Home Tech Blog Google Webmaster Insights in Search Handling of generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)

Google Webmaster Insights in Search Handling of generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)

A post from Google Webmaster Blog clarifies six important questions which previously caused debates among SEO gurus.

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) gurus had been discussing how Google search handles new generic top level domains (gTLDs), region or city TLD, and country-code TLD. Webmasters had arguments as well if the new gTLDs affect page ranking and some became too paranoid thinking that big G is favoring the newly released gTLDs. After all the debates, the official page of Google Webmaster released a clarification regarding these matters.


On July 21, 2015, a post in Webmaster Central Blog titled “Google's handling of new top level domains” caught the attention of web administrators, domain owners, and other parties. For one simple reason, the article contains answers to six important questions that puzzled several SEO gurus.

Let’s discuss all of the items as listed in Google Webmaster Blog.

Google Webmaster Insights in Search Handling of generic Top Level Domains (gTLD)
Photo courtesy of Google Webmasters g+ account.

Question: Did Google alter the search algorithm to favor the new gTLDs?

Answer: “Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.”

TechBoyPlanet: As you noticed, the answer started with the word “Overall” which could mean something. We are thinking that at some point the search algorithm of Google could have a considerable effect. Take a look at our example below.


Question: Is Google capable in handling IDN TLDs such as .みんな? Can Googlebot crawl and index them?

Answer: Yes. These TLDs 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.

TechBoyPlanet: みんな is equivalent to xn--q9jyb4c. When you search in Google using this specific IDN, it will return the following:


Question: Will .BRAND TLD gets more or less weight than a .com?

Answer: No. 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 we crawl, index, or rank URLs.

TechBoyPlanet: It would be interesting if they would keep this algorithm for life but we are still considering possible changes on this parameter.


Question: Will the new region or city TLDs receive more weight in Google search?

Answer: The system will treat these like any other gTLDs.

Question: Will Google favor ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) like .uk, .ae, etc. as a local domain for people searching in those countries?

Answer: 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.

TechBoyPlanet: It looks like the post is very transparent with the guidelines they set for ccTLDs. Make sure to visit the page “Multi-regional and multilingual sites” since it thoroughly discusses the restrictions.

Question: Will Google support my SEO efforts to move my domain from .com to a new TLD? How do I move my website without losing any search ranking or history?

Answer: These moves are treated just like any other site move. The site move documentation helps webmasters to properly plan the change of URLs.

With these answers from Google Webmaster, handling the search results of new gTLDs shouldn't be a concern for now.