If you’re thinking about creating a website using a new generic top level domain (gTLD), then you’ll need to know how these will NOT affect your search engine rankings.
Thinking about getting one of those cool new domain extensions?
Stop right there before you hurt yourself!
To help answer many of the questions about generic top level domains (gTLDs), Google has provided a FAQ to handle many of the misconceptions about domains such as .guru, .how, and many of the other new domain extensions.
1. How will generic top level domains effect search? Will Google favor these on the search engine results page?
Ultimately, Google will handle new gTLDs with the same search engine ranking weight as any other domain name. The keywords in the new domains will not help nor hurt your search engine rankings (SERs).
2. Will the .BRAND domain name be given less or more weight than a .COM?
3. How will the new location TLDs be handled?
New region and city TLDs, such as .LONDON or .BAYERN, will be handled the same as other top level domains. They will not have any increase or decrease in search engine page rank.
4. If I decide to move my domain from .COM to a new gTLD, how can I move my website without losing search engine ranking?
Google has extensive site move documentation on their website. They treat these moves as they treat any new site move.
Domain name changes can be negatively impacted if not handled correctly and you will see a decrease in website traffic for some time before Google indexes the changes accordingly.
One more thing…
No, changing your domain to one of these cool generic top level domains will not help your website. Doing so though, could hurt your website in the long run.
How can changing domains hurt your search engine rankings?
- Many website moves are not done correctly and do not take into account proper SEO best practices.
- Google loves the age and length of a domain. When you change your domain to a brand new one, you are starting over – having to build authority for that new domain, while losing authority for your old domain.
- The links that you have to your current domain have a lot of weight in your search engine rankings. Yes, you can create 301 redirects to redirect that traffic and tell Google about the changes, but the link juice will be minimal.
Ultimately, you should not change your domain name unless you are going through a major re-branding.
It is better to optimize what you have now than invest in something, like gTLDs, that Google admits will not help your search engine rankings.
Image courtesy of Digital Insights.