As you may already know, Godaddy is introducing new Top Level Domains (TLD) by city. The first city they will be starting with is Los Angeles. So what it would appear that they are doing is starting to use the phone company model. Where each city has it’s own area code and each domain has it own extension still avaiable nationally, however more specific locally. Thus making TLD such as .com, ,net, etc more of a national domain like 800 toll free numbers.
So this begs the question,
How will City Specific Domains effect SEO and Search as we know it?
Based on the phone company concept I don’t see this affecting SEO and search on the national level much at all. Where I see the bigger impact is on local search. Now with search engines already identifying your location and providing a mix of relevant local and national results, it will make the portion allocated to local more competitive. But again, much like we have seen with the Panda updates, it is more obvious that a domain name alone will not matter if you don’t have good content and if people don’t find your website useful to some extent.
One benefit for search engine companies and the people that use those engines is now they will be able to actually develop local search engines. Well let me be more specific. They won’t actually have to develop a new local search engine, they already have the capability built in. It is called Boolean Search.
Boolean Search allows a person to refine their search in many different ways. Such as by specific order of words, words and excluded words, regions, time, TLD, and more. So for the search engines to now provide a local city search engine they will only have to turn on TLD Domian Boolean Logic and you will be searching by city specific only. Or give a choice to search by city visible by clicking. But until the search enignes make this feature simple and obvious to use, you can see how this works for yourself. Simply going to Google and adjusting the search setting under “Advanced”.
First, go to Google and type in a search. For this example I have used “Travel”. Then go to the Settings Icon in the top right hand corner of the screen and and click on “Advanced Search”. Once you have gotten to the Advanced search screen look down the page to find the Title “Narrowing Your Search Down by”. Under this title look for the option “Site or Domain”. In this box I have entered “LA”, but you could easily enter any domain extension you wish such as .gov, .com, .org, .info, .net, etc…
Now You can see what search results have been produced. Notice how all the search results in the screen capture below are all .LA extensions. Notice the Boolean Search Criteria per-populated for you in the top search box.
And just like that, you know have a local city search engine.
Hope this helps and thanks for your time. We welcome your comments below.