July 22, 2015
Google is still trying to douse myths that new gTLD's give an SEO (search engine optmization) advantage. The search giant has also offered some important info for those tossing up between registering a .com or a .com.au domain name.
Over the last year or so there have been claims made that recently released gTLD's (generic Top Level Domains) offer a Google ranking advantage.
John Mueller, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, has again sought to clarify the situation.
With regard to how new gTLD's affect search, Mr. Mueller says they are treated like any other and keywords in an extension do not provide any disadvantage, nor any advantage in ranking.
The same goes for .BRAND type TLD's says Mr. Mueller - they will be treated the same as other gTLDs.
This also applies to region or city TLDs - these too will be treated as gTLDs for now; however Google will monitor how they're used in practice.
But when it comes to ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains) such as .au - it does make a difference.
"By default, most ccTLDs (with exceptions) result in Google using these to geotarget the website; it tells us that the website is probably more relevant in the appropriate country," says Mr. Mueller.
While the debate regarding new gTLD ranking advantage will no doubt rage on regardless of Google's official position, the above is from the horse's mouth so to speak. The full remarks about these and other new gTLD questions answered by Mr. Mueller can be viewed here.
Registering .com.au domains also offers another distinct advantage - a level of instant trust and credibility. A survey last year found Australians gravitate towards .COM.AU; particularly where financial transactions are involved - such as banking and general ecommerce. Another survey in 2014 found two-thirds of respondents more likely to trust a website under a .au domain compared with only one-third for a .com.
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