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BizReport : Search Marketing : May 01, 2017

Research finds value in keyword-relevant domain name extensions

A study commissioned by the Domain Name Association to better understand if new, less common Top Level Domains perform in search as well as those that are more traditional, found little difference between the two.

by Helen Leggatt

The research, commissioned by the Domain Name Association, which took place in December, 2016, set out to find whether less common Top Level Domains (TLDs), such as .agency, .pro or .shopping, could "stand on equal ground" in search with more traditional TLDs such as .com or .org.

What they found was that, yes, keyword-relevant domain name extensions did stand on equal ground in organic search performance. Furthermore, relevant domain name extensions, such as .agency or .shopping, needed less inbound links in order to rank in the top page search spots than more generic and traditional extensions.

"This finding is a pretty big reveal from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective because there have been years of speculation and even research around the idea that having the keyword in the URL itself is helpful," said Chris Boggs, founder of Web Traffic Advisors, who carried out the research with supporting analysis from Kevin Rowe of Rowe Digital.

"While there has always been a lot of evidence that points to that conclusion, it has been a bit of a leap to confirm that a keyword-relevant domain name extension would also be of value in search rankings."

Tags: domain name, keyword, research, search

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