SEO And The New Domain Extensions
For many, determining how websites rank on search engines like Google probably seems like pure voodoo magic. But in reality, there’s a whole industry dedicated to helping businesses and individuals boost their search ranks—search engine optimization (SEO).
In the field of SEO, Moz (previously SEO Moz) is probably the top resource for the best practices and trends. And with the new gTLDs coming soon, they have some interesting things to say about how the new domain extensions will affect SEO.
Naturally, as a Moz reader, you may be wondering what weight the new TLDs will have with search engines. Will a domain like seattle.attorney have the same ranking benefit as a more traditional domain like seattleattorney.com? Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that the new TLDs won’t have an advantage over existing domains, but was unclear on whether keywords in the new domain extensions will act as a ranking signal. I strongly suspect they will play this by ear, until they know how each of the new TLDs is being used. In my opinion, exact-match domains are no longer as powerful without other signals to back them up, and it’s likely Google may lower the volume on some of the new TLDs or treat them more like sub-domains in terms of ranking power. In other words, they’ll probably have some value, but don’t expect miracles.
There may be indirect SEO benefits. For example, if you own seattle.attorney, it’s more likely people will link to you with the phrase “Seattle attorney”, and since that’s now your brand/domain, it’s more likely to look natural (because it’s more likely to be natural). A well-matched name may also be more memorable, in some cases, although it may take people some time to get used to the new TLDs.