Bill Hartzer

Even Huge Institutions Can’t Move Their Sites Properly to a New gTLD

As you may already know, I am an advocate of the New gTLD domain names. Whenever possible, I recommend moving away from a .COM domain name to a New gTLD domain name if that new domain you’re moving to is “better”. Meaning that if you can get a keyword-rich domain (with the keyword in the ending), that ultimately will be the better choice for your site. The New gTLD domains, however, have been slowly been adopted, and what it’s going to take is for more and more mainstream businesses to start moving to a New gTLD. That way the public will be much more accepting of the New gTLDs.

One of the first major sites that I saw was Mr. Jim’s pizza, who not only have MrJims.Pizza up and running, but they are advertising that URL on local television here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Well, unfortunately they haven’t actually moved, though. They just put up a “copy” of their main site on the same URL. If you go to http://www.mrjims.pizza you’ll see the same exact site as you do on http://www.mrjims.com:

Having the same exact site on your New gTLD as your .COM is a cop-out. It’s not right, and is, in fact, duplicate content. When it comes to Google, you’ll search for “Mr. Jim’s Pizza” and you’ll always get the .COM site first, as the New gTLD won’t show up. That’s Google’s duplicate content filter at work: they index and rank the first version they see, and then the others are considered to be duplicates. They may or may not be indexed, depending on how many links those copies have pointing to them.

Having the same exact site on your New gTLD as your .COM is a cop-out. It’s not right, and is, in fact, duplicate content.

I am utterly disappointed when Barclays PLC, the huge banking institution in the UK, announced that they were moving away from .COM domains and, in fact, moving to .Barclays domains–but also have duplicate sites up and running.

Barclays PLC has a duplicate copy of their site at http://www.barclays.com and at http://www.home.barclays/ and actually can be very confusing to customers. Is their site www.home.barclays or is it www.barclays.com?

Barclays PLC, which publicly announced that they are going to move from .COM to .Barclays, yet they have to separate sites up and running now, two different copies. One plan could be to have both sites up and running for a period of time and then set up the redirects. But, in fact, I wouldn’t do it this way, I don’t recommend it. I would, in fact, simply have a small version of the Barclay’s home page on the new www.home.barclays site, announcing the upcoming change.

Ultimately, Barclays moving to New gTLDs is a a huge win for the New gTLDs, and a welcome site. I’m just not a fan of how these huge institutions are going about moving and “not” redirecting their sites to the new domains properly.

When it comes to other companies that are moving to a New gTLD, I am not sure that these businesses like Mr. Jim’s Pizza actually have plan in place for moving. It could be that they’re just buying these New gTLD domain names, putting up a copy of their site or configuring the DNS so that the same site appears, and waiting. They could, in fact, be waiting to see if the New gTLDs are not a fad. At some point they may move, but I suspect that for now they will keep the duplicate copies of their site in place.

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