Do New Domain Name Extensions Impact SEO in 2021? nTLDs Vs. TLDs

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Whenever you want to start a new blog, one of the biggest questions arises that which domain extension you should go for? Apart from other reasons, a great concern is worrying about how it will impact your SEO. Here, we’ll explain you with some proof around the web that whether new domain name extension impact SEO or not.

New Top-Level Domains (nTLDs)

What is an nTLD?

In June of 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) revealed their plans to create a program that would launch hundreds of new top-level domains (nTLDs) and expand the internet as we know it. The first four registry agreements were signed at an ICANN conference just one year later and a new era of the internet was born. Examples of nTLDs that you may be familiar with are .ONLINE.STORE, or .TECH (There are over 1200+ options!)

Examples of nTLDs

Now there are over 500 nTLDs (more commonly known as New Domains) available, with over 24 million New Domains registered as of 2017. Registries like Donuts, and Radix allow the registration of thousands of New Domains each day, all of which serve as huge opportunities for businesses and individuals around the world.

The way we think about domain names is changing completely. With so many extensions now available, your chances of finding the perfect domain will be better than ever. Choose from descriptive domain choices like .SHOP.APP, and even offbeat extensions like .NINJA and .BUZZ. New Domains can describe your passion, your personality, your profession, or anything else that matters to you.

Did you know that there are other domain extensions besides .COM.NET, and .ORG? Many people are surprised to find out that are the now hundreds of options when it comes to choosing a domain for your website. Some domain extensions are dedicated to specific purposes, like .MOBI for mobile websites. Others are geared towards specific industries, like .TRAVEL for the travel industry or .JOBS for HR departments.

Beyond these “generic” top level domains, there are also country code domains, which are extensions based on specific countries or geographic locations. Some extensions like .TV.ME.CC, and .WS are open for anyone to register while others, like .IN and .JP, are restricted only to those who live or work within their associated countries.

nTLD and SEO

Many site owners are concerned about do new domain name extensions impact SEO? Here’s what Google has to say about it…

“Overall, our systems treat nTLDs like other TLDs (.com and .org, etc).” – Google Webmasters Blog

In fact, Google itself uses nTLDs for new businesses that sign up for Google My Business – [Business Name].business.SITE

nTLDs offer a great opportunity for businesses and individuals to get a domain name that they desire. However, there’s a lot of doubt over how nTLDs impact SEO of the website. Often, it is assumed that websites on new domains do not rank high on organic search results. However, we have examples that indicate quite the opposite!

We’ll some examples of how nTLDs affect SEO. An example is that of www.seo-hero.tech, which won the global WIX SEO Hero challenge last year. Walid Gabteni, the SEO expert who created this website explained how his domain name helped him win the challenge, “There are several tactics I used which helped me become the winner, the first one being choosing the right name for my tool as well as the website. Since the contest was called ‘SEO Hero’, I decided to give my SEO tool the same name and chose a keyword-rich domain name, www.seo-hero.tech. Doing so, Google was able to differentiate my website from the other competitors.”

Walid Gabteni further adds, “Many people who talked about my SEO tool started referring to it as ‘SEO Hero Tech’ which proved that the .TECH extension allowed people to differentiate my website from other contesting websites. Before seo-hero.tech got a great ranking on Google for the query ‘SEO Hero’, people were already searching for “SEO Hero Tech”. This eventually led Google to suggest ‘SEO Hero Tech’ even when someone searched for ‘SEO Hero’ and that worked greatly in my favor.

Another example is of Aaron Agius, Founder, Louder.Online, a global digital marketing agency. In late 2015, they moved from LouderOnline.com and LouderOnline.com.au to Louder.online. Being an online SEO company that provides digital marketing solutions to companies, marketing their own brand was definitely an essential step in their business. Aaron says, “We believe that being a global company it definitely made sense to move to a .online especially in terms of branding for an online marketing firm.” Neil Patel, the co-founder at Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, endorses Aaron for search, social and content marketing; and together, they offer a course on how to drive more traffic to your blog or website.

Did you know that Google recently purchased ‘business.site’ for its Google My Business program? Every small business that creates a one-page website through this program will get a BUSINESSNAME.business.site sub-domain name automatically. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, also uses many new domains such as www.abc.xyzwww.chronicle.security and www.x.company. These use cases, among others, are evidence that new domains are as good as any other domains; and are trusted by the likes of Google as well.

  • According to Dallas based SEO expert Bill Hartzer, two newly registered domain names are given the same weight by search engines when it comes to organic rankings. So, if no other ranking criteria is considered, both have the same potential to rank high in organic search results.
  • Google, in particular, has clearly specified how they treat domain names and new domain extensions on their Google Webmaster Blog. In this post, Google stated, ‘Overall, our systems treat new domain extensions like any other extensions (.com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.’
  • A site that moves to a new domain name that migrates successfully using SEO best practices will not suffer rankings issues, whether or not it’s a keyword-rich new domain extension.
  • Businesses, organizations, and professionals can increase their credibility and define their industry or sector with domains like .DENTIST.ENGINEER, or .ACTOR.

Did You Know That you can create an e-mail address of your own site name? Yes, you can. Here is how it is freely done. How to Create FREE Domain Email & Connect with Gmail (Step-by-Step)

How do I rank on Google with a new top-level domain name (nTLD)?

All new domain names, whether they’re using new extensions or not are starting from the same point when trying to rank on Google search results. To improve your visibility in search engines, you need to understand and implement the ins-and-outs of best practice SEO.

SEO, as you are probably aware, is a complex and multi-level topic. But gladly we have prepared (video tutorial) Complete SEO Course for WordPress & Blogger Sites that is absolutely free right now.

Complete SEO Course for WordPress & Blogger

Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

What is a gTLD?

gTLDs, or generic top-level domains, are meant to be general-purpose domains and are some of the most common TLDs on the web. These domains can typically be registered by anyone, although a few extensions are considered “restricted.” Restricted domains can only be registered by specific groups of people who meet certain eligibility requirements. Some common gTLDs are .COM.BIZ and .INFO.

What is a CCTLD?

ccTLDs, or country code top-level domains, represent specific countries, like .IN for India or .JP for Japan. Some ccTLDs are restricted only to those who live or work in these locations, but many (like the .IO domain) can be registered by anyone. Some ccTLDs have been reimagined in creative ways. For example, the .TV domain which originated as a ccTLD for the country Tuvalu (yes, it’s a real place) is now commonly used for websites that feature video- or TV-style media.

nTLDs Vs. TLDs – Does the age of a domain name matter in SEO?

The age in terms of for how long the domain has existed does not matter directly. However, a website that has been around for years probably has a huge amount of backlinks, content, etc. That influences the search engine ranking. So, it’s the quality of the website and not the age of the domain that matters.

Google’s Handling of New Top Level Domains

With the coming of many new generic top level domains ( gTLDs), we’d like to give some insight into how these are handled in Google’s search. We’ve heard and seen questions and misconceptions about the way we treat new top level domains (TLDs), like .guru, .how, or any of the .BRAND gTLDs, for example:

nTLDs have completely changed the domain name space. Those who are early adopters of nTLDs are more likely to get a short, memorable domain that is relevant to you or your business. Instead of coolnewapp.com, register coolnew.app or newapp.cool as a fun, memorable URL.

How will new gTLDs affect search? Is Google changing the search algorithm to favour these TLDs? How important are they really in search?

Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.

What about IDN TLDs such as .みんな? Can Googlebot crawl and index them, so that they can be used in search?

Yes. These TLDs can be used the same as other TLDs (it’s easy to check with a query like [site:みんな]). Google treats the Punycode version of a hostname as being equivalent to the unencoded version, so you don’t need to redirect or canonicalize them separately. For the rest of the URL, remember to use UTF-8 for the path & query-string in the URL, when using non-ASCII characters.

Will a .BRAND TLD be given any more or less weight than a .com?

No. Those TLDs will be treated the same as a other gTLDs. They will require the same geotargeting settings and configuration, and they won’t have more weight or influence in the way we crawl, index, or rank URLs.

How are the new region or city TLDs (like .london or .bayern) handled?

Even if they look region-specific, we will treat them as gTLDs. This is consistent with our handling of regional TLDs like .eu and .asia. There may be exceptions at some point down the line, as we see how they’re used in practice. See our help center for more information on multi-regional and multilingual sites, and set geotargeting in Search Console where relevant.

What about real ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) : will Google favour ccTLDs (like .uk, .ae, etc.) as a local domain for people searching in those countries?

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. Again, see our help center for more information on multi-regional and multilingual sites.

Will Google support my SEO efforts to move my domain from .com to a new TLD? How do I move my website without losing any search ranking or history?

We have extensive site move documentation in our Help Center. We treat these moves the same as any other site move. That said, domain changes can take time to be processed for search (and outside of search, users expect email addresses to remain valid over a longer period of time), so it’s generally best to choose a domain that will fit your long-term needs.

How much do nTLDs cost?

The cost of a domain is largely influenced by the registry (or administrator) of that particular TLD. Some nTLDs only cost a couple of dollars while others cost thousands. You can check out our pricing list to see how much particular nTLDs cost.

Can I create my own nTLD? .techurdu or .njmh or .forestrypedia or .naeemjavid etc. If so, how much does it cost?

Unfortunately, the application period for nTLDs has closed. While ICANN hasn’t ruled out having another application period sometime in the future, it probably won’t happen for the next couple of years if it happens at all.

If you are thinking about applying, it’s probably best to start saving now. This past application period cost $185,000 to enter!

[Video] Do New Domain Name Extensions Impact SEO in 2021? nTLDs Vs. TLDs [Hindi/Urdu]

We hope this gives you more information on how the new top level domains are handled. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop them here, or ask in Google help forums.

Sources:


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Naeem Javid

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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