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Official: how Google handles new top level domains (TLDs)

In a post on Google’s Webmaster Central blog, Google’s
John Mueller explained how Google handles new top level domains (TLDs)
such as .guru or .how. Here are the details:

1. Google does not favor any TLD

Google’s systems treat new gTLDs (generic top level
domains) like other gTLDs (like
.org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in

2. Googlebot can crawl and index IDN TLDs

Internationalized domain names (IDN) TLDs such as .みんな
can be used the same as other TLDs.
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.
For the rest of the URL, remember to use UTF-8 for the path and
query-string in the URL, when using non-ASCII characters.

3. A .brand TLD has the same weight as a .com domain

Those TLDs will be treated the same as a other gTLDs.
They will require
the same geotargeting settings and configuration, and they won’t have
more weight or influence in the way Google crawls, indexes, or ranks

4. Region or city TLDs like .london or .bayern are
treated as gTLDs

Even if they look region-specific, Google will treat
these TLDs as
gTLDs (generic top level domains). This is consistent with Google’s
handling of regional TLDs like .eu and .asia. There may be exceptions
at some point down the line, as Google sees how they’re used in

5. Country code TLDs will be used for geo-targeting

By default, most ccTLDs  (country code top-level
domains) result
in Google using these to geotarget the website (with some exceptions);
it tells Google that the website is probably more relevant in the
appropriate country. For example, a .de domain is probably more
relevant than a .com domain in Germany.

6. Moving your site to a new TLD is the same as
your site to a new domain name

Google treats moves to a new TLD the same as any other
site move.
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.

Summary: you can choose the domain that works best
for your

Google does not find any TLD better than others. All
TLDs are treated equally. For particular countries, geo-specific TLDs
have an advantage as they are an indicator that the website is more
relevant to the particular geographic region.

According to John Mueller: “If you spot a domain
name on a new TLD that you really like, you’re keen on using it for
longer, and understand there’s no magical SEO bonus, then go for it

There are many different things that influence the
positions of your web pages in Google’s search results. SEOprofiler,
the popular SEO tool that many professionals use,
works with all top level domains and it helps you to improve the search
engine performance of all of your pages. If you haven’t done it yet,
try SEOprofiler now:

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