New Top Level Domains (nTLDs)
A generic top-level domains is like .com, .net and .org.
There’s another kind of domain that’s associated with countries called Country Code top-level Domain (ccTLD). Examples of ccTLDs are .uk and .ru.
There are other kinds of domains known as sponsored top-level domains. Examples of sponsored top-level domains are .edu and .mil.
The question that John Mueller answered had to do with a new kind of domain that are called, new top-level domains (nTLDs).
An nTLD is a generic top-level domain that is usually made up of a keyword.As mentioned above, typical examples of nTLDs are .tool and .shopping but also .job, .dentist and .marketing.
Question About SEO Benefits of nTLD Keyword Domains
The question sought to understand how Google indexed nTLDs and if there were any benefits.
Google’s Mueller answered the question and expanded on his answer to include possible SEO benefits.
This is the question:
“I’d like to know how Google indexes sites with new extensions like dot club or dot tools.
Is there any preference for indexing dot com domains over these?”
Generic Top Level Domains are Treated Equally
Google’s John Mueller answered:
“So we treat all of the New Top-level Domains like any other generic top-level domain.
So there is no kind of additional value to having keywords in the top-level domain. There’s no additional value in having city names or country names in the top-level domain.
We treat them all like any other generic top-level domain, like leica.com, essentially.
So from that point of view, if you find a domain name that works well for your site that you want to keep for the long run and it’s a New top-level Domain then definitely go for it. I think that’s perfectly fine.”
No SEO “Bonus” for New Top Level Domains
Google’s Mueller then added that there are no SEO benefits to a keyword matched nTLD.
“But also keep in mind that there is no kind of bonus for using a particularly well matching top-level domain.
It’s not that we would, from an SEO point of view, treat those as anything better than other generic top-level domains.”
How Google Treats Top Level Domains
Google has a history of treating generic top level domains differently from country code top level domain (.uk, .ru, etc.).
Google uses many country code level domains (ccTLDs) as a signal of what country Google should show a web page in, to localize the search result of a web page that uses a country code domain.
That’s why in general people in the USA might not see results from a .uk domain and why search results in Ireland may show preference to a .ie domain.
According to a Google support page about internationalization:
“If your site has a country-coded top-level domain (such as .ie or .fr) it is already associated with a geographic region (in this example, Ireland or France).
If you use a country-coded domain, you won’t be able to specify a geographic location. You can specify a target country in the International Targeting report.”
Understanding that Google treated many ccTLDs as a geographic localization ranking signal may have inspired SEOs to wonder if Google showed preference to other kinds of domains.
For example, the SEO community has long believed that .edu domains had special ranking power and because of that, links from .edu websites have been prized higher than links from common generic top level domains like .com.
Yet Googlers have long insisted that Google does not treat .edu sites any differently than other generic top level domains. Although .edu domains are a sponsored top level domain, John Mueller’s answer can be seen as being in harmony with previous statements about not showing any indexing or ranking preference for a type of top level domain (with the documented exception of country code top level domains).
Mueller said that Google does not treat New Top Level Domains (nTLDs) differently from generic top level domains. That’s good information because it helps to fill in the knowledge gaps in how Google treats different generic top level domains. It also helps because we can rule out SEO benefits from a keyword related nTLD as a reason to register an nTLD.
There are many good reasons to register an nTLD. But according to Google’s John Mueller, SEO benefits is not one of the reasons.
Watch Google’s John Mueller Discuss SEO Value of New Top Level Domains
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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