Google: New Top Level Domains (TLD) Will Not Help Rankings

Mar 15, 2012 • 8:24 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Being Wrong on SEOYesterday Google's Matt Cutts went out of his way to debunk a story in Marketing Magazine named New top-level domains to trump .com in Google search results.

Adrian Kinderis CEO of ARI Registry Services made the claim as follows:

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

Wow! How can people spread such misinformation (I better be careful, I am sure I said things that weren't true as well). But seriously, this?

I am glad Matt Cutts called him out. Matt wrote:

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.

I hate when I hear people talk about proven SEO methods that they read from some marketing magazine, blog or even places like NY Times and claim it to be true because it was written. Something like this hurts the industry.

One thing, this is a great way for someone to lose his reputation as being an expert in anything. You said something so concret as fact and then a Google representative who knows the algorithm says you are absolutely wrong - well, that has to hurt your reputation.

What makes it worse is that he claims to have been "researching this topic" for about 6 years. Amazing.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Image credit to ShutterStock for sad presentation man.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 14, 2012


Scott Boyd

03/15/2012 12:29 pm

"Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages" *snigger*

Miriam Schwab

03/15/2012 01:00 pm

Ouch. That's all I have to say about that.


03/15/2012 01:10 pm

there are so many other SEO factors to get top ranking, why you worry about TLD

Alistair Lattimore

03/15/2012 01:11 pm

Given the plethora of additional domain extensions that have been announced over the last five years & that they haven't had any material impact on search that I'm aware of, I don't know why Adrian would have thought/assumed that buying a .brand was going to change anything. Of course, that is until you read his bio and it says: Adrian Kinderis is an internet industry thought leader and CEO of ARI Registry Services, a top-level domain specialist with the experience and technology to activate and implement new top-level domains. and everything starts to become a little clearer, whether he wants or intends to be objective is irrelevant because he has an agenda to see .brand succeed since he provides those services and they cost over ~$200,000 a hit from memory.


03/15/2012 01:21 pm

And the one that does it better is...?

Scott Boyd

03/15/2012 01:42 pm

 Fair point. :)  Still no one has struggled with (or spawn entire industries pedalling) spam than Google.


03/15/2012 01:49 pm

That's like blaming the Post Office for junk mail. Believe it or not the post office makes a lot of money from junk mail and Google makes most of its revenue from ads. I don't see anyone holding up the Post Office as the poster child of evil and I find junk mail extremely annoying. Its at least 60 percent of all the mail I get.  Google is a for profit company providing a free service that people choose to use. Freedom from the complaints is one click away.  Its so easy a caveman can do it ;)

David Holley

03/15/2012 02:07 pm

You find that funny? I guess you weren't on the internet ten years ago. :)

Locally Searched

03/15/2012 02:52 pm

News Flash - Non SEO making assumptions on SEO, it still amazes me how many so called marketing experts seem to know everything about SEO, stick to what you know and stay out of SEO if you do not know what you are talking about!

Scott Boyd

03/15/2012 03:40 pm

As it happened I started in SEO 10 years ago and watched first hand the level of disruption spam causes Google, and Google causes webmasters trying to react to it and realistically only just being able to get ahead of the problem in recent years.  I've also watched a steady growth in the amount of time I spend moderating spam on my forums and blogs to the point I've decide to shut some of them down because it wasn't worth the effort anymore. That's an issue that intentionally or otherwise Google has not only spawned, but has funded through Adsense at the expense of the time and resources of webmasters across the globe and the quality of their own SERPs for nothing more than a long term data capture exercise to try and improve their search product. S0 having spent the start of my career watching legitimate businesses being blitzed by monthly Google updates, the early years combating a huge influx of spam on my forums, the mid part consulting with hundreds of clients arriving at my doorstep complaining about Google funded MFA sites outranking them and the past year or so listening to more legitimate businesses suffering because the likes of Panda has rightly or wrongly replaced their rankings with more spam sites, I think I can reserve the right to smirk when Google comes out with a quote like that. ;-)

Scott Boyd

03/15/2012 03:46 pm

Very true and at the risk of degenerating my initial off the cuff joke into a serious discussion, it is worth noting that a large factor in the proliferation of web spam in the past decade has been down to the monetisation of Google traffic (particularly via Adsense).  I agree that Google shouldn't be held accountable for that, but I also think they could have done a lot more to stem the tide of spam in terms of taking actions against offending publishers (which they did - they used the situation to their benefit by generating a huge amount of data to improve their algo).  I could block Google tomorrow - I doubt it would stop the flow of link spam to my blogs and forums though.


03/15/2012 04:12 pm

Matt didn't say it wouldn't give a boost now - maybe the guy has experimental data to back it up? And Matt can sometimes say what Google wants him to say, no?

Arjun Yadav

03/16/2012 12:20 pm

That could be true josh. But I doubt Google needs to spread wrong information about its own search algorithm. I mean what would be the harm in just agreeing that TDLs do really make a positive difference, since they already know that we can try and check for ourselves.

Arjun Yadav

03/16/2012 12:22 pm

You're right Oylist. But since its a factor, the 'worrying' begins.

Jey Pandian

03/16/2012 01:41 pm

He's the CEO of a domain registry, he probably did it just to make more money.

John Green

03/19/2012 05:34 am

I think this is a great decision by Google.The domains will be given preferences just because of their TLDs is really unfair for those who have worked so hard from so long to rank higher in search engine.

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