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New gTLD's Not An Silver Bullet For Rankings

December 16, 2014

Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller has busted the myth that names registered under some new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD's) are ranking better.

With more extensions now available to register - and more domain registries competing for attention and dollars - what extension to register may become more confusing; particularly as interesting claims are made of the superiority of an extension over another.

For example, a handful of recent reports suggest some gTLD's are outperforming well established domain extensions such as .COM in terms of search engine rankings.

John Mueller says it simply ain't so and there is no inherent ranking advantage to using the new extensions.

"They can perform well in search, just like any other TLD can perform well in search. They give you an opportunity to pick a name that better matches your web-presence. If you see posts claiming that early data suggests they're doing well, keep in mind that's this is not due to any artificial advantage in search: you can make a fantastic website that performs well in search on any TLD."

Additionally, he says Google does not carry out automatic geotargeting for TLDs that look like city or regional names.

Many of the new gTLD's are yet to be recognised by consumers. For Australian businesses, a .COM.AU is instantly recognisable and fosters an initial trust among online shoppers and potential customers.

A recent survey indicates Australians  gravitate towards .COM.AU web sites as opposed to other extensions where financial transactions are involved.

Even among established some of the longest established domain extensions, .COM.AU appears to come out on top. A survey earlier this year indicated Australians are more likely to trust a .au website compared with .COM.

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