New nTLDs and SEO: The big picture

Are new TLDs ranking in search results and, if so, how well are they ranking?

Improve Your SEO with nTLDs

These are two of the most frequent questions we hear about new domain names.

The “if” question is easy to address. Yes, new domain names are ranking in search results and in some cases they are ranking quite well. If you run a search for a “jacksonville attorney,” for example, the very first non-paid search result is www.jacksonville.attorney. Besides being really cool that a relatively new web address is ranking first, that placement has tremendous marketing value which we will discuss in greater detail in future New TLDs and SEO posts.

Of course, the answer to how, and especially why new TLDs are ranking where they are in search results gets more complicated as you dig deeper. While just about everyone readily acknowledges the importance of utilizing good SEO practices, Google’s coyness on the subject of how it ranks sites results in a lot of guesswork, experimentation, and data analysis to determine what these best practices are. At Rightside we’re committed to understanding SEO–especially as it pertains to newer TLDs–and are learning more every day.

Perhaps most importantly for you, we’re excited to start sharing those learnings with the industry.

For that we turn to our SVP of Engineering, Kevin Fink, who has been involved with SEO since he started building websites in 1994. Around 10 years later he worked on names.whitepages.com which Google currently estimates as having 1.55 million pages indexed and Bing estimates at 2.81 million. In addition to the numerous projects he has since worked on, Kevin is now responsible for, among other things, tracking the ranking of Rightside domains and keeping tabs on how they are being used. Kevin will be driving future SEO conversation through this blog series deftly weaving through the complex world of search engine ranking, always acknowledging that what we think we know might change as algorithmic changes in the engines themselves impact ranking.

In future posts Kevin will share examples of new TLDs climbing the magic beanstalk of search engine rankings. Teaser: the domain www.agile.consulting has moved from page 9 to page 3 for the extremely competitive exact match query “agile consulting” over the past month or so. He will also show a number of examples of extremely well-ranked Exact Match sites, as well as a couple of examples where a domain using a new TLD gets a competitive edge against highly-optimized competitors.

And if you just can’t wait to start learning (because there’s no time like the present, right?), here is a white paper with his observations and a more detailed breakdown of how SEO works and how this applies to new TLDs.

Send comments to blog@rightside.co.

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