Google reiterates how new TLDs are handled in search results

Google issues details on how new top level domain names affect search engine results. (In short, they don’t.)

Google has posted to its Webmaster Central Blog about how it handles new top level domain names in search. Because of the importance of this issue to the industry, I have republished the questions answered in the post along with my commentary.

Q: How will new gTLDs affect search? Is Google changing the search algorithm to favor these TLDs? How important are they really in search?
A: Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.

DNW: This answer leaves a lot open. Google highlights the keywords searched that are in the domain name, and it will highlight the top level domain name if there’s a match. I think what Google is saying is that, as of right now, it doesn’t matter if “photography” is to the left or right of the dot in the domain name.

Click here to continue reading…

Google Domains is renewing domain names for free

Select customers who turn on auto renew by July 11 get a free one year renewal.

Google DomainsGoogle Domains, Google’s newish domain name registration service, is renewing domain names for free.

The company sent an email to some of its customers today, offering to renew their domain names free for a year if they turn on auto renew.

The offer only applies to domain names registered before June 21, so you can’t register domain names today and get two years for one. However, for domains registered prior to that date, all customers have to do is turn on auto renew by July 11.

When the domains renew, customers will be billed for the full renewal price, but they’ll receive a refund within 2-3 weeks. Click here to continue reading…

Was Google Mobilegeddon overblown?

I’m not seeing a big change in results. Are you?

Last month I eagerly looked forward to April 21. This was the day, Google told us, that it would start favoring mobile-friendly content in search results. It would have a “significant impact” on search results.

Has this had an effect on your mobile-friendly site? I can’t find much (if any) of a change on Domain Name Wire and in general searches.

Google said it might take a few weeks for the results to be seen. It’s been a few weeks, and I haven’t seen them.

Now, I won’t let hubris suggest that Domain Name Wire is some big site that should have seen a huge jump. But I’m perplexed as to why searches on my mobile browser match those on my desktop and include lots of sites that aren’t adaptable for mobile browsers. Click here to continue reading…

More Amazon new TLD reg’s and Google’s odd domain names

I don’t understand what Amazon is doing with these new TLDs, and some curious Google domain registrations.

Amazon.comEarlier this week I wrote about Amazon.com’s many generic/descriptive domains registered under new TLDs that it is forwarding to particular pages on its site.

Many of these domains were registered when the TLDs launched but just recently had their whois record switched to reveal Amazon.

I really don’t understand what Amazon.com is up to here. These domains just popped up in my DomainTools alert today: Click here to continue reading…

Google begins mobile search rankings shakeup

Search rankings on mobile devices are shifting starting today.

Today is the day. Google has begun changing search results on mobile phones based on if sites are mobile friendly or not.

According to a blog post from the company, the search rankings rollout will start today but take about “a week or so” before it gets to all pages in the index.

The rankings are on a page-by-page basis, so site owners can’t just make a mobile-friendly home page and skip the rest of the site.

The good news for website owners that haven’t mobilized yet is that Google determines if a site is good for mobile each time its Googlebot for smartphones crawls the page. In other words, failure to be mobile ready today doesn’t mean a site will be sent to purgatory forever.

Also, Google stresses that non-mobile sites can still rank well on smartphone searches if the content is significantly better than competing mobile-friendly sites.

Frequently Asked Questions about the change are available on Google’s site.