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I have a client who owns a .nu domain that was purchased two years ago, and the site has been up since then (however on a different server). Then as a one page site functioning as a business card only.
The title of the index page is the artistic name of the site owner, and it has been the same as the domain since the site first came up. It still is on the index page (it is a rather unusual first name), and it is also included trailing the titles of the rest of the pages. The new site has now been up in a new shape and on a different server for two months, and Google has picked up all its pages. Most searches work out fine except for the artist name/domain name!
The search for this name returns the site alright, but not where I expect it to be. Now, the question is does the .nu TLD not count the same as a .com, or have I over optimized the site for this name? The latter is very much possible, since the name in question is all over the site, in lots of links, img attributes, meta, home link, you name it
You? Over-optimize? Never!
Well, who knows?
As for the TLD, Google swears up and down it doesn't matter. And I tend to believe it, because you'd have to be a really really sick paranoiac to be able to imagine a reason why they'd WANT to count different TLDs the same.
After all, which TLD is more important, Norway or Belgium? Do the television sites that are hosted on the Tuvalu domain make it less or more important? .co.uk or .com, given that many British companies buy both? Any black-helicopter tinfoil-hat theory would have to explain why Google would WANT to address those questions for all hundred and umpteen TLDs. OK, I can see banning Belgian sites off the net, in retaliation for the country's Fascist unilateral-globalist judiciary. But who, besides other Norwegians, have the Norwegians offended lately?
And finally, considering the percentage of all English=language sites on .NU domains, and the percentage of Norwegian-language sites on other domains, who could imagine that a TLD-specific factor on .NU domains really would make a significant difference, for better or for worse, in searches in any language?
My main amateur site at the moment is stuck in .ws domain name hell. I ended up there due to domain name speculators gobbling up the relevent keyword in the major TLDs. The .ws domain name doesn't allow registrar transfers. Basically, the co-webmaster and me have decided to stay the course, and pay through the nose for the .ws domain. Paying an extra $30 a year beats trying to convince webmasters to change links to a new domain. I'm betting on Google not punishing sites with .ws domain names.
I'm not willing to rule out that we'd never take TLD into account in scoring in the future, but we currently don't do it.
And looking over the serps more carefully I notice that I shoudn't have worried. The domain name is quite popular, the .com is taken, as the .net, .org, .pl, .se, .biz ...
But this site, although in place 15, is the first with the particular keyword in the domain! Some of the others have the keyword in the url, but not all.
So I'll just have to go out there and create some off-site links with the name, and that should do it.
Thanks for your input everyone.
Another difference between you and the 14 sites above you is that they all use your chosen keyword in their internal links. All your links simply say 'images' or 'books'.
not really sure if that makes sense just showing off that I know it really.
Ps found that out in Tony Horwitz's book about Captain Cook...a cracking good read :)