Sometimes Google simply wants to help out websites, but with any adjustments or a new algorithm from the search engine, businesses scramble to figure out how these changes stand to affect them. Back in April this year, Google announced its new mobile-friendly algorithm, which gives mobile optimized sites more authority than those that are still lagging behind in the mobile department. This development had significant impacts on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and therefore had everyone panicking over Responsive Web Design (RWD) and other forms of mobile optimization.
The latest Google “scare” putting people into a frenzy this month is this rise in New Top Level Domains (nTLDs) and how Google plans to handle them. Thinking that keyword invested domain names will give their websites a leg-up on the competition by moving the website forward in the Google SERPs, businesses now have plenty of options to take unique new top level domains offered by various hosting companies.
What is All the Fuss About?
The fuss is really about the fact that gTLDs (generic top-level domains) are running in short supply and the competition for a desired .com, .net or .org domain is quite high. Now that TLDs have opened up to be able to include almost anything imaginable, this competition vanishes and you can tailor-make a domain name that caters exactly to your business strategy.
Of course, though, the main concern with any website is whether it will be acknowledged by Google. Well actually, by search engines in general, but let’s face it, Google is still the determining factor. The excitement around nTLDs, then, stems from whether they will be given more or less authority than gTLDs. It is obviously in a business’ best interest to go with the option that weighs in with higher authority, since this means they show up higher in search engine results listings, which in turn means that they gain more exposure.
What do nTLDs Really Mean for Your Business?
However, in the midst of the hype, it turns out that there have been many misconceptions and concerns that have been voiced on this topic. This has lead Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, to publish a post on Tuesday July 21st in the Google Webmaster Central Blog to set the record straight.
These are the insight from Mueller’s Blog post on how Google plans to rank nTLDs:
- nTLDs and gTLDs will be weighed equally.
- IDNs (internationalized domain names) using language specific script can be crawled by the Googlebot.
- Region specific or geotargeted TLDs will still be treated as gTLDs.
- ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) will be seen as more relevant within the targeted country
- Any site moves to a nTLD will be treated as any other site move
Ultimately, when considering anything for your business, you need to consider all of the pros and cons. Yes, nTLDs could open up possibilities for your business, so if you feel like securing some, by all means do so. However, remember that a business is nothing without its customers. So, your customers may get confused, which could cause your brand loyalty to drop, then the investment turns out to not be worth it. A way to avoid this sort of confusion, however, is to ensure that nTLDs are set up as redirects to your current domain landing page.