Posted on March 23, 2016

How New Domains Are Showing Up in Search Results

Posted on March 23, 2016 by .BIBLE Registry Categories: Case Studies, Domains, Internet, SEO Research

One important consideration for selecting a domain name is how it would help with better placement in search engine results with the highest possible ranking. This is one of the most prominent factors that is part of the art and science of SEO, or search engine optimization.

With nearly a thousand new domain extensions now available on the internet, including .bible, .church, .faith, and .media, there are so many more great choices available for getting a better domain name—a domain that’s shorter, shareable, and memorable. And, a domain name is certainly a most significant factor that’s used to determine your website’s ranking in search engine results. (Research has found over 1,000 factors used in ranking algorithms for popular search engines like Google and Bing.)

Seven Domains on Page 1 of Google Search Results

Our .BIBLE team has noticed 7 particular domain names using the new extensions and how they have stood out in search engine results:

STL.CARS is the new domain name for St. Louis Motorcars, switched from its previous domain name STLMotorcars.com in November 2015. An in-depth case study researched the impact of this change to STL.CARS and found the following:

  • Search engine ranking improved for 50% (8 out of 16) of keyword phrases
  • 7.51% increase of new sessions
  • 33.67% increase in referral traffic
  • 20.09% increase in social media referrals
  • Upward trends in total clicks & impressions and conversions from organic search

Free.bible is the fastest way to download and to share the YouVersion Bible App and it ranks #8 for searches on the phrase “free bible” without extra optimizing of the website. (Note that these rankings are during the time of this blog post and are subject to change over time.)

Deaf.bible is the home page for the Deaf Bible app in 18 sign languages and it ranks #3 for searches on the phrase “deaf bible”.

Newlife.bible is the home page for the mobile app to “Explore what God, faith and Christianity are all about.” This website ranks #4 when searching for “newlife bible” but ranks #1 for the exact phrase “newlife bible”.

search results

Life.church is the website for the often-recognized innovative church located in multiple locations with its central office in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Life.Church switched their domain name in October 2015 from their previous LifeChurch.tv domain. How can 2 letters make a difference? Bobby Gruenewald, Life.Church innovation pastor, explained why:

We believe the transition to Life.Church creates the opportunity to share and talk about the church in a natural way. Plus, it’s a more effective way for people to find and identify us as a church, too.

Coffee.club was launched back in November 2014 and was ranked on page 1 of search results within a week. It continues to rank near the top of searches for the phrase “coffee club” to this day.

Home.barclays is the website address for Barclays Bank, an international bank based in the United Kingdom (with 325 years of history and operating in 40 countries) switched over in May 2015 from its previous .com and .co.uk URLs. 5 of the benefits for this new domain extension is listed by Barclays Group’s Chief Information Security Officer:

  • creates a simplified online user experience,
  • making it crystal clear to our customers that they are engaging with a genuine Barclays site,
  • controlling our own online environment,
  • enables us to provide an even more secure service,
  • increase trust and confidence in Barclays’ online entities

These are just a handful of examples for how these new domain extensions are shaping the future of the Internet. Instead of an online world with domain names ending in .COM or .NET that only tells you that it’s a website, organizations and companies can now use every character in the domain name to meaningfully connect with people with its compelling message.

How Users Choose Search Results Based on Domain Names

One more thing to note. It’s not just about how your website’s ranking in search results; it’s also about how your domain name stands out.

A website’s ranking in search results isn’t the only thing that people look for when deciding on which website to click on. “Domain bias” describes the behavior of how users choose which search result to click on based on the domain name. As described in this article, Turn Domain Bias In Search Results To Your Advantage, about the in-depth study:

“… searchers prefer to click on exact match domains, and are actually 25 percent more likely to click them. In other words, if Joe Searcher is looking for “Home Football Jerseys” to wear to a big game, he is more likely to click on FootballJerseys.com than Overstock.com/sports or GoTeam.com.”

Read the detailed report, Domain bias in web search, from Microsoft Research.

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