Google soon will revoke access to all websites’ Not Provided keyword data normally viewed via Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google AdWords, and offer 100 percent of the keyword data exclusively to site owners who move their websites to the new .Google gTLD and make their websites secure. According to an unnamed Google source, this is one of the marketing tactics that Google is using to encourage website owners to move their websites from a .COM, .NET, or .Org TLD to the new .Google Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD).
According to my sources at Google, the company’s overall goal is to get as many website owners to move their website to the new .Google gTLD. Google intends to woo site owners into making the change by using incentives such as providing unprecedented access to keyword referral data, as well as advanced access to Google Analytics and Google AdWords features and free secure server certificates for the first year of domain registration.
By allowing and encouraging site owners to move their websites to the new .Google gTLD, Google realized that their brand will get noticed even further beyond organic and paid search, thus getting more free publicity for the Google brand.
Starting on April 1, 2014, at UTC +6 (10:00am Central Standard Time, 8:00am Pacific), Google is opening up .Google gTLD to general availability. While some domain names are being held back by Google (meaning that some names are not going to be available for purchase by the general public), most names, including trademarks and most company and brand names will be available. Some domains being held back include www.ILove.Google, www.Search.Google, and www.WorkAt.Google, domain names like www.SEO.Google, www.PPC.Google, www.CertifiedAgency.Google, and www.ICanRankYourWebsiteNumberOne.Google will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Domain names will be available at many registrars, including GoDaddy, Enom.com, Name.com, and 101Domain.com.
If Google was actually offering incentives like these, then it would really be an April Fool’s joke by Google. But then again, if Matt Cutts promoted it, this is what it would look like:
In an effort to make it as easy as possible to move your website from your current .Com, .Net, or .Org domain to a new .Google domain name, Google has officially teamed up with several popular website hosting companies to make the transition as easy as possible. Google is offering hosting incentives such as vouchers for 30 days of free web hosting to companies who host their websites with web hosts such as HostDime, HostGator, GoDaddy, RackSpace, and 1and1.com if you currently host your website at those registrars and successfully make the move to a .Google domain name.
Google is also offering to pay for your first year of a secure certificate for your new .Google domain name if you switch from another TLD to the new .Google gTLD. Plus, who knows if your new https site will come with a possible search engine ranking boost? According to Matt Cutts, if it was up to him, he would give extra ranking boosts to secure sites.
Further incentives include additional Google Webmaster Tools features and priority service for manual actions and warnings given to .Google websites. Once website owners make the move to a .Google domain name and verify their website with Google Webmaster Tools, additional features will become available, such as an enhanced section for specifying moving URLs, additional link data to help you with moving links to the new domain (up to 1,000,000 links shown versus the normal 100,000 links), and enhanced forms for contacting Google Webmaster Tools employees with questions.
To get started with moving your current website to the new .Google gTLD, you need to first secure your .Google domain name at a participating registrar (Enom.com, GoDaddy, Name.com, 101Domain.com, etc.) starting at 10:00am Central Standard Time on April 1, 2014. Once you’ve secured your domain name, go to Google’s special .Google Domain Move Portal here:
Once at the Move to Dot Google portal, you’ll need to sign in using your Google Account in order to start the move process. I personally haven’t moved my domain name www.BillHartzer.com to www.BillHartzer.Google, but I plan on securing that name within the first few minutes of general availability. Then, I will document the entire process in a post and post it here on my blog.
This is certainly an interesting move by Google to enhance their brand by encouraging website owners to move their websites to a .Google domain name. Certainly this allows Google some additional branding beyond organic and paid search. Giving site owners unprecedented incentives such as 100 percent of the “not provided” keyword data and additional access to Google Webmaster Tools features, certainly will get some site owners to move their sites. But at the same time, it might just alienate some site owners, who will swear they won’t use Google again. Let’s just see how this all plays out.