Companies hoping to reap search engine optimization benefits from applying for keyword gTLDs related to their industries are in for a rude awakening today.
Google engineer Matt Cutts said that it’s “just not true” that relevant gTLDs will automatically rank higher than their equivalent .com domains.
In a post on Google+, Cutts wrote:
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.
The post was in response to an article by ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis, in which he postulated that dot-brand and keyword gTLDs can help build credibility, leading to SEO benefits.
Ultimately, the big question is: will car.insurance rank higher than carinsurance.com (for example)? All the evidence suggest the answer is yes, provided that the .insurance namespace builds value and perhaps verification into its space to ensure it is a signpost for good, trusted and authoritative content.
In response to Cutts’ post, Kinderis said he’s sticking by his opinion.