The options for domain name extensions were minimal a few years ago, basically offering a choice between .com, .co.uk and perhaps .org or .net. If the domain you wanted was already in use, this limited your efforts further. New developments at the registries, thanks to ever-expanding demand, led to a subsequently expanded list of options, including .business and .app.
Before you take the plunge with one of the new options, it is important to consider the effect this might have on your SEO efforts. Here we outline some key considerations.
1) Do domain extensions impact SEO?
This remains to be seen. Elements such as domain-level keyword and domain extension seem to correlate relatively poorly to search rankings, but they do still have an effect. Google has stated that no ranking advantage will be offered by new domains over the more traditional ones. What is known, however, is that site quality is a key ranking factor and domain extensions absolutely play a role in this; in addition, if you are developing a strategy in a particular country, country-specific extensions can assist you in a local SEO strategy.
2) Conversion, conversion, conversion
The holy grail for web marketers, it is also true that consumers’ perceptions of a site can vary dependent on its extension and will invariably impact their purchase behaviour. You really don’t want your site considered to be spam if you are making the effort to get users to it in the first place. If you want to ensure your conversion efforts don’t kill your SEO, think about engaging the services of web designers in London.
3) Are changes afoot to the Google algorithm?
Even if the algorithm used by Google does negatively impact the new extensions, it is perfectly possible change might be afoot, as outlined in an article on Search Engine Watch. In summary, users may move to a preference for shorter domains and this might lead Google to give precedence to the new extensions over the more traditional offerings. London website designers can certainly help you when more is known about any changes.
The effects on the changes do not appear to be fully known, but it certainly appears that the initial negative sentiment may have been over-rated. Watch this space in 2016!