Can Changing to a New TLD Domain Generate Better Positioning? – Practical Case

Can Changing to a New TLD Domain Generate Better Positioning? – Practical Case pixelwork

Can Changing to a New TLD Domain Generate Better Positioning? – Practical Case

A lawyer discovered that migration from a .COM domain to a .ATTORNEY you can drive more organic traffic and save SEM costs.

One of the big questions in SEO today is how new top-level domains (TLD Top Level Domain), such as .live, .News or .ATTORNEY, are affecting search engines.

While some believe that .COM domains are the only safe option, Google has insisted in which generic top level domains are not at a disadvantage in the algorithm of your search rankings. Instead of accepting any of these statements, what we want to know is, what does the data say about this?

That is why we have commissioned Globe Runner, an SEO company based in Dallas, investigate the effect of moving from a .COM to a new top-level domain. The object of study was Jacksonville.ATTORNEY, a domain registered by Eric Block, a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville, FL. Eric's migration from in March 2015 was a great opportunity to look at domain metrics before and after the change. Globe Runner has discovered that the change to a new top level domain most likely contributed to Eric's site appearing at the top of many search results.

Marketing the legal industry

This result is great news for SEO, especially in the highly competitive and expensive world of online marketing for the legal industry. For lawyers, the cost of promoting their web presence is growing rapidly, with 78 of the 100 most expensive keywords on google related to legal services. Lawyer searches can be highly segmented by specialty and geographic location, yet many firms still spend hundreds of dollars on paid SEM campaigns.

Here is an example of the costs Eric might have found for paid search results in Jacksonville (data by SEMrush):


In the past, Eric had tried PPC campaigns that produced mediocre returns. Instead of running into a fierce bidding war with his competitors, he decided to get creative. Eric and his marketing team switched to a new domain, the domain lists legal referral services, and relaunched the site with a new design and content strategy.

The results

Within months, Jacksonville.ATTORNEY was near the top of organic search results for some highly competitive keywords, ranking high as the first result for terms like “Jacksonville attorney” and “Jacksonville attorneys.” This was a welcome change from, which often ranked several pages lower, if it ranks at all.

Since the change, Globe Runner estimates that the site generates the organic equivalent of $6,400 per month on 333 Google keyword phrases. Many of these searches do not even include “Jacksonville” as a term, since Google results can already take into account the location of the searcher.

Obviously, being on the first page of results also contributed to a big jump in traffic to Eric's site. Throughout the history of, very little traffic came through organic Google searches:


Meanwhile, Jacksonville.ATTORNEY began gaining traction immediately, seeing hundreds more referrals within the first few months. Traffic peaked in August 2015, before rising even further in 2016:


Far from being penalized in search rankings, this .ATTORNEY domain is thriving without thousands of dollars invested in an SEM campaign.


The legal industry has one of the highest CPC rates, but Eric's experience can be duplicated for other products and services, as well. The advice for any company looking to promote online is that SEM campaigns are not the only route to take, and in many cases, they do not represent the best return on investment.

Many believe that putting the domain name (and new TLDs) at the center of their strategy will get more traffic and position in search engines without spending a lot of money each month on PPC campaigns.

Jacksonville.ATTORNEY's full Globe Runner report makes this a best-case scenario for the positive relationship between domains and SEO. To see the data and results for yourself, Download the full study (in English).

Source: Search Engine Land