Over the past couple weeks you may have noticed a sudden rise in company domains ending in “.io”. Even if you haven’t, you will begin to see it more frequently. The primary drive behind this shift was that Google recently added the TLD (top-level domain) to a list of “generic country codes”. This means that no matter where you are in the world, when you complete a search on Google, results from those domains will be included.

While it’s not clear that .io domains have the same weighting as .com domains with Google’s PageRank algorithm, startups love the TLD because there are still a ton of names available. It’s also incredibly geeky as many developers and founders see .io as standing for “input/output” rather than what it really stands for, Indian Ocean.

Bottom line: expect to see many more startups launching with .io domain extensions.