Detailed Look At Google’s TLDs

Google was very aggressive in applying for new TLDs. They applied for 102 different extensions at a cost of $18.87 million (their actual spend will be higher as explained later). Some where obvious (like .google and .search) and others were head-scratchers (like .lol and .soy). Below I break down all the different TLDs Google applied for.

Brand TLDs

These are the top-level domains that protect Google’s brand and give Google the ability to allow domain sales or personalization (www.dustin.youtube, for example).

  • AND (Android)
  • ANDROID
  • CHROME
  • DCLK (DoubleClick)
  • GOOG
  • GOOGLE
  • GMAIL
  • YOUTUBE

Generic TLDs Directly Related To Google’s Business

These are TLDs that are clearly of interest to Google due to current areas that Google operates in.

  • グーグル (Google in Japanese)
  • ADS (Google Adwords & Ads)
  • APP* (Android Apps)
  • BLOG* (Blogspot)
  • BOOK* (Google Books)
  • CAL (Google Calendar)
  • CLOUD* (Google Cloud Services or App Engine)
  • DRIVE* (Google Drive or Google Self-driving cars)
  • DOCS* (Google Docs)
  • EARTH* (Google Earth)
  • FILM* (YouTube, though this is a stretch)
  • GBIZ (Google Business)
  • HANGOUT (Google Hangout)
  • MAIL* (Gmail)
  • MAP* (Google Maps)
  • MOV (YouTube .mov files)
  • MOVIE* (YouTube)
  • MUSIC* (Google Music)
  • PAGE (Google Pages or Google+ pages)
  • PLUS* (Google Plus)
  • SHOP* (Google Shopping)
  • TALK (Google Talk)
  • TUBE (YouTube)
  • SEARCH* (Google Search)
  • SITE* (Google Sites)
  • STORE (Google shopping or stores)

Generic TLDs Not Related to Current Google Efforts

These are TLDs that Google doesn’t really have a clear business reason to be in. These are interesting to look at as potential markets where Google would like to expand into.

  • みんな (“Everyone” in Japanese)
  • 谷歌 (“Valley Song” in Japanese)
  • ARE
  • BABY*
  • BOO* (no idea why – Halloween sites?)
  • BUY* (perhaps Google checkout or shopping)
  • CAR
  • CHANNEL
  • CORP* (corporation)
  • CPA* (certified public accountant or cost-per-aquisition)
  • DAD
  • DAY
  • DDS
  • DEV*
  • DIY*
  • DOG*
  • DOT*
  • EAT
  • ESQ
  • EST
  • FAMILY*
  • FLY
  • FOO
  • FREE*
  • FUN*
  • FYI*
  • GAME*
  • GLE
  • GMBH* (German limited liability company)
  • GOO* (assume they were thinking another version of Google)
  • GUGE (Ancient Kingdom in Western Tibet)
  • HERE
  • HOME*
  • HOW
  • INC* (incorporated)
  • ING (attempt to grab present tense verbs)
  • KID
  • LIVE*
  • LLC* (limited liability company)
  • LLP* (limited liability parntership)
  • LOL (laugh out loud)
  • LOVE*
  • MBA* (Masters in Business Admin)
  • MED*
  • MEME
  • MOM*
  • MOTO*
  • NEW
  • NEXUS
  • PET*
  • PAGE
  • PHD*
  • PLAY*
  • PROD
  • PROF
  • RSVP
  • SHOW*
  • SOY
  • SPOT
  • SRL
  • TEAM
  • TECH
  • TOUR
  • VIP
  • WEB
  • WOW
  • YOU
  • ZIP

All the results with an asterix (*) are one’s Google will have to win an auction to own the TLD rights. Interestingly, Google applied for .car and was the only one, but several will be bidding on .cars. Same goes with .kid – the plural version was bidded on by two others.

There are some notable TLDs Google didn’t apply for: .art, .audio, .cam, .cash, .cat, .chat, .city, .cpm, .cpc, .data, .deal, .directions, .discount, .eco, .family, .forum, .forsale, .foundation, .green, .group, .guide, .happy, .hotel, .humor, .help, .laugh, .ltd, .news,, .online, ..photos, .pics, .places, .reviews, .sale, .serp, .spam, .shopping, .shop, .store, .restaurant, .tickets, .travel, .video, .vote, and .wiki, and .wikipedia (just kidding).

What is G.co?

Soon many people may be wondering why they are seeing links with http://g.co/ in them are and whether they should be trusted. The short answer is that they are auto-generated by Google for URL shortening purposes, similar to how Twitter started using t.co.

what is g.coBackground on the g.co Domain
If you’ve been following the domain world this past year, you may recognize the .co TLD which actually stands for the country of Columbia, but has been marketed as a .com competitor. A few companies have paid big money to get their hands on very short .co URLs. In particular, Overstock bought o.co for $350k. Twitter bought t.co and Amazon bought a.co, z.co, and k.co. The .co authorities mentioned that one-letter .co domains are worth about $1.5 million now. Hard to say what Google paid for it, but I imagine it was in the $100k range due to the actual registration date (see below).

Though the news of g.co just hit the web, Google actually registered the domain back on April 26th, 2010 according to whois domain records. Strangely, Google only registered it for 2-years… it is set to expire on April 25th, 2012. I’m actually a little surprised Google doesn’t usually register its domain names for longer periods of time: Google.com is set to expire on September 13th – imagine picking up that domain on a domain drop!

Google’s Intended Use of G.CO
No one really knows how Google will use g.co at this point but Google has stated that it will be used just for Google websites, so anyone clicking on them can trust that they will be going to a Google website. I suspect Google might use it to send people to Google-plus and/or Google docs. Google assures us we will find out soon.

g.co vs goo.gl
goo.gl is Google’s public URL shortening service, similar to bit.ly and t.co. All three services intend to offer some level of protection against malware & affiliate scams, provide proper 301 redirects for SEO, and offer some level of reporting. However, g.co intends to be Google-only links, so all reporting will probably be just for Google’s eyes & I’d expect they will handle the redirects properly.

Are g.co Links Safe?
Considering Google intends them to be links to only Google properties, they should be very safe. However, if Google does end up using the links for Google+ or service where users are allowed to create their own content, then the link may not be completely safe (though I expect as with t.co and goo.gl links, Google will be monitoring them for abuse). I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

Dustin Interviewed About SEO

The Search Engine Journal was kind enough to interview me about various SEO topics, including: evolution of SEO, using UGC to drive SEO, Domainers vs. SEOs, and making the transition from in-house SEO to out-house SEO (working out of my house as an SEO consultant).
Dustin Woodard
I didn’t realize it until now, but this is my 2nd interview with the Search Engine Journal–the first was over 3 years ago. If you dig reading about me 1/10th as much as I do, then I suggest you check out both interviews:

Dustin Woodard 2010 SEJ Interview
by Todd Mintz
Dustin Woodard 2007 SEJ Interview
by Jessica Bowman

Besides learning more about me, I think you’ll find some helpful SEO tips inside both interviews.

GoDaddy Twitter Relationship

Just over a month ago, I was shocked when I was force-fed a twitter screen takeover while looking at my domain names registered at GoDaddy. Immediately, I did some news searches to see if GoDaddy had purchased Twitter because it seemed very out of place. There were no such announcements. In fact, there was very little news about this development.

GoDaddy Twitter IntegrationEvery time I’m in my account tweaking my domains, I can’t help but notice the twitter promotion overload. I can’t help but wonder why GoDaddy would take such a keen interest in helping to fuel more twitter accounts. From a service perspective, it is pretty lame because it is already incredibly easy to check name availability and sign up for twitter. I could think of a hundred other features GoDaddy should build and promote instead. If it were a two-way arrangement, where Twitter promotes domain registration for Twitter user names, then I could see the benefit.

So why do you suppose GoDaddy is pimping Twitter so much? Is GoDaddy going to buy Twitter? Is Twitter paying GoDaddy for this treatment? Is GoDaddy’s product development team overly caught up with Twitter & group-think led them to believe this add on would separate them from other registrars? I have no idea, but it will be interesting to watch this over time.

Here are more screenshots showing how much GoDaddy is pimping out Twitter within their domain dashboards:

GoDaddy Twitter promo

Why is GoDaddy Pimping Twitter

GoDaddy Twitter name check feature

Online Reputation Management for Non-SEOs

Online reputation management is increasingly important as more and more friends, family and employers search your name. Even if you are always on your best behavior online or you have a fairly unique name, as the population swells and more people become creators of content on the web, there’s a great chance that people will mistake others activity online as your own!

Controlling or managing search rank for your own name is fairly easy for an SEO (search engine optimizer), but what can the average person do? Below I outline a number of free, quick, easy and effective ways to populate the first page of results for your name. I highly recommend people start creating content for their name now as it will be much more difficult after waiting for someone else with your name to muddy the search results to spur you to action.

1) Create a Blog
Even if you build just a one-page site using your name on a free blog network, you can quickly use your blog to create pages about yourself and link to other pages you are going to create on this list. Use your name in the blog name.
free blogEstimated time to complete: 10 minutes
Free Options: Blogger (blogspot), WordPress, LiveJournal

2) Create a Wiki
Several wiki platforms have done a great job of creating publishing tools that are even easier to use than most blog technology. Though wikis are best suited for group collaboration, the will also work well helping you link to your blog and other pages. Use your name in the wiki name.
free wikiEstimated time to complete: 10 minutes
Free Options: Wetpaint*, Wikia

3) Register your domain
If you are lucky enough to have [insertyourname].com (or .net, .org, .info) available, snatch them up. The $8 a year fee is well worth it even if you don’t actively build a site using it because, at the very least, you are preventing your competition (other people with your name, or people who don’t like you) from ranking high for your name. Even better, use your domain for the site or wiki you are going to create.
go daddyEstimated time to complete: 5 minutes
Cheap Options: GoDaddy, Yahoo,1&1

4) LinkedIn
Set up a LinkedIn profile and make it publicly available. Add background info like education, employment history, awards or certification (or anything else you are proud of). Add links to your other sites/pages.
linkedinEstimated time to complete: 5-10 minutes

5) Jobster
Some people are a little shocked when they find out their Jobster profile shows up in search. Not you, because you want it to! Create a jobster account, allow it to be publicly available, fill out a little employment info, answer a couple questions, but write it keeping in mind that your current employer could come across it.
jobsterEstimated time to complete: 5 minutes

6) Myspace
Myspace pages tend to show up in search as well. Though Myspace has probably ruined more people’s reputations than helped, you will create a clean Myspace page for your name and, if you feel the urge, put the racy stuff on a different profile.
myspaceEstimated time to complete: 5 minutes

7) Flickr
Flickr accounts and images have a great chance of showing up in the engines, especially for image searches. Creat an account, upload a few photos you like and label them with your name.
flickrEstimated time to complete: 10 minutes

8) Comment on Popular Post
Sometimes I see a commenter’s name show up in search. Find a popular blogger site or newspaper site that allows comments, and find a post that you feel comfortable commenting on. Use your real name for the name field. Try this on a couple sites.
Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

9) Employer Site
If your employer features profiles on their website, ask them to add one for you. If not, talk them into it or author a post on their blog (if they have one).
Estimated time to complete: 5-30 minutes, depending on your company

10) Join a Forum
Do a search for a forum that you might want to participate on. For example, if you are into guitar, you should search for “guitar forum.” If it looks like a place where it would be easy for you to make five or six posts, then sign up and use your name for your profile name. Make your five posts and fill out your profile page with information about you and use your name at least once in the profile description.
Estimated time to complete: 15 minutes

*Disclosure: I work for Wetpaint, but honestly believe their wiki solution is the best option

In the future, Facebook might also be an option. They recently allowed profiles set to public to be crawled, but they are showing logged-out status of your profile, which is basically your name and picture right now. Eventually, I believe, Facebook will open it up to show your full public profile (probably in ’08).

Keep in mind, Google usually only shows two results for any one site. That’s why I have you contributing on multiple sites. A couple more tips:

  • If you ever receive a great interview or bio online, link to it from your sites.
  • For online activity that you don’t want to be associated with your name, use a nickname or “handle” that is completely different from your real name.
  • If you have stiffer competition for your name, you may need to spend more time building out and linking to the various options I list above.