March 19, 2012The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is full of myths in regard to ranking well on Google – and the latest to be busted relates to new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD’s).

Rumour has it that new gTLD’s will rank more strongly on Google, with some of those rumours originating with companies involved with promoting or the application process for the TLD’s.

Google’s Matt Cutts has poured cold water on these claims.

A software engineer who has been with the company for over a decade, Mr. Cutts heads Google’s web spam team – the commandos who investigate how Google’s closely guarded ranking algorithms are or might be gamed and then take steps to level the playing field.

Mr. Cutts often communicates with the webmaster community through official Google channels, his own blog and regularly pops up in online communities around the web. Sometimes he can be vague or cryptic in his guidance to avoid giving too much away; but on this topic he was very clear.

Responding via his Google+ account to the claims of any newly-minted generic Top Level Domain having additional ranking power, Mr. Cutts states:

“Sorry, but that’s just not true, and as an engineer in the search quality team at Google, I feel the need to debunk this misconception. Google has a lot of experience in returning relevant web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately, but I don’t expect a new TLD to get any kind of initial preference over .com, and I wouldn’t bet on that happening in the long-term either.”

Further warning about the risk of applying for a new gTLD with top rankings in mind, Mr Cutts said:

“If you want to register an entirely new TLD for other reasons, that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you’ll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings.”