In a surprising move, Google appears to have been busy preparing for the launch of the new gTLDs by updating their search indexing systems (the mysterious “algorithm”) in the past few days to start treating more Top Level Domains on the same basis.
Previously they had given more weight to generic searches to those optimised websites that use the most popular gTLDs such as com, net, org and info. They have now widened the pool of domain suffixes that they consider “generic”, to include the likes of .dj, .fm, .la, .me and .tv. In total they have applied the change to 20 country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), some of which, such as the five mentioned above, are considered as “generic” by many due to their vanity aspect.
The change to these 20 ccTLDs means that when analysing a website, any website using these will not be deemed as “localized”, and thus will appear in more search ranking results.
The likes of .co and .me have long been considered to be more than just ccTLDs, and so this search index change will be a welcome boost to brands that decided to invest in these top level domains, rather than those that try to buy an expensive gTLD on the secondary market.
What this undoubtedly means is that Google will be creating a process ready for the launch of the generic, open new gTLDs when they start delegation later in the summer.
You can be sure that once Google go down this route, the value in these new gTLDs will increase significantly.
Source: New gTLD Team, NetNames