Google cleared the air today about how it deals with domain extensions, and confirmed that they’re all weighted equally.
With the sudden surge in the amount of domain extensions available, Google has been receiving questions about how the new top level domains (TLDs) like .expert and .pizza are being treated versus old TLDs like .com and .org.
The short answer: When Google crawls, indexes, and ranks URLs it makes no difference whether your domain ends in .com or .sucks.
All TLDs are treated the same in search. Google appears to have no intention to alter its search algorithm in favor of one TLD over another.
There’s only one way domain extensions may have an effect on search results and that’s when it comes to geotargeting.
For example, country code TLDs like .ca and .uk will be targeted to searchers in those countries. Google considers websites with country code domains to be more relevant to searchers who reside in the corresponding countries.
Google recently introduced region and city TLDs like .london and .bayern. However, the company says those are treated the same as any other TLD. Searchers from London are not any more likely to see .london domains in their search results than someone from anywhere else in the world.
When it comes to moving a site from one domain to another, Google says that’s treated just like any other site move. Google cautions that domain changes can take time to be processed for search.
In other words, don’t make it a habit of moving around to different domains. If you’re going to switch domains, make it one you’re going to stick with long term.
To learn more about how Google handles domain extensions, see the full Q&A here.
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