Are New TLDs Bad for SEO?

We often get asked about URLs. It’s probably our most asked category of questions. Everything from “What should my URL be?” to “Should I have a hyphen in my domain?” has been answered by one us before. But now, there’s a new crop of questions coming into our email inboxes. “Are these new TLDs bad for SEO?” has started getting asked more and more frequently. Here’s our take on it:

What is a TLD?

A Top Level Domain is the part after the company name in your URL. For instance: the website’s TLD is .com.’s is .gov. For years there were only a handful of TLDs. When the internet was still fresh and new, there was no realization that it would become the world-changing function that it is today. Insert a few decades of new URLs being reserved at an alarming rate, and you’ve got a full blown shortage of URLs! So it only makes sense that should have more options for TLDs. Not just a few more options, though.

There are new TLDs?

There are over 1,500 top level domains available today. Here are a few:

  • .store
  • .online
  • .tech
  • .solutions
  • .site
  • .fm
  • .tv

This opens up a whole new world when it comes to picking the ever-important URL for your business. We own! You can be more creative and use words that are commonly associated with your industry. A good example would be a fictional company called Elijah’s Cabinet Repair. After a quick domain search, I see that is already taken. BUT, is available! Not only does it contain my entire business name, but it’s memorable, too!

Another example would be an art gallery with multiple locations. I could have:

  • elijahsgallery.ny

How awesome is that?

Is it bad for SEO?

In short, no. With any new website you will be working against competitors who have had their websites for years and likely had SEO professionals working on their site. So, you’re automatically going to be at a disadvantage due to the newness of your site. But, with a quality website, quality content, and a good SEO, you can get quality traffic to your site. Your URL and TLD have nothing to do with your ability to rank in the search engines. The major search engines of the world do not add or remove weight to a URL based on the TLD.

A Word to the Wise

While we know that it’s super easy to get a domain with whatever you want as the URL, we do discourage using misleading TLDs. If you purchased a domain with .store as your TLD, but didn’t have an actual store (online or brick-and-mortar), then you will drive potential customers away because of misleading them. Stick with TLDs that make sense. Do your due diligence in selecting a URL/TLD. We’ve had many clients who regretted their choices and were stuck with a questionable one, or had to start over with another domain.


What is Zero-Click?

A new phenomenon is taking a hold of the search engine results pages. It’s called zero-click searches and it’s forcing business owners and website developers alike to rethink how the content on their website functions.

What is Zero-Click?

Zero-Click means that the person who is conducting the search never clicks on a website or ad.

Example: I’ve recently considered hiring a company to mow my lawn on a bi-weekly basis. So I’ve done a bit of research on landscape companies who offer this. I’ve most recently done a search for “lawn maintenance in McKinney, Texas”. As with most location-based searches, the first thing that pops up in the map pack. This offers enough information to make a quick decision on who to call  based on the proximity to my search AND the star rating.

Search Engine Results Page

There is enough information here to allow me to contact 3 companies and get quotes from them for their services.

What does this mean?

It means that all of the SEO work that has been done on these companies websites is being circumvented. A focus has been placed on managing their presence via Google My Business, which is where this information is being pulled. With all of the information necessary for me to make a quick decision presented to me within the search engine, I don’t need to click on anything further. It’s all right there in front of me.

A Few Different Options

There are also a few different styles of Zero-Click searches that you can run into. One of the most popular is answering a question. In my decision to search for a lawn maintenance company, I searched for “How often should I mow my lawn?”. Again, I was given the answer without ever having to click on a website.

By creating more opportunities for Google to provide information to searchers without ever taking the user to a website, they are effectively redirecting traffic from websites and keeping it in-house. At some point in time, I fully believe in a future where we may not have to leave the Google, Bing, etc. environment to navigate the web.

What does that mean for SEO?

Without beating around the bush, it means you have to have your ducks in a row. All of them. Since a zero-click search won’t show up in website analytics reports, you have to rely on Google Search Console stats to see how successful your site is in providing answers.

Every business who derives leads, phone calls, contact form submissions to sustain their bottom line needs to make sure all opportunities for Zero-Click searches can lead back to them. This means you have to be vigilant about managing your local listings. Filling out the information from top to bottom without spamming and getting removed from the indices (the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do).

It also means that the content on your website has to be top notch. It has to answer questions that your potential clients ask. In doing so, you increase the likelihood of a searcher clicking on the link to your website to read more information and find out what you do.

Us here at Baggies Web Solutions focus on making your website as good as it can be, so we can bridge the gap between zero-click and getting the phone call.