May 2019's SEO Superstar
Odyssey New Media
According to 2018 statistics, .com utilizes 46.8% of the total available domains, followed by .org with 5.2% ; .ru with 4.4% and .net with 3.7. This .com position has been maintained since Nov 2017 without any significant change, so no matter how good other TLDs are doing
.com is the definitive source for commerce, hence its name .com from commerce which is what fuels the internet economy. Of course that being .com of special interest for the consumer population, you rarely, if any occasion, will see a successful commercial website with other TLD that is not .com. In my opinion, .com is here to stay on top of TLDs for a long time, this is of great importance for implementing a good SEO strategy, besides that what is the primary objective of your site, will you sell stuff or serve as a platform to educate people with academic information? In that case .edu or .org should be considered, it depends on what the client wants to accomplish with the website, but if professional services or products are being offered, I highly recommend going with a .com TLD for your business. Cheers, Dr.C.
We can look to the past when it comes to seeing how an influx of new domain names/extensions can affect SEO. In general, it is a
bit of a balancing act that the person that is creating the website has to make. By going for a different domain extension, they may be able to get a more optimal URL for their SEO strategy. However, 47.1% of all websites stick with .com for a reason because they are concerned that some other domains are associated with spam. Typical examples of things that fall under this banner include .zip or .country. However, it is also important to note that Google itself has said that alternative TLDs do not have a direct impact on your search engine ranking. Even if this was not the case, your TLD choice is one small part of the dozens of other areas that can impact said ranking. Rather, it is the indirect areas that you should be concerned about. Here are two main indirect areas where your TLD choice can indirectly impact your SEO success. 1. Geographic appeal: We all know the importance of local SEO, and choosing the right TLD for a certain country or region can help you rank for areas where people are inclined to search for local businesses. For example, if you run a small restaurant based in the U.K., choosing a co.uk TLD makes a lot of sense. However, larger companies that have international locations or do international business may want to go for something more general, like .biz. 2. Industry appeal: This is where the bulk of the potential for new TLDs is coming from. If you run a tech startup and are trying to appeal to a tech-specific audience, then something like .tech could be a way for you to directly appeal to those in your industry, as well as stand out. With this said, research shows that regarding a general audience, there is still a lot of mistrust regarding even the simplest alternate TLDs. So, while you may not be impacting your SEO, people may not be clicking on your site when it shows up in search results if it has a TLD that they do not recognize. So, at the moment, it feels like the biggest thing that is holding alternate TLDs back at the moment is consumer perception. This is the type of thing that can erode with time, though, and as long as you stick to the SEO basics, you are not lowering your chances at ranking by using one.
Back in 2004, a wise entrep reneur once told me "a bad 'dot com' is better than a good 'dot anything e lse'." Even though we do have a broad spread of new TLDs available today, I think that adage still
rings true. Domain names matter, but they don't have as much impact in rankings as they once did. For instance, you can't buy an exact match domain name for a keyword you want to own anymore and magically expect top rankings. You need to do the work in SEO to get the results! With domain extensions, the longest standing TLDs - .com, .org, .edu, and CCTLDs outside of the United States - continue to dominate search rankings because the search engines place the most trust in them. In specific industries, we have seen a few extensions begin to emerge and have some impact - like, jobs in hiring and .io in SaaS - but the domain extension itself wouldn't appear to be the deciding factor in ranking the sites. The more traditional on-page and off-page factors drive the rankings - the domain extension is almost irrelevant. So, domain names will continue to affect SEO today and far into the future because Google can process that information to determine the overall topic of a site. But the new vanity domain extensions are likely to have little to no effect on SEO because they are too easily manipulated. Instead, sites that leverage new TLDs are also making some other concentrated SEO effort to rank their site - content marketing, link building, on-page, etc. - so the domain extension is having no impact on their rankings.
I think it is too early to say yes or no. In the short term, the answer is no. Nevertheless, buying a new TLD probably will make sense for defensive tactics like "yourbrand.me" but thinking you should be
buying a domain with a new TLD because is going to be treated differently in the SERPs is a reason nobody can assure. I prefer buying a .com domain in an auction with history and a healthy link profile rather than venture on a new TLD. Not even new cities' TLD's like .london can be considered beneficial for Geo-targeting as they are not attached to any country like .it (Italy) for example. One thing to consider is that the SEO landscape is continually changing and we need to be on top of the game to understand what is going on and move accordingly. Regardless of these changes, we have five basic rules to help to rank any site. These rules have withstood the changes on the SERPS over and over, leaving our clients in better ranking position after every change: - Easy to navigate menu structure - Responsive Website - Fast Loading (less than 3 seconds) and decent time of first byte on the server - Good content with Images - Clean server (no pharma or adult websites) To these rules, we add our secret sauce to build a healthy link profile at the right speed and we are in business, See you ranking on the first page!
Concerning ranking performance, the impact will be minimal. It provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to acquire EMDs (exact match domains), that in some
sectors do still perform well if executed correctly. From a wider marketing perspective, it means you could get a good vanity URL to use on print and other channels, for example, if you run a fanzine website, the .fan TLD being released could be good migrate to, or use on printed materials and redirect to your established site. We know that domain extensions on gTLDs don't affect SEO, but it provides a good opportunity for spammers to acquire new domains, so the cheaper TLDs will eventually get bulk bought and used for spam - much like how .xyz has been spammed previously.
SEO will still be the same. Shady domain extensions will still become suspicious in search engine's eyes. A good example is .tk.
It's not that you can't rank with a .tk domain, but it being free and having a vast number of shady websites does make it less trustworthy. I haven't reached a .tk website from a search engine. I only used them for server testing purposes once in a while, as they're free. I don't think it will be the case for many new extensions, as they're rather expensive. The only difference will be how people see it. People usually associate websites with www. and .com or .fr, .us, .es extensions, so seeing websites such as rankwaych.digital might seem strange at first. However, people will adapt. Fewer sites use www now, and people got used to it. Another potential impact that could be (only speculative) is topical relevancy. So for example, if Google sees a .food domain, it knows it's in the food industry and therefore analyses, compares it and ranks it appropriately. But there's no guarantee that a .food domain will talk about food.
Years ago, domain names had much more of an influence in ranking, but thanks to years of abuse by lazy SEOs, Google and the other
search engines have reduced this influence significantly. Based on this, I do not believe that any of the new TLDs will have must effect on SEO ranking, etc. Domain names that included highlight sought after keywords went for big money on various exchanges because those keyword inclusions made a difference. Entire businesses were created around the idea of buying "exact match domains" and creating somewhat relevant content to pump up a domain's value before selling it to a business in the hopes that this SEO value stuck — furthermore, links from .EDU domains were highly valued under the assumption that they would be more relevant than other types. While this method still works, most SEOs agree that this has been diminished over time.
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