Anyone who thinks that having a exact-match keyword domain automatically promotes their web site to the top of search results is in for a rude awakening, according to a top guy at Bing.
In a blog post, Bing senior product manager Duane Forrester tried to debunk the “myth… That merely having a popular keyword in the domain will help that site, regardless of content, rank on the high volume keyword”.
Ranking today is a result of so many signals fed into the system the words used in a domain send less and less information into the stack as a percentage of overall decision making signals.
There are no shortcuts. Even the new generic top level domains (gTLDs) coming out near the end of February will be treated in this manner. Domain spamming isn’t new, so sites that provide value, are relevant and that people like will rank as usual. They won’t rank “just because” they have certain words in them, and thinking that keyword stuffing a domain (think: cars.cars) will give you an edge is dangerous.
Forrester’s post is not a condemnation of keyword domains, however. He does not deny that the domain is one factor Bing takes into account in rankings, albeit one of very many.
Rather, it seems he’s trying to point out that it’s possible to get decent search traffic even when your domain has nothing to do with your content (he gives satire site The Onion as an example).
His overall message is that creating good content is the way to get good SEO, something that will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the pronouncements of search engine companies for the last several years.
There are now 107 new gTLDs live on the internet, following the latest batch of delegations.
Sixteen strings were entered into the DNS root today, including the first two dot-brands, which are Monash University’s .monash and CITIC Group’s .中信 (“.citic” in Chinese).
.CLUB Domains, Luxury Partners and Plan Bee became freshly-minted registries with the delegations of .club, .luxury and .build while legacy gTLD registry Afiias added .red, .pink and .shiksha to its roster.
Uniregistry added five new gTLDs to the two it had delegated in an earlier batch: .gift, .guitars, .link, .photo and .pics.
The delegation of .photo means the root now has its first singular/plural clash; Donuts already owns .photos.
Finally, I-REGISTRY added .rich to its .onl and China’s CNNIC had .网络 (“.network”) and .公司 (“.company”) delegated.
UPDATE (Jan 22): This post originally overlooked the delegation of .公司. It has been updated accordingly.
Domain sales consultancy Right Of The Dot and collectibles auctioneer Heritage Auctions have made a deal to bring hybrid live/online auctions to the new gTLD space.
According to a ROTD press release, such services will be made available for new gTLD contention set resolution and premium second-level domain sales.
Heritage is pretty new to the domain name space, but its IP division is headed by Aron Meystedt, current owner of symbolics.com, the world’s oldest .com domain.
LogicBoxes has launched a new “wallet” service for its registrar clients, designed to make it easier for them to manage payments to the rapidly growing number of TLD registries.
The new Registry Wallet product — bundled in at no extra charge for existing customers — is a way for registrars to consolidate the process of managing pre-paid registry accounts.
Instead of managing accounts with dozens of registries for potentially hundreds of new gTLDs, LogicBoxes customers will be able to use the Wallet as a buffer and single management interface.
Many existing registries require registrars to fund an account in advance that gradually gets chipped away as more domains are sold to registrants. During quiet periods, the money sits dormant.
While some new gTLD registries are planning to allow credit card or post-payment options, others are sticking to the old ways and the legacy TLDs show no sign of changing, according to LogicBoxes senior marketing associate Vivek Desai.
“This service also aims at simplifying the invoicing and reconciliation process,” he said. “Imagine registrars having to reconcile statements and invoices with 30 or 40 or even more providers. Having one place to manage everything, will make things simpler.”
The company said it uses “pattern recognition algorithms” to predict usage, with manual oversight. It also features “threshold reminders, emergency credits and deactivation protection”, LogicBoxes said.
Donuts and United TLD had a combined total of eight new gTLDs added to the DNS root zone today.
Donuts subsidiaries saw .zone, .agency, .cheap and .marketing go live, while United TLD (Demand Media/Rightside) got .dance, .democrat, .moda (Spanish for “fashion/style”) and .social.
The nic.[tld] domains all appear to be resolving, albeit to the registries’ web sites in other TLDs.
There are now 91 new gTLDs live in the root, more than five times the number of legacy gTLDs. It seems likely that we’re going to pass 100 this week.