With the outpouring of new Top Level Domains hitting the market, the question everyone is asking is how Google will treat these new extensions. While Matt Cutts has come out and directly stated that the new TLDs won’t be given preference over existing .com’s, I do feel strongly that over time these TLDs will begin to have increased value in areas related to very specific and targeted keywords.
My thinking is along these lines: while the .com will forever be the holy grail and the most “valuable” domain in terms of preference by Google, there is still very valuable real estate that exists just below the #1 listing, which is where these very targeted TLDs could see rankings as they become more engrained.
Take for example the term Hawaii Vacations. I feel strongly that a well optimized, targeted domain like HawaiiVacations.com has the potential to rank very highly for specific searches related to Hawaii Vacations. However, a new top level domain like Hawaii.Vacations can rank extremely well, if the site is optimized, and will be given preference and value in Google search results for searches relate closely to those terms.
This is just an example and currently the HawaiiVacations.com domain doesn’t rank very highly for that specific search, but it also doesn’t appear to have much optimization or content enhancement adhered to it.
The strong evidence that Google does see some overall value in the new TLDs is the fact that they have entered the fray of acquiring the rights to various new TLDs. While this gives Google an opportunity to enter a market that is currently controlled by GoDaddy, it also shows that they must envision they are going to have some value. With Google shown interest, assuming TLDs will rank well in their search engine is a safe bet.
At the end of the day, I would recommend paying close attention to the new TLDs and considering purchasing ones where the cost is valuable and the domain is targeting an important search term of yours. While they likely won’t be immediate drivers of opportunity, one thing is for certain, the Internet just got a whole lot bigger and more and more sites are going to be placed on these new TLDs. As the Internet evolves – so must your business.