Does Google show preference to some top level domains? Search marketer Bill Hartzer set out to find out how Google treats different domains in a research experiment with surprising results.
The Research Experiment
The person who conducted the research is Bill Hartzer Bill is a respected search marketer with over 25 years of experience. Bill has a proven history stretching back decades that demonstrate a solid track record of being accurate in his assessments.
The research had the following features:
- 15 domains on 15 different TLDs, each domain name used the same nonsense phrase, “nocseman.”
- Each site was 25 pages
- Each site had unique content
- Each site had one target keyword for their site (a made up nonsense word that was not nocseman)
Results and Claims
Here are the results claimed by the research:
- Google reads the keyword in the domain name.
- Bill Hartzer also found that for new domain names and websites it’s hard to get Google to index their pages. Bill found that it was necessary to verify the site in Google Search Console and and use the URL Inspector Tool to get the sites indexed. The URL Inspector Tool puts the URL in a queue to be indexed.
- Google by default appeared to consider dot CO (.CO) sites to be in Spanish even when there was no Spanish content on the page and without displaying hreflang tags.
- Similarly, .DE sites were automatically considered to be in the German language unless specified to be another language.
- Bill also discovered that verifying the site in Google Search Console and manually submitting one page with the URL Inspection Tool was enough to get the entire website indexed. In other words, it was not necessary to manually submit every page one at a time.
What some might find controversial is that Bill asserts that the research shows Google has a bias toward certain top level domains. A top level domain is .com, .net, etc.