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Does Domain Extension Affect SEO? Google’s John Mueller Explains

Does your domain extension affect SEO? Google's John Mueller answers a series of questions related to the SEO impact of domains.

Does Domain Extension Affect SEO? Google’s John Mueller Explains

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller answers whether your domain extension affects SEO, and other questions related to the search impact of domain choices.

These questions are answered in the latest intallment of the Ask Googlebot video series on YouTube.

Mueller addresses questions related to how dot-com compares to other domain extensions, gTLDs vs ccTLDs, www vs non-www, and more.

Here are all the questions answered in the video, along with Mueller’s full responses.

Are .Com Domains Better?

The first question is one of the most common, especially among people registering a domain for the first time.

Are .com domains better than others?

The person who submitted the question also asks if it’s acceptable to use a newer extension, like a .space domain.

Mueller says:

“Sure, go for it. The newer top-level domains (TLDs) are equivalent to other generic top-level domains like .com when it comes to SEO. Pick something you like, there are lots of options out there now.”

WWW Or Non-WWW Domains?

Is it better to use a www or non-www version of a domain name?

Mueller says:

“You can use whichever you prefer. Google’s systems have no preference either way. Sometimes there are technical reasons to go one way or the other, but often it’s just a matter of your personal preference.”

Rel=Canonical On Different Domain Types

Is it possible to use the rel=canonical link element across different TLDs? Such as gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and ccTLDs (country code top-level domains).

Mueller says:

“Yes, you can do this. The rel=canonical link element is not limited to the same domain name.”

Country-Specific Domain Extensions For Global Website

Can ccTLDs work for a global website?

Mueller says:

“The answer is yes. While a country code domain name helps our systems to geotarget for that country, it still allows for global visibility.

The only limitation is that you can’t specify other countries for geotargeting. For example, if you have a .fr website for France, you could use that globally. But you wouldn’t be able to explicitly geotarget users in Brazil.”

See the full video from Google below:


Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, January 2022.

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Matt G. Southern

Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ... [Read full bio]

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