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Matt Cutts: No, new TLDs will not automatically get a boost over .com in search results

Straight from the horse’s mouth: don’t expect an SEO benefit from your new TLD.

Yesterday Adrian Kinderis, CEO of new TLD registry services provider ARI Registry Services, published a piece saying that new top level domains will automatically be favored by Google over .com:

Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.

While many people scoffed at this, it was still open to debate.

But now Matt Cutts, Google’s search quality czar, just shot this down on Google+:

I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.”

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.

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  1. Samit

    It’s kind of wishful thinking to assume every newgTLD will outrank the existing TLDs, for all keywords, even though some domains probably will do so, if only as a statistical aberration.

    new gTLDs will certainly have their work cut out for them to create any kind of mindshare at all in this uber cluttered internet enabled world of ours, both in terms of domain sales & seo performance.

    I just blogged about this here as well: http://www.mwzd.com/domain-names/matt-cutts-validates-my-view-of-newgtlds-and-seo/

  2. Tom G

    I thought that Mr. Kinderis’ article was far too absolute in its’ claims of new tld seo benefits. BUT,

    Google always downplays simple methods to manipulate its algorithm even though we all know many tactics ARE effective.

    Keywords in Domain/ Exact Match Domains

    Matt Cutts has made several comments alluding that google doesn’t count keywords in domains heavily, and that exact match domains aren’t effective. But, they ARE effective. We know that. Many new tlds will already have a target keyword, after the dot.

    Country Code TLDs

    Matt Cutts himself stated that when geo targeting a country, one should consider using that cctld.

    The google rep I talked to at several new tld conferences has repeatedly said that if a new tld begins to display signals of relevance or quality, If the policies of the registry dictate a contextual requirement for content, that these signals would, over time, begin to be reflected in some sort of weighting.

    It’s not a magic bullet, It will not be automatic and it will not be overnight, but for TLDs that maintain a strong correlation to the subject matter or geographical territory they represent. Google will not ignore this.

    But they may tell you they do.

  3. Scott

    LOVE that Matt Cutts stated that. When I read Kinderis’ post I thought it was totally self serving and a bit shady to tell the truth. Anyone that has put money towards the new TLDs (not me) obviously has a lot at stake. These things aren’t cheap and they carry a very large unknown factor to them. They NEED to work out or else there is going to be a lot of money lost (.mobi, .tel, etc). So happy that this was debunked.

  4. RH

    Thanks Matt, I just read on Google + then read this on Domaining.com. It was obvious sales pitch new tld consultants will try to spin it but there is no spin.

    A new TLD doing the right things and get search exposure makes sense, saying it would just rank higher was complete nonsense imo.

  5. Steve M

    Sorry, but you just can’t spin dung; even when it comes in the form of these as new tlds.

    No matter how hard you try.

    Whether you like it or not.

  6. gpmgroup

    Good to see some of this new gTLD hype and spin refuted from a definitive source.

    But this nonsense doesn’t stand alone…

    People relying on at least one new gTLD promotional video should be very careful because it makes claims that are impossible given the design of the DNS.

    Also people relying on at least one of the cough “white” papers should question whether it is marketing material/hype/spin rather than academic research.

  7. Makis.TV

    Of course google wont favor gtld’s like .loans .nike .athens etc…
    BUT I think internet users will like them more than the .com equivalent given the fact that they will host true and reliable information about their niche.
    That way new gtld’s will have a special meaning like .com and .org have only much more official.

    Its all about users and not google, if users will like them more thne google will too…

  8. Steve

    like is said that’s what happens when you
    try to map your logic on other

    or should i say the sales ploy magic the other guy was trying to imply

  9. Jamie

    Does his answer apply to all extensions, or just .co? I want to know if .cm domain names can rank the same as the rest, or if it is not worth building a quality site with this extension?

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