Google Says It Will Treat .XXX Just Like Any Other Website

Dec 08 2011

Back in August Adult Video News questioned Google representatives about how they would treat the new .xxx domains.  Below is the abbreviated transcript as provided on AVN.

Aug. 31

AVN: We are working on a story about the way in which Google with rank the new .xxx domains that have already come online. This is of great interest to our readers, as you can imagine. There are only a few .xxx domains that currently resolve, and people are already finding that they show up differently in search results. The domain for ifriends is a good example. For some, ifriend.com is ranked first, for others ifriends.net or ifriends.xxx.

Google: Google is experienced in ranking and returning web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD). If the best result is on a new gTLD, we still intend to return that page to our users.

Feel free to attribute that to a Google spokesperson, not to me by name.

Sept. 1

AVN: Thanks for the reply. Your name will not be used.

.xxx is a sTLD, btw, but that probably makes no difference in terms of Google search results. If it’s okay, I may send you future queries, since it is safe to say that this top-level domain is very different from any other top-level domain that has been introduced, not least because of its controversial content and also the likelihood that many countries, institutions and networks will want to block results with the .xxx ending. How or whether actions like that will skew results overall is and will continue to be of supreme interest to this industry.

Google: Ah, sorry I misread your question and thought it was about the new ICANN policy. When are you planning on running your story? I’d like to run this question by another member of the team who handles domain questions, but he’s on vacation until next week.

Is it possible to wait until then?

AVN: I was going to run a brief item today but will wait to hear back from you instead. If I can get a more comprehensive response it will be of that much greater value to the online side of the industry, which is pretty search engine savvy and very interested in this subject. Obviously, a lot of people have put a lot of time, energy and money into their .com domains and have a ton of questions about how .xxx will impact their current rankings. I’m sure it’s the same for .xxx domain owners worried about rankings in a new TLD.

Sept. 6

Google: Sorry for the delay, today has been pretty busy, with everyone returning from vacation and the three day weekend. I checked with a couple members of the team, and our original statement is still the most appropriate response for your question.

I just tweaked it to say TLD instead of gTLD, since this is an sTLD which a team member also pointed out. Again, please attribute to a Google spokesperson, not to me by name:

“Google is experienced in ranking and returning web pages, regardless of the top-level domain (TLD).  If the best result is on a new TLD, we still intend to return that page to our users.”

AVN: Thanks for asking the others. I appreciate the effort.

Obviously not the greatest detail but it says enough.  Google won’t penalize .XXX and at this point in time will let each site be ranked by existing ranking algorithyms.  My personal opinion is that they feel comfortable that the .xxx label will let searchers know that the content will be adult and therefore won’t feel they have to shield users from accidentally seeing adult material.  I think this is one of the first examples of .xxx label working in the site owners favor.

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1 comment

  1. David Britt

    I guess this time google is right. .xxx is better to categorize as adult site.
    I accidentally open an adult site out of the blue because it like an ordinary
    site. The worse is, what if minors accidentally open an adult site?… thumbs up for google for finally do this.

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