Most businesses will opt for one of the most common and longstanding domain extensions when creating a website, with the likes of .co.uk and .net withstanding the test of time and remaining immensely popular today.
In recent years, however, the number of domain extensions has exploded, meaning that sites can be targeted at an intended audience far more specifically than by taking the generic route.
Top-level domains (TLDs) range from .agency to .yoga, but should businesses consider embracing this approach or is this likely to end up harming their SEO rather than helping it?
Testing the waters
With all the variables involved in achieving a good search rank, it is hard to make definite statements about the advantages of picking a new TLD rather than a traditional one, although some case studies suggest that at the very least this will not result in sites being actively penalised by Google.
For those with suitable resources available to them, testing out a change to a new TLD may be worthwhile. Seeking the help of Essex web designers such as https://www.enovate.co.uk will ensure this transition runs smoothly.
For everyone else, there are some other factors to consider before jumping on the new TLD bandwagon. These pertain to user habits and the future of search.
While traditional domain extensions may be preferred today, the search market is volatile enough to open up the possibility that newer alternatives may become popular amongst users in the future, perhaps leading to Google giving a ranking boost to sites that have been savvy enough to embrace this approach early.
The one thing that seems certain at this point is that Google is unlikely to alter its algorithms to single out and sink sites that do not stick to the .com or .co.uk norm, especially if there is a belief that people will soon be more eager to visit sites ending in extensions such as .car or .college.
Ultimately there is not yet enough conclusive evidence to make new TLDs a must-have for businesses; however, it certainly seems that the market is moving in this direction and it pays to consider your options now rather than regretting the fact that you did not take action a few years down the line when the competition is killing it on Google’s SERPs.