Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, took to Google+ to bust yet another myth (there’s been a lot of Matt Cutts myth busting lately, it seems).
He points to an article from Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services (described as “a top-level domain specialist”), which claims that the new top-level domains will “trump .com in Google search results”. Kinderis writes:
Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will. I’ve been researching this topic since development of the new TLD program first began (around 6 years ago) and have closely followed the opinions of the many search industry experts who have taken a great deal of interest in the introduction of these new domains and the impact they will have.
The more I research, the more I have no doubt that a new TLD address will trump its .com equivalent.
Followers of Cutts may have some doubt. Here’s what he said about it on Google+:
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. 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.
In the comments on Matt’s post, one reader suggested that Google doesn’t rank good content, but ranks popular content. Matt responded to that, pointing to a post we did on a video where he discussed porn sites and PageRank.