Matt Cutts Confirms New TLDs Will Not Get SEO Preference

We recently posted about new TLDs vs. .com with regards to search rankings indicating that new TLDs will generally not outrank .com domains in Google or other search engines. It appears Google is in agreement with us.

Matt Cutts saw the article claiming that new TLDs would be dethroning .com in search and made this response on Google+:

I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.”

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.

This is in line with what he has said previously about Google not giving any preference and/or bias towards or against TLDs.

Consider this – the point he is making is primarily in response to actually applying for a new TLD hoping for search benefits, something that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If actually having an entire TLD at your disposal won’t give you a search ranking boost, then having a single domain in it definitely won’t either.

The fact is that he didn’t need to say it for it to be true. Our post gave evidence based on how Google currently ranks TLDs and the generic TLDs that have already been released. The only way that new TLDs will get some sort of preference is if Google goes out of their way to give it, and that just isn’t likely to happen. In fact, Google usually only goes out of their way to punish a TLD such as .co.cc.

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