The priority period for businesses to register an exact match .au direct name is soon approaching.
After 20 September, domain names will be available to be registered by the general public on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to auDA, which manages this naming system, there have been more than 170,000 registrations since the .au domain name was first made available in March this year.
The Priority Allocation period ensures that businesses are able to apply for a direct match from their previous namespace and covers the event there are multiple registrants for the same domain name (ex: if a registrant of domain.com.au and a registrant of domain.net.au are both applying for domain.au).
The .au web domain is open to anyone with a verified connection to Australia, like organisations registered in the country, citizens and permanent residents, and legal entities with a registered Australian trademark.
This development, considered the most significant change in the web domain area in Australia since the 1980s, brings Australia in line with its international peers like the United Kingdom (.uk), New Zealand (.nz) and Germany (.de)
Among other benefits, registering for an .au domain name avoids the case of cybersquatting and is expected to improve trust and ease for consumers while searching online for a business.
However, before making this switch, businesses are encouraged to carefully consider how this could affect their domain authority and to ensure there are plans in place to track any website migration.