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Google has dispelled the myth that websites with new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) may rank higher in searches than websites using traditional domains, stating that its search algorithms will treat them both the same.
In a blog post published on Tuesday, July 21, John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, said there has been “misconceptions about the way we treat new gTLDs like .guru, .how, or any of the .brand gTLDs”.
Mueller said that new gTLDs are treated the same as traditional domains such as .com and .org in users’ searches.
“Keywords … do not give any advantage or disadvantage in a search,” he said.
Mueller added that should brands shift their existing domains to a ‘dot brand’, they “will be treated the same”.
“They will require the same geo-targetting settings and configuration and they won’t have more weight or influence in the way we crawl, index, or rank URLs,” he added.
But Mueller did warn brands that shifting from a traditional domain to a ‘dot brand’ can take time to be completed and that getting similar successes in search results may be delayed.
Country code TLDs such as .uk or .ae will be more likely to appear in searches from the relevant location, he said.
Mueller said that ccTLDs “tell us that the website is probably more relevant in the appropriate country”.
Ben Crawford, chief executive of domain name registry CentralNic, said: “This announcement is great news for new gTLD registries and registrants as it confirms that a great keyword domain ending with a new gTLD will be treated identically by Google as the same keyword domain ending .com—yet the new domain can be acquired for a fraction of the price.”
Google; gTLDs; ccTLDs; .brand; search engine optimisation