Is Better For SEO? Local SEO And TLDs

Originally Posted on 19.03.2012 reviewed for 2021

Pedro Matias SEO
This is me! The image here is part of a super secret SEO test, read along…

Is better seo?

This is a question that brings a few visitors to this site, Google seems to “think” I already answer that question in another post. Google Local SEO 8 Quick Tips for Business. I’ll save you the click through, see below what that page says about a local TLD being better for SEO.

Is Better For SEO? Local SEO And TLDs

If you are a targeting just a local area or the UK, you will be better off with a domain name than a .com. If you are elsewhere get a local TLD (top level domain) i.e. .pt for Portugal .sp for Spain and so on.
If available, you should also get the .com for your business name, this avoids someone else getting it and compete with your site or try and impersonate you.

2021 update: still as relevant now as in 2012

You may be asking if you already answer the question why are you writing about it again?

There are variants of the question such as: domain better for google uk search results?

The answer to that is also yes for the most part, but what is impossible to tell from both these queries and other similar ones; is if the person trying to find the answer wants to apply the new knowledge gained to an existing website or a new one.

2021 update: still as relevant now as in 2012

Is domain better for google UK search results?

For a new website and all things being equal, I would say yes the logic being the one explained in the excerpt above. You could also think of it as and other .uk TLDs as being similar to the post code for your region or the +44 for the country telephone calling code.

For an existing website probably NOT.

Meaning if your site runs on a .com and you are thinking of moving to a or whatever you local TLD is, just for the purpose of your SEO. it is highly unlikely that the local TLD alone will make any difference, at least any that you can measure and attribute to the new local TLD.

Having said that, if you run and is available I would recommend buying it and simply redirect the to your existing .com.

Remember in SEO no single factor alone is likely to have much impact, be that TLD, keywords, links and so on!

2021 update: still as relevant now as in 2012

Set Your Site’s Geographic Target in Google Webmaster Tools

If you are already using Google Webmaster Tools you can set you preferred geographical target. This will tell Google what country you are targeting.

If you are not, now would probably be a good time to consider using it. As over the long run it will give you invaluable data about how Google views your site and lots of additional actionable insights, as well as messages directly from Google, when there are fundamental technical issues with your site.

2021 update: still as relevant now as in 2012

There was a related Google+ (remember that?) Post by Matt Cutts around the new TLD types coming out soon. See below or follow the link for the additional conversation in the comments.

I read a post by someone offering new top-level domain (TLDs). They made this claim: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will.”

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.

2021 update: still as relevant now as in 2012

Hope that gives you a good overview of TLDs and local SEO. Be sure to let me know your thoughts or any questions you might have in the comments below.

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