Tag Archives: Google

New gTLDs Treated Equally In Search Rankings: Google

Domain names registered in new gTLDs are not treated any differently to the gTLDs that existed prior to the launch of hundreds new gTLDs, such as .com or .org, Google have advised on their Google and Your Business blog. “Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name.”In the blog post, the example given is “if you search for the business Coffee Club, you will find their URL coffee.club.”The blog post also addresses the issue of if a registrant moves their domain to a new gTLD, will their customers be able to find them.The response is “Yes, of course! Whenever you move your site to a new domain name, whether it ends in a .com, .company, or something else, it’s important to follow the four steps outlined here to make sure Google is properly aware of your new site. Please be aware that it takes time to be fully processed in Google Search, but once it is, your new domain name is expected to work just like your old domain name. If you are still having issues, we encourage you to visit the Webmaster help forum.”The post gives three reasons to use a new gTLD. One is brand identity. New gTLDs such as “.photography and .accountant help businesses tell the world who they are and what they do.”Another is brand protection. And the last is for promotions. New gTLDs can be used “for marketing and promotional purposes. A company with a social media contest, for example, might create a contest website with a .social ending that would only be used for the duration of the contest.”

Daily Wrap: ICANN CEO Search Update, Google Weighs in on Future gTLD Application Rounds, .COM and .NET Keywords

Fadi Chehad̩ speaking at ICANN Opening SessionICANN have published an update on the search for their new CEO to replace Fadi Chehad̩. There have been well over 100 applications to date. Of these applicants 93% are male and 7% are female. They come from the following regions Р9% from Africa, 16% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 7% from Latin America and the Caribbean and 41% from North America.

Due to the volume of applications “the committee is therefore moving somewhat more slowly in its deliberations, in order to assure that the decisions made are in the interests of obtaining a CEO that is best suited to leading ICANN.”

“The committee has begun the interviewing process and will continue for the next couple of months. It is striving to come to a set of recommendations before the end of the year.”

The when and sometimes what form applications will take for new gTLDs has been the subject of frequent discussion. And Google has “thrown its weight behind the latter, urging ICANN to abandon the concept of application rounds” according to a report in the World Trademark Review.

Google logoAccording to the report, domains policy manager Stephanie Duchesneau, writing on behalf of Google Registry, “urges ICANN to abandon the concept of application rounds in favour of a continuous process, with strings allocated on a first­come, first­served basis. While noting that one additional round may be necessary to process any existing gTLD contentions, she argues that a continuous window would help lessen the burden associated with such application processes as string contention and objections, and would avoid the “rush, inefficiency and missed deadlines” that characterised the current round.”

“For businesses she identifies the key advantages as increased predictability and the ability to develop more robust processes ‘because they will have the flexibility to apply to operate a TLD once use cases and initial plans had been fully developed, rather than being rushed to submit applications within a set timeframe’. The number of withdrawals would then likely fall and repeats of the ‘current delays associated with execution of the ICANN Registry Agreement, delegation and commercial rollout would be minimised as applicants could submit their applications at the point that they were confident of their own timelines for launching a TLD’”.

Verisign logoVerisign have published the latest of its ten trending keywords for .com and .net in October. For .com the top ten keywords for the month were OK, walk, storage, mortgage, visit, blab, crowd, sold, christmas and marijuana. For .net the top keywords were China, training, wang, books, Nike, print, yuan, Canada, xiao and supply.

Daily Wrap: New gTLDs and SEO Benefits, .SWISS Update And ICANN Blog Public Comments

CARS AUTO gTLD logoWhether new gTLDs provide a benefit when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation has been a subject of debate. “Many in the SEO community debunk the myths that the new domain extensions will have any impact on SEO status, others have proven otherwise.”

Jennifer Wolfe is something of an expert on such issues and spoke to Daniel Negari, the CEO of .XYZ. Negari of course has a vested interest as his company not only operates .xyz but also other gTLDs such as .cars, which will have a registration fee of around $2,500 to $3,000.

The article gives a case study for a boutique supercar manufacturer in Southern California that following its transition to a .cars domain now ranks number one organically in Google and Bing search results, which means they don’t have to buy ads for that premium placement.

“It is paramount for us to ensure a clean and secure namespace in .CARS,” Negari told Wolfe. “We are implementing security scans and monitoring to prevent cybersquatting, phishing, or other malicious activities by bad actors. By doing this we provide a clear signal to internet users and to Google’s search algorithm to trust the .CARS top level domain. This aligns perfectly with all companies within the automotive industry to further their digital marketing efforts.”Dot SWISS logo

The Sunrise phase for .swiss domains ended on 9 November and over 8,000 applications for the gTLD were received [German]. All applications will now be checked for eligibility over the next three weeks with the first decisions on successful applications to be made in December.

The second phase for applications, General Availability, will begin on 11 January 2016. Applications may relate to any type of name, in so far as it originates from a public or private entity which has a base and an actual administrative site in Switzerland. The name which is applied for must have a link with the applicant.

ICANN opened their blog to public comments on Friday. And it was immediately subject to posts from Graham Schreiber, who Domain Incite reports unsuccessfully sued them back in 2012 and has not stopped his tirade against them in social media ever since.

Man Temporarily Owns Google.com… For One Minute

It seems an ex-Google employee noticed that google.com was available to register last week, and managed to register and have control of it for a full one minute!MBA student and ex-Google employee Sanmay Ved registered the domain and paid $12 for his moment of fame he claimed in a post on his LinkedIn profile.Ved wrote:
“A strange thing happened at 1:20 AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 29. I was learning more about the Google Domains interface, and typed google.com and clicked search domains. To my surprise, Google.com was showing as available!”He managed to complete the purchase and posted screenshots of the registration process.”As soon as I completed purchase, I received two emails, one from sc-noreply@google.com, and one from wmt-noreply@google.com, which is not the norm when you book domains via Google Domains as I have booked new, previously un-registered domains before, and I have never received emails from the above aliases on booking the domains. I will not share the contents of the emails here given they relate to the Google.com domain. The domain also successfully appeared in my Google Domains order history.”Ved went on to write that while his purchase was successful “the purchase was followed by an order cancellation email from Google Domains. Google could do this given the registration service used by me (aka Google Domains) belonged to Google, unlike the 2003 event in which Microsoft forgot to renew their Hotmail UK domain which was registered with Nominet UK.”

Google’s Restructuring As Alphabet Could Lead To Greater Awareness Of New gTLDs

Google’s announcement this week that it is restructuring under a new company setup called Alphabet could lead to a greater awareness for new gTLDs.The announcement was, as the New York Times reported, “short on details about how the new structure will work.” But one part of the restructure that is clear is the new corporate domain is abc.xyz, and Microsoft quickly registered the domain abc.wtf, which redirects to Bing, in response.The .xyz gTLD easily has the most domains registered, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances due to Network Solutions having given away the .xyz equivalent to many of its .com registrants.But the gTLD is closing in on 1.170 million registrations according to nTLDstats.com, and close to a third are through Network Solutions. Meaning that regardless it would still be easily the largest of the new gTLDs as it has around three times as many registrations as the next biggest of the new gTLDs, .网址 (.website), with close to 379,000 registrations.Daniel Negari, who founded .XYZ, the registry operator for the gTLD, told Wired he believes it could be a game changer.Negari told Wired the surprise news about Alphabet may dispel concerns about search rankings and shift the thinking about gTLDs. “Obviously, Google believes in it if they’re rebranding on .xyz,” he told Wired after the news of Alphabet and its new URL broke. “This is the ultimate validation.”The news wasn’t bad for business, either: .XYZ normally gets 3,000 new registrations per day. On the day of the announcement, Negari said they were on track to get 10,000.In the original interview for Wired, Negari said “we end the alphabet in ‘xyz’ and we should end domain names the same way.” After Google’s announcement Negari said “I guess now Google ends Alphabet with xyz, too.”As for the future, Google can’t get the alphabet.com as it’s owned by BMW and they’ve said they don’t intend to sell it. And Google will have their very own .google domain, which they could use when it’s operational.

Google Reiterates New gTLDs Are Treated Same As “Old” gTLDs

New gTLDs and all other gTLDs are treated the same by Google’s systems with keywords in a TLD not giving any advantage or disadvantage in search, according to a post from John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst.The Q&A was issued to deal with misconceptions about the way the search giant treats the new gTLDs, whether they be generic terms, regional or brands.For internationalised TLDs, they are crawled by Googlebot and indexed so they can be used in search.”These TLDs can be used the same as other TLDs (it’s easy to check with a query like [site:みんな]). Google treats the Punycode version of a hostname as being equivalent to the unencoded version, so you don’t need to redirect or canonicalize them separately,” writes Mueller. “For the rest of the URL, remember to use UTF-8 for the path & query-string in the URL, when using non-ASCII characters.”Brand gTLDs will be treated the same as all other gTLDs Mueller writes and on region and city gTLDs, “even if they look region-specific, we will treat them as gTLDs. This is consistent with our handling of regional TLDs like .eu and .asia. There may be exceptions at some point down the line, as we see how they’re used in practice.”For ccTLDs, Mueller writes that “by default, most ccTLDs (with exceptions) result in Google using these to geotarget the website; it tells us that the website is probably more relevant in the appropriate country.”And what should a registrant do if they move their main website from a .com to a new gTLD. Mueller writes that Google treats “these moves the same as any other site move. That said, domain changes can take time to be processed for search (and outside of search, users expect email addresses to remain valid over a longer period of time), so it’s generally best to choose a domain that will fit your long-term needs.”The post reiterates earlier posts by Mueller and his former colleague Matt Cutts who pretty much said the same thing.But there are some that believe there are some slight advantages with new gTLDs. At the Domain Pulse conference in Berlin in February, Martin Scholz gave a presentation on how new gTLDs can be advantageous for business.Scholz, from Searchmetrics who specialise in SEO content marketing analysis, explained that while using a good .com or ccTLD domain is likely to be the best option for a brand owner to get a high search ranking, not everyone is able to get one.So a small business might find that they can get a more targeted .london or .berlin domain that will be advantageous. Searchmetrics, Scholz said, had found there are advantages with a .berlin domain for local Berlin businesses. They found .berlin domains rank higher than .de domains in local search results for searches relating to the German capital.

GoDaddy Acquires 200,000 Domains For $28m From Marchex

Marchex logoGoDaddy has acquired the domain name portfolio business of Marchex a mobile advertising analytics company. The transaction included approximately 200,000 domain names and was completed for $28.1 million in cash plus $6.7 million in direct domain sales by Marchex since January 2015.

Marchex made the sale so as they can focus on their core business of mobile advertising analytics.

“Our complete focus is on establishing Marchex as the world’s leading mobile advertising analytics company,” said Pete Christothoulou, Marchex Chief Executive Officer. “A significant and growing majority of the consumer engagement and sales driven by mobile advertising happens offline, such as through phone calls. Narrowing our focus on this opportunity, while growing our balance sheet, strengthens our ability to continue delivering technology solutions that bring accountability to mobile advertising and transform business performance for our clients.”

With an average price of around $140 per domain, it suggests there are some quality domains in the portfolio.

“GoDaddy views this as a unique opportunity to acquire a large group of high quality names and make them available to businesses worldwide,” said GoDaddy Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin. “These names have not been generally available to the public. This means we’re able to bring more visibility and liquidity into the market for businesses everywhere. This is not a new direction for us, we have no plans to acquire additional domain names or expiring names.”

This acquisition builds on GoDaddy’s broader strategy to combine the primary and secondary domain name markets. GoDaddy acquired the world’s largest premium domain marketplace, Afternic, in Sept. 2013 and has now extended that technology platform to significantly increase the number of premium domain names available in its search results.

To see the list of names GoDaddy acquired, see www.NameFind.com

Google targets multiple domain names in next search algorithm update

Sydney gTLD plain logoGoogle announced this week it will soon implement a change to its search algorithm to penalise websites that use ‘doorway pages’ and multiple domain names to increase their rank in search results.

In summary, this means businesses that use keywords to rank similar content on multiple domain names or pages under one domain will be penalised.

This is a major update from Google and will have huge implications for domain name and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies.

Savvy businesses needn’t fear, however. If you are using new Top-Level Domains like .melbourne and .sydney, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your website has the best possible chance to rank highly in search results.

What’s changing?

Google described the new changes as an attempt to penalise sites that “try to maximize their ‘search footprint’ without adding clear, unique value”.

Sites utilising this technique are often referred to as ‘doorway pages’, which Google classify negatively based on their impact on end users:

They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.

What doorway pages look like

SEO expert Jim Stewart, speaking in a video blog about this latest Google update demonstrates how doorway pages are often used by businesses.

Using the example of ‘Freddy’s Skip Bin Hire’, Mr Stewart explains that the company has built several web pages under various suburb names and essentially replicated the content on each, replacing the location name. This has led them to create almost identical sites such as ‘Skip Bin Hire Waverley’ and ‘Skip Bin Hire Earlwood’.

Using this technique to essentially ‘trick’ Google into ranking your site is the type of strategy that will be targeted by this update, as Mr Stewart explains.

“If your site has created pages purely to rank for a particular key phrase… the chances are you could be smashed by this update.”

Will .sydney and .melbourne domains be penalised?

There is an extensive list of factors that impact a website’s SEO ranking. As Mr Stewart explained in an interview with AusRegistry last year, domain names are one of “over 200 signals” that determine your rank in search results, but by no means the deciding factor.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about the importance of domain names in search. There’s no doubt that if you can get a domain name with a good key word in it, you’ve got a good chance of ranking better than someone that doesn’t, but it’s only one signal.”

A major factor that can and does heavily influence search ranking is content. Using local domains such as .melbourne and .sydney solely to rank for your business in Melbourne and Sydney is not enough – local domains offer an opportunity to create valuable, localised content targeted to a particular geographic audience.

As Mr Stewart describes, “Google wants to makes sure it only displays results that are going to be relevant to the search done by the user.”

Meaningful content, he explains is the best way to ensure Google takes notice of your site.

“This obviously gives your site more content that Google can rank, but Google can also see that your site is active and updated frequently. In terms of ranking, Google sees sites like these as ‘worthy’ of sending its users to.”

Can you still register multiple domain names?

This latest change for Google could mean a real shake-up of search rankings for those trying to ‘beat the system’ and use doorway pages to boost their traffic.

The key factor now will be value to the user – if you can offer meaningful and relevant content across each of your domain names, there should be nothing to fear from this update. Local domain names can still provide a dedicated portal for content that is targeted to a local audience and therefore “worthy” of Google’s attention.


5 steps to avoid being penalised by Google’s search update

  1. Use your .melbourne and .sydney domain names to offer localised content and valuable information for those in Melbourne and Sydney.
  2. Find and update pages on your website with duplicated content – or prepare to see their search rankings suffer.
  3. Build a content strategy that will ensure your sites remain up to date and are frequently being populated with current, relevant information.
  4. As Jim Stewart suggests; “look at what the number one result is doing, and do it better”. Consider what value your competitors are offering and up the ante.
  5. Don’t be afraid of registering multiple domain names. Holding a portfolio of domains is not a search sin – just be sure you are using them to add value, rather than trying to trick Google.

For more detail on how you can use .melbourne and .sydney domains to add value to local customers, read ‘How to use a local domain for your brand’.

This article was sourced with permission from ARI Registry Services. The article originally appeared at iconic.sydney/media-release/google-targets-multiple-domain-names-in-next-search-algorithm-update/


Google Pays $25m For .APP As ICANN gTLD Sale Coffers Grow

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoGoogle paid $25,000,001 for the .app gTLD in an auction held last Wednesday (25/2) making it by far the largest amount paid in an auction for a new gTLD string.

And as a result ICANN now has net proceeds of $57,015,622 in its piggy bank as a result of auctions for new gTLDs that were in contention. All proceeds from auctions are being segregated and withheld from use until ICANN’s Board of Directors define a plan for an appropriate use of the funds through consultation with the community.

In the latest auction twelve applicants participated in the two day auction for .APP with one of Google’s entities, Charleston Road Registry Inc., prevailing.

Previously the highest prices paid for a gTLD string was for .blog, which Domain Incite estimates was sold for less than $20 million.

In the .app application, Google “originally proposed .app as a closed registry in which only Google and its partners could register names,” reports Domain Incite.

“However, after the Governmental Advisory Committee pressured ICANN to disallow ‘closed generics’, Google changed its application to enable anyone to register.”

Still No Ranking Advantage Using New gTLDs: Google

New gTLDs may have benefits in getting a more relevant, and shorter, domain name, but there is no advantage when it comes to how well they perform in online search results.Writing on his Google+ page, Google’s John Mueller wrote “it feels like it’s time to re-share this again. There still is no inherent ranking advantage to using the new TLDs.””They can perform well in search, just like any other TLD can perform well in search. They give you an opportunity to pick a name that better matches your web-presence. If you see posts claiming that early data suggests they’re doing well, keep in mind that’s this is not due to any artificial advantage in search: you can make a fantastic website that performs well in search on any TLD.”Mueller was reiterating a post by his former colleague Matt Cutts in response to a follower’s question who asked “will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent?””Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception,” wrote Cutts. “Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either. If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”Mueller also added that “just to be complete — we treat all of the new TLDs as gTLDs, meaning you can set geo-targeting as you wish in Webmaster Tools. There’s no automatic geo-targeting for TLDs that look like city or regional names.”