If it was something affordable, we'll definitely look at it and probably do it. If it's something ridiculously priced, we won't do it," Pickard said.
But Spoke-N-Sport wouldn't give up its current established dot-com site in favor or a dot-bike site.
"So you have to re-educate consumers. The cost of switching, if you have a dot-com and it's working and you've marketed it, I don't see a big rationale to switch right now," Ten Haken said.
Yet Pickard does see the potential for the future of business in the new domains.
"Mobile platforms are changing and if we have a simple domain name like S-N-S.bike, that might be easier to punch in with your thumbs than actually do a search for bike Sioux Falls or Sioux Falls new bike or something like that," Pickard said.
Brand new businesses may also find a new domain name can help give them a marketing edge.
Out of 2,000 proposed domain names, Google has applied for 101 of them.