By Erica Bray
One of the biggest questions swirling around the release of hundreds of new domain name endings is this: Will I be found online if I use new options such as 'dot-photography' (.photography), 'dot-agency' (.agency) or 'dot-media' (.media)?
It’s a legitimate question for businesses and brands whose economic survival and cultural relevancy is tied to that almighty Google search browser.
Well, rest easy. Google has gone on the record in a recent blog about its treatment of these new “not-com” options that should alleviate concerns:
Will these new domain name endings affect my website’s search ranking?No … new domain endings are not treated any differently than traditional domain name endings like .com or .org. Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name.
Google provides an example to bring this point to life. If you type “coffee club” into the Google search browser, you’ll get this as one of its top results: coffee.club.
There are many other examples of businesses and personal brands adopting “not-com” domain names that are finding success online, from startups (Driftaway.Coffee: driftaway.coffee) to established companies (Intelligent Product Solutions: IntelligentProduct.solutions) to personal brands (“The Christmas Expert”: TheChristmas.expert).
It’s all part of a bigger “not-com” revolution taking place online. Since 2014, hundreds of new options have been made available to people looking to launch an Internet presence. While the initial foray came with little promotional effort, that’s quickly changing as more and more businesses, blogs and personal brands are seizing this new choice -- and transforming the Internet namespace like never before.
Google champions this new choice as a way to “find a meaningful and memorable name for your business as you tell the world who you are and what you do.” If you're a photographer, 'dot-photography' (.photography) makes sense; if you're a consultant, the same goes for 'dot-consultant' (.consultant); and so on.
It’s important to note that being found in online search isn’t pegged solely to your domain name. It’s one part of a bigger SEO algorithm that also factors in website content, social media shares, page load times and more.
See Related: How to Be Found Online: 8 Tips to Winning SEO
However, the search engine giant clearly sees promise in, and a need for, new domain options. As one of the biggest investors in the new "not-com" domain space – Google recently paid $25 million for the rights to ‘dot-app’ (.app) – it recently launched Google Domains, a one-stop shop to purchase domain names and build websites.
And Google itself is walking the "not-com" talk. It's among a handful of major brands that have secured its own domain ending. Soon, we'll be seeing the likes of Marriott, BMW and Google using 'dot-marriott' (.marriott), 'dot-bmw' (.bmw) and 'dot-google' (.google), further growing this online naming renaissance and helping people become more comfortable with the notion that there is power -- and online search value -- in thinking beyond 'dot-com' (.com) and 'dot-net' (.net).
Click here to read Google’s latest blog post on its treatment of new not-com domains.