One of the big questions in everyone’s mind surrounding the new gTLDs is how they will fare in search engines like Google and Bing. Yesterday The Register took a deep dive into two SEO studies that were done on the new gTLDs that show there could be some meaningful SEO benefits to putting a site on a new gTLD.
“If you want to get higher up Google’s search rankings, it turns out that using a new dot-thing domain – such as .guru or .ninja – may give you the edge.” (Source – The Register)
One of the studies they examined looked at the new .BERLIN domain extension and compared it to Germany’s own .DE to see if a website could get an edge ranking for terms with “Berlin” in them using the new TLD, here are the results:
“dot-Berlin domains consistently did better than the same domains under the German dot-de top-level domain, or the ubiquitous dot-com, when people where web searching for things in Berlin.” (Source – The Register)
Of course Matt Cutts from Google was quick to comment on the article saying:
“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.” (Source – Matt Cutts)
So did the Register try to make a story out of this or do these studies show an edge that new gTLD owners will have that Google doesn’t want to see get out of control? I personally think it’s still far too early to know and these studies will need a lot more data before they can convince me of anything.
What do you think? Will new gTLDs be an SEO dream or is it just a bunch of media hype?