You might be wondering, where and when did these now famous Top Level Domains (TLD) start existing?
They now make your website as unique as it could get, as it is now possible to use your keyword as a domain. How easy! Now it can be a strategy to have more unique content, and we know that the more unique you are, the higher your Google ranking can be, right?
Well, not exactly.
Google has kept on issuing statements that these TLDs do not have an edge as opposed to the older, more common domains we have grown accustomed to (.com, .org, .edu). They share the same criteria with all the other domains when it comes to ranking.
What are the advantages of top level domains?
- You can use your keywords in your domain name. This will surely add more attention and attract more customers. Imagine when you are a pizza parlor, now you can use the domain ‘.pizza’. How cool is that? It will naturally pique more interest and eventually improve the traffic you generate.
- When you start gaining interest from the online community, you will probably be receiving more backlinks. People naturally look for unique, fun stuff, and a domain name that speaks for your business could be all that you need. Now, these backlinks should always be closely reviewed and monitored. We do not want your website gaining so much attention only to be attacked by negative SEO.
- Google keeps reiterating that there is no advantage in using these top level domains, as far as ranking is concerned. Perhaps the only set of top level domains with an inherent perk in ranking is the domain using the name of your location. This is simply because Google and other search engines will geo-target it, thinking it is the most relevant in its location. These are called ‘country code top level domains (ccTLDs). For example, when you use the domain ‘.beverlyhills’, when the people who search it are located there, your site will surely go at the first page results, because it is relevant to their location.
- An advantage is how Google AdWords seem to prefer top level domains, perhaps because these domains are still on their introductory stage, still trying to gain popularity and attract site visitors. Studies show that Google AdWords offer top level domains lower click prices and more impressions as well. If you are an avid user of Google AdWords, then you can go try one of these top level domains.
How do they fare on the rankings game?
- When you search the internet for top level domains, there is a huge chance for you to see so many advertisements about it. There are now quite a lot of companies providing new top level domains to first timers, as well as to website owners who are interested in moving their site to a different domain. They will promise you that Google will ultimately prefer TLDs even more than the usual domains, but as we have mentioned above, they don’t. They just don’t.
- BUT, it does not necessarily mean that Google and other search engines despise them. There are no direct negative and positive implications of top level domain usage. Simply put, just because you use a TLD would not automatically place your website at the top of the list, and neither at the very bottom. It still depends on Google’s criteria where they derive their ranking. As we know they care about the back links you have, unique content, and great quality URLs.
- Generally, these new top level domains can work as much as the regular ones do, in terms of SEO ranking and marketing. They will have the same visibility, and also will perform just the same. It is only how much you will tickle your market’s interest, as well as the general online community, that will take your website apart from all the others. Certainly not your domain name.
- Top level domains can be deemed necessary if you are serious in concentrating your business in a specific area. If that is the case for you, you can definitely use the above mentioned country code top level domains. These are proven to be an advantage in geo-targeting, as it will be interpreted by search engines to be the most relevant in the area, whose name you will use as your domain. It gives off a strong signal to search engines, and will eventually push your ranking improvement.
- However, if you are aiming for a business expansion, where your objective is to reach people from all over the world, you might want to think twice about using ccTLDs. It is still safer to use a generic domain name to be able to penetrate into multiple areas using your website.
As a conclusion, there is no direct harm found in using top level domains. They will not produce negative SEO, and will unlikely destroy your business. However, it also has to be noted that there is absolutely no assurance that these domains can automatically make your ranking surge to the top.
Google has been reiterating it to make everyone aware that no matter which domain name you use, the criteria remains the same. They will still review your content, how old your website is, how many visits you get every day. They will still go through the same things they look on generic domains. It is still the same cup of tea.
If in case you already have a working website with good statistics and ranking, you might want to think twice about moving it to another domain. If your reasons for moving include ‘because it is unique’, or because you want your domain to bear an interesting name, it might not be worth it. You have to take not that your website’s age is also a criteria when search engines rank it. Its age represent the number of years it has been in the business, and of how long people have trusted it. It will make your reputation intact, and your customers will also have the comfort of knowing you’re still the same company they trust.
Whichever domain you end up choosing for your website, do not ever forget to still focus on your content. Keep aiming for great quality backlinks, and monitor your website activity. SEO-certifications-courses