Google reiterates its guidance on TLDs and search results, and also says it isn’t geotargeted .geo domains on their own.
A month or two ago a couple reports came out suggesting that new top level domain names give some sort of inherent search engine advantage.
I’ve gotten into the nasty habit (sarcasm) of actually reading beyond the headline of reports and studies, and I was unimpressed with the data (if you can call it that) in these reports.
It feels like it’s time to reshare this again. There still is no inherent ranking advantage to using the new TLDs.
They can perform well in search, just like any other TLD can perform well in search. They give you an opportunity to pick a name that better matches your web-presence. If you see posts claiming that early data suggests they’re doing well, keep in mind that’s this is not due to any artificial advantage in search: you can make a fantastic website that performs well in search on any TLD.
The reports I’ve read seem to be based more on anecdotal examples than any sort of hard data. It’s really hard to say if a site ranks well because of the domain or not. I like how Mueller explains this in his second paragraph.
I should point out that the same goes for .com vs. new TLDs. Building a site on .com doesn’t give you an inherent SEO advantage over a new TLD. The reason there are more .com domains in search results is because a) there are more .com domains registered and b) they are generally more established/older sites.
In a follow up to his Google+ post, Mueller noted something interesting: .geo top level domain names, like .nyc and .bayern, don’t get figured into search results for a geographic area.
… and just to be complete — we treat all of the new TLDs as gTLDs, meaning you can set geotargeting as you wish in Webmaster Tools. There’s no automatic geotargeting for TLDs that look like city or regional names.
If .geo domain names prove popular, I expect this to change.