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updated 10/10/2014 7:45:08 PM ET 2014-10-10T23:45:08

New York is the first American city to receive its very own domain name.

The new ".nyc" generic top-level domain (gTLD) is geared towards helping people and businesses identify themselves as genuinely based in New York City. As of Wednesday, residents could apply through registrars such as GoDaddy and Domain.com; applications will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are New York based, there are several advantages to parking your website on .nyc. Those three letters are already a super strong brand on their own -- associating yourself with it brings your business into an elite club, and also lets other New Yorkers know you’re nearby so they can place an order or pay you a visit in person.

Related:Which Is a Better City for Startups, San Francisco or New York City?

A .nyc TLD will also increase your site’s visibility in local searches, almost automatically. And because the authenticity of the .nyc TLD will be monitored by the Nexus Compliance and Enforcement Policy (which doesn't permit P.O. boxes to be considered valid NYC addresses), customers will know that .nyc businesses really are where they appear to be.

The Big Apple’s new top-level domain is one of many new website suffixes that Internet users will be seeing more of as the web becomes a more crowded place. In a recent auction Amazon took control of the new ".buy" gTLD at a cost of $4.6 million while ".tech" was purchased by another company for more than $3 million.

Other new gTLDs that are or will soon become available include ".church," ".taxi," ".art" and ".gay."

Related:Should You Switch Your Company’s URL to a New Domain Extension?

ICANN, the nonprofit organization that oversees internet domain names originally rejected an application for .nyc back in 2000 but had its application approved 13 years later for a fee of $185,000, paid for by NeuStar, the Virginia-based analytics and information services company the city hired to obtain, manage and administer top-level domains.

As the city prepared its ICANN application in 2009, former mayor Ed Koch called .nyc “the best real estate opportunity since the Dutch bought Manhattan.”

Five years later, it’s time to take advantage.

Related: The Expanding Number of Domain Names Has Benefits From .App to .Zone

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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