The new gTLD’s (generic top-level domains) are now a reality, with the first batch of new gTLD’s going live within the last week. There are 7 new gTLD’s that are available on the web now:
How is the adoption so far? Out of the 7, .GURU appears to be the most interesting, so that’s the one I took a look. As of today (February 5, 2014), there are 22 .GURU domains indexed by Google, 4 of which can be considered as a complete site:
A fifth one, webhosting.guru, has a completed home page, but all the content there points to the main site, which was a .co.uk domain, so I do not consider that as a built-out domain. The other 17 domains are either just domain registrar parking pages or a “more to come” type of page.
The adoption of these new gTLD’s will most likely depend on two things:
1) How big brands decide to use it.
2) Whether it gains traction on the search engines, especially Google.
We will not know much about the first point until much later, as most brands who applied for their own gTLD no doubt are taking their time and just waiting to see what someone else does first. My guess is that we probably won’t see anything there until towards the end of 2014.
With respect to the second point, I took a look at the ranking of these domains on Google for an exact-match term (i.e., I checked “sql guru” to see if sql.guru is ranking). Below is what I found:
pregnancy.guru: #12 for “pregnancy guru”
robot.guru: #18 for “robot guru”
sql.guru: Not in the top 100 for “sql guru”
analytics.guru: Not in the top 100 for “analytics guru”
By virtue of two of the domains showing up in page 2, it seems that the presence of the words in the domain name, both to the left of the dot and to the right of the dot, help in the rankings. This suggests that there may be an SEO play in the new gTLD space.
I also checked Bing to see how many .guru domains it has indexed, and found that it has indexed only one such domain. This is not too much of a surprise because Bing’s ability to discover new content is slower than Google.