[rank_math_breadcrumb]

Keywords in generic top-level domains won’t help you rank better

“No, you don’t get a special bonus from having a keyword like that in your top-level domain,” John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google, said about generic top-level domains such “.jobs” on an episode of AskGoogleWebmasters.

Mueller’s explanation harkens back to guidance that was first published in 2015, in which Google explained that, overall, its systems treat new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like other gLTDs (such as .com and .org). “That’s by design,” he added, “Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name, doesn’t mean that it’s more relevant than others for that keyword.”

It’s (almost) all the same to Google. Google treats the following top-level domains the same as it would .com or .org domains:

  • New gTLDs (such as .jobs and .how).
  • Brand TLDs (such as .BMW).
  • Generic regional TLDs (such as .london or .asia).

“Unless a top-level domain is registered as a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) with ICANN, Google will treat any TLD that resolves through the IANA DNS root zone as a gTLD,” the company’s Search Console help documentation reads.

The exception. Google considers country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs; for example, .vn for Vietnam) to be a strong signal that a site is intended for users in a certain country. Most ccTLDs will result in Google geotargeting the website.

READ: The Essential Guide to SEO: Master the science of SEO

If you are using a ccTLD and want to geotarget users in different countries, “you are swimming upstream,” said Matt Cutts, formerly of Google, all the way back in 2011. “In general, if we see something like .jp, we’re typically going to assume that that’s relevant to Japan and not as relevant to Norway or Sweden or Finland or something like that,” he said. That still largely holds true.

However, some ccTLDs are generic enough that Google allows webmasters to target them to different countries. These are vanity TLDs (such as .tv and .me) and Google treats them as a gTLD. The full list of generic ccTLDs is available in the Search Console help center.

Why we care. Jerry-rigging a keyword into your domain name using one of the TLDs above will not help you rank better for relevant queries. While it may help your branding by making your URL more memorable, using an improper TLD, such as a non-generic ccTLD, can end up sending search engines and users the wrong signals about who your site is meant for.


 

About The Author

George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.

RECOMMENDED POSTS

Find Out More

Marketing Tips You Need

Keep In Touch

Quick Subscribe

Client Reviews Tell The Tale.

If you are looking for professional video production for your business, Dan and his team at Appture are the best.John CullensDecember 29, 2022
We used Appture to build a lodging website, and they were awesome! Dan went above and beyond to show us the functions and make all of our changes. Appture is our go to for web design from now on!Abigail HaleOctober 26, 2022
Dan did a fantastic job making me feel comfortable while shooting. He also made me look great! I don't photograph well, so I am very pleased with the results and speed at which I got the final product.Lily GostinSeptember 13, 2022
Appture knows their business and will go the extra mile for their customers. They do high quality work and provide great ongoing support.Chris McCorkindaleMay 24, 2022
Anita CauthornMay 24, 2022
It’s so rare in these times to find one man with so much wow factor and more rare to find men with similar interest and passion in their life journey as myself . Dan Elliott has been introduced to many in what is now considered as the Terror Dome , a place where many dreams are not deferred they are detoured to routes that lead to dead ends , he comes in full of optimism so infectious that he, maybe with out knowing is energizing those who have ventured where others would fear going with just the right jolt to forge on in the way of helping fallen humanity … His various fields of expertise has helped many in my region and I can only imagine the number he has effected beyond those I know … from day one I knew “ this was a man of kindred spirit “ Dan Elliott is a Gem and adds glimmer to things he touches … I’m a Witness ….and eternally grateful….L.Rashaan RichMay 21, 2022
Dan and his group are highly capable and knowledgeable. They work fast and get the job done. I highly recommend Appture.Justin FrankMarch 26, 2022
They are highly specialized in their work and constantly seek innovation.Ismail YenigulMarch 14, 2022
Dan is a marketing wizard. Honest, Experienced and a read deal. I am blessed to have him in my journey online :) Highly recommended.Sabbir HasanMarch 7, 2022
Incredible talent so much experience and always innovativeAppture SoftwareAugust 10, 2021
So much to say. Creative, Intelligent, Talented, Limitless, Affordable. It's amazing what these guys can do.Hack mackMay 17, 2019
We found Appture from their website, and immediately started work on a website, custom SMS marketing and social media. We got leads the FIRST DAY! And it keeps getting better and better.HawkDFW SecurityMay 17, 2019
We'd used some other agencies before, but man, they simply knocked us all over. After being in business for 30 years, I wonder how much more business we'd be doing if we'd hired them earlier.Rebecca HoneaMay 17, 2019
Hide picture