Dot Brands are a relatively new addition to domain name choices, and their full marketing and SEO potential has yet to be revealed.
Google recently announced that it will not give any advantage to the newcomers over more traditional TLDs such as dot com, but an organic search approach may still see them reap a benefit.
In their own Webmaster Central Blog, Google answered the question “Will a .BRAND TLD be given any more or less weight than a .com?” with a clear “No.”
“Those TLDs will be treated the same as other gTLDs. They will require the same geotargeting settings and configuration, and they won’t have more weight or influence in the way we crawl, index, or rank URLs,” the post declared.
However, the annual changes to algorithms that Google historically makes each year always change the way SEO campaigns must operate and often contain some unexpected surprises.
Matt Cutts of Google responded to the issue of the new domain extensions:
“There will be a transition period where we have to learn or find out different ways of what the valid TLDs are and if there is any way we can find out what the domains on that top level domain are. It’s definitely been the case that we always wanted to return the best results to users and so we try to figure that out whether it’s on a .com, .de, or .whatever.”
The regular changes in algorithms are Google’s attempt to keep up with changing consumer behaviour and also keep one step ahead of SEO experts.
The most recent move was unofficially dubbed “Mobilegeddon” because it affected anyone who failed to add responsive features to websites to make them multi-device friendly.
Right now, there simply isn’t enough traction in Dot Brands to make it an issue for Google. However, that could well change in the future.
In the world of branding, anything that gives even a minimal advantage over competitors can end up being a make or break difference.
Although as yet there is minimal usage for Dot Brands, examples such as AXA and Barclays getting on board show how major companies are already taking notice.