Some New gTLD Articles May Not be Helping?

As an industry, we should probably stop using SEO as an “advantage” in new gTLDs. It’s proving not to be necessary or advantageous for us when we do that. If SEO or PPC benefits are fair, the same, or slightly better in some cases, that’s all we really need. I think it should be a side-point.

A recent sponsored post by Rightside on the Search Engine Land website stated in the title that a lawyer “discovered that migrating from a .com to a .attorney domain can drive organic traffic and save on SEM costs”. Although I don’t doubt the veracity of any statement in the article, this is the second time an article like that stirred Google to respond in a way that undermines industry credibility. It happened before in 2012 when Adrian Kinderis titled and article, “New top-level domains to trump .com in Google search results”. Matt Cutts responded very publicly, within a day or two, stating, “Sorry, but that’s just not true…” This time a rebuke was issued seven days later on the exact same website where the sponsored post appeared. There have been a few other discrediting rebukes like this in between. You would think, as an industry, that we have learned by now.

I’d like to point out that Bill Hartzer’s research at Globerunner is fair and unbiased. He did his work in a clinical fashion and found a slight advantage on the side of new gTLDs related to pay per click advertising. But when we lead articles with this feature it seems to come off as exaggeration. Apparently Google bloggers don’t like it.

The truth is that we don’t need to do that and when we do, we may be hurting the overall reputation of new gTLDs and the industry in general. If new gTLDs are treated the same, and Google has stated that they are, that’s all that needs to be said. New gTLDs can offer tons of other benefits that traditional ones don’t. We should be trumping up those benefits along with the advantages that Mr. Hartzer has found in his research; but we should go out of our way not to come off as exaggerating. New gTLDs offer plenty of benefits in that they can be more focused, offer more creative choice, and often, be more natural and memorable to prospects.

I like what Donuts has been doing. It’s catchy and it’s very appealing. New gTLD proponents all benefit by this to promote new gTLDs in a positive way. It’s their “Not-Com Campaign“. Domains need to be creative, meaningful, searchable, memorable, and most important, AVAILABLE. That is plenty of ammunition and we haven’t even begun to see the new benefits they will offer.

One of the really big advantages I think many registries and registrars miss is FOCUS. New gTLDs offer more focus to your brand and to your industry. I recently registered as a test. Honestly, I don’t want to let it go! It sounds to cool (at least to me). If I were to start a media business (which I’m probably not going to do) I couldn’t imagine a nicer web address. It sounds big and it sounds focused.

New gTLDs are going to be fine! But as an industry, we have to be careful to be completely truthful. Bad stories and rebuts from Google do new gTLDs no good and do us no good. We’re a great industry and we can do better.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Joe, you make a good point in your article. It’s easy for Google to respond to these articles, especially when the evidence is anecdotal (as it was in this case). On the plus side, it’s good that TLDs get treated the same as other TLDs. Pushing the envelope to suggest they give you a leg up in search engines probably isn’t a good idea at this point.

    • To suggest that Googles SEM Model gives anyone using their service a leg up in online Marketing Strategy is a huge stretch.Why is everyone so enamored with Googles Ad Platform ?? that Effectively gives away your companies Traffic once inside their system.Does Googles System really make Economical Sense??

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

  2. Hello Elliot,

    Your mentioning of Google Bloggers and their insistence that Google Ad Advertising in Googles Search Engine is the most efficient Online Marketing Strategy, tells us the potential for the much more efficient little used Strategy of using .COM-Centric Profit Centers that employ key advantages that allow maintaining control of ALL Traffic, by bypassing the Google Traffic Rustling Maze.

    By Strategically using .COM-Centric Marketing Tactics Outside the Google Traffic Trap.Your company Keeps ALL Your Traffic from being rustled and rerouted by Bypassing,( Googles SEM Model )that pilfers traffic meant for your site. This is what the Really smart Online Marketing Strategists are now focusing on.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

    • Hello Joe A.

      Lets discuss the pros and Cons right here. It is long over due that we as domainers understand The Highest and best Use of our Domain Assets in employing superior marketing Strategies, that bypass Googles Traffic Rustling Platform.

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

    • Hi Jeff,

      You’d be preaching to the choir. I agree with you. Unfortunately I can’t make a long thread out of this due to time constraints. I see no cons; your point is well taken, and I’m very bullish on traffic-producing domain names as the ultimate tool for businesses online. Although I don’t think it will ever happen, I do believe that search engines have a huge incentive to undermine or replace domains as a tool for navigation.


    • Yes we agree Joe. Google has been on the prowl since their Market Inception, to undermine or replace domains as a tool for navigation.They thought the new TLDs were their answer for this to happen. They are finding out that the new TLD swarms spamming their already Obsolescing and Dysfunctional Ad platform, only makes their Platform an increasingly Dysfunctional and inefficient way of finding businesses supporting their Traffic Stealing Maze.How long will True Professional Online Marketing Strategists continue to support this failing Marketing Strategy?

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master

  3. We have been running researches on how dot brand are actually referenced in google. Due to the nature of brands Top Level Domains, it is difficult to run a test such as Bill Hartzer’s, but we ran a search based on a very realistic use case : a brand, owning their dot brand, can create nearly any second level domain name. So if they decide that they should put a focus on a keyword ( e.g. abbott may want to appear on a search for life to the fullest ), they would create the domain keyword.brand ( So we searched for every one of the second level domains created by brands that resolves into a true website.
    We see that brands websites are reasonalby well ranked when searching for a complete exact match ( keyword AND brand) but not that well when searching just for the keyword.
    More on

  4. What’s really funny to me as a web developer is that the ONLY people spewing these false ideas about gTLDs ranking higher in search are companies that directly benefit from gTLD success. Companies like Rightside who are in the gTLD business, as well as others like this “consulting” firm FairWinds Partners who put out fake blogs all the time talking about the advantages. I work with a lot of large companies who come to me saying “but we heard these will help us in our SEO/SEM in ____ way”. These statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Take one class on this stuff and you’ll realize right away that you are spewing false information and could be held liable.

    The only advantage as I see it is you can whatever domain you want in a cutesy name. Maybe your customers will think it’s cool. Maybe they won’t.

  5. Thanks for writing this, Joe. Definitely some good points made.

    Personally I think it’s good news that Google treats all TLDs the same. We all have to realize that there are a lot of factors in the organic algorithms, and a keyword rich domain, whether it’s a .com or new gTLD, can give you an SEO advantage…because people will tend to link to you with your preferred anchor text. As long as Google still counts links as a factor, this will be the case. That’s something that Google doesn’t seem to have mentioned in any of their public comments.

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