The Internet has been abuzz since Google’s big announcement on Monday. The Internet giant announced a restructuring that makes Google a subsidiary of a bigger parent company called Alphabet. Alphabet is a collection of companies, the largest of which being Google. Other subsidiary companies include the X lab, which develops new efforts like Wing, a drone delivery service, Google Investments and more.
This alone is pretty monumental news, but what’s got SEOs vibrating with speculation is Alphabet’s new domain – https//abc.xyz. With the Internet’s authority on search choosing a new home on .xyz, many wonder, could this be the end of .com domain dominance? And how do generic top-level domains (gTLDs) affect SEO going forward?
Over the past two years, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released a variety of new gTLDs. The race for the good dot coms has left the infinite landscape of the Internet looking rather vacant. In addition to the traditional top-level domains – .com, .net, .gov and .edu, ICANN has introduced more than 700 new gTLDs to the Internet so far. From .shoes to .earth and everything else in between, you can now acquire a domain name ending in a specific keyword.
How will new gTLDs affect domain dominance?
While it’s still too soon to tell how new gTLDs will affect search rankings, some in the SEO sphere predict that the introduction of keyword rich gTLDs could be beneficial.
With Alphabet securing an .xyz as their primary domain, questions over the importance of keywords in domains arise. As NPR dubbed .xyz “the new .com”, with some of the largest brands securing their .xyz domains, it’s fair to assume the new gTLD will have some weight going forward. Many of these companies recognize .xyz as a way to connect across generations x, y and z and with those coming online for the first time.
In Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, the search giant confirmed their systems treat new gTLDs the same as the traditional .coms and .orgs. According to Google, keywords in gTLDs won’t be given an advantage or disadvantage. From a user experience standpoint though, the new gTLDs could act as a natural category structure that lets you know what a site is about before clicking on it.
While Google won’t specifically give preference to one domain extension over another, there could be value gained from Query Deserves Freshness (QDF). QDF pushes the latest news items to the top of search rankings, so a website on a new gTDL could rank well if promoted properly within its first few months online. Additionally, starting out on a new gTLD means no history behind the domain, which could be a good thing.
According to Google, preference isn’t given to one gTLD over another. While currently .com may be the Internet in its most common and accepted form, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for other gTLDs to gain momentum on the web and break up the .com dominance. With Alphabet picking up .xyz, it’s fair to assume it will gain domain dominance and in the new generation of the Internet, could become a .com rival. Keyword-based domain extensions could be beneficial for natural categorization.
Will Google’s Alphabet end .com domain dominance? It’s too soon to tell. It may just as much be about branding and the opening of a door to new creative urls like abc.xyz. But odds are, the end of .com domain dominance is near. Has Savy purchased savy.xyz? You betcha.