A common question that we noticed is about the SEO value of a domain name with a new extension. We sometimes also see some reticence to really transfer a website a new extension. Is this justified? If there was anyone that should know, it would be the registry of .amsterdam and .frl: long before the extension became available, they worked together with their pioneers to transfer their websites, and in addition they carefully looked what happened to the results in Google.
In this blog post, written by the registry of these extensions, you will read their findings, tips and tricks, which apply to all extensions, whether the extension is .amsterdam, .barcelona, .nyc, .email or .tips. As you just read, there is nothing in your way to transfer a website to a new extension!
A lot of sense and nonsense has been written about transferring a .NL domain name to another extension and the value about that domain name, hence this document with substantiated figures about the ups and downs about a new .FRL domain name.
Fact 1: Google does not mind
Google does not have problems with transferring a site from one domain to another. They even created a manual for this. Click on the link below to view the manual: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.nl/2008/04/best-practices-when-moving-your-site.html
Highlights of this manual:
- Make sure that all pages have a 1-on-1 301 redirect to the new pages
- Try it first with a section of the site
- Avoid 404 errors, these cause poor user experience
For the pioneers of .FRL and .AMSTERDAM a special manual has been made about how you can provide a complete website with 301 pages, with only one change in the .htaccess file.
Fact 2: The current pioneers did not suffer disadvantages
None of the pioneers that redirected their .NL domain to a .FRL and .AMSTERDAM has sent us a complaint. The .NL website as well as the new domain stays in the air and all websites that refer to .NL are seeing .FRL. Because all pages have been taken over one-on-on from .NL to .FRL, the .FRL website will be completely indexed by Google after a few days. Our experience is that Google adds approximately 3,000 pages a day when a domain name is transferred to another URL.
Fact 3: Google indexes sites with multiple domains names without problems
Some experts argue that Google no longer indexes a site when there are multiple domain names for the same site. This is not the case. At the moment that I am writing this there have been a number of websites that redirected their .NL websites with a 301 to .FRL, but there are also some pioneers who have not done this.
Want to know how Google handles multiple domain names and the same content? Read the post below: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359
For the pioneers that did not redirect their .NL website to a .FRL, we are seeing that the .FRL only gets indexed sparsely. As pages are accidentally found by Google, they are included in the index. The .NL site simply remains as it is and remains listed unchanged in the Google index.
For the pioneers that did make a 301 redirect, we are seeing rapid indexing of the .FRL site in the first days. After only two weeks the number of .NL sites in the Google index starts declining. The 301 redirect causes the .FRL pages to take over priority of the .NL pages. The .NL pages disappear from the Google index, but the website remains in the air and will keep redirecting to .FRL. So visitors that enter the .NL website or have the website in their bookmarks encounter no problems.
Fact 4 – The .NL website only disappears after the .FRL has been indexed
The very first pioneer who transferred his website to .FRL was frieslandbeweegt.frl. Their website had 33,500 pages indexed by Google. The next weeks we have monitored the indexation and saw that about 3,000 pages are added daily for the .FRL site. Only after two weeks the first .NL pages started to disappear. Two weeks after launching the .FRL site the status was: 46,000 indexed pages on both domains, way more than the original 33,500.
Fact 5: Google does find the .FRL domain names
There are many concerns that Google would not approve or recognize the .FRL domain names. The truth is that Google does not have a preference for a .NL of a .FRL domain name as long as it within the Netherlands and the content of the website is good. Because the content of the website is extremely important for Google.
At this moment the search term “internet friesland” is rewarded with a .FRL website on the first and third place of the organic search results.
And the search term “marketing friesland” will find you a .FRL pioneer domain name as second hit:
Websites that are now transferred to .FRL
Click here to get a list of sites that have been transferred to .FRL: https://www.google.nl/search?q=site%3A.frl
Below are some examples of websites that first had a .NL (or other extension) domain name and have been transferred to .FRL
- fryslan.frl and fryslân.frl
- kruspunt.frl and krûspunt.frl
- afuk.frl and afûk.frl