New top level domains – what you need to know
22 July, 2015 | SEO
In 2014, the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) were introduced, which led many people to believe that this could be a game changer for online marketing. Yet despite the buzz, new TLDs have largely been ignored.
Many expected this to pick up in 2015; however the lack of evidence behind the rumoured value of these new TLDs has likely deterred many business owners from making the switch.
So what do we know about these new TLDs and will they have any advantages to your business?
In the past, Top Level Domains like .com, .co.uk, .gov, etc. were all handled by ICANN, but in 2014, the doors were opened allowing entrepreneurs to create their own TLDs, which means there is now an endless amount of TLDs. So far, only around 4 million websites have chosen to have a newly created TLD but do any of these new TLDs suit estate agents?
There are a number of property related TLDs that estate agents may be interested in. They are .house, .estate, .property, .villas, .properties and .apartments which are already available and .realestate which is likely to available very soon.
Alternatively, you can have a more web based TLDs such as .sale, .site, .online or regional TLDs such as .London or.uk.
Do Top Level Domains benefit SEO?
Google has finally opened up about how they handle new top level domains, meaning we no longer have to guess how these TLDs will affect your Google rankings.
Many experts have guessed how Google will deal with these domains in the past, some believing the industry branded TLDs will give you a boost in your rankings and others believing only the regional TLDs will give you an SEO advantage.
So do these new TLDs really give you a boost or not?
Google has stated that they treat new TLDs like any other TLDs (like .com or .co.uk). It doesn’t affect search in any other way and they haven’t made any changes to the algorithm to favour new TLDs.
Will keywords in a TLD add value?
Unlike what many expected, having keywords in a TLD does not have any advantage or disadvantage when it comes to search.
Will branded TLDs be favoured?
No. They will not be given any more or less weight than a .com or any other TLD, they will be treated the same and will require the same geo-targeting settings and configuration, and they won’t have more weight or influence in the way Google crawls, indexes, or ranks URLs.
How will new region or city TLDs be handled?
If you get a .London domain it will be treated the same as a gTLD. This will remain consistent with how they handled all other regional TLDs like .eu. Google states that this may change in the future, but for now it will remain the same.
In conclusion, these new TLDs in Google’s eye are no different than a .com or .co.uk so we wouldn’t recommend you switching just for the sake of it.