As a new generation of top level domain (TLD) names continues to emerge, Google steps up to provide answers to questions from brands on how its engine will handle the queries.
"We’ve heard and seen questions and misconceptions about the way we treat new top level domains (TLDs), like .guru, .how, or any of the .BRAND gTLDs," wrote John Mueller, Webmaster Trends analyst, in a post published Tuesday.
He explains that the search engine and its algorithms treat new gTLDs similar to other gTLDs, such as .com and .org. Keywords in a TLD do not provide any advantage or disadvantage in search.
A brand TLD will not have any more or less weight than a .com. Google will treat the TLDs the same as other gTLDs. They will require the same geotargeting settings and configuration, and they won’t have more weight or influence in the way Google's bots crawl, index, or rank URLs.
Google will support search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to move domain from .com to a new TLD, and is offering extensive site move documentation in its Help Center. Domain changes can take time to process for search, and outside of search. Users can expect email addresses to remain valid over a longer period of time, so it is best to choose a domain that will fit the company's long-term needs, Mueller writes.
Google has put a lot of money behind buying up the right to use specific domain names. In February, the company paid $25 million for the rights to use the .app top-level Web domain name, one of many the company aspired to gain, but it was not the only bidder.