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    Links from International TLD's - Good, bad? TBD?


    Since there is little excitement here, I have a new theory/test I've been working on. It involves international TLD's to .com's.

    Theory: Since Google Penguin, I've seen many sites be hit for spam. The spam comes from (and no offense to any country or civilians of said country): Part 1, opinions? Thoughts?

    .info
    .biz
    .in
    .rs
    etc, etc, etc.

    Per previous debates about TLD's vs a .biz or .info, I STILL feel Google weighs in more on TLD's, but that's not the exact topic here....

    The theory is that Google has an eye out for links of these extensions or types as they TYPICALLY fall into a spammy link profile. Thus, sites with an unbalance spectrum of links from various domains mentioned above might be more inclined to be hit with a spam filter...

    However, based on my research of Rusty's blog and his publication of spammy sites being hit off of Google, it seems to match. The majority of sites are .info, etc.

    Now, I'm not saying .info's are bad, but it makes me think that they're under a finder microscope. - Part 2, opinions? Thoughts?

    Thus, the formal question: Would you, as an SEO be a bit paranoid or nervous to compile links from said extensions? Specifically, .info and .in?

    "But it's relevant and the site has trust it shouldn't matter..." - Yes, I know, save your fingers the energy; but based on the immediate history with some of these domains, is it possible that the extensions could be 'toxic'?

    Any thoughts, experiences, etc could be great. Just looking for an outside opinion.

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    • KernelPanic agrees
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    I know where you're coming from with this Josh and its been a topic that pops up on many sites from time to time, but I don't think it's quite as black and white as google liking .com over .info or giving .info links lower power etc.

    Yes many more .info etc sites where likely hit more for spam then .com but that's more likely to be because 1. People these domains on offer at a considerable discount price (net earth one for example are always doing offers on less common TLDs from .info to .in and others). 2. More domain options tend to be available for extensions other then .com and the other more used ones.

    So with those two points in mind, I would say that those types of extensions are more likely to be used for spam etc which is why more of them are hit by google such as with Penguin.

    I only own one .im site which I haven't done any seo work because its just a simply url shortening project I started for something to do some time back so I have nothing to show to prove anything, but I honestly don't believe that google or any other search engine would penalise a number of domain extensions such as .info like some people think they may do.

    By all means such extension may be watched more closely, but I think google would tell us these days if said extensions where given less weight in the results simply for not being a .com, I mean look at the openness google seems to have these days with telling that .co.cc would no longer be indexed for example!

    I would be happy to offer my .im domain for testing if you like (as long as you don't be mean to it lol) and happy to help out if work permits a little spare time here and there
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    I've never found the domain extension to be a factor at all. Other than country specific, I've found the TLD domains are treated exactly the same. It all depends on the site attached to that TLD name.
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    I'd be like saying that since a dog bit a human at one point, all dogs will bite and they are all bad and dangerous... not sure about that.
    Disclaimer : My posts on SEO are just from my observations and I do not say it is a true fact... A real fact of life is that, I'm often wrong...
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    Originally Posted by Jocelyn
    I'd be like saying that since a dog bit a human at one point, all dogs will bite and they are all bad and dangerous... not sure about that.
    Oh, I know. Don't get me wrong. I'm curious on experiences and theories. I'm not saying/assuming - just wanted to gather opinions ;)
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    My opinion is that Google will weigh country specific TLDs according to location. If you or your client is a global, multi-national trying to rank worldwide, then a blend links from different country specific of TLDs in countries with points of presence makes sense.

    If you are a NYC pizza store with only one location in Manhattan, NY but with tons of links from country specific TLDs outside of US,then this might raise a flag for Google ;-)

    For sure, Google algorithms factor in location and for certain categories, such as Internet marketing for instance, links from .in, .uk, .au, .za, etc. make sense as these are centers of Internet marketing excellence IMHO, at least for English of some form or another, as a native language, so getting links worldwide on sites that cover topics of relevance from these TLDs is probably good.

    All that aside, bad neighborhoods (as viewed by Google) are bad neighborhoods and just like Mom used to say, "you are viewed by others based on the company you keep", so bad links can come from any TLD or geographical location.
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    Firstly you shouldn't assume a country specific tld is used for or located in that country. You can buy various exts like .se or .es, host them outside that country and target them at a different audience. Many countries have started to relax their rules so its a lot more difficult to determine that .es is anything to do with spain, unlike Ireland which still requires application and proof before selling you a .ie

    secondly .co.cc was a bit different because it was never an authorised tld. subdomains were often available for free and then hugely abused. Googles issue here wasnt just a spam check, but the network was riddled with malicious content, spyware, viruses, porn, phishing etc you name it. Any innocent sites were also caught up in googles instant dropping of this extension.

    I cant see why an authorised non geo ext like .info would be singled out for special attention, above other tlds. Im not aware of .info being a house of horrors like a .co.cc ... Could it really be the case that .info is the ext for more spam sites than say .com, probably unlikely, but either way wouldnt it be coincidental ? and as sites get built and taken down and domains registered and not renewed, wouldnt any analysis on this be purely transient from week to week ?
    Last edited by Sinclairos; Mar 7th, 2013 at 01:47 PM.
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    I can tell you based on an experiment I did that using a .ws in the US is a bad idea. After that Joshy I can just give my opinion and regurgitate what others have said.

    I thought I remembered Google banning all the .co.cc from their index?
    I think Google looks at .us, .info, and some of the others more closely but at the end of the day authority and relevance will win it over.

    Comments on this post

    • joshz agrees : No rep left - yeah, I'm not defending or supporting anything one way - just curious about other views to see how I can reform my theory and retest ;)
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    I think you can fall over the cliff using any TLD..which is when the problem rears it's ugly head.
    I don't think the TLD has anything to do with it, it's the link builder that's causing the problem.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    I can tell you based on an experiment I did that using a .ws in the US is a bad idea. After that Joshy I can just give my opinion and regurgitate what others have said.
    It would be interesting to see your findings on this if you don't mind sharing them?

    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    I thought I remembered Google banning all the .co.cc from their index?
    Yes they did for a while but then they let them back in, but shortly after that .co.cc shut down without warning to any of its users (I know this because I had a couple of .co.cc to use as live dev site due to them being free.

    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    I think Google looks at .us, .info, and some of the others more closely but at the end of the day authority and relevance will win it over.
    My exact thoughts, I have no doubt that google has a closer eye on these less commonly ranked extensions due to them being known for spam and other bad things, but any domain that's used correctly should be able to gain authority and relevance so I would be inclined to believe that its just as possible to rank a .info as a .com as long as you can gain the right links!

    I don't think google would penalise them all the same from the start because that would just be wrong IMO.

    Having said that though, it is google search results and they do quite clearly state they can remove what they want from them without warning or making it publicly known so its something we are not likely to find a definitive answer to without some form of confirmation for google
    Last edited by NathanielB; Mar 8th, 2013 at 03:41 AM.

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