The debate about the impact that New Domains have on SEO has been hotly disputed over the past couple of years, but the evidence speaks for itself: More and more cases of New Domains organically reaching top search results are coming to our attention each day. Is this simply because they are a New Domain? No. Google has already said that New Domains are treated exactly the same way as traditional domains.
SEO has long been a puzzle that has very few concrete answers, so adding New Domains into the mix means even more mysteries about what algorithms are looking for and how websites are ranked. Here’s what know so far about New Domain extensions and their SEO impact.
Powerful keywords promote traffic
New Domains often match natural language, making them a great tool for improving organic search. For example, the domain denver.singles is an exact match for the search query “denver singles.” There’s power in understanding how people search for information online and using that data to register domains accordingly. New Domains offer the opportunity to hit these keywords in a succinct way.
A New Domain will typically outrank a hyphenated one
A common trend we’ve seen when looking at New Domains and how they rank in organic search is that they’ll typically outpace their hyphenated counterparts. In the example above, you can see that the New Domain psychology.tools is the first organic search result whereas psychology-tools.com is second. Even though both of these domains are exact matches for the search phrase “psychology tools,” the New Domain emerges as the winner. While there may be other factors in play as well (like relative information and the number of backlinks), this is just one of several cases where a New Domain outstrips the competition.
Following Google’s guidelines is key
What’s the biggest differentiator between New Domain users who saw success versus those who took a hit? Following Google’s guidelines. Just like any other domain, you’re going to get yourself in trouble if you try to switch domain names without following the correct procedure. This is supposedly the case for home.barclays. The company replicated the new URL rather than permanently redirecting barclays.com, resulting in a confused algorithm and a decline in hits.
By following the established guidelines for switching to a New Domain, many companies have seen a surge in hits as their domains achieve top search results.