Choosing a domain name is one the most complex processes when building a website, especially for a business. The domain name you choose will have a lasting impact on a business’s branding, marketing and online presence.
Today, you have the option of choosing from over 1200 new domain extensions based on where you belong or what you do. There’s .TECH for technology companies or .HOST for hosting companies or .NYC for brands concentrated in New York City. Choices are plenty and there’s a lot of room for brands, and individuals to get creative with their business URL, blog link, microsites, etc…
For any website, new or old, ranking high on search results and staying up there is high on priority. Thus, when picking a new domain name, an obvious question is – is there an effect on the website’s SEO ranking because of choosing any of the new domain extensions over the .com?
What does Google say ?
The answer is simple: Google does not differentiate based on what domain extension it is. However, Google does like shorter and relevant web addresses over longer ones.
Google’s John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst clarified:
“When we have two URLs that have the same content, and we try to pick one to show in the search results, we will pick the short one. … It doesn’t mean it is a ranking factor, but it means if we have two URLs and one is really short and sweet and this other one has this long parameter attached to it and we know they show exactly the same content we will try to pick the shorter one. There are lots of exceptions there, different factors that come into play, but everything else being equal – you have a shorter one and a longer one, we will try to pick the shorter one.”
Which means that whether you pick one of the new domain extensions or an old one, it will have no inherent impact on your website’s SEO. However, you must try to get as short a URL as you can, which is more likely to acquire with new domain extensions – given that the domain name of your choice might still be available and the extension itself will be more meaningful, which adds to the brand value.
What do the SEO experts say?
Even though Google says the search engine does not differentiate, with a new domain extension you can choose a keyword-rich URL which might please Google. Bill Hartzer, an SEO expert with 20 years of direct Search Engine Optimization experience, recently stated in an article that a site that moves to a new domain name and one that migrates successfully using SEO best practices will not suffer rankings issues, whether or not it’s a keyword rich New gTLD domain. He further adds that when a website moves from a .COM to a new domain extension, it’s usually because the new extension is better for the customers. He explains, “(TO) have a shorter, more memorable domain is better for users. What’s better for users could potentially help rankings.”
That a new domain extension is as good as any other for SEO is further supported by a recent contest by WIX.com, a cloud-based web development platform. The contest invited users to make websites that are optimized for the term ‘SEO Hero’. The top 2 contestants are hosted on a new domain extension.
The current WIX SEO Hero top contender, Walid Gabteni of www.seo-hero.tech, says, “SEO is a very complex universe and it’s difficult to master all the signals, but working towards SEO means there’s one strategic point you have to focus on. Google loves businesses that standout. I needed to standout and for that I used several tactics, choosing the .TECH TLD was one of them.” He further added, “Domain extension is the first visible element allowing an online brand to standout. If you are a startup or a tech company you must quickly register your brand on .TECH for the same reason.” Walid also points out that people remembered his website as “SEO Hero Tech” which proves that the addition of ‘tech’ to the URL allowed people to differentiate from other similar websites created for the SEO contest. This also might have contributed to higher rankings for his website.
While building a website, before thinking about Google rankings, one must remember that they are about to build a brand. So, the domain name must perfectly match the unique selling proposition (USP) of your product, service or content. If you are considering multiple options and want to take time in deciding on one, do remember to block them before anyone else takes it away.
The new domain extensions are as good as any other domain extensions when it comes to SEO rankings. However, new domain extensions do offer the added advantage of high possibility of choosing a shorter, rich-on-keyword, more brandable URL which is better for customers from usability and marketing point of view.
Disclaimer: the above article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation for any domain extension.
@Bill Hartzer , you say, “….He further adds that when a website moves from a .COM to a new domain extension, it’s usually because the new extension is better for the customers. He explains, “(TO) have a shorter, more memorable domain is better for users. ..”
You have absolutely zero proof that new TLD’s are ‘more memorable’, even if they’re shorter. That is 100% conjecture on your part.
How many stories do we have to keep reading about people ending up in the wrong place, usually a .com site, because they can’t remember the extension? How many stories do we have to keep reading about startups or other companies upgrading their sites to a .com domain name because of the confusion? There is a Grand Canyon full of circumstantial evidence showing that .com dominates the thoughts and actions of surfers and which also shows that they cannot remember the new TLDs web addresses.
You really should not be saying that because it’s misguiding the public. It’s a disservice to everyone. How about providing some hard evidence that these new TLDs are more memorable at any length.
The new TLDs may rank as good or even better than .com, I don’t have a clue, but don’t say that their more memorable without knowing this to be true and with all the evidence out there pointing to the contrary. You know this very well you are in the business my friend. 🙂
The issue is a BRANDING issue. New G’s suck from that perspective.
Kate Buckley says
Spot on, Martin.
Because you say so ? Guess what sucks from a branding perspective three word .coms, the longtails that so many domainers own which outright suck.
I would say a name like Casino.Online makes a good brand, is every extension going to make a good brand ??? hell no.
But to say new gtlds can’t make a good brand is just short sighted, or you have an agenda.
Very well said. The ability to accommodate your actual brand name directly into a shorter URL is invaluable and WILL gain traction as more and more people start to get it. To dismiss new TLDs as “sucking” is just plain short-sighted and written by a person with no basic grasp of brand marketing.
Yeah, I agree, you can do wonders with .mobi, .biz, .info, .travel and many more. LMAO.
They might make a good brand on paper but nobody can remember the dang URL and then customers end up at a similar .com in droves because of the confusion.
Agree with Quebecer 1000 percent.
Yes, you are right. Dot coms completely suck. Big time. They are horribly horrible. They were just a fad. They are like AM radio. They were stale and meant nothing to anyone. Tell you what, my friend…to help you out…and cuz I’m such a nice guy, I’ll let you sell me your old ones for pennies on the dollar before they become totally worthless.
Show me any website that uses a new GTLD that ranks in the top 10 for SEO for any category.
SEO does not matter much anymore. You have to be in a very small niche to rank. If you rank number #1 now your really number #5 because you have 4 paid ads above you. If your not on first page your nobody. This is why type in traffic is worth even more now. Big G is pushing SEO down down. Type in traffic now will be worth more than ever.
This article does not mention what looks better when using google adwords a .com or .whatever Which ad would you buy from > Domains.whatever OR Domains.com ??
The CTR on the ad that ends in .com goes up in every case.
Type in “Data World” in Google – with or without the quotation marks – and you will see that the new GTLD is number 1.
christopher brennan says
the only person who would type in data world is the owner of a domain with data world as the keywords.
type in datasets and data.world is an adword advertisement only
type in datasets for analysis and data.world does not appear
and i own some new gltd’s just in case you think i have a dotcom agenda
That is funny! Yeah but not one types in “data world” it is the companies name not a product or service like insurance, loans, mortgage, chairs, tables, saws, computers, laptops, property ,homes, etc.
You can make up a term and do that but find me one that competes with a service or where the keyword has paid ads above it. You will never ever see a new gtld be in a number #1 spot break into property, homes ,realestate, insurance by where paid ads are shown.
It does not matter the ads above you. Most of the clicks go to the organically ranked and ads get just less clicks. Also, the first ranked has all free traffic.
what about domain age? does that effect seo these days 18-22 year old domain, vs 1 year old extensions.
some .com names are older the google
That’s probably the best point I’ve ever heard in defense of new TLDs.
Dn Ebook says
Shouldn’t great content win out over everything else?
Yes, but the best pizza in town may be on some back road that nobody knows about, but if they moved to Main Street that best pizza in town will no longer be known by a select few who ventured beyond Main Street to discover that exceptional pizza.
The same is true with domains. You have to have a great .com if you want to extract the most amount of money out of your business. You can be very successful on other TLDs but chances are you will be even more successful on a .com and become more wealthy.
All the way from Malaysia, country TLDs still work for local SEO in my opinion. But it’s interesting to read about everyone’s p.o.v on this as I am having contemplation on the fancy TLDs out there. The whole point of humans forgetting things is spot on. Sometimes, even I have problems figuring out a brand I saw a while back and would key in ‘example’.com instead, and see what comes out and it was a fancy TLD like example.shop that I was looking for.