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New Domain Extensions and Impact on Google SEO

     
9:50 pm on Jun 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Today ICANN passed the motion to open up accessibility to custom TLDs [webmasterworld.com] from late 2009.

So essentially all the registrars will over time set up .anything. This essentially means that a million new keyword domains in every sector could hit the market overnight, presumably having a severe effect on the longtail.

How do you think Google will approach this? Especially considering they seem to have move a lot more localised with SERPS. Some of this is no doubt based on hosting location as much as domain extension, but the latter - being generic like ".info", ".biz" etc - becomes redundant in the local schema. The latter extensions seemed to make little impact when they arrived - even now - but this time we're talking about millions of extensions with millions of domains potentially.

How Google approaches these domains could have a huge knock-on effect and I'd be interested in how other people view this development from an SEO perspective?

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 10:01 pm (utc) on June 29, 2008]
[edit reason] Linked to previous ICANN discussion [/edit]

3:49 pm on June 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If I recall, Google did quite a number on .info sites not to long ago, and I'm going to speculate that the major search engines will have something built in to not give as much weight to the new TLD's.
4:38 pm on June 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes, Google did a number on quite a few .info domains - but even as the deed was done, there are still many .info domains that are deservedly appearing high in the search results. Google does not use the TLD as a stand-alone reason for devaluing any website.

As the new extensions hit the web, I'm pretty sure that Google will be willing to rank them well - as long as the site offers good value for their visitors and isn't being sneaky. The letters after the dot have not been automatic poison in the past, and there's no reason for that to happen in the future.

8:58 pm on June 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yeah the .info thing was odd. I can rank it for the keyword phrase without spaces, IE: it ranks #1 for "nicebluewidgets" but nowhere for "nice blue widgets".
9:14 pm on June 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's pretty difficult to speculate at this stage, because the 'typical' organisation that will register a custom TLD is not known. It sounds like there might be something of a barrier to entry in setting one up, which might act as a kind of quality control.

But then again, they might be passed up by established organisations and go a similar way to .biz .info and the like which seem to have suffered from a higher than average proportion of spam domains.