What’s in Store for Geo Top-Level Domains?

June 28, 2016

11:00 am

Since the launch of the new wave of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), there has been much speculation—but little evidence—about how these new web addresses can impact a website’s search engine standings. This includes geoTLDs, such as .nyc, .london and .berlin, and how they impact local search.

Google has said in the past that keywords in a site’s URL have no bearing on how it ranks in the results. And,  just recently, they have explicitly said that keywords in the TLD portion of a URL will have no impact.

Despite Google’s stance, there is anecdotal evidence of a keyword-rich TLD positively impacting a website’s SEO.

New York City-based website Souvenirs.nyc has enjoyed positive SEO results within a competitive market. Within the first month, the site ranked in eighth place for “nyc souvenirs” in Google. The site was ranking in the top three results by the third week. The website’s organic search engine traffic doubled during in the site’s second month, and the site’s primary source of referral traffic is organic searches from Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Cofounder of Souvenirs.nyc Art Malkov believes that the site’s SEO success is primarily due to the .nyc geo TLD. “With our .nyc domain, there is no need for branding,” said Malkov.

There have been other recent examples as to how websites are experiencing positive SEO effects directly stemming from using a new, keyword-rich TLD.

In June of 2016, respected industry blog Search Engine Land published an article about how a legal website increased rankings by moving its .com site to a .attorney site. Following the switch from EricBlockLaw.com to Jacksonville.attorney, the website jumped from not ranking at all to appearing on the first page within Google’s search results. This has caused a dramatic increase in their organic search engine traffic.

After switching to the .attorney URL and receiving so much organic traffic, they’re generating the organic equivalent of a PPC spend of  $6,400 per month for 333 Google keyword phrases. Globe Runner, the SEO firm conducting this case study, has proclaimed that this is “big news for SEO”.

According to the website nTLD Stats, .nyc domains lead the list of geoTLDs for site registrations, with 87, 169 domains. .london comes in second, with 70, 131.

As the number of registered geo TLDs rapidly grows, the industry will wait for more examples as to how these web addresses affect a website’s performance. Only time will tell.

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Gretchen Erle is a longtime SEO geek and .CO evangelist. Abnormally passionate about SEO, she has worked with companies including AutoTrader.com and SwimsuitsForAll.com. She now serves as resident SEO Goddess, blogger and Community Manager at dotCO.

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